The not so small non-metro towns are about to see huge changes in the coming decade in terms of purchasing power, consumer mindset, digital penetration, attention from brands and how the media industry adapts itself to target them. With a large chunk of revenues for organisations depending on these non-metros, the future will see micro targeting by brands. There will be newer opportunities, and the growth prospects for both brand and consumers will be immense.
Bagai began the discussion by stating that in the future, women will take the lead in the non-metro areas. They will be more open to exposure but will initially need support to walk out of their homes. Citing his company's example where the entire distribution is taken care of by women, he said women will lead the change in the future. "Brands need to build their loyalty in these areas and this is not a very difficult task. The advantage in a small town is that if they do an activity in that area, the news spreads very fast and people come to know about it. Though internet is an issue here till date but people will continue to evolve using their mobile phones. Brands need to target them on that platform. Also, the brands need to spend money in cultivating loyalty.
Sanan said that television as a medium of mass communication dominates in this country. In the next five years, the entire television segment will be digitised and the LC1 markets will also open up. This will hit the numbers game for the metro which till date continue to dominate the ratings and TRPs. As the markets open up, more channels will be launched and 75 per cent of them will be in the regional languages. Content will have to be tweaked to the consumers' preference in the coming days and this will require huge amounts of innovation.
Also, he added the consumption of content on mobile will continue to grow in these areas. This will need more customised channels to cater to the demand of consumers as well as the marketers. A national level advertiser would prefer a national GEC or a news channel but for a local level marketer, there needs to be such platforms.
Singh pointed out that in the days to come, the film industry will increase its spends heavily on digital. Till date, not much activity is seen from this segment on the digital platform, but this trend will change soon. Other genres will also start using the digital medium in times to come. Also, corporates need to carefully understand these areas better and improve their delivery mechanism, more so by the governments. Both media and government need to work together, he concluded.