Pitch CMO Summit: Print & personalized an oxymoron: LV Navaneeth, The Hindu Group

At Pitch CMO Summit 2019, LV Navaneeth, CEO, The Hindu Group, spoke about Print: Taking The Personalized Route in his special address

by exchange4media Staff
Published - Oct 7, 2019 8:14 AM Updated: Oct 7, 2019 9:22 AM

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CMO Summit

As personalization becomes a buzzword among the consumers, print media is also focusing on extremely personalized products.

At the Pitch CMO Summit 2019 held in Chennai on Friday, LV Navaneeth, CEO, The Hindu Group, in his special address on ‘Print: Taking The Personalized Route' shared insights on the same.

“Print and personalized is an oxymoron,” Navaneeth said at the very beginning of his address.

Explaining his statement, Navaneeth, said print, by and large, is a mass media product but at the same time, print is a very well segmented industry."

Moving ahead, he described how the industry approaches a general interest. "If there is a business-minded audience and we see a potential to create a product, we launch a business product. Similarly, if we feel there is an audience for all non-technology products or if there is an audience for women, we launch a product there. So it has done a good job of segmentation with print and personalization. Hence, in my view, print and personalization is an oxymoron."

He asserted that on an average a newspaper carries thousand 2,500 stories in a day but an average consumer hardly reads 10 to 12 stories with interest.

According to Navaneeth, web portals of the print media are a good source of personalisation through various options like recommendations, selected notifications and other online elements.

While personalization is very digital, it will be interesting to see how print can personalize in the future given the fact that it's still a mass media product, said Navaneeth.

Different people read different stories because the tastes of the audience are different and plenty of choices are available to them. After all, one size never fits all, he emphasised.

Navaneeth said a newspaper's job is to offer enough content in multiple areas across sections of audience so that everybody finds something of substance in the newspaper.

In the education business, the newspaper industry has done a good job by generating most personalised content, he said.

In today's algorithm-driven news feeds where people get the kind of news they like, what is good for public consumption is not necessarily good for the public. So for a newspaper it is crucial to keep the public good at the centre of its purpose, Navaneeth added.

To serve this purpose of the public good, different newspaper groups around the world have taken different approaches. He cited the example of The Guardian, which is experimenting with its printed content by delivering it instantly at different times of the day.
Further, he asserted that newsletters are a good way to personalize. All it takes is to understand your audiences’ taste so that you can send a daily or weekly newsletter.

He highlighted that publishers like the New York Times have figured out that newsletters deliver them greater engagement and gets the printed stories to be read even after publishing the day or the day after.

However, current distribution models will not allow specific targeting, Navaneeth said as he signed off.

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