Dr. Yatin Balyan–Media Professional & Faculty at MICA

Indian media landscape is changing at a very high pace and there are a number of variables like geography, population strata, languages, cultures, and religions, SEC structures that make India a very complex media market and the task of media planner even more challenging.

It is also observed in last two- three years that loads of new categories have come in advertising and existing categories like automobile, mobile handsets, mobile service providers, insurance, FMCG and retails etc, have grown disproportionately resulting in higher revenues for media houses and agencies.

The Indian media is getting fragmented year on year. The number of media vehicles increasing across media. New TV channels being launched across genres and I see possibility of lots more channels coming catering to specific need of specific audience set. More and more print publication are launching there editions across markets. List of radio stations is long in waiting for license to launch. Every now and then new magazines are being introduced in various specific genres catering to different tastes of the audience. Out of home media is getting complex with newer options coming up. With increasing fragmentation events and big properties further adds up to clutter level. IPL has grown and become one of the sought after annual fixture which is used as launch pads for so many brands.

In addition to increasing media complexities and fragmentation there is drastic change in consumer media habits. A country with 134Mn TV homes now has more than 80Mn internet users. There are already 450 Mn Mobile users and 240Mn using internet on their phones. Out of 80Mn Indians online one third are on social media sites. Linkedin & Twitter already has huge audience base in India. We are at this juncture where conventional media are still very important and newer and emerging media are gaining momentum.

With growing media fragmentation and rapidly changing media habits are making task for various media functions like media & creative communication more challenging. There is pressure to build communication suiting to various media and more pressure on planners to deliver the communication in such a complex media scenario with even more complex media consumption habits.

The role of agencies and media houses is changing over time. They are no longer just agencies or media houses; they are emerging as business partners offering wider solutions. This I guess has created la lot of opportunities across media functions. Since these domains require developing on some skills sets, there is scarcity of resources. I guess this could be considered a very good opportunity and career option by all new fresh budding talent preparing to enter the world of media.

Santosh K. Patra, Faculty, MICA

Diversification is a defining characteristic of media firms and products in the new millennium. With rapid growth and changing patterns of media industry recent decade has witnessed the emergence of new media and changing patterns of communication. Any attempt to understand what is ‘new’ in ‘new media’, is often answered by listing new technological developments or we define ‘new media’ as interactive forms of communication that use the Internet, including podcasts, RSS feeds, social networks, text messaging, blogs, wikis, virtual worlds and more!

This brings the 3C factor of new media, viz. Connect, Collaborate and Create in the new era of communication. It connects people with information and services, collaborates with other people - including those within your organisation or community, and creates new content, services, communities, and channels of communication that help in delivering information and services.

However, the challenge is we must understand what is ‘new’ in ‘new media’ by locating the technological developments and other related factors within specific contexts. To understand new media in the context of marketing, the challenge is to understand both structural and functional trends of new media. On the structural side, new media addresses the time-space compression aspect of traditional media.

The functional aspect of new media can be analysed in the context of shift of power that has occurred in the last 50 years. In the 1950s, the marketer had the power and could dictate to the channel and the consumer. In the 1980s, the channel got the power and began to dictate the marketer and the consumer. With the emergence and rapid growth of new media in the 1990s and beyond, the consumer got the power and is now dictating the marketers.

The shift of power from marketers to channel to consumers is clearly defined by the media evolution and emergence of new media. With the shift of power, there is a two-fold effect that most prevalent new media phenomena has on the market: i) information service (digital content and new kind of consumer behaviour), which includes new multimedia services, digital consumer articulation, consumer as retailers and online social communities, ii) Technology (New Media Infrastructure), which includes Search bots, Shopping bots, Mobile technologies, Peer-to-peer network and piracy and online auction.

Evolution and engagement of new media in the context of India can also be witnessed with the phenomenal growth of the Internet market in India. A recent comScore Media Matrix (2010) report on the growth of social networking market and respective shares of players in India market reveals that more than 33 million Internet users, who form 84 per cent of the total Internet audience, visit social networking sites. The Indian social networking audience grew to 43 per cent in 2010, more than tripling the rate of growth of the total Internet audience.

