Think Local, Act Local to reach the Rural masses
India took a giant leap in the decade of 90s when liberalization and free economic policies opened a huge market to Indian and multinational companies. Undoubtedly, the focus was predominantly on the urban market in the first few years. However, rules of the game changed in the later years.
With the economic surge, there is a potential increase in the paying capacity of urban and rural people. They are ready to pay for good quality product and services which add value. Lifestyle products show a remarkable increase in the rural segment because of enhanced awareness. Penetration of digitalmedia (Internet and Mobile) is changing the living standard rapidly. The spending power of the rural public is increasing and so is their thought process.
In such scenario, marketing gurus need to design innovative and effective ways of reaching the rural India, which emerges as a huge marketplace. It is for sure that future marketing strategies should be designed based on the needs of the rural segment.
With vast diversity in rural markets, various innovative methods need to be used to capture the rural audience. Companies need to change their strategies to be successful in the rural areas keeping in mind the Local nuances linked to cultural, economical, technological, social and political factors.
Localizeefforts to appeal to rural masses
Lifestyle, perceptions, and emotional triggers are totally different if we look at the urban and the rural population in India. Hence, the marketing strategy also should be different. Studies indicate that localized marketing campaigns and promotions attract more eyeballs than the global and generic ones. Companies should focus on building a strong foundation to bring consumer loyalty and a mindset to promote products at district and taluka levels. With so much diversity in rural landscape, a common state level communication needs to be altered and customised at the district level and taluka level to achieve a higher penetration and effectiveness.
For brand managers the question is how do we localise? This could be done by thinking local and acting local. The secret of success in rural market is to implement the 3 Ms of marketing i.e. Market, Message and Medium correctly.
Vritti i media has quite effectively utilized it by implementing an innovative idea of “Audiowala bus station – A Computerized Public address system at ST Bus stations. Currently this medium is present across 5 states Maharashtra, Karnataka, Punjab, Rajasthan and Goa with a reach of 250 Million people across 250 locations. This mass medium is being used by 100+ corporate brands to reach small towns and rural India.
Audio Wala Bus station costs less than one paise to reach a single prospective consumer. Other major USP’s of the medium include 100% guaranteed reach of the message among the masses, Localized audio communication and dynamically changing content.
With ever expanding infrastructure, increasing purchasing power, business friendly government regulations and policies along with initiatives like Make in India and consumer’s behavioural changes, the future looks very promising for those who understand the dynamics of rural markets and exploit them to their best advantage.