One Big Idea by Anita Nayyar : Ecosystem needs multiple and complementary elements

15 Feb,2013

By Anita Nayyar, CEO, Havas Media, India and South Asia


We’ve seen an overall degrowth in readership for magazines and newspapers what with the fight for eyeballs across print and digital media formats; and both of them growing in the number of publications and offerings.


However, the differentiator needs to be not quantity but quality underscoring engagement and understanding of the reader. This is key to attract the advertiser to whom an engaged reader is the ultimate.


While newspapers by the pure habit of news consumption are leafed through, magazines really offer a relevant editorial environment: an environment which can be enjoyed at leisure; an environment which lends itself beautifully to the product category.


The positive exploitation of this environment is what will alter their scope. It has been seen that advertising in the relevant editorial environment enhances the chances of the advertising being noticed and retained.


To thrive, an ecosystem needs not a single element but multiple and complementary ones.


Magazines will need clutter-breaking innovations eg inventive use of the double page, say a housing project, instead of a flat print, could display as a 3-D cut-out; product experience in terms of shape, smell and touch; etc. Yet, done in silos or overdone, they will soon be stale.


Integrated offerings can and are opening up a lot of vistas for ad revenue where publications can use the muscle of their own group or forge alliances with non-competing yet complementary sister media. While larger media houses like BCCL, Jagran, HT, Bhaskar, etc. are soon adapting the art of integration, the seamless offer and execution across media is what will create the difference.


Specialized information will win hands down. General Knowledge Today is placed second as the content is relevant and meaningful to the reader. Magazines have tremendous scope to create for their customer /reader once they have defined him.


Online or in a magazine the user, here the reader is a customer with similar needs. Actively engaging him will make him a major shareholder in the magazine. Allowing a page or edit by specific target groups such as Student/CEO/Housewife and actively marketing and promoting user-generated content will put the magazine in the spotlight.
In tandem all of these will create considerable mindspace.


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