Media Direction - a division of RK Swamy/BBDO, has a launched media digest, named the Media Market Guide. The book works as the perfect handbook for marketers and media owners, cruising across all forms of mass media and niche media, equipped with a clear format of rates and the fine art of buying media in chunks. Says Sandip Tarkas, Media Direction, "The basic purpose is to provide an industry resource that works as a sort of a handy reference book. The guide is primarily targeted at marketers but it also caters to other non media marketing/advertising professionals who need to have a ready reference with some basic data. In fact, I know of so many marketers who keep a copy ready while discussing plans."
He adds, "We bring this out, with our own existing resources. There is no editorial board as such. But PRP Nair acts as a pivot and editor for this exercise. The data is collected from various resources, and the source is mentioned on each page. PRP has been doing this for many years now and really enjoys this exercise more like a teacher distributing his knowledge."
What kind of mileage does Media Direction really get from this entire exercise? Tarkas answers, "While there is no direct mileage that we would derive from the Media Market Guide, we think that it helps us build the MD brand better. More than anything else, it is a way for us to update and hone up our knowledge in the process of coming out with what is primarily a service to the marketing and media fraternity as a whole."
Media Market Guide is a yearly phenomenon with Media Direction updating the data and forming the deductions in a yearly pattern.
Extract from Media Market Guide on Rural media
Rural media - consumer products, both FMCG and durables, has made significant growth in the rural markets. Mass media do not have a high reach in rural markets. Reach of mass media in rural India (percentage wise) is like television - 40.8, radio - 15.8, press - 24.0 and cinema - 23.3. Among the mass media, television certainly makes an impact and caters to a large rural audience. Doordarshan provided the boost in terms of Hindi feature films and Chitrahaar along with religious programmes, which sustained that exposure and continued to do so.
While TV exposure is bound to increase, programme viewership is expected to reach a higher level. What role the messages, most of which are created keeping in mind the urban audience, will play in the lives of rural consumers can only be a matter of conjecture. Radio can play a significant role in spreading awareness amongst rural audiences. Social listening has also contributed in making radio an effective medium. People of the village listen to radio in social gathering situation. The gathering can be at any place, tea shop, grocery shop etc. In such a situation, any message coming from radio may trigger a discussion on that particular topic, which might not happen if people were to receive the message sitting alone. However, considering the specific communication task (not just creating brand preference but also a change in perception) for most brands in emerging rural markets, the lack of visual aid will be an inhibiting factor, for radio as a medium. While cinema could have been an ideal medium, with its inherent characteristics especially in the southern states, the steep decline of viewership in other parts of country, is a major cause for concern. But it can be a useful medium for so many brands, if the problem of distribution of cinema prints is sorted out.
The fact that literacy levels are relatively low as compared to the urban markets makes the print an unviable option. Also the low penetration level of mainline publications in rural areas compounds the situation. However, the existence of district level newspapers has solved the problem to an extent. These grass root level newspapers though having low circulations are effective. They reach places where no mainline newspaper reaches and above all, are trusted by rural populace. However, the key decision makers and influencers are exposed to the mass media reasonably well.
The present status of mass media has forced marketers to continuously search for vehicles suitable for the local environment. Experimenting with new media is an essential step towards reaching out to unreached audiences. This will have to be done by analyzing specific target groups and their calendar of activity. This process of identifying new opportunities will only receive a boost in the years to come. The limitations of mass media on one hand and the acute need to reach out to mass markets will ensure that the search for new media opportunities becomes the movement of coming years.
While the above mentioned was an extract from an entire chapter dedicated to rural media, there are other such sections on print, television, internet and outdoor. The guide is distributed primarily to clients and media owners or marketers. Tarkas sums it up saying, "Our only purpose behind bringing out such a guide is to make it an industry resource, a digest (with all that one would want to know, about buying media) and which would prove to be greatly beneficial to both marketers and media owners."