Stung by the single industry rating (read TAM ratings) with there urban skew loaded in favour of satellite channels, Doordarshan has decided to revamp its audience research with greater emphasis on conducting qualitative audience research for programme evaluation and positioning.
The decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the newly formed research advisory committee of Doordarshan held yesterday at Doordarshan headquarters in New Delhi. The committee is headed by P S Deodhar, former electronics commission chairman and includes Dr. N Bhaskar Rao of Centre for Media Studies, Promod Kumar Director Institute of Development Communications, Prof. M Z Khan and Ms. Vijay Lakshmi Bose of WHO. The committee has been formed to advise on developing appropriate research methodology and evaluation techniques in carrying out audience research in a scientific manner and aid and advise Doordarshan on positioning of channels and there programme. The committee is also to train the DD staff to do qualitative market research.
At there meeting, the advisory committee members felt that the TAM data collected through people meter in 27 cities does not give a real picture of the reach of Doordarshan which has a strong audience in semi-urban and rural areas. The member also had a unanimous view that the TAM sample was too small to be representative of our multi-cultural society.
It is in this backdrop that the committee decided to revamp its audience research to drive home the message that its reach is far too greater to be ignored by the potential advisors. Further dominance of DD will be leveraged to push it as an ideal advertising vehicle for promoting mass consumption brands and to lure small and medium advertisers who are targeting semi-urban and rural market. Doordarshan has already set up marketing advisory committee headed by former Zee Telefilms CEO Vijay Jindal to evolve market friendly strategies to woo advertisers. DD’s recent decisions to offer volume discount to small and medium advertisers is part of this strategy.
One of the models that the research advisory committee decided to take up for experimentation in audience research is Doordarshan viewers club, which would be set up to give feed back and suggestions for improvement of DD programmes. Already taking a cue from the popularity of DD Bharati’s interactive talk shows Meri Baat it has been decided to have more interactive programmes on Doordarshan to ensure greater participation of viewers.