Hemamalini Venkatraman
Feb 24, 2015

IMC 2015: From ‘print only’ to ‘digital first’

The concluding session on day one featured Cisco's Nupur Sharma and Haymarket's Suresh Ramakrishnan in a panel on 'Monetising Beyond Print'

IMC 2015: From ‘print only’ to ‘digital first’
Speaking at a panel on ‘Monetising Beyond Print’ at the concluding session on day one of the two-day Indian Magazine Congress that got underway in Chennai on 23 February, Nupur Sharma, head marketing – brand strategy, advertising and digital, Cisco, pointed to four key elements: (brand) awareness, revenues, experiences and engagement. She noted that these were key to delivering a 360-degree experience to the customer. 
Sharma underlined the engagement that the digital medium could drive, while noting that every medium had its own advantage and co-existence was ‘the only way ahead‘. While customisation to adapt to consumer wants would remain essential, she noted that brand positioning was equally important.
The ecosystem has changed drastically over the last decade but to provide services and solutions that will ‘best suit the audience‘ was absolutely necessary, noted Suresh Ramakrishnan, publishing director, Haymarket India.
Ramakrishnan said profitability in a B2B scenario was not as high as it is in a B2C but the need to re-invent, scale and invest heavily depending on the market ‘cannot be over-emphasised‘. 
Citing the example of an in-depth survey done for an MNC, he said customers seek free access when the same survey results are available on the web. But this should not deter those in the B2B space from using digital media, he said. With examples of 360-degree solutions encompassing exhibitions and the like, he made the case for co-existence of print and digital alongside other avenues.
Sharma concurred that the print medium in India would not wane. Despite the success of Kindle, she said the touch and feel factor highlighted the permanency of books. 
Responding to a question by moderator  Maneck Davar, proprietor, of Spenta, she said Cisco’s decision on the allocation of ad spend depended on the communication need, apart from aligning with its global brand strategy. The brand’s print push targeted at the public sector was more while the digital spend was high when it came to IT and ITES sectors, she revealed. 
In her view, the digital measurement matrix was far more visible unlike the print medium, given the former’s real time nature.
Earlier, Jim Bilton, MD, Wessenden Marketing, made an in-depth presentation via live stream from London on ‘Publishing in the Digital Whirlpool – The drivers of change in the Indian and global market‘. 
In a scenario of ‘everything, every time, anywhere, anytime’, the three patterns of change constituting the digital flow had to be put in perspective, he noted. From the days of pre-digital era when the print was in a lean back mode, a publisher’s journey can be slotted as ‘print only’ (legacy time), ‘print plus’ (bolt-on period) and ‘digital first’ (re-build period), explained Bilton. 
New stores and new formats have become imperative to be in front of the customer, he noted.
(Disclosure: Campaign India is published by Haymarket Media India, of which Suresh Ramakrishnan quoted above is publishing director.)
Campaign India