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Gauge cost of incremental attention: Satyajit Sen

23-July-2012
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Gauge cost of incremental attention: Satyajit Sen

The Indian Newspaper Kongress (INK) 2012, held on July 20 in New Delhi, put the spotlight on newspapers. Organised by exchange4media Group, the annual event aims to understand what the future holds for the newspaper industry, as stakeholders contemplated on how to bring about further growth for the medium. INK 2012 was presented by Dainik Jagran. Business Standard was the print partner.

Innovations in newspaper advertising should be exclusive and meaningful to the end consumer. They should be precise and impact the right kind of target audience through the right space in the newspaper. This kind of innovation can further be pushed by integrating print with other mediums like digital into the overall communication eco-system. Further, all stakeholders should keep an eye on investments in innovations and try to minimise wastage. And most importantly, the message or content should not be random but relevant to the TG, so that more than the advertising it should be the brand that stays high on consumer recall.

Satyajit Sen, CEO, ZenithOptimedia, remarked that there have been certain challenges in the field of newspaper innovations. According to him, currently the spurt of innovations is just another tool of grabbing added attention that somewhere dilutes brand integrity. “I feel innovation is bit of an abused word, very much like love. I guess what we mean in an everyday sense of innovation is a certain amount of disruption, because we have 5,000-odd ads being streamed everyday. So within our limited budget we are trying to get a little bit more of extra attention,” he added. Hence, while for some innovation could really be a bagful of disruptions, for others it could be a bagful of added attention driver.

Sen noted that the issue is that pricing in media is undervalued, so a marketer may not take stringent calls on the right kind of innovations required for his or her brand. With resources, a marketer may try to do too many things at the same time. Thus, marketers should be more precise when it comes to making media decisions.

Given the huge clutter in media today, advertisers needed to do what is called innovation or have a disruption presence. Therefore, creative needs to work harder, thus one is always under pressure to something bit of a “first day first show”. Some of it might not be strategic, some of it might be more tactical, but they are all in the area of attention grabbing. “The issue remains, do we know as advertisers and agencies what price we need to pay for that incremental or added attention. Do we really have research benchmarks that for this kind of incremental memorability – all said and done impact is nothing but branded memorability – how much we need to pay decided by market forces that this is the opportunity cost of that added attention. These are questions that will keep on coming up,” Sen pointed out.

Since newspapers still have the widest reach in the Indian market and they are here to stay, unlike what is happening globally. Marketers and advertisers should create benchmarks on pricing to create a balance between investment and returns.

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