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The Mall as a Media Vehicle the Missed Opportunity
Jermina Menon
Jermina Menon
Head, Mall Marketing, Mantri Developers
Jermina is curremtly the head of mall marketing at Mantri Devel... more>>
I started my career in advertising-spent 14 long and happy years there. Then the marketing do-a-bit-more bug hit me and I decided to cross over to the other side- the client side! All of it has been in retail. The new sunrise industry, the industry where a lot is going to happen (quicker if FDI is allowed)

My last 3 years have been in the mall marketing industry. Surprising as it may sound, mall do need marketing. And especially in the India scenario where malls are at a nascent stage and even then there are more failures than successes!

One of my KRAs is to get advertising revenue to the mall through activations at the atrium and selling advertising space. And it is in this domain that I need to pick a bone with my erstwhile colleagues and challenge conventional thinking and approach. Through this article, in which I would like to share an example with numbers for veracity, I would like propose a change of view for them to consider.

One of the biggest struggles of most marketers has always been how do you reach the shopper at the place of purchase and do so with least spillage or wastage of advertising monies. My example is say for a shampoo brand in India. Like most shampoos, it targets and shows women models. By default it also means the woman is well groomed and hence looks and appearance would be important to her. Hence, the target profile in media terms is woman, 25-35years of age, SEC A & B, living in a metro. Psychographically a woman who places importance on her looks and hence chooses brands which deliver on the same. Now when the shampoo advertiser makes a plan to target her, lets say, in a metro city like Bangalore (my home city so easy to reference to and not big like Mumbai /Delhi where more layers get added- but this example works well there too!) he somehow makes a magazine + bill board plan for the brand. Outdoor to get a good city wide reach and magazines as it matches the consumer on the psychographic parameters He does not include mall advertising in his media mix as he feels malls are too local i.e. if I advertise in a mall at Koramangala, I only reach women from Koramangala & Indira Nagar but miss out the ones in Mallewaram and Banashankari!

Now I am just going to make a small case for diverting some of these spends to the mall (sometimes mall ad panels are part of the outdoor plan-to categorise mall ad panels as billboards is also incorrect in my view, but thats the title for another long article).

The first obvious reason to choose a mall would be to tap her when she is actually out shopping (and thereby ensuring she gets stuffto look and feel better)!

Two, some of the good malls in most major cities get over a million (yes, 10lakh+) visitors a month! Shopping being a women-centric task, lets say at least 55% of these shoppers are women. Thats 550,000 women. Next, malls are still seen as expensive places to shop at-primarily as most have branded retail (no fashion streets and commercial street stuff here-tho there are brands are low prices too), lets again assume that at least 50% of the shoppers are SEC A shoppers. Which means you 275,000 affluent, fashion conscious women visiting the mall? Even if you say they visit at least twice a month, you still have approximately 140,000 unique SEC A, fashion conscious women coming to the mall.

I would honestly like to understand which media gives this kind of quality SEC audience as a large chunk of its total media consumers? Next, I still have to come across a womens fashion magazine that sells more than 35,000 copies in a city like Bangalore (Note: I am not against the women fashion mags, our mall does advertise in some of them).

All that I request advertisers is to look at the medium for what it brings to the table than just seeing it as a billboard or place to spend 2% of the total media plan. Take advantage of what it really is -the place to target the affluent shopper. My example spoke to the female gender, but do the math with male gender too and it still makes a compelling case.

Now tell me dear advertisers, arent you missing an opportunity to target sharp?

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