“Banners, jackets are distractions, not innovations”

DDB MudraMax’ NP Sathyamurthy, Amar Ujala’s Sunil Mutreja, WLCI’s Vinay Pasricha in conversation with Policy Bazaar’s Akshay Mehrotra

e4m by Pallavi Srivastava
Updated: Jul 23, 2012 8:35 PM
“Banners, jackets are distractions, not innovations”

INK (Indian Newspaper Kongress), the annual conference organised by exchange4media Group, put the spotlight on the business of newspapers. INK 2012, presented by Dainik Jagran, was held on July 20, 2012 in New Delhi.

One of the important points of discussion at the event was ‘Innovating for a digital future’. The key speakers in this panel discussion included Sathyamurthy Namakkal, President and Head – DDB MudraMax; Jwalant Swaroop, Chief Operating Officer, Lokmat Media; Sunil Mutreja, Executive Director, Amar Ujala and Vinay Pasricha, Chairman, WLCI. The session was moderated by Akshay Mehrotra, CMO, Policy Bazaar.

The discussion of the panel focused around some key points such as why is innovation needed, how can print co-exist with digital, how is print media connecting and making use of social media to its advantage.

The discussion started with the fact that it is very important for print players to connect with digital and use it to its own advantage. DDB Mudra’s Namakkal sighted some numbers about the unique visitors on the website of national print players such as The Times of India (98 lakh unique visitors per month), Hindustan Times (58 lakh unique visitors per month) and India Today (50 lakh unique visitors per month).

The panelists were mulling if the print players have their digital content in place and can they handle the content for the two mediums? “The answer is yes and no. While some national print players may be ready with content for digital, regional print media is not.”

The panelists further discussed that it is also very important for print players to figure out the content differentiation in their print and web versions.

Talking about innovation the panelists said that the definition of innovation needs to be revisited and things such as jackets, size change, etc. should not be called innovation. Amar Ujala’s Mutreja said, “Text wraps, banners, jackets are not innovations. They are distractions. We need to redefine innovation in context of newspaper advertising.”

“We need to look at the idea first and then see what innovation works best for it and then decide which medium it will work for. Medium first was a philosophy 10 years ago, today it is idea first,” said panelists.

Panelists also discussed that it is very important for print media players to integrate social media in their plan to reach the young consumers.

Lokmat’s Swaroop also sighted that some change in the buying environment is also required. He said, “Today marketers go and meet media planners but if they have to bring idea in the centre they need to meet creative heads too. That will bring the real change in this.”

Drawing a comparison between print and digital, WSCI’s Pasricha said that as a marketer he feels that his RoI in print media is falling by the day. He stated, “An advertisement in a leading daily fetched me 2500 responses in 2008, it fell to 1800 in 2009, 1200 in 2010 and 600 in 2011. The cost per response has gone up four times in print.” He further added that digital medium on the other hand has increasing RoI.

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