The fifth and sixth sessions of day one at the Indian Magazine Congress (IMC) 2007, which got underway in Mumbai from October 8, dealt with the importance of magazine readership, issues of magazine revenues, as well as brought to the fore ways to attract and retain young readers.
The main speakers of the fifth session were Shashi Sinha, CEO, Lodestar; Gopalratnam Kannan, Country Manager, Swatch Group India; and Vineet Taneja, Business Director- Multimedia Business, Nokia.
Speaking on the topic ‘Magazines maximum advertisers’ ROI’, Kannan spoke about the three significant facets in the magazine industry that need to be taken care of – advertisers, readers and the publisher. It was the content in the magazine industry that would decide the evolution of the industry, he said.
Sinha was of the opinion that the magazine industry would emerge as the highest source of readers’ trust. It also has the propensity to get advertising revenue in comparison to newspapers.
“It is important to provide the advertisers with the correct readers’ profile to reap maximum benefit of advertising revenue. Similarly, providing them the correct numbers in terms of reach is equally important,” said Taneja.
Since the shelf life of magazines is more than newspapers, magazines therefore have the provision of being read at leisure. Magazine readers have more recall value of an advertisement than that of a newspaper reader. It was also pointed out that advertisers could, therefore, count on this factor for ad spends in magazines.
The topic for the final session of day one at IMC 2007 was ‘Building a truly engaging relationship with readers of today and tomorrow – The challenge and opportunity of attracting and retaining youth readership’. Hormazd Sorabjee, Editor-in-Chief, Autocar; Oona Dhabhar of Conde Naste; and Rashmi Bansal, Editor, JAM, were the main speakers.
Dhabhar said that defining the target group was essential. “There is a need to understand potential readers. For example, FMCGs have tried to understand their consumer well, and a similar kind of understanding by magazines has to be developed,” said Dhabhar.
Bansal said that as far as youth magazines were concerned, publishers refrained from investing in that segment because advertisers did not see a future in them. To retain this segment, publishers should try to engage the young readers one-on-one. A lot of first-hand research should be conducted to understand the interest of the youth. Bansal added that there was a need to change the advertising-oriented mindset.