INX Media is exploring various ways of building relationships with advertisers. Some of the initial steps involve creation of Club INX that has Platinum, Gold and Silver levels; a transparent rate card and tying up with international organisations to bring more science in managing and monitoring channel inventory.
Probal Gaanguly, the Revenue and Ad Sales Head of the channel, explained that the selling time of the channel collided with the time when the broadcast industry was facing a heated debate with advertisers on the cost input inflation surcharge issue. He added that this accentuated the need gap in the system which called for a more transparent system and gave INX its mission statements for the ad sales and revenue function, which was ‘Be crystal clear in our dealings with our advertiser partners’ and ‘Deliver higher benefits and evolve as the most preferred channel partner’.
INX is of the opinion that to be a preferred partner, the attempt should be to provide superior service, efficient backend process, channel management systems and so on. For this, the channel is tying up with some international names. According to Gaanguly, this would allow the Network to manage and monitor the system inventory for its various channels scientifically, and give timely reports to its clients.
He further said, “As a network, we have to engage viewers, deliver ratings and create value for clients. On this aspect of creating value for clients, our rate card philosophy was to try and bring more transparency in the system. Bigger networks have earlier tried and launched a rate card, but they haven’t been able to implement it. In order to achieve some success on this, we have taken steps like creating innovative packages that cater to the needs of different clients. We want to cut out ambiguity and begin dialogues with our clients.”
This point, and the need to create relationships and deliver on investments for clients, gave way to the Club INX idea. There are three levels to the club – Platinum, Gold and Silver. The Platinum level would see advertisers enter into a three-year contract and a bigger benefit package has been designed for them than the Gold and Silver members, which would be two-year and one-year relationships, respectively.
The Platinum partners enjoy category exclusivity in addition to preferential pricing. Gaanguly is quick to point that rate differentiation is not what the Club INX is all about. He said, “We want to bring value to our clients and we see this benefiting us mutually in the longer run. In fact, INX Media is a pool of global talent and when we bounced this concept to the people here, they pointed out that such initiatives were not seen even in more advanced markets.”
For the Platinum level, INX is looking at four corporates, one telecom and one online partner. The Future Group and Reliance Industry have already come in as corporate partners. Kishore Biyani, Group CEO & MD of Future Group, said, “In today’s economy, this kind of collaborative partnership is the way forward and this is very much in line with our business philosophy. I am sure that with 9X we have a future proof collaboration.”
The third Platinum partner is Vodafone. Harit Nagpal, Marketing and New Business Director, Vodafone, said, “Despite the clutter in the media space, 9X, promoted by veterans of this field, comes as a whiff of fresh air. Vodafone is delighted to partner INX Media in this unique concept.”