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Industry stalwarts highlight ways to retain consumer attention at Ad Club’s Media Review

Shashi Sinha, Meenakshi Menon, Punitha Arumugam & Pradeep Dwivedi throw light on ‘Is Anyone Listening?:  How Did Ad and Media Industry Combat The Challenge Of Continuous Partial Attention of Audiences’

Aanchal Kohli | Mumbai | July 22, 2015

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The Advertising Club’s annual Media Review, held in Mumbai yesterday, saw the who’s who of the industry in attendance despite the incessant rains and water-logged roads.

The event saw four industry stalwarts – Shashi Sinha, CEO, IPG Mediabrands India; Meenakshi Menon, Founder and Chairperson, Spatial Access; Punitha Arumugam and Pradeep Dwivedi, Chief Corporate Sales & Marketing Officer, Dainik Bhaskar Group – take part in a panel discussion on ‘Is Anyone Listening?: How Did Ad and Media Industry Combat The Challenge Of Continuous Partial Attention of Audiences’. Sam Balsara, Chairman and Managing Director, Madison World, moderated the panel discussion.

The evening also witnessed a presentation on AdAsia 2015, Taipei, which will be held from November 22 to 25, 2015 at the Marriott Hotel, Taipei by Raymond So, Vice-Chairman, AFAA.

Pradeep Guha Pradeep Guha

9X Media’s Managing Director, Pradeep Guha, opened the session by stating, “AdAsia is one of the largest brands and is one of the marquee events that have been happening in our industry since 1958. The event has been travelling across the globe and India has had the opportunity to witness this prestigious event four times.”

Sharing her views on combating the challenge of continuous partial attention of audiences, Meenakshi Menon said, “We live in very interesting times, wherein the consumers witness a lot of new things and new shifts. Clients are undoubtedly working as per their agency’s vision, but there is marketing automation being witnessed. With the world growing and evolving at such a rapid pace, the advertising agencies cannot afford to walk slowly. It is becoming important to know what clients want, but ironically today even clients are in a bit of a dilemma when it comes to understanding what exactly they want.”

According to Menon, the same phenomenon has been witnessed across the globe and not just in India. She felt that India as a market had always shown how a lot of new age shifts could be done differently. Citing an example, she said, “Though India does not have the maximum number of land lines or the infrastructure, we stand among the top positions when it comes to mobile phones. We have accepted and evolved a lot many technological shifts, including digital.”

Menon further said that a majority of the agencies were better at the art of advertisements than the art of business. She said, “Today, every agency is facing talent as a big challenge. There have been times when clients want to know the kind of people who would be working on their project despite having a big and a well-known agency.”

“In my opinion, the clients are often unsure of what they want and what they need. Clients will come out of their comfort zones only if they are convinced about the right strategy,” Menon said while concluding.

Meanwhile, Dainik Bhaskar Group’s Pradeep Dwivedi stressed on the need to re-discover print in order to tackle the continuous partial attention. He remarked, “The confusion is not only in the minds of media agencies or clients, but also among the consumers. We have so much content and so many platforms that consumers do not know what and how to utilise.”

He strongly felt that media explosion was a reality and added that print as a medium was rational. Adding further, he said, “It is important to make consumers understand the importance of print and how it is more efficient in nature and till date has the maximum reach.”

Further highlighting the importance of print media, Dwivedi said, “Print still remains distinct as it has a lot of unique qualities, which today industry stalwarts need to understand as with print one gets non-partial attention, it allows unlimited exposure and a set base of audience too.”

While concluding, he strongly stressed upon the fact that print had been relevant and would remain relevant. “Print continues to evolve. Print media is an effective antidote and it is high time that it should get back its prominence,” he affirmed.

Shashi Sinha Shashi Sinha

Shashi Sinha observed, “The measurement industry is facing a lot of challenges as there are shorter split across modes with advent of technology and mediums and until and unless the industry is not measured, it cannot be controlled. Simultaneously, there is also multiform media consumption among the consumers.”

Explaining the current scenario of measurement system, Sinha said, “There are measurement systems in place, but there needs to be a lot more effort that has to go in. Every measurement system is an independent one, but the time has come for a single source and a simple metrics as single source equals sharper media choices.”

Punitha Arumugam noted that in today’s world, digital played a vital role in any business and among the consumers. It all revolved around how one understood the needs and wants of the consumers, she added.

Sam Balsara Sam Balsara

Sam Balsara posed an important question to the panellists – “Looking at the way the businesses and industries are evolving, is there a need to throw away the fundamentals of media like CPA, Reach, ratings, GRP, etc., or do these fundamentals need to change?”

According to Menon, “All principles and fundamentals are important as these are the building blocks of the industry and any business plan. The complexity is to sync these fundamentals between traditional media and new media.”

For Punitha Arumugam, these fundamentals played a vital role, but ultimately it all depended upon the way a brand or an agency targetted a consumer. “At the end of day, everything revolves around consumers and business revenues,” she said.

Speaking about having a common measurement system across all media platforms, Sinha said, “There has to be a common metrics and there needs to be a single source to give valuable results.” Taking a contrarian stance, Pradeep Dwivedi opined, “The intent of having a single source or a common measurement system for all the media platforms is desirable, but it is practically not possible as every medium has its own metrics and challenges. But if these challenges are met and solved positively, then the scope of having common measurement shall come in place.”

The Presenting Sponsor for the Ad Club’s Media Review 2015 was Colors. The event was powered by Dainik Bhaskar.

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