Print media options for Insurance companies in Kerala


Dr. K.S. Chandrasekar
Reader in Management
University of Kerala
Trivandrum-695 034
Reshmi Augustine
Research Scholar in Management
Sathyabama Deemed University

Advertising is the non-personal communication of information usually paid for and usually persuasive in nature about products, services or ideas by identified sponsors through the various media. Advertising has, comparatively speaking, all the time in the world. Unlike personal selling, the sales message and its presentation does not have to be created on the spot with the customer watching. It can be created in as many ways as the writer can conceive, be rewritten, tested, modified, injected with every trick and appeal known to affect consumers. Although advertisers may not see the individual customer, nor be able to modify the sales message according to that individual's reaction at the time, it does have research about customers. The research can identify potential customers, find what message elements might influence them, and figure out how best to get that message to them. Although the research is meaningless when applied to any particular individual, it is effective when applied to large group of customers. Advertising can be par cheaper per potential customer than personal selling.

Personal selling is extremely labor intensive, dealing with one customer at a time. Advertising deals with hundreds, thousands, or millions of customers at a time, reducing the cost per customer to mere pennies. In fact, advertising costs are determined in part using a formula to determine not cost per potential customer, but cost per thousand potential customers. Advertising is a good idea as a sales tool. For small ticket items, such as chewing gum and guitar picks, advertising is cost effective to do the entire selling job. For large ticket items, such as cars and computers, advertising can do a large part of the selling job, and personal selling is used to complete and close the sale.

Print media companies are dependent upon advertising sales as their most significant revenue component. However, many newspaper and magazine publishers still adhere to antiquated techniques for selling advertisements and billing advertisers or agencies. In many cases, standard advertising rates are not utilized due to the complex discounts that are granted in addition to a relatively high volume of barter activity. Collections on advertising sales often take significant time and effort to resolve, and indebted advertisers frequently continue to obtain advertising page space due to inadequate processes and systems for monitoring creditworthiness. Print media companies that wish to optimize the effectiveness of the advertising sales/traffic process need a thorough analysis of their existing activities, as well as ongoing monitoring initiatives. Price water house Coopers has developed a methodology to diagnose the print media advertising sales/traffic process, enabling us to identify areas of weakness that expose a company to unnecessary risk, revenue recognition issues, potential revenue leakage and overall process inefficiencies.    By pinpointing specific publications, rates and circulations, one will  get the most for your valuable advertising budget. The key to advertising success is Frequency, Consistency, and Targeted Placement. Nothing builds brand awareness like strategic placement, repetition and effective design. Once the advertising strategy has been decided upon, the advertiser faces the important problem of bringing the message to the attention of the appropriate prospects. The finest advertisements can be of no value to the advertiser unless they are seen and read or seen and heard by the potential buyers of the advertiser's product, service or idea. While advertising, it is important to the advertiser that his advertising be placed where it will reach the largest number of real prospects and influence them most effectively at the minimum cost.

An advertising medium is the vehicle used to carry the advertising message from the sender to the intended receiver. Generally, no single medium will suffice in reaching all potential customers and as a result, it is often necessary to use a combination of several media in an advertising campaign. Even though Personal selling is the best measure to reach the customers, it is often the advertising that initiates the response from the clients when faced with uncertainities. Some of the major players in Kerala have seemed to opt only for personal selling via financial advisors and agents. Only LIC, ICICI Prudential and Metlife are seen in the advertising hemisphere. The state of Kerala covers 1.2% the area of India and is home to 3.1% of the population. The Physical Quality of Life indices in Kerala are much higher than the national averages, and indeed the highest in the developing world. Hence  it is important to reach the market with prudent insights.

Print media includes newspapers and magazines. Newspapers are usually classified on the basis of language, daily news- papers, evening newspapers and Sunday newspapers and some specialized news papers.

Most papers are the morning papers carrying news of that day's important national and local events including business, entertalr1ment, financial, social and sports activities. The morning papers usually have a wider geographical circulation than do evening newspapers. Sunday newspapers has special sections for varied group interest besides the main week news. The circulation of sunday newspapers is ordinarily greater than that of dailies although the rates are higher, the per unit cost is lower. The Saturday and Sunday editions of the daily english newspapers have supplements and the circulation of these editions is more than the daily average circulation. Some of the newpapers are: The Hindu, Pioneer, The New Indian Express, Malayala Manorama, Mathrubhumi, Deshabhimani, Mangalam, Janmabhumi and Kerala kaumudi etc.  Evening newspapers carry the morning and late light news. There size is small and atleast 3-4 evening newspapers are published from every city and metro. These have local circulation. Rashtra Deepika and Flash are the one in  Kerala.

Besides these newspapers, specialized newspapers also publish especially from big cities and in metros. These newspapers are classified separately because they have a unique feature for newspapers due to their high selectivity in terms of type of audience. They serve special groups of people who usually have some close and some common bond interest including classified, commercials, sale & purchase & others. Many are published by college for their students & staffs of their respective institution. Some of the newspapers are offering Metroplus for the specific city like Kochi.

As earlier stated no newspaper medium is unique and the advertiser has to use the combination of various media to penetrate the market. Newspapers are read hurriedly and have shorter life although they reach all classes of people.

Magazines are the other form of print media, offer the advertiser advantages which in many respects are the opposites of those offered by newspapers. The Newspaper appeals to all people in a particular community; the magazine appeals to particular people in all kinds of communities. The life of a daily newspaper ad is short-rarely more than a day. A magazine ad continues to "live" and produce results-for a week, a month, or longer as the periodical is read and reread not only by those who buy it, but by others who come in contact with it (both inside and out side the home). Some of the best options in Kerala include that of Vanitha, Grahalakshmi, The Week, India Today (Malayalam) and their promotional schemes are given below and the advertisers could make use of such facilities to reach the customers.









Malayala Manorama

Children's Magazines
Like Balarama, Kalikkuduka, etc..

Fortnightly like Vanitha Mahilaratnam etc.

Monthly magazines like
Aarophyamasika etc.

Financial Magazines like Dhanam

Film Magazines like Vellinakshathram, Nana etc …

Promotional Scheme

Contest, lucky dips, story or novel competitions etc..

Free tattoos, stickers, name slips, stationery items, masks, painting competition, and quiz competitions, scholarships.

Public relation programmes involving celebrates, posters, articles on job oriented courses, free gifts and small sachets of shampoo, Vanitha TV film awards, conduct shows like dance fests, cooking contests etc..

Supplementary guides on special issues like health care, treatments for common diseases.

E-magazines, features on top 100 women entrepreneurs etc…
E- Magazines is available at www. Dhanam Magazine. Com.

Posters of film stars etc.

In Kerala, Onam marks the beginning of a new season. The season of joy and celebrations. When the educated, fast paced Malayalees go on a shopping spree for weeks on end. And to catch the market savvy Malayalees in the best of their spirits, there is no better way than Malayala Manorama Onam Annual. Packed with articles, features and literary pieces, this collector's edition has long become an indispensable part of Malayalee's Onam feast. So, put Malayala Manorama Onam Annual in your media plan. And relish the taste of Onam with millions of Keralites.Little wonder then, that the World Bank has titled Kerala as 'The Model for Human Development' in the third world  which puts onerous task for the sales people in insurance at large.

Dr. K.S. Chandrasekar
Reader in Management
University of Kerala
Trivandrum-695 034
Reshmi Augustine
Research Scholar in Management
Sathyabama Deemed University

Source: E-mail May 25, 2006


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