Dainik Bhaskar researches market potential, expands into new state

By Neha Mavani

The launch of the Patna edition brought to the forefront the same rigor and research that has made previous launches from Dainik Bhaskar in Chandigarh, Jaipur, and other key markets a case study on top industry forums, including the Indian Institute of Management and other leading institutes in India.

Thus, after a preliminary check on the city’s demographics and market potential, the company benchmarked the penetration levels of dailies in the city.

The figure they got was 44%, an attractively low level that indicated an opportunity for a new entrant to fill in the large gap and take it to a more normal 60% to 65%. 

With this objective, a team of 650 surveyors fanned out across the city to map the market by households, commercial establishments, and an area-wide socio-economic classification breakdown. 

While the first phase of the survey focused on understanding future readers and their needs, the second phase of the outreach focused on connecting with their expectations and pre-booking them. 

The company focused on local media and outreach programmes, including distributions in prominent locations, cinema advertising, rallies, FM radio, cable advertising, and, of course, inserts in newspapers that served to support this critical phase. The exercise touched 337,578 households and revealed findings that were as surprising as they were interesting:

  • An overwhelming majority of 91% judged their existing newspaper to be biased. 
  • The average cover price of US$24.40 per annum was considered too high.
  • Of those surveyed, 89% wanted more political analysis in their newspaper.
  • Finally, 58% expressed dissatisfaction with the look and feel of their existing newspaper.

All in all, this was a complete vindication that an opportunity existed for the Dainik Bhaskar brands, which promise an editorially driven, high-quality, and customer-sensitive approach. 

Dainik Bhaskar launched its Patna edition with the promise of an unbiased newspaper that would not be dependent on government advertising. Complementing this is a reader-friendly price of US$.04, payable through some attractive subscription schemes.

With the full might of the national news network of the group and multiple quality content tie-ins, as well as a strong local team for the right local news, the group hopes the edition will not only meet the news requirements of the readers, but also garner appreciation for its strong suite of weekend reading options.

The initial results have surprised skeptical onlookers. So far, the group looks set to repeat its own successful record of stunning launches, with the Dainik Bhaskar Patna edition crossing the magic mark of 170,000 subscriptions earlier this year. This makes it the largest daily in the city right from the day of the publication’s launch.

For readers in Patna, the good news did not stop with the addition of a fresh new newspaper option. Competition has followed Dainik Bhaskar’s lead with a downward revision in their own cover prices, benefiting all readers in the city and establishing the stage for a major expansion of readership and reach in the city.

About Neha Mavani