Readers of general interest magazine India Today must have noticed something different in the current issue (dated October 7, 2002). With the regular pages of the magazine, the magazine enclosed a colourful quarterly guide of special interest channel Discovery. The guide is laid out in the form of a booklet that can be pulled out of the magazine and retained by the consumer. The guide is relevant for the next three months. Besides information on the Discovery's programming schedule, the guide also provides a synopsis of the programmes and the time bands under which they are slotted. While consumers could find the information in this format quite user-friendly, the channel hopes to build a bond of familiarity with its viewers through this exercise.
Citing the reason why India Today was thought to be the ideal partner for implementing this media innovation, Deepak Shourie, managing director, Discovery Networks India (DNI), says, "Our objective is to reach relevant audiences consistently. The programme guide aids viewership and its placement in India Today ensures that it reaches the audience we are targeting." Adds Sanjay Raina, associate director, marketing, DNI, "We felt that India Today would be able to create high impact in the market. Currently, we are using India Today only; we might be doing similar exercises with more publications in future."
Discovery Channel is indeed trying out various permutations and combinations to reach its quarterly programme guide to the maximum number of people. While DCI began by distributing it in the advertising community, some four months ago, the channel took one step ahead by mailing it to some of its consumers directly. The feedback, claim channel officials, was positive. "Consumers felt they could keep the mailer with them and keep referring to it whenever needed," reasons Raina.
This finding, coupled with an earlier research that showed "… people love to watch Discovery but they are not always aware of what programmes are aired at what time," laid the ground for the India Today (which has a readership base of 57 lakh, according to NRS 2002) insert. "The booklet is laid out in an easy-to-use manner, so that consumers can plan their viewing on Discovery by flipping through its pages and locating the different time bands," says Raina. To add that extra bit of fun, the guide has a contest that offers a mobile phone to the winner.
Apparently, the channel has begun tasting the fruits of success already. "In just two days, we have received nearly 15,000 e-mails from consumers who have bought the magazine and noticed the booklet. Many of them have commented on how they enjoy watching Discovery Channel, and now the booklet will give them an opportunity to plan their viewing better," says an excited Raina.
Of course, the channel expects to draw more mileage from this exercise. "By using India Today magazine we expect to reach numbers commensurate with our investment in the exercise involving India's largest read English magazine. The upmarket and educated viewership profile of Discovery is very similar to the reader profile of India Today. So by using India Today as a vehicle for distributing our programme guide we are reaching out to the kind of people who are most likely to enjoy watching our channel," concludes Raina. Â© 2002 agencyfaqs!