titled 'What Media Planners Want from Print' was an extension of yesterday's session on 'What Advertisers Want from Print'. The two speakers at the last session of the first ever South Asian International Newspaper Marketing Association Summit, Punitha Arumugam, CEO, Madison Media, and Anupriya Acharya, president, TME, accepted that their demands weren't very different from those of advertisers. "What do media planners want from print? As if we ask for something really different," said Acharya.
Arumugam wittily described the relationship between planners and newspapers as "Hum-Tum, but here they don't live together. Instead, 'Hum' wants better rates and 'Tum' wants bigger money."
She described some myths about the media buying process. She said, "The most common perception is that there is money with the advertisers, which is just the opposite. Even if it's a Rs 1,000 crore company, one can't fulfil one's complete wish list with the budget allotted."
She said that the media companies believe that media agencies or their clients control the money, when it was actually the faceless brand that controlled it. The spend always depends on the success of the brand.
In the wish list that she read out for the benefit of the publishers attending the conference, Arumugam said, "What media planners seek is information, surely that's the platform on which a strong relationship can be built. We need speed of response as a slow response from a newspaper could kill the whole idea. We need open mindedness, attitude, new value, synergies and partnership."
Arumugam presented the example of the 'UTI Bank is Now Axis Bank' advertisement that was designed especially for 'Mid-Day' and that had all the seven elements that she talked of. "A name change for a bank - ideally, that should be carried in all the pink papers, not in a tabloid. But such was the synergy, new value and partnership that it (the print ad) was tailor-made to fit in the tabloid," she said.
TME's Acharya also put forward before the audience her wish list. And she did it quite diligently after jotting down the opinions of various other media planners. "I will try to answer one simple question, "What do media planners use print for"? The answer is to reach the male audience, to launch a big product, for environmental fit, to reach local communication, out of an ongoing relationship, short consumer promise, sampling (you still don't have many media for that), educating consumers and, last but not the least, because the client reads it."
But for all these, she said, there are strong competitors or alternatives. For instance, to reach the male consumer, there are enough options available on television. Television also offers an ongoing relationship through daily soaps, and the environmental fit provided by print publications can be met by special interest channels. For short consumer promise, outdoor could be a better and more cost effective substitute. For sampling, today's modern trade/multiplexes and cafes - where footfalls are very high - can be a great substitute. And when it comes to education of consumers, the Internet and search engines are a very effective medium.
Acharya then said that the print media should pull up its socks as new media is approaching very fast. She cited an example: "Earlier, outdoor couldn't be used by skin care companies due to poor quality, but now, with digital printing, outdoor is a substitute for print."
Highlighting the positive aspects of print media, Acharya said that it is still very much one on one. It can be read at the convenience of readers, and no appointment is required like on television. "The best part about the print media is that the content can be understood at its own pace as the understanding ability of various consumers is different." Newspapers and magazines, said Acharya, still have a face and soul through letters to the editor.
Acharya pointed out that for print media to be considered more often in the media plan, it needs to be cost efficient. "Innovations and disruptive forms are highly expensive in print, unlike television or the Internet. In fact, television offers free innovations," she said.