The Indian Rural Market is a very unique market with tremendous potential, especially when it comes to driving capital and manufacturing substantially reliable products. With around 6 Lakh Forty Thousand villages, there is an unfathomable market with untapped potential that needs to be embraced and empowered by innovators and game-changers in the domain.
Having said that, a question that may arise here is “What are the right practices when it comes to Rural Marketing?”
As you might be aware of, in this field of niche marketing, not every practice is responsible for driving results. Likewise, not every marketer is a subject matter expert. And not every information regarding the same comes from a reliable source.
Thus, one must understand that the need of the hour to Educate, Innovate & Empower the Rural Sector in India. This is where Rural Marketing.in steps in.
We act as game changers and we seek to empower the Rural Sector through cutting-edge technology and value-adding human abilities.
Further ahead in this blog, we will talk about 9 Things That A Rural Marketer Should Be Mindful of for better results.
The concept of Rural Marketing is ideally a pragmatic process that funnels the following three processes;
Development | Promotion | Distribution
Rural Marketing, thus involves flawless techniques of adding value to the need of the hour, which is –
Following are 9 points that every Rural Marketer should avoid, curated by a panel of experts at Rural Marketing.In
People in urban areas buy stories, while in rural areas, they buy the actual facts. For instance, there is a new brand which is advertising a new product, let’s say, Product ‘X’ which promises better health after its usage. Now, an urban consumer will simply make the purchase without thinking twice, however, a rural consumer would, on the contrary, spend more time understanding the product first. He/she will try to verify each and every fact that the seller tried promoting in the advertisement. And ultimately, if he/she is satisfied with the product, he will purchase it. Rural consumers care about things such as price, quality, popularity, and ease of use when it comes to purchasing a product or taking a service. Thus it is advised to feed the end customers something valuable, something that resonates better with them, rather than offering them something that creates a sense of suspicion in their minds.
Thus, the bottom line is that when marketing a product to rural consumers, it’s recommended to keep it as simple as possible.
The rural team should comprise people who are specialists in the Rural sector; people who are experienced in rural areas. These are personalities capable of building long-term relationships, consistent with their work & simplistic by nature. And at the same time, are easily reachable by the rural folks.
Thus, when building a team that’ll work towards the common goals of your initiative to uplift the rural sector, it is advised to build a team with passionate individuals, rather than over-smart contenders who have a tendency to deviate towards the urban sector later down the line.
If possible, introduce a village level resource, who has the ability to bridge the most common communication barriers, especially when implementing an idea or running a campaign.
One of the biggest mistakes that one can do while doing Rural Marketing is to avoid the end customer. Always remember, they are the most valued members of this vicious cycle, and it’s important to entertain them as and when needed. Help your customers Learn, Engage, Interact, Innovate, Educate, and Appreciate your efforts to uplift the Rural Market.
When making content for Rural consumers, do not rely more on secondary data. Instead, feed the rural consumers data that is value adding and engagement driving. Something more relatable. All your initiatives should uplift the end consumer. They should feel these initiatives as resourceful support, helping them progress.
Thus the mantra to achieve the same is,
The more engagement you build, chances are that the sales will be much higher.”
One thing that is a strict no-no, when it comes to Rural Marketing is Carpet Bombing. Avoid over-marketing with a vigorous push. Think before you rush. Always remember, every idea is not a demand. Thus, understand what the demand is first. And then serve accordingly. Be realistic and qualitative with the deliverables.
Your practices should be backed up by a proper understanding of psychographics, demographic culture, religion, and region so as to come up with a valuable campaign and thus avoiding carpet-bombing altogether.
Rural consumers seek more consistency in brands when it comes to making a purchase. Thus, it is recommended that you don’t experiment too much in the packaging, printing, and pricing for that matter. For them, the communication of the brands of their preference should be extremely simple and transparent.
So avoid unsure moves, with respect to marketing any product or service in the Rural Sector. Avoid burning your fingers with a bad move. Always remember, it is extremely difficult to reset the reputation of a brand, especially when the image is bad in the market already.
In the rural sector, a clear concise way of marketing any product or service is always the right approach as the end consumer is highly doubtful by nature.
Thus it is recommended that you do not experiment too much and make smarter use of technology to understand the audience better. Keep in mind that the Digital platform should not be considered only as a tool of communication. Instead, use digital media as a source of accumulating data to feed the rural consumers something valuable yet simple at the same time. This will always have a higher rate of success than any other approach towards Rural Marketing.
It’s recommended that every organization should create its own knowledge base. Do not rely more on data shared via news channels or internet-based resources. Ideally, you should focus more on building simple relationships with the rural audience so that you add value through your offerings to them and get to learn the truth from the end consumers themselves. Work towards becoming a Subject Matter Expert, by offering and curating data that is factually driven, well-researched, value-adding, and nicely documented. Quality data will always fetch the desired response.
Rural consumers believe in long-term relationships. They always prefer purchasing goods or services from people who they know are solution providers, and most of all, reliable and reachable under all circumstances. Thus a local resource can always be handy in bridging the communication gap between a company and the rural audience as a local resource has the potential to build long-term relationships and develop a sense of trust in the heart and mind of the rural consumers.
One of the most difficult hurdles in Rural Marketing is Distribution Management. In the absence of market places, shopping complexes, and malls, marketers will have to abandon the known and the familiar and instead understand where rural consumers buy their goods and products.
The marketer has the responsibility of making his product available near the place of consumption so that the rural consumers can easily buy it. If the brand preferred by the consumer is not easily available at a convenient location, he may buy some other product or brand. Thus a marketer has to ensure that his product is available to the target consumers wherever required. But it is the biggest problem for rural marketing to have a proper distribution channel.
In a nutshell, Distribution decides the manner in which products and services are made available to rural consumers. It involves bridging the utility gaps between manufacturers and rural consumers through an effective distribution approach.
We hope this blog was insightful for you. We hope it gave you some valuable details about Rural Marketing. We hope you would be mindful of all the aforementioned points and make the best of any opportunity that comes your way when it comes to triumphing in the domain of Rural Marketing.
Author: Mr. Ajay Adlakha
MD & Editor-In-Chief
Ajay Adlakha is a seasoned communications professional, with over 2 decades of advertising and rural marketing experience. As the publisher of India’s first rural marketing business magazine, Rural & Marketing (also www.ruralmarketing.in), Ajay has enabled corporate India to better understand and explore the unlimited business opportunities in this vast and ever-growing market.