Focused targeting seems to be the mantra of the day with Star India now taking the plunge with the introduction of ‘STAR ADSHARP’ which the broadcaster is pitching as ‘revolutionary technology’ that can beam advertisements only to targeted markets.
Through STAR ADSHARP advertisers can run region specific ads, and thereby run local ads depending on the target market.
Region targeted advertisements would be run on Star Plus and Star Gold; the value proposition offered by the broadcaster to advertisers is avoiding wastage of marketing monies and an increase in savings.
It is undoubtedly a big step forward for one of India’s leading broadcast players to enter this segment and leverage the existing opportunity; but does the all important target audience; the advertiser community feel there a need for STAR ADSHARP? And more importantly will it invest its marketing monies? We ask leading advertisers to share their views.
Do marketers feel there is a need for STAR ADSHARP?
“Yes definitely! The huge spillover of the TV medium has been a concern for many marketers. With fragmentation of audiences and need for segmented marketing efforts, marketers are constantly looking for sharper targeting options and also looking to optimize their ROI, minimizing wastage,” says Sanjay Tripathy, Senior Executive Vice President, HDFC Life.
Mayank Shah, Senior Product Manager at Parle Products echoes Tripathy’s sentiment when he says, “There is definitely demand for something like this, the HSM market has a sizeable viewership, when you need to target special geographies, there is wastage, and spillover, marketers are unable to target a zone or territory effectively and often there tends to be a wastage of monies.”
The general sentiment is that STAR ADSHARP may also be an effective model to adapt for marketers trying to build on weak markets, through a regional, targeted medium at high cost-efficiency, and thereby a low CPT platform, which shall definitely help.
In fact this can also enable local marketers without a national presence, to now build their brand portfolio too at a lower cost, as well as help brands target regional consumers through market specific communications.
“We have been a national advertiser so far and thus, have campaigns focused nationally. But having said that, we realize the need to focus on some markets more than others or even the need to use different communication for different audiences. We will definitely evaluate this proposition for regional focused communication, that can help in building our regional footprint in a cost effective manner. It could also work well in cases where we are planning a regional launch or test market, which mostly were restricted to local media options like print & radio till such platforms emerged,” shares Tripathy.
Mass customisation: The way forward
Marketers across domains agree that as brands progress and mature, the spray and pray method is the best option, especially in a country as diverse as India, thus mass customisation does seem like the mantra of the day.
“Conveying a common message through mass media may not be an ideal solution, because in an attempt to be everything to everyone you may end up alienating the disparate audience that India represents. It is imperative that every customer feels that you are (only) speaking to him, in his language. The magic lays in “mass customization”, where a segmented approach to the media will help convey focused messages to (homogenous) focused audiences,” opines Ajay Kakar, Chief Marketing Officer, Aditya Birla Group, Financial Services.
There are already a few existing platforms that are currently helping advertisers with focused region specific ads like Amagi and Surewaves.
“STAR ADSHARP is a step in the right direction. The targeted approach also works as sometimes the advertised product may not be available all across India, and we may end up irritating the consumer with national advertising and then non – availability of the product in their region,” adds Shah.
“A brand can today build Ahmedabad market reach by taking ZeeTV through Amagi with no spillover in other markets and at high cost efficiency and ROI. STAR ADSHARP will further add to this market with their offering,” concludes Tripathy.
Though the general sentiment seems positive towards Star India’s latest offering, it also comes with its share of challenges, in balancing inventory, rates for different regions, the quantum of price difference and at what premium, risk of unused inventory at non – prime slots and more.