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INMA: Newspapers need to emphasise on branding

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INMA: Newspapers need to emphasise on branding

At the concluding day of the International Newspaper Marketing Association (INMA) conference, strong marketing personalities like Venkatesh Kini, Vice President-Marketing, Coca-Cola India, and Prashant Panday, CEO, Radio Mirchi, put forth their views during the session ‘Brand Building: Lessons for Newspapers from Packaged-Goods Marketers’. On the other hand, Media planners Punitha Arumugam, CEO, Madison Media Group and Anupriya Acharya, President, TME, discussed on ‘What Media Planners want from Print’.

Kini was of the opinion that like brands, newspapers also needed a strong identity that was consistent. He said, “It is essential for newspapers to be different, otherwise they will perish. It is necessary to create a mystic, a long-term aura for enduring the brand that is intriguing. At a time when newspapers are in advanced age of evolution, they need to stay ahead with constant innovation and differentiation. Newspapers should identify where the brand categorically stands in definition, commodity and differentiation.”

Both the speakers agreed that for high point success, it was important to understand the target group, socially and culturally; as well as increase width of distribution and depth of engagement by building sustainable growth value, by touching new consumer segment. Explaining this point, Kini cited the example of Coca Cola launching an orange pulpy drink for its juice drinking audience. Similarly, Panday illustrated how Radio Mirchi had sacrificed playing English songs or demand of ghazals from Indore, or Marathi music for its Pune station, by just sticking to the theme of Hindi music.

Panday mentioned that Radio Mirchi came up with innovative ideas like ‘Aapka apna bollywood station’, and a Professor Kawas series that was a spoof on Bollywood actors, which had, in a way, made the Hindi music industry proud.

Panday said, “When Radio Mirchi started in seven states, Radio City posed as our biggest challenge, being a complete Hindi station. But we changed with the demand and gave what the audience wanted to listen, and today we are the No. 1 radio station, are among the top three BCCL brands – with 50 per cent market share, and 3.5 per cent share in all media.”

Madison Media’s Arumugam highlighted the seamless transaction between agency and publication. “But sometimes, this line get blurred when newspapers think that agencies or media planners control the money, or think that they stop the client for spending any further. In that situation, while one wants the money, the other wants rates. What is necessary is adding value to the brand, rather than buying media space. It is important to put the brand in the centre and not the money.”

TME’s Acharya said, “The print medium is used when one wants to explain the product, and here the client does not complain about visibility. There are things still working for print as it is a private one-to-one medium. Complex topics and discussions still play a strong role, whereas TV is regarded as a fleeting medium. At the same time, newspaper is much more local than TV, with neighbourhood news and gossips.”

Elucidating her view that a communication goal was to spend minimum budget and get maximum returns, Acharya added that media planners and advertising agencies desired for newspapers to innovate themselves for them to be in competition; and that constant reinvention with proactive target that is beyond the male genre – females, teenagers, older people, kids and tweens – was vital.


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