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News Channels Have Always Been At Core Of Our Advertising Plans: Sai Narayan

Sai Narayan, Paisabazaar.com, Marketing, Advertising

News as a content consumption genre has been witnessing growth amidst Covid-19 as people are confined to their homes and tuning into television to know about the latest happenings around the world. Amid this rising trend of television viewership, marketers have had an opportunity to engage and tap their customer base.

However, for Policybazaar group, even before Covid-19 happened, television news channels have always been a crucial platform to advertise on.

Sai Narayan, Chief Marketing Officer, Paisabazaar says, “historically, whenever we have advertised on TV starting with the news genre, we have seen an increase in direct traffic. That has strengthened the confidence in TV as a medium and news as a genre.”’

According to Narayan, there are a lot of reasons for choosing news as a platform for advertising. “Covid-19, pre Covid-19 or post Covid-19, news is going to be relevant for banking, financial services and insurance sector. It will be core to our business,” he said.

News Channels Are A Significant Platform For Advertising  

“One of the reasons being the very core male and female audience. News as a genre always gives you a great entry into building young brands because the cost of entry is extremely low and the audience is very relevant. When we started advertising, our initial spends were low. Also, the audience reach is high and thus, it tick-marks all the three points that a brand wants,” he adds.

For any dot-com company, marketing spends are measured from the lens of Return on Investment (ROI). “The moment you have ROI-led spending behaviour, you start testing small. News genre allows a brand to test waters and by the virtue of being a dot-com brand, you can immediately taste success or failure,” he said. 

He adds, if your piece of communications is engaging enough and you put it in the right platform like a news genre where there is a relevant audience, you immediately see a take off on your direct traffic.

Generating direct traffic for any dot-com company is an important goal as it has the highest conversion rate. “News helps improve brand awareness and moves other brand metrics as well,” he said.  

The other benefit is that unlike a GEC (general entertainment channel) or any other genre, news gives specific and filtered audience which is otherwise difficult in television as a medium. 

“That has helped the brand stand out. Around 70% of our overall spends have been on cricket and news as a genre. With the absence of cricket and new content on GEC due to the pandemic, going forward, we see maximum spend being skewed towards news and hindi movies,” said Narayan.

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News As A Medium For Building Thought Leadership

Apart from doing regular free commercial time (FCT) advertising which is the bread and butter, Policybazaar group has also used news as a genre to create thought leadership like a TV news show on personal finance. 

“We have integrated our messaging with news channels on specific needs with personal finance shows or questions on how to use money better. So, news helps in building thought leadership at the right price. It creates more engagement and helps increase direct traffic. It's pretty much win-win for the advertiser and the audience,” he added.

Mayank Jain, Chief Executive Officer, Network 18 (Hindi News), agrees with Narayan’s view on thought leadership and news platform’s ability to co-create content with advertisers and partners that both serve advertisers’ as well as audience needs.

“That’s something news channels are well placed to do. They help shape opinion. News channels don’t outsource content creation unlike GECs that work with producers of the market. We create all the content ourselves. That gives news channels the ability to craft branded content solutions working with advertisers that speaks for the audience as well as advertisers’ interest,” Jain says.

(Article edited by: Sunny Lamba)

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