Radio Mirchi’s campaign has been heating up the advertising space in the industry ever since launch. The Times Group backed FM station has bagged the top spots in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata, as per the recently announced ILT 2006 Wave 2 results.
True to its tagline, ‘It’s hot!’, the station has been spicing up the market with scores of advertisement and promotions across the country in an effort to make the brand a household name in the country. With a nearly 50 per cent increase in its marketing budget for the last two consecutive years, the channel has been buying out more and more ad spaces across the country.
Talking about the marketing strategy, Prashant Panday, Deputy CEO, Radio Mirchi, said, “There has been nothing new about our marketing strategy. It has been the same as it was when our first station was launched. It has been a single brand strategy all through and it has never varied regardless of whether the market was competitive or monopolistic. Our brand strategy was to be a mass premium brand and we chose the format through which we would get the expected result of being the largest brand.” Panday also believes that radio is not about shows, but about having innovations daily.
Revealing some of the future plans, Panday said, “We will be airing from 22 more cities from February and the last station might launch before June. We might start with the launch in Patna as we are exclusive over there and other cities will follow soon. The southern stations will come out last.”
“With our fairly large marketing budget of over Rs 50 crore for the year, we will continue to have a very strong focus on marketing. Moreover, our biggest strength is the programming content and that’s where our strength lies.” Pointing out the thrust marketing areas, he added, “Increasingly as we go, we will spend more on television and support it with other mediums like OOH and print. The Internet medium is also an important medium for us as there is a huge listenership base to be tapped.”
Speaking on the channel’s position and strategy in its new market Jaipur, Panday asserted that Mirchi was clearly the No. 1 and expectedly doing very well. He added, “In Jaipur, we were tested against a strong local print competition, which has extensively used its media business and they have made it unavailable for other radio broadcasters. So, the marketing benefit that they got has now got nullified.”
“For us, it has proved that it’s the brand proposition and programming content that works in any market,” concluded Panday.
New entrant Big FM managed to shake up things a bit when it took on the competition with deep pockets during its launch with a reportedly Rs 45 crore advertising and marketing budget till March 2007. Relatively older players, Radio City and Red FM, have also got decent marketing budgets; and, moreover the channels have relied on their innovative content to shoot up their respective listenerships.