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Vikram Mehra

CMO | 14 Aug 2013

Currently, the media scenario is in a dynamic flux, especially considering television, which looking at the 10+2 advertising regulations from TRAI. We foresee a marketing mix shuffle, whereby digital and other mediums, including radio, will garner a comparatively larger pie in the media mix. The radio landscape in India is still in its evolution, with Phase III rollout of FM and English stations coming up. The scene will also undergo a shift, bringing in genres from English to news, retro, etc., similar to television, bringing with it a different set of audiences, appeal to niche brands, etc. Radio advertising costing will also see changes with the new regulations setting in.

Vikram Mehra, CMO, Tata Sky has been a part of the brand for more than 12 years. Mehra spearheads Tata Sky’s various verticals to ensure smooth functioning of the business. Prior to Tata Sky, Mehra had a short stint with Star TV as Vice President. He has also worked with Tata Motors for their brand management, which included advertising, media buying and PR.

In conversation with exchange4media’s Saloni Surti, Mehra chats about Tata Sky’s objective from radio, radio measurement and other related issues.

Q. As a marketer, what is your objective from radio?

As part of the communication strategy, Tata Sky always aims at creating a 360-degree communication for greater impact of the campaign. While TV is always the lead medium, it is usually supported by radio, print, OOH and digital as per the nature of the message and the relevant medium/s. From time to time, radio as a communication medium is used to create awareness, build frequency and engage listeners by extending the core campaign message. Due to the localisation of radio, it allows the brand to customise communication and integrate it with the local flavour.

Q. Does Tata Sky use radio with a tactical approach or for generic marketing as well?

Tata Sky chooses the medium of communication keeping in mind the various objectives of the campaign. For example, during the last campaign, it was observed that the TG worked late hours and hence didn’t find any time to watch TV. To address this insight, radio was extensively used as the TG spent a lot of time listening to this medium while traveling every day.

Q. How has radio marketing helped Tata Sky in its campaigns?

Historically, Tata Sky advertising has always aimed at articulating the campaign message in the form of a catchy campaign line. These well thought out campaign lines have the potential of becoming household catch phrases (For example, ‘Poochne mein kya jaata hain’) when extended to radio, where frequency for the message can be built very easily.

Also, a study among medium and light users of television revealed that they can be effortlessly targeted through radio as they are highly drawn to this medium, along with cinema and digital.

Q. What is your approach towards measurement on radio? Does Tata Sky refer to an independent metrics in the absence of standard radio measurement?

At Tata Sky, we always measure our markets across mediums and look at getting closer to our TG through different research tools such as RAM, IRS, and TGI, etc. Depending upon the target markets, analysis of RAM numbers or IRS numbers on parameters such as reach, listenership, time-spent, behaviour, etc., are done to build a robust communication plan.

Q. Please share one of your radio campaigns.

Tata Sky recently used radio extensively for the ‘Prison Break’ campaign to promote Tata Sky+ HD in April. The campaign promoted Tata Sky+ HD targeted at consumers with busy lifestyles, who do not find enough time to watch television. The communication, while talking about the key proposition, highlights key features of the product – recording, catch up content with options of pause, rewind, fast forward, VoD, etc., which allow viewers to enjoy all the action they may have missed when they were busy at work. Radio was an apt medium to target these busy people as they hardly watch television and thereby would listen to radio on the go. Radio was also key to integrating various contests and innovative campaign ideas on other communication platforms.

Q. What are your views on radio advertisement costing? Do you think any change is required in the model?

Currently, the media scenario is in a dynamic flux, especially considering television, which looking at the 10+2 advertising regulations from TRAI. We foresee a marketing mix shuffle, whereby digital and other mediums, including radio, will garner a comparatively larger pie in the media mix. The radio landscape in India is still in its evolution, with Phase III rollout of FM and English stations coming up. The scene will also undergo a shift, bringing in genres from English to news, retro, etc., similar to television, bringing with it a different set of audiences, appeal to niche brands, etc. Radio advertising costing will also see changes with the new regulations setting in.

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