'Aval Vikatan' takes the engagement route to build connect

Engagement – from running contests, quizzes in the early years, to events, workshops & social media – has given ‘Aval Vikatan’ various ways to interact with the readers

e4m by Deepa Balasubramanian
Published: Oct 5, 2013 10:16 AM  | 4 min read
'Aval Vikatan' takes the engagement route to build connect

‘Aval Vikatan’, the Tamil fortnightly women’s magazine from the Vikatan Group, is celebrating its 16th anniversary this year. The theme of the anniversary issue is ‘Aval 16’, wherein 16 women who achieved success at the age of 16 years have been featured in the magazine.

Talking about the 16-year journey, B Srinivasan, MD, Vikatan Group said, “It has been an exciting journey for ‘Aval Vikatan’. We feel wonderful for portraying women as enablers and change agents and ‘Aval Vikatan’ being the true magazine for the new generation of working women and young homemakers. As per IRS Q3 2012, our AIR is 4.47 lakh readers, which is double the readership of our closest competitor. We have consistently been the No. 1 Tamil women’s magazine.”

The group is conducting series of events across major cities and towns in Tamil Nadu. One such event is Aval Jolly Day, an interactive and fun-based two-day programme, where readers can showcase their latent talent in diverse areas such as music, dancing, theatre, craft and so on.

Another event lined up is ‘Asathal Pengal’, a day-long fun and entertainment event where readers can take part in various contests.

Pravin Menon, National Head - Ad Sales, Vikatan Group shared, “Rather than spending majorly on advertising and promotion, we would want to give back to our loyal readers through various competitions and conducting events across Tamil Nadu. These events help our readers to knit their own social network and help us keep in constant touch with them. Moreover, we are conducting training events such as jewellery making and tailoring events.”

‘Readers’ criticisms have helped us grow’
Srinivasan believes that content is king and also the kingdom. Emphasising on the importance of content and the readers, he said, “We are never short of quality content at any point of time. With readers donning the contributor’s hat, we get a wide scope and variety of content.”

Moreover, constructive criticism has helped ‘Aval Vikatan’ mold its content mix to suit the readers’ tastes more effectively. Recently, the group had come up with a voice feedback facility, where readers can dial a given number and leave their comments about magazine in their own voice.

Engagement – from running contests, quizzes in the early years, to events and workshops and the recent social media pages and voice products – has given the magazine more than one way of interaction with the readers.

Getting young readers on board
The challenge that the group has been facing is to lure young readers to try out its magazines through content that is relevant to them. Currently, the group is coming out with an educational section for teens, consisting of 16 pages and covering various topics on fashion, technology and issues related to youngsters as well as women who are just starting their professional careers.

Commenting on the magazine industry, Srinivasan observed, “The magazine industry has seen genre-based segmentation come to life in Tamil language and we (Vikatan Group) have been at the forefront of the value proposition to the customer. Magazines of special interest such as personal finance, automobile, health and organic farming have come into existence in just the past five years or so. Also, magazines have finally adapted to the growing change agent – web, mobile and social – and have realised that these are parts of media that cannot be ignored.”

The group believes that new media will supplement and complement ‘Aval Vikatan’ in many ways. The number of page views, shares and likes the magazine has been getting supports this belief.

For the record, ‘Aval Vikatan’ has two premium magazines – quarterly magazine ‘Aval Vikatan Manamagal’ (Bride) priced at Rs 99, and ‘Aval Vikatan Kitchen’, priced at Rs 60, a quarterly magazine for those who love to cook and for food lovers.

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