Specials

Innovation the mantra in a time of increasing fragmentation

Before embarking on a discussion about the marketing strategies used by Indian TV channels in 2007, it will be worthwhile to see what the picture could be in a few years.

A recent report says that India will have 700 TV channels by the end of 2009. "Broadcasters will be forced to slash advertising rates and spend heavily on improving technology to ensure their channels are carried into homes, or face the prospect of being swallowed up by rivals," the report adds.

In fact, TV advertising was at its peak during the third quarter of 2007, with the food and beverages sector leading with 15 per cent share of overall TV advertising. The medium also saw a 33 per cent increase in volumes during January-September 2007, over the corresponding period the previous year.

For sure, this predicted crossfire from newly launching TV channels has already brought about a number of changes in the marketing strategies of the channels. Generally speaking, these changes or trends may be summarized as follows:

  1. Increased fragmentation due to more channels.
  2. More money going into mobile marketing (SMS) stealing share from traditional media.
  3. Increased use of online social marketing strategies - Orkut, MySpace.



SMS voting in TV shows is not a new phenomenon. Based on the premise that if a person can afford a mobile phone, s/he can surely be a potential voter, channels encourage viewers to remotely participate in the shows and support their favourite contestants.

The numbers speak for themselves. 2005 was a record year when more than 350 million messages and phone calls were zapped on account of television. With the number of singing and dancing and acting competitions on TV channels increasing every month, and adding sms activity by the news channels, the number of messages sent this year is estimated to be in the region of 750 million.

Speaking of new channels, it is in the dominant general entertainment genre, whose Hindi-language soaps and movies corner about 40 per cent of all TV ad revenues, where the most serious action is.

One thing, therefore that is certain, is that the Indian television industry is no longer run by a few monopolies. Star India will face new launches from rival Zee Entertainment Enterprises as well as from NDTV, Viacom 18, INX Media and who knows who else.

The Star Network has shown considerable ingenuity in their marketing initiatives. As Star Network marketing head Prem Kamath said, "In order to target a wider section of audience, we shifted focus to smaller towns and organized ground events. Since cricket has a unifying influence on the large bulk of Indian populace, we used cricket-centric programmes to attract a greater viewership and will build on our strengths next year."

Indeed, this year cricket has been among the more widely used means of attracting audiences for a number of channels. For example, INX News has roped in Sourav Ganguly as their brand ambassador. INX Media founder and CEO Indrani Mukerjea says, "Sourav is one of the most loved stars from India's collective passion, cricket. We are proud that Sourav, too, has been keen to be associated with the INX Network." INX News will be launching an English news channel NewsX in early 2008.

In a recent interview, INX Media group director, brand and communications, Anthony Pettifer told indiantelevision.com that their marketing campaigns were chiefly aimed at "creating a buzz and a permanent platform as well as entertaining the target audience". "Since we started from ground zero, we needed a logo and a motto to carve a niche in the mass market of Hindi GEC. Our original logo '9X,' with the 'X' in eye-catching orange, has proved to be hugely successful, while our motto '9 times more entertainment' is in complete accord with the logo. To dramatize our positioning, we made sure that our marketing initiatives incorporated two elements of Indian life - cricket and Bollywood. We strategically planned our channel's launch with the release of Om Shanti Om and made use of cinema screens as a vehicle for communication. To be a leader from day one, we also organized innovative ground activities in retail malls across Mumbai and Delhi," he added.

There was of course Sony Entertainment Television (SET India), which had its spell of cricket action with its telecast of ICC Cricket World Cup in March. That India's early exit skewered Sony's plans was of course a beyond everyone's control.

Commenting on his channel's marketing strategies, SET India executive vice-president, sales and revenue management Rohit Gupta says, "Our programming has been tailored to cater to a young target audience belonging to the 15-35 age group. This year, we have been successful in offering a unique content. Amber Dhara, for example, is a first-of-its-kind serial that tells the story of two conjoined sisters; no other TV channels have ever dared to deal with this theme. We are also committed to offering viewers a package of Hindi blockbusters on weekends." To revive SAB TV's flagging fortunes, the channel has introduced 10 new shows in the last two months. Moreover, the channel has organized a number of ground events to promote its hugely successful Indian Idol 2007. Asked about the channel's innovations in the field of marketing, pat replied Gupta, "We pioneered the concept of client servicing in the TV industry.

