A REPORT ON CONSUMER PREFERENCE IN SELECTING A PRINT MEDIA AND CHALLENGE FOR THE COMPANY IN RETAINING THE CUSTOMERS. AND A STUDY ON THE CREST EDITION OF THE TIMES OF INDIA By V. Manoj 09BSHYD0949 Name of the organization: The Times of India-Chennai A REPORT ON CONSUMER PREFERENCE IN SELECTING A PRINT MEDIA AND CHALLENGE FOR THE COMPANY IN RETAINING THE CUSTOMERS. AND A STUDY ON THE CREST EDITION OF THE TIMES OF INDIA Executive summary: This project is done by Manoj. V (09BSHYD0949) for The Times Of India, Chennai.
The Times of India is the worlds largest circulated English daily in this world and the Times group has been a Kingdom in the print-media industry in the history of India. This project deals with the consumer behavior in selecting a newspaper whether they go for price , quality of the content or the service. It also analyses the preference of the content by classifying people based on a demographic factor , Age. This project also studies about the customers? reaction to competitor offerings and the awareness of the weekend premium edition The Crest.
The research was done having 330 respondents and were interviewed for their responses. Ms Excel was used to perform this qualitative analysis . The 330 respondents chosen for the interview were already the customers of The Times Of India. The areas where the samples were taken Broadway , Parktown and Everest. Out of the research conducted , the results showed that subscribers for a newspaper always look out for its content, followed by the service and the price of the newspaper.
This research also handed us important results on Content preference by various age groups , whether they want to have more of lifestyle and trend news , political and national news or the editorials. Based on the results obtained in the research, various suggestions and recommendations have been given such as improving the service quality and repositioning of the weeklong read , weekend edition Crest of The Times of India. iii
TABLE OF CONTENTS Content Authorization Acknowledgments Executive Summary Introduction About the Industry About the Segment About the company Competitors of The Times Of India Project Details Description of the project Objective of the project Limitations of the project Main Text Work done Learning from the field work Research work Results of survey done Consumer Behavior Classification on demographics Content Preference Findings Page No. ii iii 1 1 1 2 4 6 6 7 8 9 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 17 Consumer Behavior Overall behavior in 3 areas Consumer behavior based on age Content preference by age groups Customers’ reaction to competitor pricing Awareness about Crest Conclusions Recommendations References Attachments Questionnaire Photos of road shows 18 19 19 22 24 25 26 27 28 29 29 31 List of Illustrations Page No.
Fig 1 Fig 2 Fig 3 Fig 4 Fig 5 Fig 6 Fig 7 Fig 8 Fig 9 Fig 10 Fig 11 Fig 12 Fig 13 Fig 14 Customers met in each area % wise Percentage of samples taken from each area Broadway consumer behavior Parktown consumer behavior Everest consumer behavior Overall consumer behavior in 3 areas Behavior1 of age group 18-25 Behavior of age group 26-40 Behavior of age group above 40 Content preference of age group 18-25 Content preference of age group 26-40 Content preference of age group above 40 Reaction of customers to price Awareness about Crest edition 11 12 17 18 18 19 20 20 21 22 23 23 24 25
Introduction: About the Industry: Print media India offers a promising market for the print media industry. The Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12 percent is due to the increase in the rate of literacy. The expected figures for the subsequent years are also high which denotes that there will be more number of readers for newspapers and magazines. By the end of 2010 it is expected that print media will grow to a value of Rs19, 500crore from its present alue of Rs10, 500crore. Apart from this the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for this sector has been restricted to 27 % but now it has been made 100 % which has led to high hopes regarding the improvements. The revenues for India’s print media market are generated from advertising and circulation. India’s growth rate in the print media industry is expected to be higher than the average rate of growth in the AsiaPacific region over the next four years.
About the Segment: Newspaper Newspapers typically publish stories on local and national political events and personalities, crime, business, entertainment, society and sports. Most traditional papers also feature an editorial page containing editorials written by an editor and columns that express the personal opinions of writers. The newspaper is typically funded by paid subscriptions and advertising. Other features include display and classified advertising, comics, and inserts from local merchants.
