Second half of the first day of annual conference of the International Newsmedia Marketing Association (INMA) witnessed some insightful case studies of the various successful newspapers, including Vijay Karnataka, Lokmat, Rajasthan Patrika and Sakshi. Prior to the second Brainsnacks session and case studies of the day, Rajesh Jain, Executive Director and Head of Media and Entertainment, KPMG, Mumbai, gave an outside-in view of newspapers and growth opportunities in India.
Speaking on the worldwide trend of the newspaper industry, Jain noted that there were only selected markets that were growing globally for the newspapers. India consumes 20 per cent of all dailies sold worldwide. Now, global players are focusing more on creating a paid news strategy for the digital medium. “Print is a major contributor to Indian media and advertising industry. India leads in advertisement spend growth in Asia Pacific, with newspaper as the key driver,” Jain pointed out.
Speaking on the growth of newspapers in regional markets, Jain commented that specific niche Tier III clusters were emerging as an attractive target markets and likely to be more lucrative than the Tier I in coming days.
Giving a glimpse of the newspaper, Vijay Karnataka, Sundar Kondur, Head Response and Brand, Vijaya Karnataka, stated that with the focus on local content and local revenues, Vijay Karnataka was very active in community connect initiatives. It was launched with 10 editions and 32 sub-editions. “We raised issues that affect the common man,” Kondur said, adding that Vijaya Karnataka had been able to attract the best of brand and retail advertising and had grown faster than the No. 1 language publications in the South. The paper claimed to have doubled the ad revenues in the last four years.
With the second half of the day focusing more on the circulation growth strategies of various newspapers, Bharat Kapadia, Director, Lokmat Group, gave a unique example of new distribution strategy that they had implemented in Pune. He cited an example and explained that when in a strategic move Lokmat had slashed its cover price, hawkers in the city refused to distribute the copies of Lokmat newspaper. Hawkers’ point was that why they were not consulted before slashing the cover price of the newspaper. In an immediate action, Lokmat Group created a parallel distribution system where they involved vegetable vendors, small shopkeepers, students, unemployed men, housewives and other professionals, who were interested in distributing newspapers. This idea came up as a successful rescue and still being practiced in the city.
Arvind Kalia, National Head - Marketing, Rajasthan Patrika, also gave insight on why they decided to launch the newspaper in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh markets only. He noted that these were the markets that were growing very rapidly and there was scope to tap the unexposed potential and Patrika was able to do it successfully in both of the states.
Day One of the INMA conference concluded with the success story of the Telugu daily - Sakshi. KRP Reddy, Director, Advertising and Marketing, Sakshi, explained how the newspaper was launched in Karnataka. Sakshi launched 23 editions, supported by 360 degree marketing campaign. He noted that the newspaper layout and design was prepared by international design expert Mario Garcia. The group has also supported this launch with a massive TV campaign, and apart from Telugu language, it created TVCs in Hindi as well with the help of ad agency O&M. “In a pre-launch exercise, media was used by us very effectively. This has helped us in achieving our goal and attaining more circulation numbers,” concluded Reddy.