Print offers opportunities in India

23 September 2014

NEW DELHI: Advertising in India may be changing fast but print still has an important role to play in reaching certain markets while at the same time grabbing new opportunities offered by the digital revolution.

Sunil Kataria, coo/sales, marketing and SAARC, Godrej Consumer Products Ltd, told Impact magazine that while the digitisation of television was "changing the game" in rural areas, print came into its own in those parts of the country that had an erratic electricity supply. In those places he was also likely to use "a bit of radio and rural activation".

He also felt that as the market became increasingly fragmented that marketers needed to react accordingly. "Regional print gets value here by helping in micro-segmentation," he said, "especially as education has become an important investment in our economy in the last ten years and literacy rates have gone up around 10%."

Additionally, innovation in print could take campaigns in new directions – he cited the launch of Godrej Aer which had involved the production of a fragrant newspaper which delivered a sensory impact alongside the printed ad.

Long-term, however, the shift towards digital media has major implications for traditional print. A recent PwC report noted that in 2013 subscription revenues from internet connections had already overtaken print media revenue from advertising and subscriptions.

By 2018, internet access was predicted to take a 29% share, up from 22% in 2013, while print fell from 20% to 14% over the same period. "Relative shares of traditional media are expected to go down to accommodate growth in newer segments," Smita Jha, leader, entertainment and media practice, at PwC, told Livemint. "However, the individual sizes of these segments will continue to grow."

Print faces a "digital tsunami", according to Aroon Purie, editor in chief of The India Today Group. But he saw plenty of opportunities to transfer content into the new medium. "The future is digital and if you don't invest in that now, you will soon die," he said in remarks reported by Indiantelevision.com

He argued that the print industry needed to become multi-platform and to get into contextual advertising.

Data sourced from [Impact], Livemint, Indiantelevision.com; additional content by Warc staff