A village today in our country is certainly not what it used to be three decades ago. If we read about the living conditions of a typical Indian village in the decade of seventies or even eighties, then it looks as if we are talking about Stone Age.

Today, we see a paradigm shift in the situation where marketing managers find the fortune lying at the bottom of the population strata. With the large share of 68 percent and more, it governs the marketing strategies and budgets of small, medium and big corporate houses.

Having said it, in spite of a tremendous economic growth, there is a distinct difference in the mentality and behavioral patterns of the rural and urban customers.

They are two distinct entities, for sure

The overall economic growth has certainly reduced the number of people in the lower-middle class. Now, most of them have got promoted to the middle or upper-middle classes.

In spite of the elevation, there is still a distinct demarcation in the temperament of the upper-middle or middle-class population in the rural and urban areas. Hence, it is impossible to drive common marketing plans or marketing campaigns.

Here are a few prominent differences:

  • A rural customer may not be highly educated, but he is no inferior to his urban counterpart as far as common sense is concerned. Rather, he is sharper. Hence, marketing managers are supposed to design marketing schemes or strategies quite carefully.

  • A rural customer is always more conscious about the cost-effectiveness as compared to the urban customers. He doesnt want a product to be always cheap always, but wants that he gets the best value for money.

  • There is an inherent inertia for accepting new products. Marketing managers need to work their fingers to bones to establish a new idea or brand. It is not that daunting task in the urban areas as users are more eager to experiment.

  • Brand loyalty is distinctively more in the rural market. Consumers stick to a brand through the appearance, color scheme and graphics of the brand. Therefore, a change in the logo or fonts takes a longer time to establish.

  • Still, the predominant source of income is agriculture. Hence, the seasonal surge is more prominent in the rural market. Typically, schemes and promotional plans should be aligned with the harvesting time.

Marketing gurus are forced to apply their brains in deriving unique and focused strategies for both these segments.

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