Consumer decision process and competitor profile: The Times Of India [pic] Table of Contents 1. Background2 2. Need or Purpose Identification2 3. Customer Analysis3 3. 1 Stimulus Response Model3 3. 1. 1 Consumer Characteristics3 3. 1. 2 Consumer Psychology4 3. 2 The Purchase Decision Process: Five-Stage Model 4 3. 2. 1 Problem Recognition 5 3. 2. 2 Information Search5 3. 2. 3 Evaluation of Alternatives6 3. 2. 4 Purchase Decision7 3. 2. 5 Postpurchase Behavior8 . Identifying Competitor8 5. Competitor Profile10 5. 1 Hindustan Times10 5. 2 The Hindu11 6. Exhibit 1 (Top 10 English Dailies in India)13 7. Exhibit 2 (Survey Questionnaire select results)14 Background The Times of India is a leading English-language broadsheet daily newspaper in India. It is owned and managed by Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. which is owned by the Sahu Jain family. Newspapers in India are measured on two parameters, circulation and leadership.
The newspaper has the widest circulation among all English-language broadsheets in the world. In 2008, the newspaper reported that (with a circulation of over 3. 14 million copies) it was certified by the Audit Bureau of Circulations as the world’s largest selling English broadsheet newspaper and making them as the 8th largest selling newspaper in any language in the World. According to Indian Readership Survey (IRS) 2008-R2, it has gained readership by 13. million ranking them as the Top English Newspaper in India by readership. Regional Supplements: The Times of India comes with several city-specific supplements, such as Delhi Times, Calcutta Times, Bombay Times, Hyderabad Times, Kanpur Times, Lucknow Times, Nagpur Times, Bangalore Times, Pune Times, Ahmedabad Times and Chennai Times, The Times of South Mumbai, The Times of Doon, Meerut Plus, Haridwar Plus, Bhopal Plus. Other regular supplements include: Times Wellness (Saturdays) |Times Wellness focuses on solutions to health issues and guidance to better living | |Education Times (Mondays) |Education Times caters to the ever-expanding student community and learning experience, as a career | | |guidance, counsellor & adviser. | |Times Ascent (Wednesdays) |Editorial of Times Ascent centres on human resource development, and the impact and implications on | | |business and society. |Times Life (Sundays) |Times Life is the supplement which is feature-driven. | |What’s Hot (Fridays) |Focus on latest happenings/events. Special pages created for channels and details of programmes. | | Rouge (Saturdays) |Concentrates on women’s interest areas. | Need or Purpose Identification Times of India as a newspaper, as per our understanding, serves following purposes: 1. Source of generic news i. e. political, social, scientific trivia etc. 2. Source of financial news (3 dedicated pages for business and finance). . Source of entertainment by means of its page 3 content including Bollywood / Hollywood related news, cartoons, horoscope, puzzles like Sudoku etc. 4. Source of promotions/ advertisement. 5. Source of social networking through its classified and matrimonial section 6. Source of opinion formulated by experts through editorials and special reports. 3. Customer Analysis 3. 1 The Stimulus-Response Model [pic] [pic] A consumer’s buying behaviour is influenced by cultural, social, personal and psychological factors.
Some attributes specific to newspaper subscribers are listed below: 3. 1. 1 Consumer Characteristics |Cultural Factors | |Culture |TOI targets the English-literate middle to upper class population, mainly resident in urban locations. | |Subculture |City-specific supplements, Regional-language newspapers. | |Social Class |TOI has no differentiated offerings for different social classes. |Social Factors | |Reference Groups |Age classification: | | |10-20 : Parents, Teachers, Friends | | |20-40 : Colleagues, Superiors | | |40-60 : Personal interests | |Family |TOI caters to the varying needs of the different family members. Political, business, sports, entertainment, | | |education etc. ll together comprise a family package. | |Roles and Status |A person may have various roles in society, and accordingly needs to be updated on both domestic and international | | |current affairs and other more specific interests. TOI helps him to carry out his role as member of the group he | | |belongs to. | |Personal Factors | |Age and stage in the life cycle |TOI as a leading newspaper has equally relevant information and utility across all age groups.
