Campaign India is now a little over two and a half years old. The dotcom, campaignindia.in, is almost exactly two years old.
When I joined Campaign India in June 2007, I had set certain measurable targets for the magazine (known only to me) other than the normal excel sheet measures. Later, when we launched the dotcom, I set other relevant targets.
For the print edition, I told myself the magazine would have arrived the day Malayala Manorama advertised in it. Malayala Manorama was one of the first of prospective advertisers we spoke to. Varghese Chandy, the man in the hot seat at MM, was a man I knew reasonably well. Campaign India’s ad sales team and Varghese went up and down with the negotiations, to no avail. On a few occasions, Varghese and I spoke but still couldn’t reach a meeting point.
A year went by, another went by, and no sign of MM.
My colleagues were, by and large, happy with how the magazine was doing, but I continued to feel that we were short of having arrived – even if the revenue was healthy and the sphere of influence stronger each day.
A few months ago, MM sent us an RO for a number of releases. Almost immediately after, The Telegraph and The Hindu began advertising with us. Now we’ve arrived, I told myself.
Yesterday, in the first of the panel discussions, Neilsen’s Piyush Mathur spoke of too much inventory chasing the same number of advertisers, resulting in yields dropping. Thankfully for us, despite being in a category where Mathur’s premise is sadly true, our yields have kept going north. The entry of MM into our list of advertisers is but the icing on the cake.
As far as the dotcom is concerned, the only measure that I had in my sights was overtaking the competitor ahead of us – and that competitor was exchange4media.com. On April 8, according to Alexa, campaignindia.in was ahead of exchange4media for the first time. Our ranking, according to alexa, was 12391 while exchange4media.com was at 12538.
I have no doubt that we will continue to be ahead of exchange4media for the next few days, thanks to the extraordinary quantity and quality of content focusing on Goafest. We have a team which has worked like beavers, pushing themselves, often, beyond reasonable limits. Live text, video shows, blogs, fresh news, twitter and facebook updates, updated photo galleries – tonnes of content produced by the same team that works on the magazine and the dotcom normally.
Our efforts were aided and abetted by the fact that we had good sponsors and advertisers. Hindustan Times, Bang Bang Films, FutureWorks, Mail Today all jumped on board, allowing us the ability to invest in tools that would result in quality content. The efforts were further helped by the traffic we recieved on my blog(s) on ET's breaking the Abby results. Thank you, ET.
On a day-to-day measure, exchange4media will probably go back to being ahead of us in a week. But this week has ensured that the gap is getting narrower and narrower. In some time, we will be ahead.
This time, it will be for keeps.