With media players and advertisers looking to tap the growing prowess of the Tier II and Tier III markets, Ranchi has become a preferred destination of brands and media players alike. The thriving town is a gateway to the entire Jharkhand market and marketers are leaving no stone unturned to tap the city’s potential. As in the case of several small towns, Ranchi is witnessing a higher standard of living, growth in per capita income and people opening up for investment.
Keeping the town updated on the latest news are no less than five major newspapers – Dainik Jagran, Hindustan, Dainik Bhaskar, Prabhat Khabar and Ranchi Express. Given the size of the market, the competition is understandably cutthroat, keeping these print players on their toes and making them devise different content and marketing strategies as well as customer connect initiatives on a daily basis to grab the readers’ attention.
This has given rise to the question as to whether the Ranchi market is big enough to accommodate five major print players and whether there is space for new players.
Talking to exchange4media, Pradeep Dutt, Editor, Ranchi Express said, “There are already players who are fighting everyday for the top spot, I don’t think there is any space for a new player in the market. Ranchi is growing, but that doesn’t mean the space of reading will also expand.”
He further said that managing a newspaper is not an easy job, and with people switching to other language papers as well as accessing e-paper editions online, it is difficult for a new player to get a foothold in the market.
KK Goyenka, Managing Director, Prabhat Khabar too feels that the number of existing players in the Ranchi market are more than enough and “there is no question of new players entering the city”. He added, “Ranchi city is big, but not that big where lots of print players can perform, because at the end of the day, the customer ends up with same type of content.”
He emphasised that the target audience is limited and they are getting the same news every day. “Readers have a strong bond with their paper. We have already built our brand image and we are now enhancing it through our content and audiences connect activities,” Goyenka added.
On the other hand, Sanjeev Kotnala, Vice President, Brand Communication and National Head, Dainik Bhaskar Group remarked that there is always window open for a new player. “It depends on how they are marketing themselves and what are they offering to their readers,” he said.
Kotnala cited the example of Dainik Bhaskar and said that when the Hindi daily had entered the Ranchi market, there were other players that were performing well, but despite this, the paper managed to hold its ground and is “doing very well”.
As far as the marketing strategy is concerned, he said, “We focus on the demands of our readers. Their necessity is our supply. We have done research work earlier and continue doing so, this helps our brand to connect well with the readers.”
This view is shared by Mukesh Bhushan, Editor, Dainik Jagran Ranchi, who said, “Space needs to be created. Looking at the current scenario, there is no scope and no space for any player, but if a player comes up with some unique marketing strategy and some different connecting activity, it can create a wider readership base.”
With the changing tastes of readers, today there are households that subscribe two newspapers. This has created a wider reader base and has given hope to print players to further entrench themselves in the market.