We are quite optimistic about the market’s revival during Onam: MV Shreyams Kumar
MV Shreyams Kumar, Managing Director, Mathrubhumi, speaks to exchange4media about the learnings from the pandemic, situation in Kerala and much more
MV Shreyams Kumar, Managing Director, Mathrubhumi, is optimistic about the upcoming festive season and says that brands which have advertised over the last couple of months have seen encouraging results from the Kerala market.
In a conversation with exchange4media, Shreyams Kumar highlights that Mathrubhumi’s media verticals complement each other to provide value-packed solutions for clients.
What have been some of the learnings from the pandemic?
The Covid-19 pandemic is one of the worst catastrophes to befall our planet. Even amidst such panic and uncertainty the challenge before responsible media is to stay connected and be relevant to audiences. We have in fact seen an increase in consumption and engagement across all our news verticals, including the newspaper, television, and digital.
Kerala was one of the first states that had a phased opening of the lockdown. What is the situation in the state right now?
Kerala did quite well in the first phase of the lockdown in curbing the spread of the virus. Recently, the State has been experiencing a rise in Covid-19 cases, owing to the influx of Malayalees from across the world. But compared to the rest of India, Kerala is doing a good job in controlling the contagion, so far. The State Government has undertaken stringent measures to ensure public safety and prevent marauding infection, even while the markets have opened up. We are hoping for the best.
Which advertisers and sectors have started advertising and reaching out to the consumer?
While there was a slump in advertising, we are seeing the situation improve month-on-month. There have been categories such as automobiles, education, online education portals, hygiene products, BFSI – financials, banks and insurance – and governments who continue to patronise media. In addition, many brands have resorted to coronavirus-related advertising.
With consumer spends tight for the last three months, there is a lot of pent-up demand for many products. Which products do you believe consumers are prospectively looking at spending on?
Growth in advertising will be experienced the most in Q3. Also, with the festive season coming up, consumers will be interested in various attractive product discounts and schemes from sectors like consumer durables, automobiles, FMCG, mobile phones, e-commerce, kitchen appliances and financial services. An uptick in consumer confidence will help boost demand and hasten financial recovery. Brands reaching out to consumers will have to understand how to reach their audiences in the most efficient, engaging and relevant way to navigate the ‘new normal’ ahead.
Onam marks the start of the Indian festive season and traditionally seen as a bellwether for the entire industry. How do you see Onam panning out this year?
Onam holds a very symbolic significance with spirited celebrations and festivities for Malayalees worldwide. Consumers go shopping with a vengeance, and brands focus their marketing might on the state to capitalise on the frenzy.
Several brands in Kerala earmark 25-40% of their annual budget for this traditional festive season. Retail, jewellery, FMCG, automobile, and consumer durable brands are expected to splurge in a big way during Onam. We are quite optimistic about the revival of the market during this festive period.
Why should clients and brands look to partner with Mathrubhumi as a group?
When it comes to the Kerala market, print is not just the king but the emperor among media. Being a leading media house in the state, Mathrubhumi is ensconced in the Malayalee household hearts through multiple platforms like Print, TV, Radio, Digital, Events and more, which offer a strong value proposition to client requirements. Our integrated solutions through cross-media platforms offer all possible solutions that a client would want from Kerala, ranging from brand building, network strengthening, sales, research and various engagements with trade and consumers. Therefore, instead of competing between various media options, they complement each other to provide value-packed solutions for our clients.
With a lot of concerns and uncertainty prevailing, how are you engaging with brands and advising them that this is the right time to advertise? What role will innovations play in this?
At Mathrubhumi, we undertake conscious efforts at the grass-root level to engage with our readers and advertisers. As the lockdown world goes vocal through local, our enthusiastic sales driven team is in touch with advertisers to accelerate revenues and sales with a differentiated catalogue of consumer offerings which can be beneficial to both parties. We treat innovation as another marketing solution to woo marketers and demonstrate the effectiveness and viability of a campaign. It does help that brands, which have advertised over the last couple of months, have seen encouraging results from the Kerala market and are optimistic of the upcoming festive season.
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