The general sections| | |does not discriminate with life stages, however there are supplements specific to career prospects, education | | |guidance etc, targeting corresponding life stages. | |Occupation and Economic |TOI is a value-for-money product which is not much affected by economic circumstances of the consumer. TOI contains| |circumstances |information across all sections of business and society. |Personality and Self-Concept |TOI as a product demonstrates personality traits like youthfulness, intelligent, trendy, spirited and being | | |up-to-date. | |Lifestyle and Values |TOI has dynamic visuals, represents the diversity of people across the nation and hence demonstrates a national | | |focus. However, it still retains a regional focus in its city based supplements. | 3. 1. 2 Consumer Psychology |Motivation |Maslow’s Theory |TOI fulfils the social, esteem and self-actualization needs of the consumer. | |Herzberg’s Theory |Motivators: Civic and personal interests, relevant and current news content, good availability and service,| | | |value for money | | | |Inhibitors: Inconveniently large size, lengthy articles, special coverage, too many special sections, many | | | |classifieds and adverts, minority discrimination | |Perception |TOI as a product is perceived by the consumers as the No. English-daily in terms of circulation and brand | | |associations. | 3. 2 The Purchase Decision Process: Five-Stage Model Decision Making Unit Role |Entities | |Initiator |Wife/Mother, Husband/Father, Children | |Decider |Wife/Mother, Husband/Father, Children | |Influencer |Friends, Media | |User |Family | Level of Consumer Involvement
The level of consumer involvement for newspaper readers can be estimated to be around the medium-high level. Decision making generally follows the central route, as outlined by the Elaboration Likelihood Model as it is based on a diligent, rational consideration of the quality, quantity and authenticity of the news content. However, TOI can also be said to follow the peripheral route, for by lieu of having a high tabloid-like content, in terms of extensive irrelevant celebrity coverage. Customers in the newspaper segment do not seek variety, but content.
However, market leaders like TOI also plan against this contingency by offering the least shelf prices, many segment-specific supplements, with an excellent distribution network. [pic] [pic] 3. 2. 1 Problem Recognition |Internal Stimuli |External Stimuli | |An individual’s inherent need to be aware of what is happening |When the environmental affairs influence the consumer to purchase the | |around in the political, social, sports or entertainment spheres. product, here TOI, which may be an exceptionally up-to-date colleague or a | | |TOI billboard advertising the various offerings of the newspaper catering to| | |information needs of an individual | 3. 2. 2 Information search Information search can take place in two levels of involvement: heightened information and active information search.
Newspapers come in the former category i. e. the prospective customer merely becomes more receptive to product information; however as subscription to the product in question is easily cancelled, may not go to extents such as looking for information from other sources before arriving at an informed decision. Customers do try out different alternatives, before making a final purchase decision. This is made possible because of the low prices of all alternatives, similar to sachet packaging of fast moving consumer goods. Information Sources |Personal |Friends, colleagues, neighbours, teachers | | |Commercial |Distributors: Three ways to sell TOI | | | |1. CASH SALES: Take paper from any shop, pay in cash | | | |2.
