Continuing with the focus on ‘Print 3.0’, the second session at exchange4media Conclave 2008, which got underway in Delhi on March 11, hotly debated a pertinent question: ‘Is our print media research cutting edge?’ Speakers at the session stressed on the need for a single currency for media research and multimedia-centric research rather than media-centric research.
NDTV Media is the Presenting Sponsor for this mega industry event which will next held in Mumbai on March 13, followed by Bangalore on March 14, and concluding in Kolkata on March 15.
Maheshwar Peri, President & Publisher, Outlook Group, was the moderator of this session. The speakers included Amit Ray, Chief Strategy Officer, BAG Films and Media Ltd; N Badrinath, VP, Market Research, Reliance Retail; Nandini Dias, CEO, Lodestar Universal; and, Premjeet Sodhi, Executive Vice-President, Lintas Media Group.
Peri started off the discussion with the dictionary meaning of ‘cutting edge’, which, he said, meant pioneering and innovative. Ray began by raising questions like who decided what cutting edge was, and where India stood viz-a-viz the International market. According to him, a continuous research was required that was not biased. Researchers had to be on the field for 300 days in a year to be accurate, he added.
Dias said that there were research organisers that monitored changes on a yearly and half-yearly basis, but it might not capture parameter shifts of five years. “Print media has been in a marketing warfare. After 20 years we are still debating on the size of publications. Have we done anything to build on print strengths?” Dias asked.
“Cutting edge research must be defined by market needs and what the buyers and sellers decide. While buyers want complex metrics to plan building extensive profiling, demographics, product and psychographics, sellers want a broad metrics indicating market standing with focus on print,” pointed out Badrinath.
Sodhi said that users did not look at media on the basis of print research, but were willing to consume any sort of media. “There is a great need for multimedia-centric research rather than media-centric research. The present research pattern was conceived 30 years ago and is still moving on in the same direction. We still follow the same design. It needs to be changed and answer who is consuming what, how big is the consumption, how and what is being consumed, why users are coming to that media, and so on,” he added.
Sodhi further said that there was need to figure out consumption barriers and purchase processes. There is high advertising avoidance by the readers, so how should the advertisers react to it? To this Sodhi replied that the best way to engage the readers and put forth the advertising was to camouflage advertising in the form of content.
Dias wondered, “Why can we not have a single survey, instead of putting money on different surveys when they say exactly the same thing?”