At the 10th edition of Indian Magazine Congress, Maheshwer Peri, founder and chairman, Pathfinder Publishing and Harish Nair, National Director, Digital Strategy, GroupM stressed on the importance of adopting mobile first strategy. Peri especially stressed on how mobile should be looked as an opportunity rather than threat. On those lines he says, “Most of us in publishing house have seen opportunity as a threat. That’s where some of us have faltered.”
Peri suggests acknowledging the digital platform, “We need to start acknowledging that despite not seeing much monetization as we should mobile is here to stay. It’s important to marry the brands and platform, something we need to work on.” He throws some number to offer strengthen his argument. “Google’s ad revenue is $80 billion. Facebook is growing year-on-year by 55 per cent and beating Google hands down because it’s mobile driven.”
Nair was asked to offer his take on opting for mobile first and the scale and size of the opportunity that lies ahead of us. The latter through his presentation shared interesting insights. After studying consumers in 80 countries he came out with three trends. He shares, “Consumer is changing rapidly. Fragmentation is a reality. There’s big data everywhere. These trends will accelerate in coming time.”
He also mentioned that how India has truly moved to become a digital first consumer. “At 420 million net users, India’s net users are more than the entire population of the US put together. India is also the engine that is driving global internet user. With us the growth of global users is 9 per cent, without us it’s 7 per cent. Many of the innovations come to India after the US.”
He goes on to mention how the usage has also changed as there are more on-the-go consumers who are interacting multiple touchpoints across screens and increasing time duration of net usage. He adds, “Being a mobile first country, around 50 per cent of internet users in India have experienced net on the mobile first. Over the last 9 months of the 100 million Internet users that get added, most of them would be on mobile. This is a key opportunity we need to capitalize on it.”
Nair also suggested that content creators should look at getting products delivered to consumers in real time. He talked about big data, “2.5 quintillion bytes of data is produced every day. While I am talking to you there are 4 million likes on Facebook. Look at the possibilities of the data Facebook and Google has. They are sitting on truckloads of data and can derive far richer consumer insights and target precisely with it. We need to redefine ourselves accordingly.”
Nair also informed that India is one of the few exceptional cases (globally) where all media platforms including print, television, digital is growing. He offers, “The dark spot is the magazine. It’s degrowing in India. If you see globally magazine ad ex is dropping. It’s time for magazine to adjust. You are at the risk of missing out on entire digital generation if you don’t use the opportunities. This digital disruption is already happening. For instance, the world’s largest taxi company (Uber) doesn’t own any taxi.”
How do we get there? Nair suggests, “First is rating business. Are you a magazine or a content creator? Second is rating the audience. Next 100 million internet users in India are going to come from tier-2 and tier 3 cities. So web in india is going to be more visual, more video-led and more vernacular driven. If you are a vernacular publication it’s a great opportunity for you to capitalize. So we say mobile first and digital first but I think it should be user experience first. Third is rethink resources. Use the opportunity to collaborate”
Nair ends his presentation with an interesting proposition. “Don’t look at digital as a medium but as a consumer behaviour. Behaviour shift has happened and is only going to escalate.”
At this point Peri talks about his publishing house’s experience with digital. “We moved to digital in 2013 and created a mobile site in 2014. Now 60 per cent of audience comes from mobile. More than 85 per cent of registration (which is data) comes from mobile. So that’s where we are capitalizing.” He went on to add that behavioural pattern ensures that much of the transaction might be happening on mobile.
Nair also shared his thought on magazine publishing migrating on digital platform. He believes that the insights gained on digital platform is enriching. “We bring publishers and multiple data holders together so that brands can use it to increase audience besides targeting.”
Both concluded the session asking magazine publishers to look at the mobile platform as a big opportunity than a threat.