1) Journey of Fourth Dimension…
Its been 25 yrs in Media Sales, I have dabbled in all facets of Media be it Print, longest stint in TV, ran a successful Digital Company as COO for 2 years, have tried my hand in all genres. Past 6 years been in Sports Marketing did a very unique property called Chennai Sixes with International Cricketers did the format in Chennai and Dubai.
The opportunity came 6 years back, as I didn’t want to tie myself only to Television Sales, the idea of Media Outsourcing was mooted to my ex-boss. He was kind enough and told me we are launching a channel in 6 months’ time so come to us with your plans, thus 4th Dimension media Solutions was born on 7th February 2011.
Today Fourth Dimension is the largest Marketing Outfit.
There are very few Media Outsourcing outfits, we are in the top 2. Immediate competition is Helios and Aidem Ventures.
2) You are in the process of strategizing an aggressive plan for the Kerala Market..!
We are blessed with a wonderful team spread across 3-4 branches. To motivate the sales team we set two or three targets. One is revenue second is money.
We empower our Sales team to go and scout for Business development. Once the business comes to us we hand over the responsibility to him.
We have Tamil Nadu, Andhra and a Radio Station in Bangalore.
Today be it Clients, Brands, Broadcasters who call us and say listen we have a problem in TN/ Andhra/Karnataka I am unable to sell, the response we get is phenomenal so one such plan is to get into Kerala and Karnataka and non-south market.
3) How strong are you in the Southern Market… especially Tamil Nadu..?
We plan to go beyond South. In Tamil Nadu we have Pudhiyathalaimurai TV, Pudhu Yugam, Sathyam and Chennai Live. We handle Television and Radio, we also do a lot of activation in TN.
In Andhra we have V6 News Channel which is doing phenomenally well and they have plans to expand. Between these two States, we have covered a lot, and our plan is to look at the Kerala and Karnataka Market. we have offers but we are evaluating them, we do not want to take 3 or 4 channels there but want to concentrate on One brand and do justice to that brand. Kerala is now a growing market and we want to be there when it happens.
4) Digital Era, your take on this and plans for the South as you are the Leader there..?
We have ambitious plans for Digital marketing, lots of companies are speaking to us, and a lot of companies have approached us saying you know the South market well.
As far as branded Content for the digital space is concerned we do a lot of work for our group channel Pudhiyathalaimurai.tv and Pudhiyathalaimurai.com and trying to monetize it in every stage.
In terms of Digital when we started as I have good experience as far as digital is concerned, we also did some Search Campaigns for smaller clients in the Digital Market, but keeping the bandwidth was getting cumbersome, so decided to concentrate on the main broadcasters.
Digital has arrived, but when companies are going gung ho about Digital saying Digital is the next big thing there are very few people who understand the 7 letter word DIGITAL.
When we tell a client that we have a fantastic content for Digital, I am sorry to say both the Client and the agency come to you with a vague comparison saying “if we were to put the same money in a No 3 channel I would reach millions you are still reaching thousands “. The concept of Digital hasn’t been understood by the client or the agency. Today when we talk about Digital they say how many likes I will get in Facebook, I have close to 5 million likes etc and can I leverage it, as per me that’s not digital. When Publishers come to us and say my website is being read by everybody. Nobody has really understood this.
So instead of putting our energies there, we have great connect with clients and brands so we have identified a few companies who are great content providers, thus we want to take this to brands to consume them and bring them into an environment which subtly starts producing series which are 5/7/10 minutes. We are getting into that space where convincing a client is much easier than talking about numbers or CPC scores.
5) What is the working module you have adapted..?
Pudhiyathalaimurai has been the No 1 channel for the past 6 years, when we launched it on 24th August 2011, by 24th Sept 2011 we were No 1. Till date we have maintained that Numero
Uno position. The success of 4th Dimension has been Pudhiya Talaimurai. With this Brand success, we got entry into a lot of places, and people appreciated what we had done for the Brand.
For Pudhiya Talaimurai we adopted a completely different Sales strategy, we targeted brands and clients who otherwise wouldn’t have come, we made the brand invest on News Space, wherein advertisers were in the perception that News is only consumed by male Audience ultimately we proved them wrong. Today by ranking and Numbers we are No 1 for past 6 years. The success is because we are a very aggressive team.
Today whether you are a No 1 brand or No 4 what really matters is the Revenue you bring to the table.
Pudhiya Thalaimurai is No 1, Pudhiya Yugam a GEC is not doing so well but we do phenomenally well in numbers. V6 news in AP is No 3 and our revenue numbers are exceptionally good. We have Chennai Live the only English Radio Station there and the most difficult business to sell but we do kick-ass business there also. Basically, it’s the combination of the team you have, even a No 1 brand if it does not have an aggressive Sales team it will fall flat.
So to run a successful media Outsourcing Company the success of your team is the most important thing and we have managed to crack it.
6) Fourth Dimension is a pioneer in Cable Sales how does this space work in relation to DTH..?
We have a partnership with a company called Infinite Media, they are the largest aggregators of Cable business in India and they have been in the business for the past 2 decades. So when the entire world was looking at Satellite and so forth they entered the Cable business. We took over the business about 3 years ago Clients brands and people were very apprehensive. Cable has always been looked upon as not my Profile for most advertisers. We went and explained it to advertisers even National players that the reach of Cable is far greater in smaller towns and digitization taking place at a faster pace, they bought the thought and I can proudly thump my chest and say that the brands we bring on cable month on month are mind boggling. The kind of revenues we do on cable again makes us as one of the top 3 in our genre.
The cost difference between a Cable HD service and DTH HD service is huge and with cable you also get local movie channels, the biggest reason as to why clients have started accepting this medium is look at the repeats in the Satellite channels. The local movie channels don’t repeat, their films.
We have gone and also identified the reach of Cable network and the amount of customization you can do on this network to suit local brands is phenomenal. With DAS being implemented and more and more people buying TV and MSO’s applying for HD licenses this is set to grow and the rates are also pretty low as compared to a DTH provider for the same package. It takes time for a client to sample this product but once he has sampled he makes it a point to visit us every month.
With Cable quit a lot of Innovations and customization happens and clients get value for money.
We are a national player in the Cable market and as we speak I have about 6 campaigns live happening across India, we do not do cable in certain markets and one is TN, as TN is more of a C&S market and the reach is about 92-93%. Everybody watches Television there.