SUBSCRIPTION SALES: Pay money in advance and read | | | |3. LINE SALES: Maximum % of sales comes from this method. Money collection works in reverse order. | | | |Web sites: “TOI” Web site is the world’s No. 1 English newspaper website in terms of page views – | | | |ComScore | | |Public |Mass media, Rankings : No. English daily | | |Experiential |Trial run of daily sample available at low cost | |Search Dynamics |TOI readers are mainly type/price/brand dominant consumers; for they choose the paper on the basis of its all-round | | |coverage, extremely good value for money (extra supplements) and extensive distribution centres. |
Example of successive sets involved in a potential Consumer Decision Making Process: [pic] 3. 2. 3 Evaluation of Alternatives Beliefs and Attitudes The purchase decision is also highly influenced by the extent to which the beliefs and the stand that the newspaper takes on various issues: political, social and religious. Often this can be the one deciding factor on which the final contender in the choice set is eliminated. The Times of India is perceived to be pro-government, pro-Congress by the readers. Expectancy-Value Model Attribute |Cut-offs |Newspaper | | | |The Times of |The Hindustan |The Hindu |The Economic | | | |India |Times | |Times | 3. 2. 4 Purchase Decision Non compensatory models of consumer choice Conjunctive heuristic: We set a minimum acceptable cut-off level of 2. for each attribute. The first newspaper which meets all cut-offs is selected. From the data collected in our survey, the winner is TOI. Lexicographic heuristic: On the basis of each attribute, the most popular brand has been highlighted in the above table. Hence, in the basis of any heuristic, the consumer would choose the brand which rates highest on that. Elimination-by-aspects heuristic: We can rate the various attributes as per their importance and calculate the popularity level of each newspaper on the basis of scores obtained on these times their importance, normalized over all.
Since we do not have an importance level for each attribute, we level them equally across all. We then get the corresponding values in the last row. TOI emerges as by far the best brand when all factors are taken into equal consideration. Intervening factors Attitudes of others: A certain section of the readership perceives the news content in TOI to be pro-government and not very content intensive. There is a perception that TOI is a light ‘Masala paper’ not meant for serious news, be it political or business. 3. 2. 5 Post-Purchase Behaviour
Post Purchase Satisfaction: The user who is favourably inclined towards TOI and is a regular user is satisfied with the news content and the diversity of content coverage. A user who is looking for in detail section wise news like business segment may feel dissatisfied with the lack of depth in content. Post Purchase Actions: Regular consumers of TOI are repeat users and newspaper as a product is meant for daily usage. Users looking for diverse and comprehensive, yet light weight content are not only continuing users but also recommend TOI to friends, family and interest group members.
Post Purchase Use and Disposal: Newspaper as a product is highly consumable and is usually useless after a day – meant for dump sale for recycling. The supplements are usually stored for reference if relevant to the consumer. TOI articles in lifestyle, education and career sections are often clipped away by users for future reference and usage. Identifying Competitors We try to identify the competitors of Times of India in each of the four competitor categories and then do analysis of specific competitors which pose the highest threat to TOI’s market share. . Industry: Considering the entire print media industry, the competition arises from all national dailies like The Hindu, Hindustan Times, Indian Express to name a few. Other competitors also include newspapers focused on regional news and business news. Magazines like India Today, frontline can also be considered as competitors as they provide expert opinions through a thorough analysis of events in the recent past. 2. Form: As mentioned in the previous section, the primary goal of newspapers is to provide news and information.
Under form based competition, TV news channels provide a direct competition to the function of providing news by broadcasting news as and when it happens. Websites like www. ibnlive. com; googlenews etc also provide a similar service and hence can be considered as form based competitors. Another source of competition can be from news broadcasted through radio channels i. e. through FM or AIR. 3. Generic: This form defines includes any good or service that can compete with Times of India for the same consumer resources. As Times of India costs Rs 3/- per copy, competitors can be a cup of tea (cutting at a local tea stall), mint, candies, etc.
For further analysis we will focus on Industry based competition as that segment provides the maximum threat to Times of India. Threat from Form based competition has not been substantial, as per the report by World Association of Newspapers; newspaper sale in India grew by over 12. 3% in the year 2006-2007 and by over 54% in the period 2002-2007[i]. This is roughly the same time when there was a widespread increase in news channels being launched, reach of internet had drastically increased, still number of copies sold for dailies continued to rise.
Assuming this is constant across the whole print media industry, we assume that news paper sales have not been affected by form based competition posed by TV channels and Internet based news. In terms of source of advertising and promotion, again the television and internet have grown in their respective segments but have not hindered the growth of advertising through print media, as per the report published by World Association of Newspapers, News paper advertising revenues in India: Increase of 23% over last year and 83% over last 5 years (worldwide: 3. 77% increase last year)[ii]
Within the Industry, we will not consider magazines as a competitive threat to Times of India as they are only a source for expert opinion and analysis and may be some promotion and advertisement, but they do not compete with Times of India on a day to day basis of providing a wide coverage of news. They can be considered as supplements rather than competitors. Competition in terms of regional dailies and business focused newspapers is again not enormous. Sale of regional papers is generally restricted to non English speaking population, which in any way are not subscribers of Times of India.
