Intro The Art Of The Deal

July 26, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
Arvind Puri of a well-known wildlife television channel is burning the midnight oil to drive home the point that programming changes within his company translate into advertising opportunity to media planners/buyers and advertising decision-makers.

His story would have taken the same turn as it's been taking-calls, cajoling, and compromises-on-offer to the richest advertiser-if it were not for the new age middlemen. Enter media intermediaries like with daily newsletters indicating the various advertising opportunities on TV channels for media buyers to take their pick.

Simply put, online media facilitators
like the Delhi-based and the Mumbai-based Mediaware Infotech Pvt Ltd are making media linkages easy, thanks to emerging software technology and its application online.

Consider the role of a media planner: He has to essentially plan, strategise, and analyse viewership/readership research. In reality, he spends more time meeting media sellers (publications and TV channels). This is where online facilitators make their presence felt., for instance, provides fixed point charts (FPCs) to media planners. So, once the buyer (advertiser) firms up his media plan, he can validate the effectiveness of his plan through the research databases of such websites. vends ac Nielsen's television audience measurement (tam) research data on a pay per use basis. Says Anurag Batra, co-founder of exchange4media, ''Normally to access tam's research database, companies have to pay a huge amount upfront (Rs 3-15 lakh a year) and due to such prohibitive cost of research, a large number of potential data users drop out and instead of buying, plagiarise research.'' This is where his site steps in charging Rs 15,000-Rs 25,000 a month for a basic version of the research data. And this undoubtedly enlarges the base of research users.

The exchange4media portal has gone a step further by making a recent recommendation to the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) to overhaul their manual MRV system of monitoring advertising agency payments. It has suggested the setting up of an online interface between the publications/TV channels and ad agencies which can be managed by a neutral organisation such as ins or even exchange4media. ''An online monitor will always be a check on errant agencies and arm the publisher/TV channel with information to retrieve credit,'' points out Batra.

As for Mediaware Infotech, it started with developing a media operations software for Enterprise-Nexus, Mumbai. Based on user feedback, it simultaneously built and started maintaining a media database. Today, it maintains a database of over 4,500 publications (rates, circulation and other details), 100 TV channels, around 200 radio stations, and over 50,000 outdoor sites.

Currently, Mediaware boasts a client base of over 300 ad agencies, media buyers, TV channels, radio stations, publications and corporate advertisers spread across India, the Middle East, and Nepal.

Agreed, there may be a handful of players as of now, but slowly and steadily they're gaining currency. The media today seems upbeat about such services and looks upon netilitators (web-enabled facilitators) as major information banks. The domain seems ripe for some competition; any takers?