INMA 2012: ‘Print must engage audiences effectively’

08 Aug,2012

By Shruti Pushkarna


Day 1 of the sixth annual South Asia INMA conference opened with a host of promising sessions which addressed key issues facing the industry.


Ashish Pherwani
[youtube width=”400″ height=”225″][/youtube]

The session ‘Winning the Ad Growth Challenge: Is it a Plausible Model’ was moderated by Ashish Pherwani, Partner- Advisory Services, Ernst & Young India and the other panelists included Bharat Bambawale, Director, Global Brand Bharti Airtel Ltd; Mayank Pareek, COO (Marketing & Sales), Maruti Suzuki India Ltd; and Shashi Sinha, CEO, LodestarMedia.


The moderator, Mr Pherwani opened the discussion on the ad growth challenge by listing out four factors that he felt were impacting ad growth: inherent competition, technology change, slow economic growth and growth of television. Citing a recent research, Mr Pherwani said that there were clear indications that consumers are spending more time on digital media at the expense of traditional media.


He also listed out some questions for the print industry to address, the broad one being, how to stay relevant and grow revenues. Among the other questions he raised were: New ways advertisers can use print, how to enhance effectiveness of print for advertisers, what makes advertisers continue on print when times are tough and finally how can print companies explore new media.


Mayank Pareek
[youtube width=”400″ height=”225″][/youtube]

Mr Pareek said that the demography is changing because the way people seek news is changing. He said that Maruti had redefined their strategy to invest in print, looking at the changing trends in consumption: “We’ve gone from 67 per cent to 23 per cent in our spends on advertising in print in the last five years.” He said that it is important that companies continuously adopt to the changing demographic needs. He added that even though digital spends are low today, digital is growing and changing rapidly. So for print to remain relevant, there is need to develop engaging content as the other media are offering. However, Mr Pareek agreed that print will continue to play a role in the future as well.


While the other panelists agreed with Mr Pareek that print will continue to be the part of a media plan for an agency or an advertiser, they also shared his concern on the need for print to adapt to changing consumption patterns.


Mr Bambawale of Airtel said: “We are using much less print. There is one strong global trend which holds true forIndiaas well, young eyeballs are moving away from the printed word to the video. So for print medium to engage this audience is a great challenge. The conversation should change from ‘how can we put an ad out there’ to ‘how can we engage’. In a newspaper, content is all about facts and events but in engagement, content is about making things interesting. The answer lies in creating content that has high degree of engagement even around topics of news or current issues.”


Mr Sinha said that the strength of print lies in the fact that it brings a lot of credibility: “Print still stands for credibility, I am not so sure if digital has that. We’ve embraced digital because of the youth. For certain brands which go through an erosion of trust, print is the best place to be in.”


He added that not growing fast enough is the problem of measurement: “The current measurement metrics are limited to cost and reach. There is no way to measure engagement or performance. Unless we start showing these to the advertiser, things won’t change. There is a need to introduce new metrics of measurement.”


Mr Bambawale echoed Mr Sinha’s view on measurement being limited to cost and reach as far as newspapers are concerned: “If you change the matrices by which you present the title to an advertiser, it’d be a more fruitful conversation perhaps.”


The discussion concluded with two key takeaways, Print needs to find new ways of engaging its audience to stay relevant in a changing era. And second, there is a need perhaps to look at other matrices of measurement for print, a way of measuring effectiveness of an innovation.


Post a Comment 

Comments are closed.