There might be a small percentage of English speaking subscribers who chose a regional daily ahead of national English daily, but that percentage remains very small and hence is not a threat. Business focused newspapers are targeted for specific section of readers and usually provide focused information about the business and the financial world. Even though off late business dailies like Financial times, Economic times etc have started including a couple of pages of general news but, we believe that is not sufficient and subscribers would purchase a national daily to get the world and national news of political and social nature.
So finally we are left with the national dailies The Hindustan Times and The Hindu as major English national dailies which provide direct competition to Times of India. The Hindu has always been considered as a more serious newspaper with lesser pictures and more content and hence stands a league apart, but owing to consumer preference for daily national and international news competes with Times of India for market share. As per reports The Hindu ranks 4th in the list of top 30 Indian dailies by circulation while Times of India ranks as the 1st in the same survey[iii].
Hindustan Times and Times of India project a similar image, having a lot of pictorial and promotional content, both news papers have a relatively easy to understand language and tone of articles is more or less reinforcing rather than challenging the readers thought process. In terms of competing for market share Hindustan Times can be considered as a market challenger, though Times of India has a clear advantage owing to its long history. 5. Competitor Profile News paper industry is being haunted with another discernible trend i. . the emergence of the winner take-all situation. In almost all markets, invariably the No. 1 newspaper and No. 2 in some cases take away the cream of advertising and the smaller players are left fighting for the crumbs. In many markets, the competition is so fierce and the numbers game has become so critically important to attract advertising that it has virtually become a dog-eat-dog business. So here major chunk lies between market leader and market Challenger with little scope for market follower.
TOI which has enjoyed the number one ranking*(Exhibit 1) in terms of number of readers and number of copies circulated for long period of time is seriously challenged by other newspapers in its category of strategy. We will be now discussing the competitors profile by outlining their strategy in terms of strength and the improvement actions taken by them. This will give a brief idea that how they are trying to bridge the gap between number 1 and 2 rank. 5. 1 Hindustan Times Hindustan Times is the fastest growing English National daily with an increase of 2. 17,000 in readership over IRS (round one) 2008 for all editions.
It is the No. 1 English newspaper in the Delhi and national capital region (NCR), with a readership of 2. 2 million. |Strengths |Weakness | |The language is simple and yet expressive. |Serious, not happening, lack the in-depth coverage | |The Edit Page layout of HT is of high quality with lots of good articles |It loses out on national level news. It has made it mark in some regions | |and editorials to look forward to. like NCR, so news content is heavily loaded for their region. | |HT is a paper that combines the sophistication of design with topicality |Page 3 missing which is a selling point for TOI. | |of content. Balanced, properly structured |Weak supplements. TOI score in this front with education times, Ascent | |Good for some specific region like NCR. |etc. | |New HT is handy and easy to carry. |Availability concerns. Disruption from distributor end. | Opportunities and Actions Our survey reveals that brand recall for TOI is also due to various initiatives taken by them like: Lead India – Teach India – Clean India In order to challenge this, Hindustan Times has launched a new multimedia campaign, to capture the mind space of the youth and highlight the change. Hindustan Times has conceptualized an ‘instrument of change’ intended to make people ‘pause, think and change’. The communication objective was to make news relevant to the youth and deliver it in a manner that they could easily identify with. The message is conveyed through a series of short commercials that would be part of a long-running campaign.
