Rural Marketing: demands different approach for both rural and urban consumer
Rural market in India is a much bigger market. Indian Rural economy emerging as biggest contributor to economic growth of India, it is estimated that it will be around 45% of GDP by 2020. Yet, it is an unexplored (or relatively less explored) market.
It is needless to say that such a big population cant be taken for granted. Since the demands of the rural and urban population are different, it is critically important to design separate marketing strategies for both.
The consuming pattern in rural population is changing and that too with an enormous speed. Increasing income and readiness of spending for lifestyle products open new and exciting business avenues for entrepreneurs in rural markets.
With the rapid economic growth and infrastructural development, rural areas are rapidly changing into a new, hybrid identity known as rurban (the urbanized rural areas). They are progressive villages that carry the good characteristics of both rural and urban areas.
What are the significant demand differences?
(i) The population of small towns or villages continues to stick to the traditional concepts. They believe in the continuity of occupation and dependency on land ownership restricts the movement. The same gets reflected in what they expect from products or services. Longevity and economy of use are the two fundamental requirements. Utility always prevails over luxury.
(ii) Rural market has a distinctive local influence. It means that something applicable for a group of people in one area is not relevant in the other area. Demands about product design, service or packaging are heavily influenced by local preference. Hence, Corporates are supposed to put a lot of efforts while designing campaigns.
(iii) Price is still a decisive factor in spite of economic growth and improvement in the financial status. Rural consumers want the best value for money. They dont want to spend big money at once. Instead, they prefer paying smaller amounts repetitively. It is quite obvious because of the dependency on harvesting. Since there are earning months and spending months distinctively marked, expenditure need to be managed better.
As the country progresses, the rural market becomes further pivotal. Hence, Marketers need to spend more time in analysis and design of campaigns. It is the high time to come out of preconceived notions and look at it as a separate entity.