The first post-lunch session at International Newspaper Marketing Association’s (INMA) first conference for South Asia had industry stalwarts like Harit Nagpal, Director-Marketing, Vodafone; Santosh Desai, MD and CEO, Future Brands; and Shashi Sinha, CEO, Lodestar Universal, discussing on ‘What Advertisers seek from print’.
According to Nagpal, “We advertise to grow business and to be ahead of the competition 365 days of the year; and at the same time, look good while doing so and earn more bucks to spend. For this, the advertiser wants a client who is sensitive to its need, trust worthy and delivers in adverse circumstances.” Desai reiterated the point by saying that newspapers signified connectedness, and companies advertised in print to get access, efficiency, speed, visibility and flexibility. According to Sinha, noticeability, consumer connectivity by localising, and customising brand message with unparallel flexibility were essential while advertising in print to ensure maximum returns.
Nagpal added, “The print medium needs to grab eyeballs as the attention span is less; the audience is now accustomed to surfing between channels and flipping pages. So as an advertiser, I want people to come to me with ideas to hold the attention of the audience, smart ideas for each section of the page, and for different audiences sets.”
Desai said, “The print medium is losing its fundamental strength – its credibility – and moving towards embedded content and inviting limpness. Twenty five per cent of the content is self generated – either a campaign for themselves, or for increasing the business interest to grow. The difference between editorial and paid editorial is blurring now.”
Vehemently criticising the current situation of print, Nagpal said, “Print media has always been regarded as a credible medium with news on first page and views in the later pages. But now it is views on the first page and paid views in the subsequent ones. The quality of writing for certain sectors is just not meeting expectations. Print is not yet dead, but it is not moving either. Right now it needs to evolve. Someone needs to make the first move – be it media owners, media agencies or creative agencies. There is enough scope for syndication and partnership to reach different sections in an effective way.”
Adding to the point, Sinha said that the focus should be sharply towards media consumption, as print was delivering a lot more and there was potential for growth.
The second session post lunch was on ‘From News on Paper to Multi-media Engines: Emerging Value Propositions for Newspaper Companies’ delivered by Earl J Wikinson, Executive Director, INMA, US. He focused on the major trends among newspaper companies worldwide, with best global practices to help newspaper executives move toward a future in which content-rich media companies dominate the battle for audience.
Wilkinson cited the example of the US where there a loss of 21 per cent was observed in newspapers value preposition, but outside the country, the medium was growing by 25 per cent. He said that the reason for this lied in transition of the print medium into integrated multi-media.
He said, “To reach readers, an ongoing conversation and a sense of community in terms of interest, is needed. Media consumption is increasing, but in a miniscule way. People are logged onto the Internet more than ever before. There is a technological overload with battle for more attention span, and a movement from product focus to market space focus for the benefit of advertisers can be witnessed.”
Wilkinson further said that earlier, big products with large audiences used to attract most advertisers. But today, it was all about attracting niche audience for their product with right publication. Which would have the right size, scope, shape, quality frequency and engagement.