A wide variety of material has been published in newspapers, including editorial opinions, criticism, persuasion and op-eds; obituaries; entertainment features such as crosswords, sudoku and horoscopes; weather news and forecasts; advice, food and other columns; reviews of movies, plays and restaurants; classified ads; 1|Page display ads, editorial cartoons and comic strips. A few leaders in India in the segment are: Times of India Group, Dainik Jagran, The Hindustan Times and The Hindu. About the company: The Times of India The Times of India is the most read Broadsheet daily newspaper in India.
It has the largest circulation among all the English language dailies circulated in this world. The Times of India is owned by Bennett, Coleman and co ltd. In 2008 , a statistical report released by the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) The Times Of India had circulation of over 3. 43 million which makes it the worlds largest circulated daily. The parent company Bennett, Coleman and co ltd is operating in six verticals till now which are Films, televisions, magazines , newspapers , books and websites and has a turnover in excess of US $ 700 million.
The Times of India , Chennai edition was launched on April 14th 2008 with an initial offering of Rs 299 for 12 months , which took the whole market by surprise , since then TOI has played a major role in the newspaper industry in Chennai. Circulation department in which I am working plays a major role in every newspaper company which ensures the proper delivery and prompt service to the customer. It takes care of the circulation of newspaper, proper service, grievance handling and expansion and retention of customer base. 2|Page Supply chain model of The Times of India: News Team (Reporters) Editor In chief
Printing Press Hierarchy Circulation Dealer in Depot Sales Executives Vendor DRE’s Manager Delivery Boy SRE’s Customer RRE’s The touch points of the company with the customers are called the RRE (Reader Relationship Executive) and one level above them in the hierarchy is called the Senior RRE (SRE) and the next higher position in the level is Depot Relationship executive. These DRE„s will be governed by Sales Executives (SE) who in turn will be reporting to the Manager. 3|Page Competitors of the Times of India- Chennai edition: The Hindu : Market leader – Chennai Times of India has a pan-India presence and has been a ational newspaper since long. Even though TOI has a very good market share in the north , it has not penetrated to its potential in the south of India. The Hindu, has a strong fort as a market leader in the southern India. It has the brand image as good as the TOI. Quality wise its not second best to any other newspaper. Even though there were two other competitors for The Hindu , The Deccan chronicle and the Indian express , Hindu was having a monopoly market share and was ruling the market with the 138 year legacy.
Deccan Chronicle: Cost competitor Deccan chronicle not so old as Hindu in the Chennai market, but with in 5 years of its entry into Chennai captured a commendable amount of market share with the help of its pricing strategy. Previously Deccan was having its presence only in the Andhra Pradesh market. They came into the Chennai circle with a promise to offer 1 rupee newspaper and captured significant amount of subscribers. Cost wise it? s the closest competitor to Times of India as the cover price of the newspapers are comparable. 4|Page
The Indian Express: A seven decade Existence Even though The Indian Express has been there for more than 70 years now in the Chennai market, it does not have a laudable market share. Its not a fierce rival by any means to The Times Of India , even then no competitor should be taken lightly, every competitors move must be watched and taken care of. 5|Page Project Details: Project title: Consumer preference in selecting a print media and challenge for the company in retaining the customers. And a study on The Crest edition of The Times of India. A study to identify the perception of customers and the things upon which company should concentrate to cling on to existing customers and also expand the customer base, to study the customers perception and customers reaction for the TOIs new premium weekend edition “Crest”. Area of the project: Print media industry Description of the project in brief: This project will help to identify what the customer expects when they choose a print media. What is the top priority for the customer when they try to select a particular newspaper? Whether it? s the timely delivery, content coverage, no biasing, pricing etc.
This project also helps to find out the challenges the company might encounter to retain and expand its customer base. This part of the project involves the analysis from company? s point of view regarding the financial viability of continuing with the present offer, organizing the sales and distributional channels. When TOI entered in Chennai on April 14th, 2008 there were three major players in the market The Hindu carrying more than 150 years of legacy, Deccan chronicle cost leader, Indian express that revamped its image to give a hard fight.
