According to the marketing gurus, the time has come when companies need to change their perception and perspective about the rural market. The trends are changing rapidly, and rural consumer becomes more aware now. Apart from the conventional 4 P’s of marketing, today marketing gurus need to incorporate four A’s in the marketing strategy. These A’s are affordability, availability, accessibility, and awareness.

Though affordability is not a constraint with the increase in spending capacity of rural buyers, they are still price cautious. Accessibility was an issue earlier because of the poor infrastructure. The situation has improved in the recent years. Product awareness can be effectively achieved by designing appropriate marketing strategies for rural promotion to grab the attention of rural consumers.

Focused rural marketing strategy Think Local and Act Local is the need of the day

Earlier, the rural market was considered merely a subset of the overall marketing strategy. Now, marketing managers have to exercise their minds for developing relevant product marketing strategies that meet the particular needs of the rural consumers. For example, when voltage fluctuation or low voltage prevails in the rural areas; there is no point in marketing sophisticated electrical equipment that can’t withstand voltage fluctuations. Robust and durable products can only drag the attention of the consumers. Similarly, low unit packs or economy packs are a big success in the rural market because they are perceived as cheap and affordable. Hence, they need to be targeted in accordance with the Local needs, tastes, perceptions, preferences and aspirations . Advertising in rural areas needs to be specific, direct and relevant and only such medium should be used which helps marketer achieve this.

Rural retail stores are the markets of tomorrow

Rural consumers have a great exposure to the lifestyle aspects nowadays. They frequently visit nearby town and cities and experience the lavishness of malls, departmental stores, and multiplexes. When similar outlets are available in their locality, they feel excited about it. The proliferation of posh retail stores is the call of the day. In fact, distribution giants such as ITC and Tata have already started exploring the possibilities by setting Chaupal Sagar and Kisan Kendras respectively. Surely, other giants like HLL and P&G will also follow the footsteps. Well-organized rural marketing events in india would help in blowing the trumpet loudly.

Market research must go on

Yes, the trends are rapidly changing. A company cant afford to stop the market research. Rather, more qualitative and focused study is required to read the pulse of the market proactively. Those who succeed in it will taste the fruits of success. The laggards will lose a lot of ground.

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