Reinvention is probably one of the ways to keep ahead of competition. Even if it is in the form of an assault.
That's exactly what Dainik Jagran did recently to browbeat its biggest rival into ceding part of its market. Launched in the cities of Agra, Meerut and Bareilly, Dainik Jagran's 'Western UP Assault' hopes to break the stranglehold of Amar Ujala in western Uttar Pradesh (UP). The need for this campaign rose from the findings of a TNS Mode survey conducted in June 2001 to gauge the strengths and weaknesses of the Hindi daily in western UP vis-à-vis competition. This led the media house to chalk out a two-pronged strategy with a view to revamp the paper editorially on the one hand, and design a new communication plan to get people to check out Dainik Jagran with renewed interest, on the other. With this twin objective the 'Western UP Assault' was kicked off on August 7, 2001.
Based on the findings of the TNS Mode survey the Jagran brass set about addressing some key issues in a phased manner. This entailed a concerted effort at reworking the content (editorial) and refurbishing the product design in terms of giving it a new look complete with a cleaner masthead et al. Columns such as 'Jagran Prashan Prahar' and 'Hello Jagran' were made more interactive. To drive home the message Dainik Jagran's advertising agency Mudra Communication devised a new campaign with the slogan 'Badalte zamane ka akhbaar'. Jagran splashed the message across the three cities in western UP through mass media advertising supported by below-the-line activities. The total marketing spend on the exercise has been in the vicinity of Rs 6.5 crore till now. "In the city of Agra alone there were 200 hoardings besides kiosks and other outdoor vehicles," points out Alok Sanwal, manager, brand development, Dainik Jagran Group of Publications.
The effort seems to have paid off. One indicator is the print order, which, Sanwal says has gone up dramatically since then. Dainik Jagran commissioned an ORG-Marg study in October 2001 in Agra, Meerut and Bareilly to determine the impact of this exercise on the readers in western UP. There were two interesting findings. First, Dainik Jagran was neck to neck with Amar Ujala in western UP in terms of readership figures. And second, people were referring to it as a 'dynamic' and 'popular' paper.
Talking about the revelations of the ORG-Marg survey, Sanwal says, "Eastern and central Uttar Pradesh never posed a problem, as we were always strong in these regions. However, in western UP (the region where Amar Ujala has traditionally been very strong) Jagran's recall was low. So our motto was to attain leadership in western UP as well. Against last year's figure of 3.53 lakh readers in the three cities in Agra, Meerut and Bareilly (as per NRS 2001), the figure now stands at 5.96 lakh (ORG-Marg)."
Jagran's growth looks significant when viewed against the fact that in two of the three cities in western UP Amar Ujala had enjoyed a headstart in terms of the time of launch. Amar Ujala launched its Agra edition in 1948, whereas Dainik Jagran launched its Agra edition as recently as in 1986. In Bareilly too Jagran came two decades after Amar Ujala. While Amar Ujala introduced its edition in 1969, Jagran arrived in 1989. However, in Meerut, Jagran had a two-year lead. It came in in 1984, and Amar Ujala in 1986. Against this historical backdrop, the readership figures assume great significance. While Amar Ujala's readership has gone up by just 1.01 lakh readers in the three cities of Agra, Meerut and Bareilly (that is, from 5.05 lakh readers in NRS 2001, to 6.06 lakh readers as per ORG-Marg, October 2001), Dainik Jagran has marked a 2.43 lakh increase in the readership in the same period.
Alongside its 'Western UP Assault', Jagran launched its Moradabad edition on December 24, 2001. By March/April 2002, Jagran plans to launch a south Bihar edition. Currently Jagran has editions in UP, Uttaranchal, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, parts of J&K and Rajasthan.