Tata DoCoMo has been quite active on the radio medium. The telecom service provider has become the first Indian private operator to launch 3G services in India, with its recent launch in all the nine telecom circles where it had bagged 3G licence.
Abdul Khan, Senior Vice President, Tata Teleservices Ltd, shared his views on radio as a marketing medium with exchange4media. He said, “Radio is a fair mix in Tata DoCoMo’s marketing budget, though TV and OOH still have a larger share. Tata DoCoMo has deployed a series of radio ads in sync with the rest of the campaigns ever since launch, each time trying to capture the local flavour. They feel that the youth connects with this medium and that is what matters for every brand, whether in India or abroad.”
For Tata DoCoMo, radio as a medium has grown significantly in terms of number of stations and players in India in the last few years, this spread has contributed in the expansion of the medium. Also, the number of players, combined with visible advertising has helped as well. Radio for them is one of the mediums that has always helped in reaching out to the masses, though television still has an upper hand. To counter this, radio has to reinvent itself on the content side.
According to the company, radio has familiarity and reach – through mobiles, car radios, and so on, which provides the possibility of communication that cuts through the clutter, moreover the costs are also within reach.
Khan added, “Regional radio channels are trying to use language to reach out, but not too much beyond that. There’s a lot of scope in expanding interactivity and a lot of it still remains unexplored.” For a brand like DoCoMo, FM radio has ended up being positioned as a youth-focused medium, there have been very little work in creation of strong properties.
Despite having qualities of becoming one of the leading choices as a marketing medium, radio will keep losing out unless it overhauls itself. For radio, ROI is important, as in any other medium, but according to Tata DoCoMo, it is important to consider what radio can do to transcend its limitations. The industry has got mixed up in its definitions – it keeps defining itself by how it distributes its product, that is, radio waves versus what it should be – all around content relevant in a digital world.
For Tata DoCoMo, it is not just measurement that is a reason for radio not growing as expected; it is a combination of measurement along with content. Radio might have to go back to experimenting with multiple formats, flexibility, expanding modes of distributions, and not merely being a name with a frequency band.