The panel discussion on Day 2 of the 4th Annual Conference of INMA witnessed an in-depth discussion on ‘What is good about Print’. In this panel discussion, experts from advertising, media planning and the newsmedia industry shared the pros and cons of the print media industry thoroughly from all perspectives.
The entire discussion was around the theme – how print medium is relevant for advertisers, media planners and from the news content perspective as well. “Revenue in print is not as good as it should be,” remarked Amit Ray, President and CEO, Lintas Media Group, who was the moderator of the session. He raised the question, “Has print been monetised well?” Going forward, Ray said that the industry should look at the print medium more in terms of ‘value’ than anything else.
On the same lines, Jacob Mathew, Executive Editor, Malayala Manorama, noted that no other medium was as effective as print in terms of engaging consumers. It is the medium that gives profitable RoIs to the advertisers. Nonetheless, he warned media owners and said that they needed to be cautious because readers had a choice these days and they could move to any media anytime. “Content, consistency and credibility are the driving factors,” emphasised Mathew.
Taking the audience towards the historical background of the newspaper industry in India, I Venkat, Director, Eenadu, noted that the newspaper in India started evolving only when television as a medium came in the country. In the last two decades, in some form or the other, almost all newspapers have innovated themselves. Newspapers have extended through new supplements, booklets, city, districts, constituency pages and geographically. Meanwhile, target audience focused supplements for the women and youth came into the picture. New segments of advertisements evolved, including political ads, anniversary, retail, greeting and wedding, among others. Various days like Valentine’s Day ads have occupied space in newspapers. “These innovations have given choice to advertisers as they can choose the specific audience they want to target and take advantage of print medium,” said Venkat.
Putting forward the advertisers’ point of view on the print medium, Sandeep Kaul, Chief Executive, Personal Care Products SBU, ITC, noted that the print medium had the capability of solving specific marketing problems. Meanwhile, speaking on the measurement part of print medium, Joseph Eapen, CEO, MRUC, stated that print was a medium where everything could be quantified and the impact could easily be seen. During the Q&A session with the audience, while replying to a question on why FMCG advertisements are not present in newspapers, Eapen said that it was perhaps that there was no audio-visual experience available in print medium and FMCG advertisers wanted to give consumers the same experience. This was the one area where print medium fell short.
The entire session discussed how print medium has evolved in India. Also, from advertisers’ point of view how it can be used by more prudently and how more value can be added to this medium while keeping new media in mind. All these issues came under the scanner during this insightful panel discussion.