Educating consumers is key piece of our marketing strategy for MRP regime: ZEEL CMO

MUMBAI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) new pricing regime has reset the TV broadcasting industry. Unlike the previous regime, the broadcasters will have to up their marketing game in the new regime in order to find favour with the consumers.

Among the first ones to declare the MRP and bouquet rates, media conglomerate ZEEL chalked out a meticulous marketing plan to promote its channel packs. The packages were created keeping the diversity of consumers in mind. Like ZEEL, most broadcasters have created language specific bouquet packs to address different segments and markets.

ZEEL chief marketing officer (CMO) Prathyusha Agarwal noted that consumer education is the centrepiece of the company’s campaign for the new regime. She also stated that the TV consumers have a very high level of awareness about the new regime.

“Through our consumer interaction and understanding, we have identified three levels of awareness amongst audience: MRP regime change level awareness, wherein the consumers are aware of the change in the ecosystem. The second level was the bouquet and pack level awareness where the consumer understands the need of making the choice between broadcaster packs, operator packs, a-la-carte and bouquet packs. The final and most critical level of awareness is to take action and inform the cable operator about your choices,” Agarwal noted.

The third point also played a key part in conceptualising the #WhereIsMyChannel campaign targeted at English speaking audience. Through the campaign, ZEEL promoted its English cluster portfolio comprising of brands like Zee Café, &flix and &PrivéHD.

According to Agarwal, the underlying insight for the campaign was that while the English audience is highly involved in their content choices, they were not used to making the purchase decision. “Typically, the more affluent households would buy subscription annually, while some are uninvolved in the purchase. Through our communication, we needed a strong trigger to nudge our consumers into action, to call the cable operator and ask for their preference as ‘The Cable Operator May Not Really Know You’,” she stated.

Elaborating more about the campaign, Agarwal stated that #WhereIsMyChannel is a three-month-long campaign which was approached in three phases. The first phase being creative awareness through targeted video views. The second phase will be performance driven with retargeted banners, clickable links where consumers can find more information and other video assets showcasing upcoming content on ZEEL-owned channels. The third and final phase will be to drive purchase.

Agarwal also stated that ZEEL’s primary aim as a network is to help consumers navigate through the complex path to purchase under the new regime. “Our efforts are towards bringing a behaviour change through our communication, going beyond just selling the channels which are anyway going to happen with the change in buying patterns,” she added.

Through its consumer engagement, the company learnt that value and price point, family needs and the regularity of watching certain channels stood out as the top drivers for the purchase decision. “Consumers are used to buying brands at a certain price and this defines the value perception for the brand or service. However, in the television world, the price has not been a lever up until now. With the new tariff order, price is going to be closely linked to relevance of content and brand identity,” she said.

ZEEL has curated various packs to help consumers choose on the basis their household entertainment need. The network has created three types of packs to cater to different viewer needs. The Prime packs are based on core language consumption across regional and English, Family Packs offer the top preference genres for every household’s daily consumption and All-in-One Packs that offer all genres at a great value.

To tackle key challenges in the new regime, ZEEL identified three crucial stages in its communication strategy. These included building awareness of the new regime, educating consumers about specific packs and offerings and thirdly, facilitate behaviour change that lends itself to choice making.

“For the first step, we took an approach that is unique to ZEE and in line with the philosophy of ‘Extraordinary Together’ where we partnered with other broadcaster networks like Star, Sony and Viacom 18 to bring our most popular lead protagonists together in a consumer awareness campaign,” Agarwal said.

She further added, “To simplify the complex structural change coming their way, we build on the topicality of elections through ‘Channels Ka Chunaav’. We also lead our popular protagonists to educate consumers in buying bouquet packs as they delivered greater value and were a smarter choice to buying channels on an a la carte basis.”

Agarwal also pointed out that the ‘Pay Waali Chhatri’ campaign was launched to educate the Free-To-Air (FTA) viewers about the movement of Zee Anmol and Zee Anmol Cinema from FTA to pay channels and outlining how to subscribe to the channels.

Apart from educating and informing consumers about the changes in the new regime, ZEEL also engaged with the cable operator fraternity through workshops. “As a part of facilitating the last-leg behaviour change, our distribution teams are actively engaging with service providers and partners in running familiarisation workshops for the MSOs and LCOs, collaborating to further educate the end consumers.”

Agarwal also noted that ZEEL was the first broadcaster to undertake home visits using its popular lead protagonists. The idea behind the homes visits by celebs was to sit with select families from across HSM and understand their problems.

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