The core idea behind the campaign was to make the new generation connect with a newspaper by portraying real time situations which make people pause, sit up and think afresh. For ex: A commercial depicts mockery over Swine Flu panic among citizens. It aims to highlight that now is the time and reflect whether you go with crowd or bring a change yourself. Similarly other important issues like attitude towards gay relations, insensitive journalism or the cynicism towards the country’s development efforts is brought forward to seriously challenge the brand TOI. 5. 2 The Hindu
The Hindu takes the general seriousness to lengths of severity. The Hindu which is published in Chennai is the only newspaper which in spite of being published only in a provincial capital is regularly and attentively read in Delhi. It is read not only as a distant and authoritative voice on national affairs but as an expression of the most liberal – and least provincial – southern attitudes. Its Delhi Bureau gives it outstanding political and economic dispatches and it carries regular and frequent reports from all state capitals, so giving more news from states, other than its own, than most newspapers in India.
It has provided its country a model of journalistic excellence. It has also fought for a greater measure of humanity for India and its people and has not confined itself to a narrow chauvinism. |Strengths |Weakness | |It is described as a national voice with a southern accent. |Serious, not happening. | |The Hindu can claim to be the most respected paper in India |It loses out on national level news.
Heavily loaded with south region | |Conservative in both tone and appearance, it has wide appeal to the |content. | |English-speaking segment of the population and wide readership among |Page 3 missing. | |government officials and business leaders |Looses out on youth and happening generation front. | |The Hindu has provided its readers a broad and balanced news coverage, |Boring supplements especially Sunday magazines. | |enterprising reporting and a sober and thoughtful comment Started online website but lacked the appeal. | |Excellent language. Usually said to be read by elites. |Usually attached with freedom movement which sometimes mark it as paper | |The Hindu’s independent editorial stand and its reliable and balanced |for old generation. | |presentation of news have won for it the serious attention and regard of | | |the discriminating sections of the people over the years. | |
Opportunities and Actions As competition becomes increasingly fierce and lifestyles and habits of people change profoundly, the challenge for an established newspaper like The Hindu is to be interesting and compelling not only to retain its present readership base but more importantly to attract the attention of the next generation, which is variously described as Generation-X, the MTV generation and so on. In order to do so it transformed the outlook of newspaper by introducing colour version of newspaper with more pictures and graphics.
It was the first newspaper which started its e-paper version, a concept where other newspaper fared better than Hindu. Although it don’t rely much on TV advertisement but it has started catching up with others. Hindu ads are not flashy unlike TOI and Hindustan Times but conveys the simplicity of values highlighted by paper itself. Threats • In content nobody can beat Hindu but tech savvy youth these days relies on blogs and other websites to get the deep coverage about the news. • Other newspaper like Telegraph is catching up fast in terms of content which might jeopardise the position enjoyed by Hindu. . Exhibit 1: Top 10 English Dailies in India |Rank |Newspaper |IRS 2007 ROUND 2 (All figures are in lakhs) |IRS 2008 ROUND 2 (All figures are in lakhs) | |1 |The Times of India |134. 