The second and concluding day of Indian Magazine Congress 2006 saw media stalwarts discuss several relevant issues, including leveraging magazines successfully with consumers and advertisers and how magazines are more engaging and cost effective than other media forms.
Malcolm Mistry, Publisher, Indian Language and Editions, India Today, underscored the fact that in order to take magazines to the next level the key was to reinvent. Giving Indian Today’s example, he said that the when the group was in the process of reinventing the magazine, it discovered that the relevance of magazines to a reader and advertiser was being questioned. The solution was to spot trends and adapt to the changes in consumer preferences.
He said, “It was largely perceived that India Today was targeted at male Sec A and B in a particular age group and perceived to have a political bias. To counter this and broad base our readership, we began by providing weekly add-ons which focused on various other aspects such as home, luxury, career and even had city offerings, which appealed to a wider set of readers. Basically, the idea was to create multiple touch points to reach the readers.”
According to Mistry, the way ahead for magazines would be to be relevant, invest in research and keep reinventing.
R Rajmohan, Vice-president, Advertising, Outlook, was of the opinion that more than providing add-ons, the challenge was to come up with an editorial product that was superior and be responsible for driving the magazine’s growth.
Sam Balsara, Chairman and CMD, Madison Media, was more optimistic when he pointed out a couple of studies that stated that magazines were more engaging than any other medium – be it television, Internet or radio. He further said that the study also pointed out that the engagement level was higher in magazines as people considered the medium to be less intrusive than other medium. While exposed to other mediums, the consumer would multi-task, but that was not the case while reading a magazine, he pointed out.
As for the cost effectiveness of the medium, Tarun Joshi, CEO, Brand House Retails, said, “It purely depends on the product category being advertised. There are times when one needs to reach the mass where television is best suited, but when one has to talk about in greater detail, then magazine works best.” He was of the opinion that for advertising luxury brands, magazines worked best and a premium could be charged for that.