Last month, the Mumbai-based Chitralekha Group tied up with Maharashtra-centric Deshdoot Group of Publication, to distribute its magazine ‘Chitralekha Marathi’ along with the Sunday edition (April 22) of the newspapers free of cost its readers.
Within three weeks of this unique alliance, the magazine managed to double its circulation from 1.03 lac copies to over 2 lac copies. According to the industry sources, this alliance is one of its kinds in the country, where a newspaper and a magazine joined hands not only to increase its circulation but also provided a platform for the advertiser to reach their target audiences.
Nearly 45,000 copies of Nashik and Shrirampur editions of Deshdoot carried ‘Chitralekha Marathi’ free of cost on April 22, which also marked the 51st birthday of the Chitralekha Group. The only exception this time was that the readers had to shell out Re1 extra from Rs 2.50 to Rs 3.50. This offer was supported by massive promotion campaign.
Deshdoot Group is planning to undertake similar exercise beginning May 27, for its remaining three editions – Jalgaon, Dhule and Nandurbar. Within a span of three weeks, Chitralekha managed to increase its circulation to over 2 lac copies. Simultaneously, Deshdoot’s circulation including all five editions is expected to grow from 1lac copies to 2 lac copies with in the span of five weeks.
According to Mr. Bharat Kapadia, Associate Publisher and Partner, Chitralekha, the basic advantage that’s been offered to the advertisers by the group are:
- Chitralekha’s reach has doubled to over 2 lac households, which no other Marathi magazine has not done so far. Its nearest competitor, Lok Prabha has a circulation of 62,000 copies only.
- It is planning to offer combined package of Deshdoot and Chitralekha to the advertisers
- Offering split runs in Nashik and Jalgaon editions.
This advantage however comes at a price for the advertisers. The group has increased advertising rates by 50%. Mr. Bharat Kapadia feels the advertisers would not mind the increased cost as the new tariff will be more than offset by the advantage offered in terms of increased circulation.
Currently, Chitralekha draws advertisers mainly from the Consumer Durables sector and the Local market. The Group hopes that with increase in circulation big FMCG and Automobile advertisers would be more than keen to put their ads in the magazine, as no other print medium will be able to offer this kind of reach in Maharashtra.
Chitralekha also plans to undertake similar initiatives in the near future. “We have planned 4 such ground breaking initiatives this year and this is the first in the series. The rest would be carried out within this year itself,” said Kapadia.
For Deshdoot, this alliance couldn’t have come at a better time from being behind Lokmat and Sakal, in terms of circulation before April. This new initiative has helped it reach the No. 1 spot in a matter of just 3 weeks.