MUMBAI: Marketers across India are failing to fully utilise the opportunities that the print medium now offers, in terms of technology, content and language, according to leading industry figures.

"Print is the only medium that can appeal to all five senses – a 3D print for sight, aroma-based print for smell, audio-based print for hearing, and so on," explained Supriyo Sinha, vice president of West Bengal newspaper publisher Anandabazar Patrika, Ebela.

He pointed out that print was also able to integrate digital through options like Augmented Reality apps.

"Most marketers don't appreciate these options and use only vanilla print advertising," he told Pitch magazine. "The trick will be to expand the horizon and leverage the full power of print advertising."

Several brands have successfully used such devices, including Volkswagen, which created a stir with a talking advertisement when it launched its Vento model. The automaker claimed to have gained 12% of its annual sales target in one day as a result.

But this approach tends to be expensive and open to relatively few brands. And in any case, technology still has to be directed to an appropriate audience. Several figures remarked on the importance of the surrounding content.

"The marketer's interest is in reaching maximum people and if quality content can be created to attract the reader, the marketer will get attracted too," said Anant Nath, editor of Delhi Press's literary magazine, The Caravan.

From an agency perspective, good quality content was equally important, according to Anupriya Acharya, Group CEO, Zenith Optimedia Group. "For example, if it's a magazine on automobiles the reader would be interested in reading the review by an expert rather than that of some blogger whose views are very obvious," she said.

Magazines cater to particular audiences and, claimed Sam Balsara, chairman of Madison World: "Magazines talk to super influencers, hence are the most influential advertising mediums."

Another area yet to be fully explored by marketers is the growth of the regional press in a variety of languages. Girish Agarwaal, Promoter-Director of newspaper publisher Dainik Bhaskar Group, advised marketers and planners to "look around, develop and conceptualize advertising for a specific language".

Data sourced from Pitch; additional content by Warc staff