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WMC 2011: Engagement and the Magazine Media

A session that looked at the way to go forward as the magazines remain the most engaging medium

Neha Saraiya | Delhi | October 13, 2011

Tarun Rai, CEO, Worldwide Media, India commended the opening session ‘Engagement and the Magazine Media’ by stating, “The speed at which media has changed and galloped ahead is fascinating.”

Three decades ago, India had just one national TV channel in the country while in 1992 this number reached to six channels. But Today the country is witnessing an upward surge with 515 TV channels, 400 radio channels, 10,000 dailies, 30,000 weekly and 50,000 other dailies.

Rai felt that because of an overdose of information there is an unconscious filtration by the consumers. He said, “‘Always on media’ is leading to unconscious filtering. There are too much messages to handle. Thus scrolling through media is a common habit these days.”

He further pointed that the ‘unconscious filtration’ leads to ‘paradox of choice’ because there is so much of  information and consumers do not know which information to trust leading to ‘distracted consumers’.

Also, ‘Noise’ is an important factor as the consumer expectations from media today is changing from mote messages to less noise. And for advertisers it’s changing to more messages to better connections.

“That is why I have decided on having a new conversation with media. As we believe magazine makes better connections than any other medium, that is the reason we commissioned completely independent agencies for the ‘engagement survey’, he said.

He further mentioned, “Our research is our competitive research not just to prove to other mediums. Our plan is to start with this and take it forward and have a research kit to this finding. However this is just the starting point.”

Some of the findings of the ‘Engagement survey’ carried out in 14 countries etched out the fact that magazines are read alone and not over dinner tables. Also, 68% of the reader formed immediate connections after reading a magazine.

Rai added, “its ‘always on media’, wherein you don’t switch off media.’

Esther Braspenning, International Advertising Resource Manager, Sanoma Media, Belgium said on the consumer engagement “When it comes to a breakfast of bacon and eggs, the chicken is involved but the pig is committed.”

She bought in to the fact the basic reasons to ‘why people read magazines? Some of the reasons that she mentioned in her presentation were a) a spur to inspiration b) a symbol of status c) guidance and life management d) as a trusted friend.

She concluded the session by saying, “Magazines are really ready for future and are the engagement medium for 21st century, but we should be very careful what we do and the way we go forward.”

Neha@BestMediaInfo.com

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