The Marathi daily achieves rapid growth by implementing a strategic circulation plan - Operation Redbox to add new readers.
BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | September 24, 2010
The Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) data for the first half of 2010 is out and it reflects a substantial gain in the circulation of the Marathi daily Lokmat Pune in spite of strong competition. For the six-month period ending June 30, the newspaper's daily circulation climbed to 3,73,808 according the recent ABC Jan-June 2010 report. The Pune Edition itself showed a growth of over 1,00,000 copies over the previous period.
Reacting on this growth, Rishi Darda Executive Director of Lokmat Group said, "Good journalism & smart marketing has bore results with a quantum jump in our Pune numbers. Pune is an important market for us and our team is geared up to add more copies with every ABC. With the installation of all new colour printing machinery, the stress as always will be to give the readers a quality product."
The circulation increase was a result of a strategic plan, “Operation Redbox” with sustained efforts to gain new readers. The entire circulation teams were made responsible and were given targets and motivated to perform.
According to an official communiqué from Lokmat, Operation Redbox has been unique initiative in various ways. Let’s take a look, how did the Marathi daily achieve such a commendable growth:
Early 2010 saw a price war (not instigated by Lokmat) that led to the Pune Newspapers Hawkers Union going on an indefinite strike in Pune city and PCMC area. But the circulation teams were quick to respond with a plan to counter the situation. (the strike has since been withdrawn and copies are being distributed everywhere)
An independent distribution network of hawkers, a media first, to sell the paper, was created on a war footing. Milk delivery boys, grocery stores boys, cash sale boys, a strong team of 1500, were all roped in. The Event teams at Lokmat carried out a road show and exhibited the new team with full josh. More than 1100 stalls (more than union hawkers stalls) were appointed and a task force of 1500 selling boys became the home grown distribution network that sold copies to Pune city and PCMC areas.
To increase visibility an out of home promotional activity was carried out which included PMPM bus back panels in catchment areas and beach umbrellas with messages were displayed at important locations. Cable ads were also released. Banners were displayed on all stalls to boost the sale.A Toll free number activity was initiated specially for the readers. All the calls were summarized and area wise line copies were developed through a new system. For development of line sale a daily coupon was published in the newspaper and readers filled the coupon and submitted the same at the stall counter. With this a new line sale was developed from the system. Another major first was that Lokmat published the Pune editions on both, 2nd May and 16th August, while competing newspapers did not publish issues due to Ist May, Maharashtra Day and 15th August, Independence Day being public holidays. On 16th August the print order was more than 5 lac copies, a record at Lokmat. This has created history in the group and is a new model for circulation growth.
Elated over this success, Bharat Kapadia, Director on Board said, “We are glad to have struck a chord with the Punekars/ites/neris and efforts continue to improve our offering to the discerning readers. Lokmat is a leader in Maharashtra & Goa and we wish to establish clear leadership in all our markets.”
Also read: Lokmat Remains No.1 Among Regional Dailies