TOI entered the market with the help of an irresistible offer of Rs 299 for 12 months took the whole Chennai by surprise and it was an attack on other players in the market. All the three players have lost significant amount of market share to TOI. 6|Page If those players kindle price war in the market to break their jinx, how will the target audience react to the offering will also be studied in this project. In this project I will also study about the customer perception on the weekend premium edition “Crest” of TOI. Objectives of the project: To identify the core factors that drives the consumer behavior in the news paper industry.
To study about the consumers reaction to competitor offerings. To understand problems faced by the company to retain the customer base. To get an over view of factors that company needs to take care of to attract new customers. To understand the customer perception about TOI and the whole newspaper industry. To segregate customers based on demographics to understand what they expect from the news paper. To find out the free space in the segment, which is left untapped or which has lot of opportunities to grow. To study the reaction of customers for TOI? s new introduction Crest edition.
Value Addition to the company: The company will get an idea of what the customers actually expect from them. The company will get an accurate view of things that has to be put in place to retain and expand the customer base. 7|Page The company can get a view of its closest competitors and the Preference of the consumers towards its product in that segment. The company can get a view of the Untapped segment or the segment which has a lots of growth potential. The company can look into how, the innovated product or changes in the product? s perceived attributes will affect its market share.
Limitations of the project: The research project and its inference are specific to certain parts of the Chennai city such as Sowcarpet, broadway, and choolai. Hence its findings cannot be extrapolated. The Questionnaire method of surveying, there could be some minimal level of digression due to lack of proper understanding/biasness. Sample size taken may be small due to time constraint. Research Methodology: Market research : Qualitative 1450 330 Interview, Survey Questionnaire MS Excel No of customers met: No of samples Research methods Survey tool : : : Software to be used : |Page MAIN TEXT : WORK DONE: From 4th February-10th April: On 4th feb we joined the company, and we came to know how the print media industry in India is working. We also came to know about the major part being played by our organization The Times of India. Then we were told about our organization and the verticals in which it is operating. We were designated as Reader Relationship Executives (RRE) and were put up into the work of renewing the subscriptions. The Times of India entered into the Chennai market on April 14 th 2008 with an offer of Rs 299 for 12 months.
This took many newspapers by surprise and with customers the Times Of India subscriptions were selling hot cake. This is the third year into which our company is stepping in and we were given the task of renewing subscriptions which was going to end on 14th April. We were put to work under an SRE (Senior Reader Relationship Executive) whom we have to report on a daily basis. We were given databases of customers who are subscribers to meet them and renew their subscriptions. Company target for 3 months of SIP was to sell 225 (75 subscriptions per month). I completed the task in just 50 days. Now I have taken my total tally to 283.
From 14th April – 10th May As the renewals of the April 14th was over, we concentrated on expanding the existing the customer base by way of adding new subscriptions . For that we 9|Page Approached corporate to put up stalls: This will gave us a very good exposure to approach corporate hierarchy and how to persuade them to give permission to put up a stall. Visited colleges to find students who will subscribe to Times of India. Had put up road shows where the visibility is more to attract new customers. Did Telemarketing by which we covered a large volume of customers and also got feedback from the customers without wasting much of time.
We placed display boards at prominent places in apartments which are newly coming up, this can be said as a method to tap the untapped market. Learning from the field work: On hand experience of sales: Selling The Times of India subscriptions was a very good learning experience explaining how to approach people, how to persuade a customer to buy your product. We also came to know to handle tricky situations. Resolving the complaints: In the service industry where the touch points between the customers and the company is more, Proper attention must be paid to resolve the complaints of customers.
When we go to renew the subscription of customers we are received by the customers as complaint boxes of the company. They tell their problems to us and we pass it on to the immediate higher in the hierarchy and try to get the complaint resolved and then again we call up the customer and ask whether their 10 | P a g e problem has been solved. We aim not at customer satisfaction but on customer delight. Marketing research: We also were taking feedbacks from the customers when we were on the field to sell the subscriptions of The Times of India, Which I will be using it as a data for doing my research.
