Arpit Machhar heads Marketing at Enterr10 Network is responsible for the network’s marketing and communications strategies, as well as its overall brand, image and reputation. He is also responsible on driving marketing and communication related strategies for all channels within the network with a keen focus on Hindi general entertainment channel Dangal.
Enterr10 with Dangal as an offering really has a reach way beyond other GECs as it directly connects with the rural audiences of the country and hence is a great medium for advertisers to reach those audiences.
In this StraightTalk, the young marketing veteran, Arpit Machhar speaks about his journey, the network’s vision and the plan ahead. A sports enthusiast, Machhar would’ve been a tennis player if he was not a marketer.
How has your journey with Enterr10 TV been so far? What have been some of your learnings at the company?
The journey at Enterr10 TV has been very exciting and fulfilling. The network covers a very broad canvas in terms of the offering and audience. While every role has an opportunity to display one’s potential, as a marketing professional at the Enterr10 Networks my aim or so to say goal run parallel to the learning. The biggest learnings and aim is to bridge the gap between the rural and urban audience. I have also transitioned from my previous avatar; from being on the brand (advertisers) side to now being the medium (television broadcaster) side. This shift has helped me by bringing my previous learnings and experience and applying it in the given role.
How has traditional television marketing evolved over the years and how have you adapted to the changes?
The overall concept of marketing has taken a huge leap in the last five years. While television is the most far-reaching medium and has the potential to reach 100 million viewers with one ad, Social Media is fast catching up. It might sound repetitive but social media has really transformed the whole narrative for brands both, big and small, local or national. Digital Media has quickened the entire marketing journey drastically. From a television marketing perspective, the audience now has a new medium to consume the same content.
The aim is how we use the platform to increase engagement and stickiness. The real opportunity lies in how we utilise the penetration and improvement of internet in rural areas and maximise reach through platforms like Facebook and YouTube to keep audience entertained. Riding the wave, Dangal has a strong active engagement and is making sure to monetise it well. We are looking at using Television and Social Media as complimentary tools to reach viewers across the country.
With the narrowing marketing budgets how challenging is it to effectively not only reach out to your target audience but also make them brand advocates?
Enterr10 Television network has a good understanding of their target audience and preference. The network has used its strength to engage the audience with different offline and online marketing campaigns on a regular basis. We have observed that the audience has evolved over time and marketing campaigns become more impactful. While there might be a latent tightening of marketing budgets, we had strategically grown our digital media strengths which reduces the need to depend on huge spends to attract and acquire fresh audiences.
Another aspect we have witnessed is that rural is majorly a one television household phenomenon. With the internet penetration and affordability of smartphones youngsters in these geographies rely on social media or so to say non-traditional mediums for their entertainment. We truly believe that the content we provide along with the network strength differentiates us from others. The content we provide is easily palatable and comprehended and therefore does not need an extra push through marketing.
Which were some of important lessons that you brought from your previous organizations that helped you at Enterr10?
I come from a background where I worked with a brand and used to deal with different platforms for reaching out to the audience. Shifting sides, I can comfortably say I’m aware of what the advertisers are looking for when they come to us. It makes it a bit easier to provide the right advice so that brands can receive a fair value of the money being spent.
Dangal has mastered the art of creating mythological shows… tell us what goes behind marketing the channel and its content in the Tier II-III and IV cities?
I wouldn’t say that we have mastered the art of showcasing only mythological shows. We have a robust library of diverse content. Talking about what goes behind making the channel and network successful, I would like to give credit to Mr. Manish Singhal, Managing Director, Enterr10 Television network. The journey of the company started humbly with a single movie channel and slowly grew into a network of multiple channels across different languages which has one of the most watched GEC of the country – Dangal.
One of the main reasons for the growth is that Manish Sir has a great understanding of the audience preference and is deeply invested in the decision-making process be it small or big. He has a large vision for the network and we have seen this right from when the channel used to acquire content to currently when the channel is investing in producing original shows. He is undoubtedly the primary reason for the growth of the network.
How have your marketing strategies/plans/perspectives changed during the Covid-19 situation? Any new adaptations for new communication/marketing plans?
While the lockdown created a lot of turmoil for people across the board, I believe it was also a great leveller. As an entertainment network it was our duty to help the audience stay home by providing great content which engaged them. We brought back some of the most loved shows from across genres – Mythological, Period drama and fictional. Since everybody was Working From Home the potential scope of traditional ‘prime time’ expanded considerably. The lockdown also made us witness unfortunate incidents that are directly related to mental wellness.
As a responsible entity within the media and entertainment industry, we felt the onus also rests upon us to spread awareness about mental health and promote a positive outlook among all. We launched a social media campaign #DangalCares which was supported by popular Dangal TV actors including TarunKhanna, Vishal Karwal, Rahul Sharma, Ankit Arora, ChetanHansraj and PunkajKalraawhich reached out and urged viewers to stay positive during the current situation.
Apart from being the young marketing veteran you are…what are some other activities or hobbies that excite you? What are your weekends like?
I believe learning is constant and wouldn’t want to call myself a marketing veteran. It’s all about learning the game and then pushing yourself hard to improve it. When not at work I am complete sports enthusiast and an avid tennis player. I love the sport and over the weekends I try to squeeze in time for a game or two. I think I am still close to the game as at one time I played tennis at the national level. I am a family man and weekends are dedicated to my family. I also passionately follow Cricket and football and played both games at an inter school level.
If you were not a marketing professional then who would have you been and why?
I would have probably continued to played Tennis, since that was the career path I had chosen in my college days. But life has its own plan and I came in contact of Mr. Dhoot and the rest has been a fulfilling journey.
What is your vision for Dangal and Enterr 10 TV? What specifically do you want to achieve for the network? Where do you see the network in the near future?
Well, I have always believed that if one has decided to take up something one should pursue it with complete passion and aim to be the best. This has to be backed by dedication and sincerity. As a network, Enterr10 is pursuing this dream of being the best in its category. While we aim to maintain our leadership position in the rural market, we are taking steps by producing original content to ensure we are equally loved by Urban audience. I am sure once they sample this content, we will be one of the most preferred destinations for entertainment. To achieve this goal we are backed by the management and have a free hand. Additionally, we are also a socially conscious entertainment company which will focus on being associated with social and environment causes.