Staying at the top is not easy.
With an unchallenged domination of the Hindi belt for the last 25 years, Dainik Jagran is wary of slipping into a rut. Into a rut of sameness and consumer fatigue. So, like most other top-rung dailies in the country, Jagran depends heavily on change - in design, layout and, above all, content. The aim? To stay top of mind.
And it better be agile. Its nearest competitor in the region is also the fastest growing newspaper in the country. Check this out. Out of the 46 Hindi dailies surveyed by the NRS 2002, Dainik Bhaskar registered the fastest growth with a readership of 1.31 crore in 2002 as opposed to a figure of 68 lakh in 1999. Dainik Jagran stands second with a readership of 1.26 crore this year as opposed to 92 lakh in 1999.
So Jagran is proactively marking its territory. In a recent move, the Hindi daily has introduced two major changes in the paper. Both aim to rev up the content and design of the newspaper.
First, all the feature sections have been replaced with new ones with fresh layouts. The Monday feature section Earth Chakra (which used to cover marco-economic issues) has been replaced with Shree (with the emphasis on better financial management, income tax-related issues etc). Urja (dealing with religion and spiritualism) is the new Tuesday feature and it replaces Khel Kud, the sports feature that came earlier. Champion replaces Mahila on Wednesdays with a wider coverage on sports. The new Thursday feature is Jeevan, which replaces Film. On Fridays it is now Pardesh (earlier it was Tele Darshan) and the Saturday feature Baal Club is now Hamjoli. While Baal Club was for kids in the five to seven age group, Hamjoli targets teenagers. On Sundays readers can feast on the latest goings on in Bollywood with Jhankar, which replaces Vividha, which was a more serious feature on current economic trends.
The second part of the overhaul exercise replaces the old weekly supplements. The newspaper had three supplements till recently. Tarang, the entertainment supplement came on Fridays; Saptrang, a lifestyle supplement was distributed on Saturdays, and Saptahik Parishisth threw light on socio-political issues on Sundays. Now Dainik Jagran has a supplement on Wednesdays called Josh. The Friday supplement Sanghani addresses women's issues. And Shehnai, which deals with matrimonial issues and bridal grooming, comes on Saturdays.
Jagran attributes the overhaul to the findings of a recent survey conducted by market research outfit IMRB. "We commission regular researches from IMRB and ORG-Marg to understand the reader better," says Alok Sanwal, general manager, brand development, Dainik Jagran. This time round the IMRB research was aimed at finding out the performance of the non-news sections of the newspaper. The survey was conducted in the second week of July in the four Indian cities of Agra (representing western Uttar Pradesh), Lucknow (representing central Uttar Pradesh), Patna (Bihar) and Amritsar and Ludhiana (Punjab). The agency interviewed multiple focus groups comprising readers in the 15 to 20 age group. "While older age groups wanted to know about the happenings in their neighbourhood, the youth were asking for much more. We realised that there was a definite lacuna when it came to the youth," adds Sanwal.
The Jagran brass hopes the new format of features and supplements will help it bridge the gap with the youth. The immediate aim is to cement its leadership position in Uttar Pradesh. "We are clearly the leaders in Uttar Pradesh," declares Sanwal. According to the NRS 2002, the readership of Dainik Jagran in the state of Uttar Pradesh is 90.5 lakh. It has grown by 8.77 per cent from the previous year, when the figure stood at 83.2 lakh. In NRS 2002, its closet rival Amar Ujala has 54.6 lakh readers, which is lower than its readership recorded in NRS 2001 (54.7 lakh). Aj's readership in NRS 2002 is 27.3 lakh (vis-à-vis 27.2 lakh in NRS 2001), and Hindustan has 11.9 lakh (vis-à-vis 8.8 lakh in NRS 2001).
Not just in Uttar Pradesh, the Hindi daily is hoping to strengthen its position in the Hindi belt as a whole. Dainik Jagran's readership in this region is just above 1 crore according to NRS 2002, which represents a growth of 7.6 per cent over NRS 2001 and about 38.7 per cent more than the readership of rival Dainik Bhaskar (78.6 lakh) in the region.
So what is it that has helped Dainik Jagran improve its statistics? "It is a mix of good content - as dictated by research and consumer feedback - and advertising and direct marketing activities," summarises Sanwal. The publication has hiked its media budget by almost 100 per cent. The media spends this year would be to the tune of Rs 6.5 crore. Interestingly, the publication has been very aggressive in outdoor marketing. "Just to give you an idea, in the year 2000 we had 250 hoardings. In 2001 we had 500 properties (which include bus shelters, hoardings etc) and this year we already have 850 properties," explains Sanwal.
To inform the readers about the changes in the newspaper, Dainik Jagran had earlier unleashed a teaser campaign, which was followed up by a full-fledged advertising campaign. In fact, the publication had distributed the new-look Dainik Jagran in special envelopes in 10 markets (Barielly, Muradabad, Muzaffarnagar, Varanasi, Patna, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Meerat and Dehra Dun)
Dainik Jagran officials are quite excited about the latest changes. They claim the recall of the paper has gone up by 25-30 per cent already. As for its readership, the task may not be as easy. Â© 2002 agencyfaqs!First Published : September 02, 2002