Times Network, the broadcast business of Bennett Coleman & Co, has kick-started 'Ascend Now 2015' in Mumbai. The week-long workshops covering Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi are being held to educate, create awareness and provide cost-effective advertising opportunities on national television for SMEs and startups.
These workshops have been created based on the understanding that, in India, today, there is a huge amount of potential hidden in the SME sector. The country is home to over five crore SME units. However, when it comes to communicating their respective brands, these SMEs and startups don't know how to go about it. They don't get the expert advice their bigger counterparts receive from brand consultants and media agencies.
Times Network is expecting to reach out to over 1000 SMEs and startups that will become prospective advertisers. It expects that conversion to be at about 150 companies, which will be a 10 per cent increase, year-on-year, in the number of advertisers, annually, on the network.
Research has shown that the biggest perception bearers amongst SMEs and startups are of the opinion that national television is expensive and beyond their reach.
Anand adds, "We are, in our own way, trying to democratise the market, and bring in advertisers who traditionally focus more on outdoor, print and regional TV. We want to hand-hold prospective clients who feel that mass advertising is beyond their reach. We are also trying to de-mystify the English space for these businesses."
The packages that were offered were specially created for SMEs and were in the slabs of Rs. 22 lakh, Rs. 44 lakh and Rs. 66 lakh. The offers are valid for a 12-month period and are only available on the day of the seminar. The team does reveal that registration-wise, Delhi, which will have its workshop at the start of next week, has shown the highest response; while Day 1 in Mumbai saw the sales teams close 17 odd deals on the spot.
Senior executives who participated in Mumbai were from companies that have a presence in Construction, Education, Food and Agro Products, Jewellery Manufacturing, Internet startups and Beauty and Lifestyle. Phase two of this initiative, already under progress, looks at smaller cities.