While the Pitch Madison Media Advertising Outlook 2011 reflected a bullish growth of 27 per cent for the media-advertising industry in 2010, key industry experts believe the momentum is likely to continue this year as well.
Top media players feel that the key factor that enabled media to achieve this huge growth remains the evolving nature of media as it has been able to cater both the audience’s changing media consumption pattern and marketers’ need for more engaging advertising solutions.
According to CVL Srinivas, MD, LiquidThrad APAC & Chairman, Starcom MediaVest Group, India, the year 2010 was “the year of resurgence and revival”. He felt that the first half of the year 2011 looked promising, given the mega cricketing events like the ICC World Cup Cricket and the Indian Premier League (IPL).
For Shantanu Bhanja, VP – Marketing, HT Media, the increasing innovation in print was enough indication that the medium was getting more flexible and was ready to serve marketers’ interest in a much better way.
The Big FMCG Fight
Bhanja added, “Since FMCG is the largest spending category on TV, we are trying to understand the need of the category in print. We are looking very seriously into what are the specific needs of an FMCG company, and are accordingly providing something much beyond TV.”
On the other hand, Joy Chakraborty, Chief Revenue Officer, ZEEL & COO - Niche Channels, Zee Entertainment Enterprise Ltd, stressed that each medium should respect and bring value to the money that a particular advertising category spent on it. “TV is a more suitable medium for the FMCG category and we are mostly dependent on that. FMCG is our bread and butter and it accounts for 70 per cent of our revenue,” he remarked.
Similarly, education category was something that was more suited to print, he said, but lamented that limitations of TV and policy constraints had led some FMCG spend to move to print. “We can’t implement every proposed innovation and there are limitations, which sometimes lead to FMCG advertisers going to print,” he said.
On the changing nature of each media platform, Rohit Ohri, Managing Partner, JWT, said that the whole focus today was to see what advertisers wanted and how a medium could evolve to cater to advertisers’ needs. He further said that the fast evolving nature of the internet and its increasing utility for the brands had made it necessary for different mediums to converse with the Internet.
On similar lines, Bhanja of HT Media said that print no longer meant the daily or weekly or monthly, but was now more about brand driven content that could suit to audiences’ changing media preferences in today’s case. “As our readers are changing and moving online, we have tried to cater to their changing needs and also tried to provide advertisers a new platform to engage with them,” he said, adding, “We are a brand driven product, where we engage people in terms of their requirement and needs. Convergence with online bring an added reach for us and new platform for advertisers.”
Jayant Mammen Mathew, Director, Malayala Manorama TV, too, said that the online audience of a print medium had help widen the base of print. “We can now easily reach to the language audience in the Gulf countries and it also gives marketers an opportunity to reach out to them in a precise way,” he noted.
Meanwhile, Maheshwar Peri, Publisher, Outlook, stressed that upgrading to online was a must for every medium. He believed that it added to create buzz on what lay inside one’s core product and insisted that “there is no threat of web cannibalising magazines and print content”.
Good Days Ahead
Giving his take on the optimism of the PMAO report, Bhanja of HT Media said that unlike the western countries, where print had reached a level of saturation, India was a thriving market for print and would continue to grow in years to come. His argument came with a logic, as he said, “There is an increased focus on education in every household and literacy level is going up. Youth are increasingly trying to catch up with the global culture. This will definitely push our growth further, as we have understood what the new generation are looking for and we are trying to speak in their language too.”
Neeraj Sanan, VP & Head, Marketing & Distribution, MCCS, hoped that TV would continue to lead the growth of different mediums with the highest ad-pie share. According to him, digitalisation and an updated technology would bring more edge to TV and the local advertisers might like to upgrade from print to local news channels to national news channels to GECs.
Malayala Manorama’s Mathew agreed with this view as he said that local TV channels carried huge potential for local advertisers, given the untapped market potential in the suburban and rural areas.” He added that hyper localisation of media vehicle was bringing unique engaging opportunities for advertisers to reach out to consumers at community level.
Starcom MediaVest Group’s Srinivas, however, suggested that a sustainable growth could only be ensured if the marketers saw their investment generating enough sales and brand consciousness. “Agencies should come forward to help marketers and media owners generate new ideas that could result in a better ROI,” he said.
Outlook Group’s Peri was confident that niche magazine would grow much faster. He felt that magazines had a great future ahead as that was the only vehicle that was investing in journalism and bringing every detail to readers. “As newspapers and TV are becoming agencies bringing news and content on real time basis, they lack the depth that people look for. Here comes the role of magazines, where journalists spend weeks to get every minute details of a story with indepth editorial insight,” Peri noted.
The industry experts were speaking at a Power Panel to discuss the findings of the Pitch Madison Media Advertising Outlook 2011 report in New Delhi on February 25, presented by Star Majha. Titled ‘Future of Indian Media’, the session saw eminent industry players in the panel and included Shantanu Bhanja, VP – Marketing, HT Media; CVL Srinivas, MD, LiquidThrad APAC & Chairman, Starcom MediaVest Group, India; Maheshwar Peri, Publisher, Outlook; Jayant Mammen Mathew, Director, Malayala Manorama TV; Joy Chakraborty, Chief Revenue Officer, ZEEL & COO - Niche Channels, Zee Entertainment Enterprise; Neeraj Sanan, VP & Head, Marketing & Distribution, MCCS; and Rohit Ohri, Managing Partner, JWT. Amit Agnihotri, Co-founder, exchange4media Group & Editor Pitch, moderated the session.