‘Findings to be seen along with ABC numbers’

By 31 Jan 2018

The Campaign India Webinar to analyse IRS 2017 saw a spectacular response from the media and marketing fraternity.

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The webinar got off to a flying start with NP Sathyamurthy, executive director, DDB Mudra Group and chairman of the technical committee at the RSCI (Readership Studies Council of India) setting the tone of the conversation showcasing the highlights of the IRS 2017.

He pointed out that this time around the study has added a lot of FMCG products, lifestyle, financial categories, demographics, questions about amenities in the households, health-related questions and so on.

“A combination of the market understanding, product categories and media make IRS 2017 the indispensable tool for any marketer.”

Malay Dikshit, chief communications officer, Tata Sky, added, “The much-awaited report stimulates the grey cells to think about options as a marketer who distributes content and entertainment. Wearing the marketer’s hat, one sees that penetration of mobiles is as big as electricity for all practical purposes. In publications as well as TV channels, regional is a big, big driving force. The regional distribution of content is the big highlight. Print might be increasing in popularity among youngsters, the older generation is getting a lot more comfortable with digital. What this signal is that people are consuming a lot more content, not any specific medium. As a marketer, this poses a change of perspective for me. This means talking to content houses rather than a publication or a TV Channel.”

Ashish Bhasin, chairman and CEO South Asia, Dentsu Aegis Network and chairman MRUC (Media Research Users Council) added, “In the past, there were quite a few questions about the quality of data and so on. Apart from CAPI, there have been flying squads from Nielsen, audit firms like EY, audio recording checks by a third party and there have been data checks by a third party. This should make the industry more comfortable.”  

He said, “While the IRS is a readership survey and therefore focused on print, the amount of data it throws up for brands to use is incredible.”  

Avinash Kumar, CGM - marketing and branding, Patanjali Ayurved, brought some heat into the discussion when he suggested that a 40% growth in readership over 2014 is a bit misleading. “The last time the report was published there were a lot of misgivings. This report mentions that TV ownership has increased by 14% and mobile penetration is 91%. If the print is really growing, why are sales teams under so much of stress,” he asked the panel.

He added, “A lot of media investments are moving towards digital, the print advertising pie is shrinking. When we compare it with the ABC numbers there is an issue with the findings. When we see Prabhat Khabar in the top 10, I see a problem."  

Bhasin offered a counterpoint. He said, “It has to be seen along with the ABC data. Over the next two months, ABC data will be available to users on the same IRS software. The job of the IRS is to present the facts as they are. Whether you see good or bad news in it, is not our job. It's the reality in the market and not about the anecdotal stuff. The pricing of ads is a function of supply and demand and not the job of a readership study.” (Courtesy Campaign India).


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