Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Economist doesn't segment millennials, says Kothari in a discussion with ED

ED met president, The Economist Group, recently, in Mumbai, to discuss his thoughts on India as a market and what collaboration means to him.

While marketers are worried about consumer loyalty these days, media companies, too, have similar challenges, but the concern is slightly different. According to Raju Kothari, “loyalty is just another word for engagement.” He says that today there is an array of content from multiple sources, and consumption is heavily happening via social media.

With algorithms and recommendations, a reader today has small sources of content. “Honestly, there is an increase in loyalty from my core audiences. It is getting harder to find new readers and engaging them, especially in the world where echo chambers are getting smaller,” Kothari adds.

As an industry, publications shouldn’t neglect the power of social media for growth and reach, believes Kothari.

Kothari thinks millennials are interesting but as a company, The Economist SEBI doesn’t look at segmenting them. “Reading The Economist is more about how you think and your values than anything else. We consider progressive and forward thinking people as our readers,” says Kothari

The Economist’s team has identified on the basis of psychographics that there are about 75 million people who could be their potential readers, of which they are already targeting 35 million of them via their multiple social and other digital content platforms.

Raju Kothari is of the opinion that with digital it has become easier for publications to experiment and get newer readers on board. The next thing is to get into the stream of these users and capture their attention for engagement purposes.

Circulation (marginally) is a bigger business for The Economist. And, Kothari strongly believes that banking solely on the growth of advertising is not viable. A publication that has their hopes high only on digital advertising, may have to re-think about it, says Kothari

“The new digital inventories may look interesting but it is important to remember that marketers at the end of the day don’t want robots to view their ads. Also, having a clear revenue model is crucial,” he adds.

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