A different market but a completely different socio-cultural entity – ‘Rural India’
Rural market is the latest buzzword not only in India but many other big economies such as China, Indonesia and Vietnam. Marketing gurus look at this highly potential market segment as the market of the future. Yes, in a country like India where economic growth has been consistently good for more than a decade; it is a high time to concentrate on this unique socio-cultural entity.
According to economists and marketing experts, urban economies show an immediate reflection of the global economic change. Rural markets take quite some time to show the impacts. In such scenario, they can be a good buffer for diverting the business. It is needless to say that the complexities of rural markets should be kept in mind while designing marketing strategies.
It is the common mistake that marketers extend their urban marketing programs without focusing on rural market. Quite obviously, they fail to create any impact because of the fundamental differences in the mindset and concepts. Here are some aspects that distinctly differentiate between the rural and urban market.
Rural customers are not influenced externally, but internally
What do we mean by it? It means that they are closely knit with the community, and real-life experience is more convincing for them than a marketing campaign. Therefore, community campaign is an effective way of communicating about product and services. Since people rely more on the word of mouth, it is critically important to have the first impression right.
There is a lack of media channels, but the recall value is incredible
Unlike urban market where consumers have a plethora of media channels, but a feeble recall value, rural markets have very high recall value. Once they get connected to a marketing campaign, it is very difficult to erase the impression. It is the reason; the products and services that reached to the rural market still enjoy terrific recall value. Seasoned marketers have used intelligent micro-marketing campaigns to tap the markets.
Audio – Visual campaigns, Haats, Yatra/Mela Marketing programs, Bus Stand announcement advertising, mobile vans, and marketing campaigns in the fairs or local events are a few successful marketing ideas.
It takes time to establish the brand, but it is long-lasting once established
Typically, you need quite a long time to establish a brand in the rural market. However, the loyalty of the rural market is amazing. Hence, front-loading the investments and waiting long for the results would be the right marketing strategy. The returns will come without fail, but you need to give sufficient time and have to be consistent in approach.