We also came to know about how to approach customers? , How to get feedback from customers by not giving them a structured Questionnaire? Research Work: In news paper circulation an area is divided into basically depots from where paper gets delivered to the vendor. I worked on 3 Depots and their renewals; they are Broadway, Everest and Park town. I have met totally 1340 customers. From that a total of 330 samples have been taken to be used for research. Fig 1 Customers met in each area % wise Everest 16% Park Town 44% Broadway 40% 11 | P a g e
Percentage of samples taken from each area Park town Broadway Everest 27% 40% 33% Fig 2 The customers who were taken from the park town area as samples are 130 in number, Broadway samples are 110 in number, even though having met large number of customers i was not able to get feedback from the customers because that is mostly a commercial area, people were not able to spend time with us to give the feedback. In the Everest area I was able to find lot of customers who were willing to spend time to give a feedback, that area being primarily a residential area. 2 | P a g e Results of survey done: Conusmer Behavior: These results are for question, which asked the customers as what was the important criterion for them to select a newspaper. Consumer Behavior: Broadway We basically worked in three depot areas Broadway , Parktown and Everest. To understand the consumer behavior or the consumer preference , what the customer actually wants from the newspaper, I took four attributes for Research Quality, Price , Service and Brand value and interviewed respondents from the broadway area. 130 people were taken into the survey.
Results are given below Preference No of people Quality 57 Service 38 Price 20 Brand 15 Consumer Behavior: Parktown Here in this part , we have taken 110 samples from the area which is falling under the parktown depot , which is basically a hindi speaking area. Preference No of people Quality 38 Service 32 Price 24 Brand 16 Here the survey has shown us out of 110 people 38 of them has preferred the content quality , and 32 picked up service as their important factor to decide which newspaper they are going to buy. 13 | P a g e
Consumer Behavior: Everest Predominantly residential area where the sample size was restricted to 90 because of the lack of access to the interviewers. Still this depot yielded interesting results which are shown below. Preference No of people Quality 20 Service 24 Price 38 Brand 8 Classification on the basis of Demographics: Age as a factor Age group 18-25: 55 samples where taken from this age group, which mainly constitutes of the people who are doing their graduation and fresh corporate workers. The results yielded shows that they are really interested to catch up the life style news from the paper.
Preference No of people Quality 23 Service 10 Price 12 Brand 10 Age group 26-40: The major amount of samples were taken from the people of this age group who are in the age group of 26 – 40 , this age group consists of people who have started to settle in their lives and becoming more and more responsible in the society. 14 | P a g e Preference No of people Quality 40 Service 39 Price 40 Brand 22 Age group above 40 : Preference No of people Quality 52 Service 45 Price 32 Brand 7 In this age group over 40 , I have taken 134 samples , which constitute of elder people who have retired and they can be termed as empty nesters.
They have ample amount of time to read and they will be voracious readers. Quality of content: To make a clear note of what the people expect in terms of quality according to the age group, we have taken a research and the results are displayed here below. The parameters taken as lifestyle, sports news , national and politics news , editorials and international news. Age group 18-25: Content Preference Preference No of ppl Lifestyle 22 Sports 18 National Editorials International 4 7 4 This age group people are interested in getting the life style news, sports. They have a need for updating all these trends and follow them. 5 | P a g e Age group 26-40 Preference No of ppl Lifestyle 18 Sports 19 National Editorials International 42 34 28 The age group of people taken into account are the ones who share more social responsibilities in life in this part of age. They are more interested to get update upon the recent happenings at the national and international level. Age group above 40 Preference No of ppl Lifestyle 7 Sports 11 National Editorials International 38 50 28 These age group people are empty nesters who wants too keep updated on national and international happenings and also wanted to discuss things on a forum, blog etc. 6 | P a g e FINDINGS: Consumer behavior: Broadway area Broadway consumer Behavior Quality Service price Brand 12% 15% 44% 29% Fig 3 Broadway is basically a commercial area, where certain import, export establishments, industrial need goods are sold. Those respondents in that area has given a response that they need quality in the newspaper the quality of the content must be good so that they can be placed in industrial establishments for their customers to read and for the benfit of the employees . Consumer Behavior: Parktown area Parktown is a mix of commercial establishments, residential complexes.
