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INMA Summit: Print: Advertisers seek section index, not paper

By , agencyfaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | November 15, 2007
In the session titled 'What Advertisers Seek from Print', corporate decision-makers talked about where their marketing investments are going and where newspapers fit into that scenario moving forward

Value & #BANNER1 & # propositions, RoI and metrics are driving decisions among advertisers on where and when to make marketing investments. In the very first session of the two day International Newspaper Marketing Association Summit, titled 'What Advertisers Seek from Print', corporate decision-makers talked about where their marketing investments are going and where newspapers fit into that scenario moving forward.

Three speakers at the session, Harit Nagpal, director, marketing, Vodafone, Santosh Desai, managing director and CEO, Future Brands, and Shashi Sinha, CEO, Lodestar Universal, talked about how print advertisement can press on the pedal and provide advertisers much more than merely "good deals".

Vodafone's Nagpal started the session by highlighting how print could provide detailed and well researched services to advertisers than merely economical ones. "We are not looking at a cost-effective medium, but a cost-effective per customer medium, which the print media needs to work on. Print sells us the paper and not the section, it sells us events and not the annual plan. Can't we get an index of each section in a newspaper? Like the Internet provides the number of hits on every story, can't we get to know how many readers actually read the sports section or the city section in a newspaper?"

Nagpal talked about how other media such as television (where the remote control plays a big spoiler for advertisers) and the Internet (where one actually gets to know precisely how many people read the message) aren't as capable of grabbing eyeballs as print. "The big question here is who will make the first move to bring the maximum out of print advertisements - advertisers or publications. Like we have a job to convince our customers, it's the publications' job to carve out the right plan for each advertiser as we are their customers," he says.

His message was loud and clear. "I won't run with the big dogs, I'll run with the smart ones, who take me through the most effective path to reach my customers in the most efficient manner."

Santosh Desai

Shashi Sinha
The next speaker on the dais, Santosh Desai, cited the wine industry's example to glorify the print media's role in helping advertisers reach the right customers. "The print media made it so simple for the wine industry to reach customers as various publications educated viewers about the nature and kind of wines available. There couldn't be a better example of a non-paid and effective medium."

Desai said that as a vehicle of marketing, newspapers are the most efficient medium, but only if properly utilised. "One can easily recall 10 great television spots, but the same can't be said about print advertisements. This is because the medium is not utilised to the hilt."

Stressing on the quality of content in newspapers, Desai said, "Print needs to be true to its strengths even as it adapts to a changing world." He talked of how the look of newspapers had undergone a sea change. But a great advertisement carried with average or poor content could kill the entire piece.

He concluded by saying, "Advertisers want that the print media should be open to change and evolve with the advertisements and advertisers."

Shashi Sinha, who was representing the middlemen, i.e., media planners and buyers, in the advertiser-print debate talked about importance of a multitude of engaging media for the diverse set of advertisers in the country. He noted four key issues that need to be addressed by both advertisers and publications in their own capacities. The issues he talked about were sharper targeting of marketers' prospects, augmenting brand positioning and thus right publication fit, creating customer connect and measuring brand response like no other media.

Sinha concluded by saying, "We can look beyond the two surveys, i.e., IRS and INS, to find the right medium to reach the TG (target group). Both advertisers and publications with the help of planners should look at different research and numbers to figure out the best way to reach customers."