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Rural Marketing is all about getting the 3 M's right | Rajesh Radhakrishnan

Marketing at large has been growing at an immense speed in the last few years. The digital era has made the platform even more competitive and aggressive. With increased range of products available today for the consumers, it is necessary that each product be marketed well; making sure it catches the consumer's eye. One would believe it is true only in the urban areas but rural marketing is also gaining popularity. Naturally, the diversity in India, both culturally and lingual makes it tough for advertising products in an uniform language. This makes rural marketing an interesting challenge for marketing companies today. Rural audience is largely an untapped audience; rural market is no longer sleeping. Specific strategies are helping rural marketing expand day by day. Taking cultural, economic, technological, social and political factors into consideration, one can unlock rural wealth of advertising and marketing.

There are varied ranges of products satisfying the needs of today's rural India, the tastes, preferences and choices of rural consumers are changing according to their visibility hence marketing plays an important role to create brand loyalty. This has made rural marketing and advertising gain strong ground in India. Challenges like language, literacy rate and accessibility has been slowly but steadily been overcome by media companies with their rigorous marketing. The accurate marketing strategies have made it possible for companies to successfully reach rural India.

Rural markets are helping the country's economy in a large way. Today, a large amount of money is being pumped into the advertising and marketing of various products. The main focus is to develop a strong and able foundation of concepts, approaches, knowledge and analytical skills in the consumers for their products. This pays off in the long run of being loyal to the product.

The important determinants in rural marketing are:

Firstly, selling products at affordable prices and selling them at small quantities initially to test the market. Secondly, communication with the rural population to know their preferences for better prospects of rural markets. Here it is necessary to communicate in their local language. If it is audio announcements or pamphlets, marketing is advised to be done in the local language. Taking these into consideration, the growth opportunities in this business sectors are vast in the near future.

With increasing purchasing power, market size and potential and consumer's behavioural changes, the future looks very promising for those who understand the dynamics of rural markets and exploit them to their best advantage. Looking at the increasing developmental speed in India, a good outcome and revenue can be achieved.

Owing to the diversity and various methods used in advertising, rural marketing needs innovative ways to capture the audience. One of the best example in rural marketing is Vritti imedia origin with the concept ‘Audio wala Bus station’” in 2007. Today, it operates across 5 states with 250 location presence.  Their main area of focus is 'Audio wala Bus stations’ and 360 degree Outdoor and ground activations to promote client products. Audio wala Bus stations are preferred as it is the most localized and sustained method of rural marketing.

The electricity and roads have reached less than 2000 Villages today and in next 5 years it will further strengthen and will make companies customizing innovative products/services just for rural parts of India .The Digital (Mobile and Internet) services including the likes of Audiowala Bus stand  will further penetrate and making it easier for targeting urban individuals. The rural psychographic profiling will continue to be a challenge as i keep saying India has many countries within countries and hence rural marketing will continue for many years to come but i am sure it will keep getting evolved.”

The mantra for a successful rural marketing is “Rural advertising and promotion is all about getting the 3 M's right---Market , Message and Medium  i.e. Right message delivered to the local market using the right medium”. 

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