We got a mixed response from the crowd who were surveyed here, They to sought for quality of the content, and they gave an equal weightage to Price and service. Brand plays a very minor role in making the customers choose a news paper 17 | P a g e ParkTown consumer Behavior Quality Service price Brand 14% 35% 22% 29% Fig 4 Consumer Behavior : Everest area This everest depot area is a fully residential area where predominantly hindi speaking population live. Here by research we found out that Price is given extreme importance and the respondents have given a split verdict for service and quality. Everest Consumer Behavior
Quality Service price Brand 9% 22% 42% 27% Fig 5 18 | P a g e Overall behavior in all 3 areas: Overall consumer Behavior Quality Service price Brand 12% 35% 25% 28% ` Fig 6 The combination of surveys and responses mixed together gives us a verdict which choses the quality of the content as the sole winner which plays an important role while choosing a newspaper. Consumer Behavior based on demographics: We have did a research based on the geography of the respondents and got some invaluable results, Now we will go for the classification of consumer behavior based on the demographics, we have taken age as a factor here.
Age group 18-25 The respondents in this age group doesn? t really care about the service and the price of the news paper since they are college going students or new entrants into 19 | P a g e the corporate, so what matters to them is the content they like must be on the newspaper . Behavior of Age group 18-25 Quality Service Price Brand 18% 42% 22% 18% Fig 7 Age group 26-40: Behavior of Age group 26-40 Quality Service Price Brand 16% 28% 28% 28% Fig 8 20 | P a g e Its really difficult to satisfy the people in this age group, since they share more responsibilities in the society and they are in search of their status needs.
In our research the respondents have given a split verdict as they have given equal importance to Quality, service and Price. Age group above 40: Behavior of age group above 40 Quality Service Price Brand 5% 22% 39% 34% Fig 9 These group of people are becoming voracious readers since they will have lot of time to discuss happenings and events with their colleagues, neighbors. They have given a split verdict between the Service and the Quality. They are not giving importance to price because they are empty nesters and they have disposable income at hand. 1 | P a g e Content preference by age groups: Since form the earlier research which has been done suggests that Quality of the content plays a major role in determining the selection of a newspaper by the customer, We have gone further to analyse what does quality of content mean to the customers ( In turn we are going to analyze the content preference preferred by various age groups). Age group 18-25: Content Preference of age group 18 – 25 Lifestyle Political and national news International news Sports news editorials 13% 7% 7% 40% 33% Fig 10
These age group people tend to go by the trends and so usually want updates on the current trends , lifestyle themes etc. They usually doesn? t want to get updated on political or editorials which come in the newspapers 22 | P a g e Age group 26-40: Content Preference of age group 26-40 Lifestyle Political and national news International news 13% 20% 24% 30% 13% Sports news editorials Fig 11 These age group people tend to be settled well in the society , they will be seeking news national and political happenings as they discuss it out at meetings with their friends , colleagues.
Age group above 40: Content Preference of age group above 40 Lifestyle Sports news Political and national news 5% 21% 29% 37% 8% editorials International news Fig 12 23 | P a g e Voracious readers of all the groups are the readers of this group, since they have more time at hand for disposal , so they tend to get updated on everything except for lifestyle and sports which are generally irrelevant fro them. Instead they spend more time on the Editorials , political news etc. Customer’s reaction to competitor offering: a simulation This is an maginary scenario to just know how the customers? react to the competitors offerings. All the respondents were put through a question, What newspaper will you shift to if competitor offers a low price as that of Times of India. Totally 330 samples were taken and the verdict was Reaction of customers to price The Hindu Deccan chronicle The Indian Express Stay along 30% 61% 4% 5% Fig 13 More that 60 % of the customers will stay with the Times of India and if Hindu offers the same price as what Times Of India does, the Customer base of TOI will get eroded by 30 %.
