Lakshmipathy Adimoolam, Director, Dinamalar Group, has 26 years of newspaper management experience both in the technical and marketing fronts. Adimoolam had joined the family-owned newspaper at a time when letter printing press was still in use. Over the years, he has taken the paper through various stages of evolution to its present totally digital environment.
In conversation with exchange4media, Adimoolam speaks about Dinamalar’s plans for 2013, leveraging the mobile and digital medium, challenges and more…
What have been some recent trends in the print industry, especially in the Southern region?
The print industry in the South was always on the growth path, be it in terms of circulation or advertising volumes. The language dailies have beaten market trends and showed tremendous growth over the last year in comparison to English dailies. More so in the tier II and III cities in Tamil Nadu, where the volume of advertising has showed a higher growth than national clients; this growth is because of advertising budgets getting decentralised. In Tamil Nadu, the advertising trend is seasonal, where we see the bulk of advertising between April and July. The education industry is active from July to September, following which we have the Aadi sale and then the Diwali season leading up to the New Year sale period. This apart, we have our regular advertisers throughout the year.
There have been reports on two leading English dailies launching Tamil dailies soon. How do you think that will change the market dynamics?
Dinamalar has a very strong readership base in Tamil Nadu, which is growing. In many of our editions, we are the clear leaders; this base was not created recently, but built over a period of time. Dinamalar delivers unbiased reporting with the best printing quality and with this USP, we are sure to keep growing despite any new challenges.
Could you elaborate on the marketing strategy and brand communication for Dinamalar?
Dinamalar has always been on the forefront of excellence in delivering the best product across editions in terms of printing quality, use of newsprint and ethical journalism. We use the latest technology in print and use of sophisticated ink to give our readers reading pleasure and the advertisers the best of print quality. In marketing, we come out with innovative solutions for advertisers who would like to move from traditional ads in the front page. Dinamalar is the only Tamil daily to have an eight-page Panorama facility in the front page and a four-page centre spread ad in the front page. We also offer semi jackets, gatefolds and extended full page ads to the advertisers. The strategy also includes many more deals extended to agencies and clients. Dinamalar’s brand communication has always been a mixture of ATL and BTL activities, depending on the need for a particular event or occasion.
Digital and mobile platforms have made significant inroads into print media. Do you think Indian marketers and brands will be able to shift completely from print to digital?
Though digital is poised to grow at 45 per cent year-on-year, the print industry in India may grow at around 9-12 per cent each year. Some categories will start allocating more budgets for digital media, but will not shift completely for the time being.
What is Dinamalar doing in the Digital platform? What are your growth plans for 2013?
Dinamalar’s website is the largest news portal in India, with 20 million visitors and 196 million page views a month; 75 per cent of our users are graduates and above, and 45 per cent of the users are in the age group of 25 to 34 years. Dinamalar is the only Tamil daily to have exclusive apps for iPhone and iPod, Android mobile and Android tab with 24.45 million page views through 9.46 million visits every month. We have recently launched versions for Windows 7, Blackberry and Windows 8. We are planning to roll out/add more content based on the usability feature of different platforms.