We need to look beyond India and decode Bharat: Pradeep Gupta, Axis My India

Axis My India is a consumer data intelligence consultancy with its clientele including corporations, state governments as well as the Union Government. It offers a repertoire of research-related services, including consumer insights, product validation, market segmentation, on-ground brand activation, personalised media solutions and micro-marketing. In this interview with Adgully, Pradeep Gupta, Chairman & MD, Axis My India, talks about the recent trends in media consumptions/viewing habits and other related aspects.  

“We are talking about 70,000 crore of ADEX, the industry needs a study which is exhaustive. We need to look beyond India and decode Bharat,” says Gupta. Excerpts:

What are the recent trends in media consumptions/ viewing habits across platforms and age groups?

The biggest trend is the rise of multi-screen consumption. Our study shows that 26% surf the Internet while simultaneously watching television. This signifies that not only are people moving between multiple screens on smartphones, tablets, computers and television, but they are also using multiple screens simultaneously to accomplish tasks. A second majority of 29% reveal that online TV streaming services have changed the way one watches television. This also unravels a stiff competition between the two mediums to hold onto consumers’ attention for engaging them with information/ news, entertainment, advertisements, etc. The 18-25 age group majorly reflects this behaviour. At an overall level, we have seen that media consumption has increased for 22% of the families.

In the coming few years, if not months, connected TV will see a significant penetration, and thus, a change in consumption behaviour.

How differently do consumers react to advertisements across TV/ print/ radio/ OTT and what can advertisers learn from it?

We further assessed if advertising influences consumers’ purchase decisions. Closer to half, that is, 41% agreed that ads are stimulants and thereby drive purchases. This reflects the view of 18-35 year olds from the northern part of India. However, a majority of 57% disagree on the same. To gauge advertisement attention in the mind space of consumers, we discovered that a huge 47% notice ads on the Internet. This behaviour is higher in the younger age groups as expected.

So yes, Indians like to consume advertisements; the task in front of advertisers is to make the ads more engaging, like what you do in any form of content. If you have a good story to tell, then consumers will note it.

How is the All Media Measurement Study unique and how will it help advertisers and media houses?

What this industry requires is to see things differently. Why should we rely on a handful of households for TV measurement? What happens to the measurement of other mediums, be it online, OTT, cinema, and print? Why do we have to go with one just methodology of measuring media consumption?

We are talking about 70,000 crore of ADEX, the industry needs a study which is exhaustive. We need to look beyond India and decode the Bharat. Axis My India’s measurement study will easily be India’s largest media consumption habit study. We plan to do reporting across 700+ districts, annual sample size of 1 million and reporting at a monthly level. Our study will cover both mainstream and new-age media and has a methodology based on Axis My India’s renowned election forecasting model, on which Harvard Business School has written a case study. We have an esteemed advisory board comprising industry experts like Vikram Sakhuja and Shashi Sinha, who will guide us through this journey. Ernst & Young are the process advisors for this study.

We are committed to delivering an ecosystem unlike any other and a never-before marketing approach to the industry.

What are the different kinds of technology and tools used in conducting research for different platforms like OTT, TV, radio, print, OOH, and cinema?

The targeted sample of 1 million consumers is divided into four quarters spread across 737 districts within the study period. Data reporting will happen at a monthly and quarterly level depending upon client requirements. The geographical coverage for field surveys is an important characteristic. While selecting the area to be covered, it is ensured that every region of the state and every section of society get equal representation. For all questions, spontaneous responses are captured first. Media habits can be linked to not just Indian demographics, but also to the product consumption habits of these consumers, where we track close to 40 categories.

Data collection is done using our proprietary CAPI (Computer-Aided Personal Interview), CATI (Computer-Aided Telephonic Interview) and CMC (Computer-mediated communication) like email, online panels, and mobile application. All interviews are captured at our data center on a real-time basis for data scrutiny and validation, along with geo-location that are date and time-stamped. The Quality Analysis team verifies real-time recordings of the surveyors based on the hourly interview count. All the data collected from the field are routed through to our internal on-premises servers. We follow exclusive security guidelines for all special projects.

Overall, we have an advanced technology-backed data collection model, with additional capability of advanced analytics and data visualisation.

What is the timeline for conducting these studies and several challenges that one has to overcome?

We have rolled out the study from this quarter and the field work is currently on. Fieldwork is going to be continuous throughout the year and, as mentioned earlier, data reporting will be at a monthly or quarterly level depending on client requirements. Conducting such a massive study across 700+ districts is a challenging job, right from identifying the correct sampling methodology, where we have followed a population proportionate approach, fieldwork, data transfer & storage, validation and analysis of data and the final reporting. We have built a strong team consisting of 1,300 field force, 300 employees in our data research center and additionally a strong data analysis team at our head office.

The strong credentials we have built in the election forecasting space, where we have an accuracy of more than 92%, is a testimony of the fact that we can deliver large-scale studies representing the length and breadth of the country from Ladakh to Andaman & Nicobar. We are confident that despite all the challenges, we will deliver a never-before offering to the industry.

Who are your major clients? Which domain (OTT/ print/ TV/ radio/ cinema) comprises the largest segment?

We are speaking to all major advertisers, agencies and broadcasters and the response has been overwhelming. All key stakeholders agree on the need for a more representative study. And the need is across domains, be it the traditional mainstream media like TV, print, radio or emerging media like OTT, applications be it in the space of entertainment, bill payment, education, social media or other utilities.


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