Indian express and deccan chronicle will not be able to capture the market of Times of India even if they offer low prices. 24 | P a g e Awareness about the crest edition : Awareness of customers – Crest edition Yes No 38% 62% Fig 14 When asked about the crest edition , a weekend premium edition of Times of India , most of them said yes they have heard of it , but they don? t have a clear picture of what is being offered in that product. 38% of the customers of 330 customers said they don? t even know that crest edition exists. 5 | P a g e Conclusions: From the research work carried on we can give invaluable results. They are as follows Price – a catalyst, that makes people turn their heads towards the product. They don necessarily buy the product only for price. Content quality and Service – The customer looks out for. The content which he expects to be there in a newspaper and proper and timely delivery to the doorstep. From the research made we can conclude Content preference need to be taken care of and should be properly targeted at the Target group.
Youth in the age group (18-25) prefer life style content and the other age groups seek for the coverage of happenings in and out of the country. Company may face challenges in retaining the customers since our result finding shows if there is a price war kindled in the industry there is a possibility of loosing out to others. Also Financial viability is a question ( For how long can we offer the daily newspaper at this same price ) Crest edition awareness level is very low. Its not positioned in the minds of the customers properly and also aggressive marketing is necessary to promote it. . 6 | P a g e Recommendations: The Times of India took market by a surprise with the help of its price, but its time to move on and concentrate on the delivery system which lacks certain aspects , they need to be tweaked and made into perfect shape. Concentrate on what the customer wants , since in response to our survey people have given their verdict to the content quality as their foremost preference , each of the age groups have their own preference so have to give a balance to everything. Aggressive marketing and repositioning of crest edition is absolute necessary of time for Times of India. 7 | P a g e References: „A model of Brand? http://www. dubberly. com/concept-maps/a-model-ofbrand. html Philip Kotler & Kevin Keller, Marketing Management, 2007, twelfth edition, Prentice- Hall Naresh K. Malhotra. R 2005, Marketing Research, Fourth, Indian Edition, Pearson Education. ‘India becomes the focal point for the newspaper industry worldwide’ http://www. allaboutnewspapers. com/april07/story1. htm „Now India’s papers suffer cutbacks? http://www. guardian. co. uk/media/greenslade/2008/dec/23/india-dmgt India’s Media industry to grow 10. 5 % by 2013: PWC http://www. edianewsline. com/news/132/ARTICLE/4864/2009-07-29. html „Newspaper in India? http://www. pressreference. com/Gu-Ku/India. html 28 | P a g e Attachments Questionnaire : 1. Name ____________________________________________ 2. Age (a) Below 18 (b) 18-25 (c) 26-40 (d) 41-60 (e) Above 60 3. Sex : (a) Male (b) Female 4. Are you a founder member of The Times of India? (a)Yes (b) No 5. Are you reading any other English newspaper ? (a)Yes (b) No If No is your answer please proceed to question no : 9 6. If yes, is the answer for the previous question what is the newspaper that you read? _________________________________ 7. The Times of India content of news is good compared to other newspapers. Strongly agree agree Neutral Disagree strongly disagree 8. The Times of India reaches you before any other English daily Strongly agree 29 | P a g e agree Neutral Disagree strongly disagree 9. What makes you to subscribe for The TOI ? (Can choose Multiple options) (a)News Content(Quality) (b)Brand of the product (c)Service (d)Price 10. If some other daily offers news paper for a price less than The TOI will you shift for that paper? (a) Yes (b) No (c) Can’t say 11.
What is the thing (top priority) that you look into the newspaper, When you are subscribing for it? (a) Service (b)Quality of the content (c) Price (d) Brand value 11. Are you aware of the Crest edition of The TOI? (a) Yes (b) No 12. If yes, how often do u buy it? (a) every week (b)Once in a month (c)Twice or thrice a month 30 | P a g e (d)I don’t buy it at all. 13. If you are not buying it , what is the reason for it ? (a) Price (b) Availability (c) Lack of time 31 | P a g e Photographs of the road shows: Opposite Ascendas: In T-nagar : 32 | P a g e Outside Ashok-Leyland: 33 | P a g e