Media Research Users Council (MRUC) and Hansa Research have jointly held a forum on Indian Readership Survey (IRS), which delved more on how the research was more than just readership.
While Lynn de Souza, Director, Lintas Media Group, said that IRS was the world's biggest misnomer after WPP, Ravi Kiran, MD, Starcom stated that no matter how much one dug out IRS, it would still be scratching the surface.
Souza began the session with establishing that readership was only 7 per cent of IRS. It has a lot to offer on household and individual data, throwing more information on demographics, durable ownership, viewership and even listenership among the other offerings. "The application of IRS is for media identification and the offerings are varied. From demographics on individuals, chief wage earners and housewives, it gives category insights in as many as 100 categories, a better understanding of the audience and even market prioritisation with direct indicators and surrogate indicators."
With this she moved on to share case studies that illustrated that IRS data can be used to look beyond the obvious and create the advantage for any brand. The case studies she chose included TV in the durable category and biscuits in the FMCG category.
Kiran elaborated more on the 'Changing Face of Consuming India'. The issues he was delving in included demographical, market and consuming class changes and what this means for marketers, media owners and planners.
Kiran pointed out that most changes were coming in from the growth in the rural segment due to the education improvements for both the chief wage earners and the housewives. He brought out the facts like English language dip by 6.7 million, drop in the joint family crisis and increase in full time employment. Rural market is becoming affluent, housewives becoming more educated and again the growing literacy of CWEs affecting the market scene on the whole. Largely these bring in the shift from loose and unbranded goods to packaged and branded goods.
Also, substantial amount of growth in sectors like automobiles and TV has been coming in the mid-rung of rural households indicating that this is the sector that will drive growth for the future.
He concluded stating that rural socio-economic structure improving and has driven growth for many. With housewives getting more educated, branded goods are getting prominence and there is health, hygiene and nutrition awareness. Also with CWE's education on the rising, the 5 std - SSC is key to future. Another point he brought out was there is opportunity for growth of print and particularly special interest titles.
"All this and you are still only scratching the surface with IRS," said Kiran.