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'Jugalbandi is key to successful partnerships in today's world'

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'Jugalbandi is key to successful partnerships in today's world'

Radio can be a consumer’s most consistent companion. Leveraging on radio’s tremendous power to evoke emotions is an effective and efficient media tactic to reach the listener. However, while planning the radio strategy for a brand, it is important to consider if radio is the right fit for the set marketing objectives. Habeeb Nizamuddin, Chief Growth Officer of Lodestar UM and Kartik Sharma, Managing Partner of Maxus share their experiences and insights on how the effective use of radio ensured the success of their media campaigns.

Speaking about using radio in one’s media campaign, Kartik Sharma of Maxus spoke about the uncommon perspectives used to harness the power of radio as a medium. “Uncommon perspectives are learnt in one’s career span through the help of colleagues and clients. Clients keep saying that radio is not effective, but I believe that the power of an idea is what you do with that medium rather than taking a shortcut and saying that a particular medium does not work,” added Sharma.

According to Sharma, the three uncommon perspectives that have worked effectively for clients and also won many awards are:
Using radio as a lead medium to launch a brand
Bringing alive a product proposition and harnessing the power of demonstration
Solving a marketing problem through the power of an idea

A perfect example for the power of idea would be the launch of Vodafone music station on All India Radio to promote songs of yesteryears by Maxus. The initiative lead to a huge response with 62 million hearts touched and a 120 per cent RoI.

Radio co-existing with the new media leads to a higher success model of reach, as compared to the singular use of other mediums. “Many RJs have a huge Twitter following, for example, which can be leveraged to position and propagate a brand very effectively,” remarked Sharma. There is possibility for monetising the power of some of those RJs and connect the brand in a meaningful way.

“‘Jugalbandi’ is a key to successful partnerships in today’s world as media has changed from the world of loud solos (where a ‘Mahabharata’ was the perfect spot to garner maximum reach for one’s brand) to the era of creating harmonies. And this is what selling is about. It is not about trying to work with intrinsic ideas alone on a single medium,” commented Habeeb Nizamuddin of Lodestar UM.

With budgets becoming that much more a challenge, many media planners are trying to deliver more and more. This is where ‘jugalbandi’ comes into play as there is no single medium that can deliver everything. The moment you add radio to a standalone medium’s media plan, there is a substantial increase in the reach that comes into play. According to Nizamuddin, “One of our surveys shows that the combination of internet and radio in media leads to a whole new set of opportunities for the brands. We worked out a solution where there is a role for radio and one for the internet, and how we harmonise that role in a manner that leverages the strength of radio and created a specific place where it interacted with the internet.”

Lodestar UM used this combination of internet and radio for a condom brand to reach out to the audience. A 24-hour campaign for the same near Valentine’s Day resulted in 9,000 responses, which proves that it is the next best powerful opportunity.

Speaking on the credibility of radio as a medium, Santosh Desai of Futurebrands said, “Radio is the new voice of emerging India and is a powerful tool for understanding the aspirations and trends in India. It has both institutional and personal sense of intimacy as a public medium.” Radio helps build a collective identity and as Marshall Mc Luhan had said, ‘Medium is the message’, radio makes sense of the change happening and also depicts the city in its most alive form.

Santosh Desai, Kartik Sharma and Habeeb Nizamuddin were speaking at the India Radio Forum 2013, held in Mumbai on May 28.

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