The 2011 edition of India Radio Forum played host to several panel discussions, of which the panel titled ‘Broadening the reach: Planning for radio’ provided an opportunity for marketers to voice their concerns about the present state of the medium. Moderated by Shashi Sinha, chief executive officer, Lodestar UM, the panel discussed whether radio is actually measured by reach or frequency and the potential future of planning for radio.
In his opening remarks, Rameet Arora, senior director, marketing, McDonald's India, pointed out that most people do not take the medium seriously. He said, “When we do post campaign media audits for return on investments, most stations do not come back to us to check on how they have done. So, we will take radio seriously only as much as they take it.” He noted that the medium has always been sold in micro spaces, and also agreed that it has its own strengths but has not been utilised accordingly as it should be.
Amit Tiwari, general manager, country head, Media, Philips India, explained that radio has been mostly used for audio purposes and not for media business purposes. He cited a few instances where Philips has used the medium effectively.
Danish Khan, vice president and marketing head, Sony Entertainment Television, highlighted that the medium’s inability to deliver reach. “However as a marketer, I feel the medium need to have a long term benefits for the brand, and should be a medium of engagement rather than worrying about reach.”
Citing a few examples of campaigns done on radio to illustrate the reach and brand building capabilities of the medium, Soumen Ghosh Choudhury, business head, Big FM, said that radio does deliver reach and also talked about the importance of the medium for localisation of communication.