In the past three decades, India has emerged as one of the strongest economies with incredibly fast growth rates, where the rural areas showed a tremendous development. With advanced methods of farming, better water management, and intelligent use of cash crops; agriculture income increased manifold.
Information technology revolutionized brand awareness amongst the rural population. They are well-acquainted with the lifestyle products today. With the close encounter of cable TV and DTH, there is a big impact on the rural consumer mindset nowadays. Marketers have to derive separate and focused marketing strategies to attract rural consumers. While FMCG sector understood the importance of it, others are also changing their stand rapidly.
Understanding rural customers is difficult
Marketing experts say that the biggest challenge faced by marketers is to understand the mindset of rural customers and exposing the right products to them at the right time. Right communication and reaching to the last mile are two main issue. As companies need to invest huge money in managing the vast heterogeneity of the rural market, there is immense pressure on managing top and bottom lines.
It is very obvious that companies that didnt pay sufficient effort in understanding the rural market faced crushed out terribly. On the contrary, companies that understood the aspirations, requirements, and interests of the rural consumer did pretty well. ITC and Unilever are to name a few.
Communication strategy, the pivotal aspect of success
It is said that advertising is the business booster. However, rural markets were considered a sellers market for ages, where there was no need of informing consumers about the benefits or unique selling propositions. When they know the distinct benefits of buying a product or service from their perspective, they appreciate the product.
The scenario has totally changed today. Due to the influence of the electronic media and awareness of consumer rights; companies need to derive a specialized strategy for the rural markets. It is a paradigm shift indeed where taking care of the aspirations and emotions of rural consumers become an inevitable business strategy. Communication strategy for rural consumers has to be totally different. Entrepreneurs know it well today.
Since the mindset is different, corporates have to focus on rural consumers through different rural advertising methods. They should be considered differently. Those who realize it early, reap the benefits.

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