How often do we pause and ponder about industry issues that have a bearing beyond just our rigmaroles? Share insights that can further the common understanding? Or, at the very least, point at things that need to be set right.
View Point - an exchange4media platform, will fill this void and become a source of understanding, action and perhaps some inspiration.
"Media marketing has finally come of age."
Rajul Kulshreshtha, CEO, Optimedia Indonesia
CAS and the media owners
One of the many implications that the coming of CAS will have is on the way that channels give shape to their marketing strategies. Consumers will no longer be wooed by mere content only, but will also need to be convinced about brands. Media marketing, the way it should be, would finally come of age. And more importantly, the marketing departments of channels would now finally find their rightful place under the sun!
Look at it this way. Why would the consumer agree to pay for one channel/bouquet as against the other? While content will be the deciding factor, the key may just not lie there. With both ZEE and Sony going aggressively after new programming, content may no longer be the differentiating factor. The playing field will become level in the coming months. So on what basis does the consumer decide? The answer is not very difficult to find. The idea of the brand will become paramount. Consumers will no longer decide merely on content, but also on the basis of the brand(s) that they would like themselves to associate with. And this can best be illustrated looking at the movie channels. What will eventually differentiate a HBO from a Star Movies or from a ZEE MGM? Certainly not only the content (all have access to movies that are as big as the other). Brand imagery and appeal will play a big role and this is where the marketing teams will get into action. Defining brand HBO to the consumer will become paramount. In fact, given the ability of the consumer to now reject the channel totally within a period of days; this task will become even more onerous. Brand building will now become serious business given that there will be a shift from programmes to brands that will determine the reason for having a channel. Positioning strategies will now play an important role in how consumers perceive channels.
Packaging and pricing will also become one of the key areas that channels would now need to focus their efforts on. Let's take the example of Star. Would Star now offer the entire bouquet of channels on the back of Star Plus or would they do it differently? Would there be packages for housewives as opposed to packages for the men folk? Would there be special events that they would price higher or would they use these as entry points into houses that may have rejected the Star offering? Would the marketing team look at offering deals based on regions? If yes, how would they be priced? There are these and many other such questions that would now beg for greater attention. And while much of the pricing issues may be decided by the government guidelines, it still remains to be seen how it will be handled. Strategically, pricing and packaging will now play a very important role in determining channel preferences.
Relationship marketing will assume a new dimension. In an era of options and rejections, CRM will mean much more than a simple direct mail. Marketers would now need to explore avenues to not only attract consumers to their fold, but also to retain them on a regular basis. Strategies would need to be worked more on a micro and market to market basis rather than just a global approach that has been prevalent until now. And what is more, advertising would now assume a different dimension. No longer will it be a one programme, one hoarding approach, but would begin to move more into the area that we are all aware of. The implication on the media plans would be more demanding. Not only would they now need to become more consumer focused, but they would now also need to be moulded in the traditional sense of the discipline. And while this may be the founding blocks for the plans innovative solutions to reach the consumer will be much more in demand.
But it does not end here. Even though CAS will be only implemented in a phased manner, it will eventually end up as a pan India phenomenon. Marketing would now also have to focus on consumers of a different nature - the advertiser and their media agencies. No longer will mere ratings allow a channel to get advertising. And marketing presentations would now need to go beyond channel shares graphs and their interpretation of the numbers. They would now need to address marketing issues that are brand and consumer related. The marriage of media and marketing will now become a reality.
Media research is another area that channels would now need to focus on with a greater degree of seriousness. Establishment studies and connectivity data which were until now were "good to see" numbers would now assume a greater meaning. Research agencies would now need to tout this as an important source of information that the channels would need to use to push their case with advertisers and agencies alike. And more importantly, media planners would also need to look at this piece of information a little more carefully.
Media marketing will become more challenging as the days go by. With channels fighting for a share of the consumers mind, this challenge will only intensify. However, this article does presume that CAS will be executed the way it has been conceived and passed. Whether it will be executed at ground zero in it's entirety or not is a debate for another article another time!