ET Now strengthens brand presence through B2B campaign 'Dealing Room Heroes'

MUMBAI: After securing a solid positioning as a popular news destination, Times Network, heralded by its flagship channels Times Now and ET Now, is set to strengthen its brand presence amongst clients, advertisers and other businesses through a business-to-business (B2B) approach.

We saw a fine example of its B2B marketing at Goafest 2016, where, through a quirky campaign targeted at the advertising industry, Times Network emphasised the growth of consumers of English content in India.

A similar targeted messaging is brought forth in a latest campaign titled ‘Dealing Room Heroes’ that ET Now has initiated.  Starting June 9, ET Now has started visiting the participating well known stock brokerage houses and interacting with their leadership teams to explore what they consider the biggest achievements of the organization in the FY 2015-16, and felicitate key performers from the Dealing Room of each organisation.

“Now that we have established our leadership position in various markets, we needed to go beyond being leaders in numbers and on air, and focus on making our brand more accessible and relevant to our consumers. As a business news channel we have three forms of consumers -- the viewers, the advertisers and media agencies and the stock traders. To reach out to the stock brokers and traders who form an integral part of our consumer base, we have launched this new campaign. It allows us to partner with individual broking firms and celebrate the number crunching and data analysis that goes down in the Dealing Room of a brokerage firm,” revealed Times Network Head of Marketing - Times Now, ET Now, Magicbricks Now & Zoom Shantanu Gangane.

So far ET Now has partnered with nine brokerage houses including IIFL, Kotak Securities, Motilal Oswal, MK Global, etc., with its first destination for the campaign being Mumbai. Those honoured through this campaign will also find a place on air on ET Now in the form of a two to three minute vignette that will showcase how the person went about dealing. This will run in the channel in high frequency across day parts with special focus on prime time and market hour.  Running for three weeks in each market the campaign may prolong depending on the feedback from each region. When asked, Gangane clarified that the partnerships with the brokerage firms on this campaign weren’t on a commercial level. As per the network, this is a first of a kind initiative by a business channel globally.

When it came to addressing the viewers through a B2C messaging, in February, ET Now did an engaging activation with its viewers titled ‘Kem Chho Gujarat’ an investor welfare initiative by ET Now.  With this initiative the channel took experts from the financial fraternity and its anchors on ground to address some of the queries in the state in the sector. “It was a complete on ground, on air and online initiative, where consumers got to meet the experts and the anchors face to face,” Gangane shared. 

In a similar fashion Magicbricks Now had also initiated the ‘Urban Debate’ where real estate issues of a given area were taken up and addressed through an on ground event that was telecast. 

Since both Urban Debate and Kem Chho Gujrat were consumer initiatives, the channel used a lot of tools to promote audience participation and registration for event, be it in the form of digital promotions, print ads or promos that run within the network where it can target the relevant audience. The strategy differs a bit when it comes to Dealing Room Heroes, for which the channel focusses on print ads, magazines that are popular within the brokerage industry, for example Dalal Street Journal, and optimise the marketing on the channel itself.

Gangane acknowledged the need to think differently when conceptualizing a campaign targeted towards masses and specifically towards businesses or brands. The medium of communication is very important when planning campaign in B2B versus B2C, Gangane said, “When going B2B you cannot carpet bomb, like you intend a marketing blitzkrieg. B2B relies a lot on you optimizing reach and frequency. In B2B communication one needs to be direct, contextual to the target brand or business. That’s where the media mix becomes important. As far as the communication is concerned, it needs to be more relatable rather than eye catching and attention seeking.”

Given the different planning of media mixes for each approach, the budgeting changes as well. One might think that a high decibel mass campaign was more expensive, but Gangage revealed that getting the right audience could be an expensive affair as well. “If you are going for quality and sharp focus, you may sometimes end up paying more.”

While Gangage did not divulge the network’s split of marketing budgets in B2B and B2C campaigns, he explained the mindset behind the allotments. “It is very specific to the objective, honestly. For example for a brand building campaign for the entire Times Network, the budget allotted for B2B would be 80 per cent approximately. But if we are launching a show on a particular channel, spend will be more on the B2C side.”

Speaking from a network standpoint, Gangane highlighted that none of the brands were dormant when it came to visibility amongst consumers, be it Times Now, Zoom or Movies Now and Romedy Now. “Each of the brands are buzzing in their own way. Having said that, Times Network as a whole did initiate a larger brand communication earlier this year, which will see some more work on audience metrics in the upcoming months,” Gangane added in parting.


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