With the emergence of new media, markets are getting smarter, more informed, more organised. People in networked markets have figured out that they get far better information and support from one another than from the company. The networked market knows more than companies do about their own products. And companies that don’t realise their markets are now networked person-to-person, getting smarter as a result and deeply joined in conversation are missing their best opportunity.

Shiv Agrawal – CEO, ABC Consultants Pvt Ltd says

Trends in Media As per current estimates the television industry is projected to grow by 22%, filmed entertainment by 16%, radio by 18% and the Indian advertising industry 61% over the next 3 years. Given the lucrative prospects of this segment, international media giants are all vying for a stake in the segment. In addition to domestic growth, the growing popularity of Indian content in the world market and South Asia in particular, has encouraged Indian entertainment industry players to also venture abroad to tap this booming segment; according to a report by CII-AT Kearney, the share of international markets in total box office collection is estimated to increase from 8% in 2006 to 15% in 2010.

Having said that we are not seeing too many job opportunities in Traditional Media like TV, Print and Radio at senior levels. Having gone through slow down earlier and consolidations now, most employers are cautious while hiring. Most Employers would like to hire talent which is not from the industry. However with correction in salaries it's tough to attract talent from outside. There is dearth of skilled talent essentially in programming and other creative functions.

Future Prospects The greatest opportunities lie in sub-areas that are expected to grow the fastest over the next few years, namely, in the development of digital distribution platforms for TV such as DTH, digital music platforms, digital media advertising (internet, mobile and digital signage) and global cinema content. There is shortage of plug and play talent again in these sub areas.

Dr. Falguni Vasavada Oza

Associate Professor Mudra institute of Communication, Ahmedabad (MICA)
Specialism: Marketing Expertise: Advertising, Branding, Marketing

The big, bitchy, boisterous party on the beach with loads of fun, frolic and food – this is how advertising as a career is viewed by a wannabe advertising professional!

But hold on! If this was true, even half of it, the entire world would land up in advertising. Right? Yes, advertising as a profession is very different than some other serious looking job profiles. Advertising profession is closer to reality of lives as it deals a lot with consumers and brands that play a role in human lives. While the joy of creation is something that keeps people going, it is the insane timings, deadlines, client interactions that put many at discomfort. But like any other occupation, this field too has its own highs and lows.

Jobs in agencies would give you titles like account planner, client servicing, new business development, copy writers, art directors, illustrators and so on and so forth. In the last decade or so there are quite a few institutes offering courses and programmes in these areas, however, one gets the best training on the job as far as this profession is concerned.

One of the prominent changes that have happened in the advertising domain is the grand entry and applause to the word "integration"! Integrated Marketing Communications has revolutionised the way in which clients and agencies used to think, act and behave with the brands and its target consumers. Therefore, whichever role you might land up in, everyone in the agency is expected to know the brand, product category, competition and consumers. So, even if you are an account planner and your defined role may have a lot to do with research on consumer, market trends, communication and positioning analysis, you may find yourself sitting through and even contributing to the brain storming sessions of creative department.

You may be a creative person, but chances are that you will have to get involved in the production of the commercial! Thus the lines that earlier existed between departments have gone just like the line drawn between "Above the line" and "Below the line" is vanishing, so that every piece of communication to the consumer is integrated.

Another significant change is the emergence and strong growth of new media like blogs, photo diaries, social networking sites which is posing as an effective means to reach out to the consumer, but since it questions the conventional wisdom, it's an area where every agency wants to go but is finding it difficult to walk the talk! It's the perfect destination where the path is yet to be charted out. Therefore, agencies today are looking forward to hunting for people who are tech savvy and can swim around blogs, Facebook, Twitter and the likes and can track consumers, mine insights and can communicate to these consumers in a language that they understand.

To conclude, advertising as a profession is growing and evolving. While it is a stressful job to be, in given the issues of late nights, rigidity of clients, tight budgets, and deadlines; advertising continues to lure young talent as it is a very creative field to be in. At the end, it is a profession which gives you an opportunity to create and at times touch people's hearts and put smiles on their faces!