Mugdha Gangoli speaks to Kacoon Sethi, the chief corporate marketing officer, DB Corp about the future of newspapers, and the launch strategy adopted for Muzaffarpur and Gaya; as well as Bhagalpur and Patna. Plus the high-impact brand recall and visibility amongst local readers.
Mugdha Gangoli (MG): The GDP numbers reflect a growing confidence in print? Should the newspaper sector be more upbeat?
Kacoon Sethi (KS): According to the Pitch Madison Media Report 2014, print’s contribution to the total advertising was over 41%, as compared to 38% of TV. In 2015, print will continue to dominate. Importantly, Hindi dailies contribute and continue to have a far higher share of pie than English. With rising literacy and higher aspirations, the ‘unmetro’ markets (the non-metro urban markets, beyond the top eight metros) will continue to be the medium of choice, both for the audience and the advertisers
MG: What do Dibya Bhaskar's 2015 results tell us about your ongoing transformation?
KS: DBCL continues to create value for its stakeholders with a consistent growth track record. Increased relevance and recall with readers and advertisers, both in legacy and emerging markets strengthen our circulation and advertising revenues. With our existing print, radio and digital businesses growing at a robust rate, we are focusing on incubating and nurturing new businesses that have the potential to deliver significant earnings going forward. Within the system, we continue to focus on policies that drive in a meritocratic organisation, equal opportunity and a healthy atmosphere that impart growth, both of the people and the company
MG: How is the DB Group using its 61 editions to boost engagement with top brands and media agencies?
KS: The DB Group offers a significant area of influence to advertisers due to its presence in 14 states through 61 editions in 4 languages, offering them over 4.4-crore reader base every day. We continue to engage and grow the reader base, especially in unmetro markets, because our readers are preferential towards their own language and the quality product we offer. This strength helps us to become a key part of advertisers marketing and media plans. We offer our huge connect with readers and our own reader service platforms to advertisers provide further engagements like activations, events, category and consumer behaviour dipsticks. This helps the advertiser to maximise their reach and engagement with the target audience
MG: Many players still express concerns over levels of austerity and budgets even though the Lok Sabha election result was clear-cut. All of this could be influencing factors. What are the steps a newspaper player should undertake to boost income and revenue?
KS: At the DB Group, one of the key imperatives is to keep a hawk’s eye on the pulse of the reader to gauge their aspirations and needs. We believe that our performance is leveraged by our ability to deliver a superior product in every market we have entered since we stepped out of our comfort zone in MP. Our vision, actions and results for every new market entered hitherto, is centred around the actionable philosophy, “Number one from day one – achieving higher circulation than the largest competitor at premium pricing.” The area of influence that we command today, where we cover 50% of the country is an opportunity advertisers are loath to miss. We continue to build deeper engagements with advertisers by offering market activations, events, research and knowledge from our markets, along with the advertising opportunity in our newspapers
MG: In what manner does DB invest in its shopfloor workforce and prepare them for tomorrow?
KS: At DBCL, we understand the role of technology to achieve maximum operational efficiency. Investments in IT, development of processes and systems represent key areas of focus for us. Initiatives like eco friendly ambiators, adoption of Vio Green CTP processes, LED lightings have significantly improved time to market. Through policies which engage the employee and their families with the organisation keeps motivation high in the company
MG: Which new product launches should we expect from DB in the next 12-months?
KS: We are currently completing the launch wherein we will cover complete Bihar and Jharkhand through three main and around ten district editions