When 75 percent of the population belongs to the rural market, it is inevitable to build strategies that suit this huge population.
However, unfortunately, all our marketing efforts have been centered on the urban population. There were several reasons behind the disparity.
Firstly, the rural consumers were not very brand conscious earlier. They were more concerned about the costs.
Secondly, they were disconnected to the mainstream. There was a huge gap between the thinking process and lifestyles of both markets. Hence, it was not possible to derive a unified marketing strategy.
Thirdly and most importantly, it was not at all viable to pour huge money in deriving strategies about the rural market only.
The past three decades made a revolutionary change in the marketplace. To cop up with the change, it becomes mandatory to alter branding and promotion strategy.
Using unconventional modes such as melas and jatras
Yes, as the clich goes necessity is the mother of invention; the need for developing cost-effective and impactful strategies to reach to the heart of rural consumers gives birth to a wonderful idea- making use of melas and jatras for brand promotion.
The idea was tried by creative companies like Vritti Imedia and it was a super-duper hit. It has been tried and tested multiple times, and every time it has emerged as an incredibly effective way of attracting the rural mass.
Why is it so much striking?
Melas (fares) and Jatras (religious gatherings) have been an integral part of the rural lifestyle. Every temple and deity is important for the masses, and there are huge gatherings on the specific days that are considered auspicious with respect to the specific religious place.
Since there is a huge crowd, these melas and fares give a great opportunity to reach the consumers. Nowadays, brand activation strategies in the fairs or melas are not purely commercial. They are designed in such a way that they offer direct benefits to the consumers.
Small town melas and jatras are excellent opportunities
When activities are planned in such a way that they offer direct benefit to the consumers, the brand association is everlasting. For example, foot massage service by a pain balm or chilled drinking water by a packaged drinking water company creates an everlasting impact.
By using out-of-the-box ideas, marketing companies achieve incredible reach and brand association. The experiments have been greatly successful so far, and there is still a huge scope for improvisation.