Medianews4u in conversation with Pradeep Gupta – Chairman and Managing Director – Axis My India on the Changing trends in media consumption, media measurement and much more
As the foremost research agency what are the trends you are noticing when it comes to consumption of content across all platforms?
In the past 20 years media habits have changed drastically particularly after the advent of Internet and Mobile services, but in the last 10 years with social media getting momentum the consumption trends have changed drastically. For millennial born after 2000, social media is the go to platform and they decide and influence as to which channel the household watches, this was there earlier also as kids are the biggest influencers. Now with multiple screens and the emergence of OTT platforms people are engaged in multiple screens and this is another major shift. There is hardly any advertising on OTT because it is still nascent and will take time for advertisers to capture the advertising space in a particular content and the advertising in television has increased, which is why people shift to OTT or other screens as they have an ad free streaming experience. Due to the pandemic the availability of bandwidth across demography and geography of the country is phenomenal.
Beyond this what are the trends in consumption when it comes to age groups, gender, geography and demographics?
Consumption depends on the content, different content preferred by different age groups, gender and geographies i.e. Urban/rural Tier 1/2/3 etc. It has always been the case but the availability of content during the pandemic; you did not have to depend on the flagship shows on TV. Now there are ample options available as far as entertainment and also in the news genre. People have different choices and it is available for all.
How does the general public react to ads in TV channels? Is there learning for advertisers and brands?
Definitely, you are also seeing more and more brand integration with the editorial. But it also depends on how it is offered and how well it is integrated and most times it is interesting but in excess it is irritating. Most advertising campaigns generally run for a minimum of 2 weeks. If you see the same campaign every day, multiple times it triggers irritation in the viewer. These are things an advertiser, media planner’s buyers and broadcasters need to learn.
We need to change the way we offer advertisements to the consumers. These days there are docu features as part of editorial, the idea here is to tell the story to engage with the consumer. The ultimate idea is to entertain, this can happen only if it is interesting, good looking and engaging otherwise it will not work.
What is the recall value of ads today on television?
There is a huge change in the way ‘Top of the Mind’ recall has changed. Earlier it was relevant as there was hardly any communication, there were very few advertisers and brands who advertised and their media reach was negligible. Even if they bought all the media available across the country they were not able to reach out to 1/3rd of the Indian population 20 years ago. There was 2/3rd of the Indian population in Media darkness. Another thing was there were no mobile phones then nor internet had such a wide reach, India was called a homogenous country. Today we have completely shifted to become a heterogeneous country.
Earlier nobody bothered about who is eating, reading or watching and the locality you lived in everybody consumed the same things. Now in most places you don’t know your own neighbours because we as a nation have become heterogeneous. As the communication technology has grown and the advent of social media we have loads of information and in this scenario brand recall is very tough ask, also the top of the mind recall in certain categories, for example the ads for mobiles, when you are wanting to buy a phone the top of the mind brand is Apple because the brand has good credibility and brand equity but the question is how many can afford it and buy it. Here top of the mind makes no sense, because of an overload of information, though it is on top of the mind it has no meaning and value unless it gets converted to sales. It is no longer the analogy or criteria for brand recall. Whether it is the M&E industries were Content is the product or the goods and services industry where product and quality which matters on a particular cost. India has always been a very cost sensitive market.
Media Measurement and accuracy has been under a cloud for many years, how is Axis My India unique when it comes to measurement and what is your USP?
As there is so much fragmentation, advertisers particularly are into conversion matrix as compared to earlier be top of the mind and reach, but today reach is not an issue but engagement is the concern because of excessive media platforms. At Axis My India we have developed a tool called CTI (Consumer Trust Index) and media consumption and habits is one segment of our CTI study. It’s not only television but also OTT, Print – which is the major main line media, cinema and radio. We try and measure all across and the sample size is 1 mn every year and spread across 740 plus districts. Roughly this sample size is more than 1000 people in each district every year. This is the kind of reach and spread we have and we are offering it to all brands, agencies and the broadcaster. We report what are the media consumption habits across the media and their engagement.
How will Axis My India assist media houses in its methods of measurement?
This report will optimise their spends, today there are about 1000 television channels, for a brand the country is too diverse and we need to understand at a district level or even a much smaller place because of the content delivery. Digital and social media platforms today offer brands; district level penetration, so a brand can pick and choose the district they want to advertise. Earlier it was just one national television channel then the regional channels and then the socio economic region within the state; today we are talking district levels in a state.
Brands/ Advertisers who have their operations, outlets, products & services across the country, but the same brand name may not be available for example, a product like Tea, it has different brand names like ‘Red Rose’ in Tamil Nadu, which is not available in the rest of the country. Depending on the regional habits & consumption patterns the advertisers are able to offer them customised brands. So advertisers have to plan accordingly and you need a platform which will cater first to reach, and then understand how much or how big the measurement is.
Brand communication now thanks to the surge of digital is more customised for their TG? Tools or methodology for measuring digital?
When we say OTT, Digital, the different Apps a person has in her/his mobile is also being asked in our study, it is not only the media but also the payment gateways. When we say ‘Complete consumption Habits’ it also includes media. Our study is trying to understand hair oil to footwear consumption habits and we have classified them into 45 necessity categories, one common man’s touch base, he has 45 necessity categories. We are trying to understand what is there in his/her mobile which is more important than his/her family or life partner.
What are the different tools or measurement methodology you use for various mediums?
Our study is nothing but asking the people for their preferences and choices as far as consuming various brands in the media. When it comes to media we will ask them questions like: do you watch TV, if the answer is Yes then it is divided into various segments like, Entertainment, News, Sports Movies etc. The next question is Time spent in a day watching TV.
Secondly, are you subscribed to any of the OTT platforms? Thirdly, what kind of digital platforms or social media platforms the person uses, for how long and lastly are you reading any newspaper or magazine, then we come to radio, if you are listening to radio, if the answer is yes then what is the kind of content that is consumed and the time spent. When it comes to Cinema, our question is have you seen any ads in the cinema, can you recall it. In the rural areas it is not cinema but wall paintings which matters. OOH, Melas, Haats etc. rural areas are of significance as brands have vans etc. to deliver the message. There the questionnaire will be a little different.
Axis My India has people pan India, as you also do election surveys, how do you keep to timelines and what are the challenges?
Our strength is our field force, we have more than 1300 field operatives and the beauty is they are only working for us, unlike any other research companies we do not outsource or sublet our operations. They work exclusively for us because we know how challenging it is for us to first train them and then retain them and get continuous output from them.