Zee TV is confident that newer marketing initiatives will take the channel even higher. Indeed, with ingenious marketing strategies, Zee's newest scion Zee Next organised a number of innovative on-ground activities. "Our outdoor activities have been a great success. We plan to build on our strengths in accordance with the viewers' response," says Zee Next marketing head Tarun Mehra.

However, media experts opine that newcomers like NDTV Imagine and INX Media are serious contenders as well, and needless to say, with the launch of Zee Next, Zee TV is faced with an unavoidable competition with itself.

The road ahead may be exciting and promising for those who dare to compete in the Hindi GEC space, but it sure is going to get tougher and rougher than ever before. Marketing will be as much about innovating on the run as about using time tested strategies.

Latest Reads

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/09/28/auto-desk.jpg?itok=eDxaqPUg
Industry leaders to discuss tips on enhancing virtual shopping experience in new normal

NEW DELHI: It’s no new news that the impact of Covid2019 has been massive on digitisation and virtual properties. With people stuck at home, everything from studies to work, to shopping has moved online and this has given the e-commerce industry a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get new consumers...

Specials Event Coverage Occasions
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/05/07/ficci.jpg?itok=DCBtJjhj
FICCI - Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas releases FICCI Frames ‘Entertainment Law Book 2020’ Report

Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, today released ‘Entertainment Law Book 2020’ report. The report highlights regulatory developments in the field of TV broadcasting and distribution, music, radio, filmed entertainment, and other segments...

Specials Event Coverage Ficci Frames
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/03/23/nepa.jpg?itok=RoQ0G9Yv
Research is important while creating content: Nepa India

MUMBAI: Research is a key ingredient before the launch of any product or brand. And creating content is nothing without appropriate research about the audience and their choices, explains Nepa India managing director Esha Nagar while giving a presentation at the fourth edition of The Content Hub...

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/03/19/content.jpg?itok=4mbPkOgp
Spontaneity, gut feeling are fundamentals of my direction: Badhaai Ho director Amit Sharma

MUMBAI: The director is like the manager of a film who brings talent under one roof and extracts it to create good content, said film director and producer Amit Sharma while addressing fellow and budding content creators at the fourth edition of The Content Hub 2020 organised by indiantelevision....

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/03/16/mrinal.jpg?itok=i2CPPY0K
Supernatural genre gives writers most creative liberty

Writers of the popular TV show Naagin, Mukta Dhond and  Mrinal Jha, explored the scope of the supernatural genre at The Content Hub 2020 organised by indiantelevision.com. Dhond said that the most exciting thing about fantasy is that it gives creative liberty to writers. As they say, anything is...

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/03/16/sameer-nair.jpg?itok=2JzVVlne
Applause Entertainment’s Sameer Nair on digital content creation, self-regulation and creative freedom

Creativity, freedom of expression, self-regulation and content quality are some of the factors that come into play for digital platforms. These topics were addressed in a fireside chat between House of Cheer founder and CEO Raj Nayak and Applause Entertainment CEO Sameer Nair, at Indiantelevision....

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/03/14/sooni.jpg?itok=g3qZuuEr
It's the golden age of content: Sooni Taraporevala

MUMBAI: Sooni Taraporevala, an Indian screenwriter, photographer and filmmaker best known for her work in Mississippi Masala, spoke on ‘The Golden Age of Content’ at The Content Hub 2020 organised by indiantelevision.com.

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/03/13/frank..jpg?itok=Hn6cXSBy
Writers are the key to great content

At The Content Hub 2020 organised by indiantelevision.com, Tulsea talent manager Radhika Gopal and Matter Advisors founder and managing partner Caleb Franklin discussed the importance of creating an ecosystem and a platform for writers.

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/03/13/2.jpg?itok=kPfBtKAh
Visuals go hand-in-hand with storytelling for compelling content

It takes massive effort, time and investment but delivers great result for producing high-quality content in terms of visuals, said Travelxp’s creative director Kamakhya Narayana Singh while sharing the advantages of 4K and 8K format during the fourth edition of The Content Hub 2020 hosted by...

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required