78 |133. 32 | |2 |Hindustan Times |60. 92 |63. 47 | |3 |The Hindu |52. 53 |52. 6 | |4 |The Telegraph |30. 40 |29. 70 | |5 |Deccan Chronicle |29. 87 |28. 23 | |6 |The Economic Times |19. 86 |20. 06 | |7 |The New Indian Express |18. 5 |18. 25 | |8 |Mumbai Mirror |16. 27 |16. 22 | |9 |Mid-Day |17. 72 |16. 17 | |10 |Daily News & Analysis |12. 18 |13. 37 | . Exhibit 2: Survey Questionnaire Select Results Occupation: [pic] Age (in Years): [pic] Currently which newspapers do you read? [pic] What is your perception about TOI? [pic] How often do you read TOI? [pic] What you like and dislike in TOI? Item |Wide Coverage |Celebrity Pictures |Editorial |Sports News |Financial News |Promotional Content |Regional News |Total | |Like |22. 5% 47 |15. 3% 32 |13. 9% 29 |19. 1% 40 |9. 6% 20 |9. 6% 20 |10. 0% 21 |209 | |Dislike |3. 2% 5 |14. 3% 22 |16. 2% 25 |8. 4% 13 |16. 2% 25 |24. 7% 38 |16. 9% 26 |154 | |
Rate on a scale of 1 to 5 stars (1 being least important and 5 being most) Importance of factor in decision. How do you rate TOI on these? Item |1 |2 |3 |4 |5 |Total Stars |Avg Rating | |Looks out for my civic and personal interests |5. 6% 3 |20. 4% 11 |35. 2% 19 |33. 3% 18 |5. 6% 3 |54 |3. 1 | |Reading this newspaper adds to my enjoyment of other things I do. |5. 6% 3 |20. 4% 11 |25. 9% 14 |33. 3% 18 |14. 8% 8 |54 |3. 3 | |I feel like the day is incomplete if I miss reading this paper. |25. 0% 13 |17. 3% 9 |30. 8% 16 |9. 6% 5 |17. 3% 9 |52 |2. 8 | |I count on this newspaper to investigate wrongdoing. 28. 3% 15 |20. 8% 11 |26. 4% 14 |20. 8% 11 |3. 8% 2 |53 |2. 5 | |It gives me ideas about how to help in the community. |22. 2% 12 |27. 8% 15 |16. 7% 9 |24. 1% 13 |9. 3% 5 |54 |2. 7 | |I look at the newspaper as educational. I gain something. |16. 7% 9 |20. 4% 11 |37. 0% 20 |18. 5% 10 |7. 4% 4 |54 |2. 8 | |Even if I disagree with things in this newspaper, I feel like I have learned something valuable. |14. 8% 8 |22. 2% 12 |38. 9% 21 |16. 7% 9 |7. 4% 4 |54 |2. 8 | |This newspaper has columns that give good advice. |20. 4% 11 |16. 7% 9 |29. 6% 16 |24. 1% 13 |9. 3% 5 |54 |2. | |It is a way to learn about new products, people’s lives and things to or places to go. |7. 5% 4 |11. 3% 6 |30. 2% 16 |37. 7% 20 |13. 2% 7 |53 |3. 4 | |I bring up things I’ve read in this newspaper in conversations with many other people. |5. 7% 3 |15. 1% 8 |34. 0% 18 |28. 3% 15 |17. 0% 9 |53 |3. 4 | |I like to talk about the national news and current events I read about in it. |5. 7% 3 |20. 8% 11 |32. 1% 17 |32. 1% 17 |9. 4% 5 |53 |3. 2 | |I like to give advice and tips to people I know based on things I’ve read in this newspaper. |18. 9% 10 |17. 0% 9 |35. 8% 19 |17. 0% 9 |11. 3% |53 |2. 8 | |Even if this newspaper cost twice as much as it does now, I would still read it. |43. 4% 23 |13. 2% 7 |24. 5% 13 |15. 1% 8 |3. 8% 2 |53 |2. 2 | |I wish this newspaper had fewer pages. |37. 0% 20 |27. 8% 15 |16. 7% 9 |7. 4% 4 |11. 1% 6 |54 |2. 3 | |It has too many special sections. |20. 4% 11 |27. 8% 15 |13. 0% 7 |22. 2% 12 |16. 7% 9 |54 |2. 9 | |It tries to cover too much and too many of the articles are too long. |28. 3% 15 |28. 3% 15 |24. 5% 13 |15. 1% 8 |3. 8% 2 |53 |2. 4 | |I worry that other people reading this paper will get the wrong impression of minority groups. 32. 1% 17 |22. 6% 12 |22. 6% 12 |15. 1% 8 |7. 5% 4 |53 |2. 4 | |This newspaper perpetuates racial or ethnic stereotypes. |41. 8% 23 |14. 5% 8 |27. 3% 15 |3. 6% 2 |12. 7% 7 |55 |2. 3 | | ———————– [i] http://www. wan-press. org/article14362. html [ii] http://www. wan-press. org/article14362. html [iii] http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/List_of_newspapers_in_India_by_circulation ———————– Market Leader Market Challenger Market Followers Indian Express / Deccan Chronicle Hindustan Times Times of India