Forever on the lookout for innovative ways to reach target audiences, advertisers have turned to technology led media platforms. SureWaves is one such platform that has changed the game in television advertising. It is helping brands reach out to vast and diverse audience in a cost efficient manner. With the use of its award winning, patented technology SureWaves Spot TV Network has aggregated more than 450 channels on its digital platform. Sectors such as FMCG, Cellular phone services, online retail, personal healthcare, BFSI are already flocking to the platform to reach out to the untapped consumer in the tier 2 and 3 cities of the country. In order to strengthen its position in a cluttered market, the network has decided to go in for Third Party Audit and Validation by Hansa Research. Rashi Bisaria caught up with Rajendra Kumar Khare, Chairman and Managing Director of SureWaves to quiz him about the association with Hansa, the importance of geo targeting and the role of SureWaves in media buying on television. Edited excerpts:
How will the audit by Hansa research benefit marketers and in turn SureWaves?
The association of Hansa Research with SureWaves Spot TV Network, which delivers the largest audience on television in the country today, brings an additional seal of accountability to a revolutionary, new age media platform, fulfilling a long felt industry need and is likely to cause a major shift in media buying on television. The Third Party Audit and Validation of the SureWaves Spot TV Network by Hansa Research will cover Field Visits for Physical Verification of Technology Deployment at Channel Studios and Online Audit and Validation of SureWaves ADEX Logs with LIVE monitoring of channels.
For SureWaves, this initiative will help fast forward the adoption of SureWaves Spot TV Network as a true reach builder in the media plans of leading advertisers in the country. This in turn will help us develop the local television ecosystem in the country which we think is very critical for meeting the media consumption needs of viewers in all parts of the country.
By when can we see the results of the audit?
The audit has already commenced since February 2015 and the audit reports from Hansa Research are being made available for all advertisers on the SureWaves Spot TV Network.
How has Television advertising evolved over time and what kind of innovations are being used by brands?
Television advertising has come a long way since the early days of DoorDarshan when the viewing choices were less and audiences were less fragmented. It was possible to reach the whole country through a show like Ramayana or Mahabharat. With more than 800 national and regional satellite TV channels and equally large number of local cable TV channels, the audiences are now highly fragmented and reaching them in a cost effective manner is getting to be extremely difficult.
In the context of this large scale fragmentation, brands are now increasingly adopting the innovative advertising platform like the SureWaves Spot TV Network which helps them communicate with the aggregated audiences of a large number of television channels on the platform in one go. While the audiences consume the content of their choice on their preferred channels the brand is still able to reach them all through a technology enabled innovation.
Brands are also beginning to use the power of the SureWaves platform to do better geo targeting for their audiences, an option which did not exist on television till recently.
There is also a big shift happening towards branded content whereby brands are creating their own content to offer entertainment and engagement with smart and subtle brand messaging embedded within the content to make a deeper connect. Social Media is also becoming a great accessory to create interactivity around television advertising.
In the days to come, Connected TVs and Synchronised Second Screen solutions on the smart phones will offer TV advertisers more access to consumer profiles and invaluable viewing activity insights in real-time, which will enable advertisers to use the power of programmatic engines to select ad content that is relevant, suitable and targeted to the user watching that particular TV at that exact moment.
With the blurring of linear TV boundaries, and rise of multitasking second-screen viewers, advertisers will move towards integrated campaigns where they will have to meet changing consumer behaviour and enable better targeting.
There is still a long way to go before cable networks provide the kind of content people want to watch. How will that affect Surewaves?
Cable TV Networks are unique in their ability to serve locally relevant content together with other content of general entertainment genre and hence they truly fulfill the need for the kind of localised content people want to watch. Coverage of local events, news, sports, localised reality TV shows, talk shows, health, cooking shows, festival celebrations and religious events are some of the genre of content that gets aired on local televison in addition to popular music and movies. Viewership ratings of Cable Regional category are testimony to its high popularity which ranks amongst the top five channels in most parts of the country. SureWaves Spot TV Network is helping local cable television ecosystem with better flow of advertising and revenue from national advertisers. This will help the ecosystem players to invest more in sourcing and creation of high quality content.
SureWaves has also launched an initiative to organise regional music and culture shows in association with our channel partners in different regions to offer high impact regional properties for brands to associate with.
With the technology for centralised scheduling, delivery and monitoring of ads and content we are establishing SureWaves Spot TV Network as a unique platfiorm for airing branded content on our network. Branded content will only grow over timeand we see this as a great opportunity for our partner network.
How many channels are you catering to right now and what are your targets for the year?
SureWaves enables brand visibility across India in 29 states and more than 7000 towns with over 450 cable and regional satellite channels that reach more than 90 million households and upwards of 470 million viewers. In the coming years, we are also looking topartner with a large number of niche regional satellite channels for further growing the network.
Micro-targeting of consumers seems to be the way forward. How much ground has been covered so far by Surewaves?
We offer advertisers the ability to target consumers at a socio cultural region level to help communicate in the right language and in a locally relevant context. Today, SureWaves covers the entire length and the breadth of the country and offers uniquely configured market clusters to clients to better suit their needs. Few examples of such unique clusters would be the â€˜8-Metro Clusterâ€™ or the â€˜Nifty Fifty Clusterâ€™ comprising of the more than 50 Tier-2 cities having a population of 1M to 5M which are of special interest to many brands.
The metros are not very keen viewers of Cable channels. Do you think that can change? How?
Over time, with the impact of digitization in the country, we will have more bandwidth which will provide the ability to the Cable TV operators to offer more niche genres and high definition content over cable network. In the future, more video-on-demand will be offered on local cable network. This will attract more viewers amongst the metro cities.
With everyone talking about digital media and the internet, how important is TV going to be in the coming years?
Television is more like the main stream media where the high quality premium content is created and aired for the audiences at large. Digital media acts as a complimentary media to television. Long format content and high quality viewing experience will continue to be televisionâ€™s forte while short, snacky content will be drawn from the television to be consumed over the internet.It is interesting to see how Television uses digital media successfully to create the buzz for its premium programming much in the manner cinema uses television to draw the audiences to the theaters. Bonhomie between Television and Digital Media is only expected to increase to strengthen their co-existence and growth.