“Differentiate magazines for readers & advertisers”

Magazines are not on the radar of investment decisions-makers. There’s a need to be present on new touch-points, say industry experts

e4m by Shree Lahiri
Updated: Jul 19, 2012 10:05 PM
“Differentiate magazines for readers & advertisers”

The Association of Indian Magazines (AIM) in partnership with exchange4media presented the AIM Engagement Survey to industry stakeholders on July 18, 2012 in Delhi, the concluding leg of the three-city tour.

The presentation was mainly held for the media and advertising industry as well as for clients to highlight the importance of investments in advertising in magazines and help them realise the importance of magazines as an important medium.

The panel comprised Ambika Srivastava, Chairperson, ZenithOptimedia; CVL Srinivas, Chairman, Starcom MediaVest Group and MD LiquidThread APAC; Neeraj Kumar, Director Marketing, Beam Global Spirits and Wine; Santosh Desai, Managing Director and CEO, Future Brands; and was moderated by Maheshwar Peri, Chairman, Pathfinder Publishing.

Talking about sampling, which magazine publishers are “open and also cagey about”, Ambika Srivastava pointed out that the “economics need to be looked at”. Clearly a lot of brands have seen that sampling has worked; if you are able to deliver at large scale, imagine the power of the opportunity that can be delivered almost immediately; some players are doing this effectively.

When Peri brought up the point about making content relevant and shorter with crisper articles, CVL Srinivas said, “We need to differentiate between magazines for readers and advertisers.” Today magazines are not on the radar of those who make investment decisions. We need to tweak the product and strategise to address the needs of those people. We need to look where the buck is going. There’s a need to add on a “new avatar”, so that you are present on new touch-points.

Stressing on the need to bring back storytelling, Desai commented that readers loves this, however the readers’ preference do not convince the marketer. The problem, according to him, was that there was a refusal to regard reality because you have created your own reality in your head. “I don’t think the fundamental issue is creative, but those who are impervious to reality,” he said. Srinivas pointed out here that media has got “commoditised” today as compared to what it was 15 to 20 years ago, when “we were living in a more perfect world, with full-service agencies, and when magazines scored above all media”. He urged industry bodies to think how to ‘de-commoditise’ and to bring storytelling, engagement back. “You need to do more than research and take the conversation to a higher level,” he added.

Neeraj Kumar remarked that today, creative in agencies is all about TVCs these days; you tap magazines if the media believes in magazines. He asked the industry to focus on the core idea and not think in terms of merely ATL and BTL. “For the last 5-6 years, it’s continuity of thought that has helped us reached where we are,” he said.

When Peri hazarded “What next?”, Mitrajit Bhattacharya, President and Publisher, Chitralekha Group and Vice-President, AIM, said that use of modelling was important and called for getting the right software for media planners which would help them plan easily. The use of econometrics, branded content (advertorial) and digital will depend on how content adapts to different media platforms and devices such as iPads. “Digital complements magazine’s offering, and most effective work on magazines has been done on digital. If a magazine is convincing and relevant, it will work,” he concluded.

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