The Anchor: Narendra Kumar Alambara’s 5 tips when planning regional media

09 Jan,2012

By Narendra Kumar Alambara


#1 One shoe does not fit all – Each of the regional (linguistic) markets are different from one another – they cannot and should not be grouped together. If Delhi cannot be same as UP (both being HSM), regional markets are even more different. With each regional market being insular and characteristic in its choices, you need to treat each one independently. Strategize for each market individually, based on client’s focus and consumer potential.


#2 Think beyond TV, dig deeper – For most national brands, South channels are added on to boost deliveries in respective markets. But the market media consumption is distinct and different – with ample scope to use other media to effectively cover the state. Obvious examples include cinema theatres in Andhra Pradesh, and dailies in Kerala.


#3 Visit the markets (should not be optional!) – There was a time this was done a lot during as IRS back-checks, but it doesn’t seem to be followed often. It is essential process to get a feel of the direct consumer feedback on media choices consumers make in the regions. Numbers and data can never replace the actual knowledge of what makes a certain media vehicle tick. Cultural nuances, prevailing political climate, power shutdown timings, distribution timings of newspapers, cable connectivity etc, which determine media consumption, can never be ascertained by any database.


#4 Talk to colleagues / client teams in the markets – The next best alternative to actual market visits! Getting a local feel of the region (even if it is a second-hand POV) is still better than none. Helps make the plan be far more inclusive than just being optimized. Find out what they / their families watch and read at home. It might be a small sample, but it will give a good indication of what works in the market. Ask market-related questions to salespersons from regional media, especially seniors who may visit your office occasionally.


#5 Numbers are only half the story – Use them as indicators, not the absolute truth. Talking to the local market – colleagues – or otherwise will definitely unearth potential options and trends that databases might have missed. For example, the impact of OOH in smaller markets can never be assessed in most databases.


Narendra Kumar Alambara is the Vice President at Starcom Worldwide.


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