After the lock-down in various cities, a significant portion of laborers has been migrated from Metropolitan cities to their villages. This movement of people has given a new chance to the marketers to focus more on rural areas and strategize effective rural marketing.
The rural population in India was reported at 65.52 % according to the World Bank based on the United Nations Populations Divisions World Organisations Project: 2018 Revision.
The situation is changed after the COVID 19 lockdown as the migrants have moved to their villages, which will somehow increase the rural population rate in India. Consequently, it will increase the demand from rural areas and allow marketers to maximize their marketing efforts towards rural areas.
According to the Census of India 2011, Area is considered as rural with any habilitation with a population density of less than 400 per square KM, where at least 75% of the male working population is in agriculture, and there is no Municipal municipality or board.
Marketing executives should work on rural areas based on the character so that they can capture more market share of the rural regions and influence their purchasing behavior.
Characteristics of Rural Areas in India
The following are the characteristics of rural areas that you should need to be focused on while targeting to plan rural marketing strategies.
Size of the community
Ideally, the size of the rural area is small; however, current change into the environment may bring slight improvement that can be figured out in the coming days in the size of rural area communities.
However, as per projection based on the Census 1991-2001, there will be an increase in the proportion of rural households that continues to be 70%.
Density of population
The density of population is very low. Traditionally in rural India, households are joint families. Mostly the people have family relationships and face to face connections with each other. In villages, everyone knows each other. They have emotional attachments with each other.
In rural areas, the majority of people are farmers. The source of income comes from agriculture—people who are not in agriculture are either in government Departments or working in government projects. Village people are mostly relying on agriculture; hence they also have a low income as agriculture depends upon the season.
Near to nature
The village people are surrounded by nature. Their daily activities revolve around nature and its sources as they are mostly engaged in farming in agricultural land, which is the only source of their food, clothes, and shelter.
Low awareness and acceptance
Village people are not too brand conscious as they do not have any brand preference while purchasing any products and services. Low brand preference is because they are not much aware of Branded products and services. Business houses are not too involved in brand awareness in rural areas.
With dynamic changes in the environment and the shifting of labor into their home states, the demand from rural areas has suddenly increased. This is the ideal time for the business houses to fulfill the needs of the rural market by supplying the product and services that will satisfy their requirement.
To fulfill the actual demand of rural areas, required to identify the desire of rural market so that they can produce as per their preference and satisfy their needs.
Meaning of Rural Marketing
Rural marketing is a part of marketing that focuses on marketing to understand rural marketing, segmentation, targeting, and positioning for designing the marketing mix.
Rural marketing is where the marketer pursues the people living in rural areas to divert their purchasing power into a sufficient demand for goods and services. Then release efforts to make its availability in the rural areas to improve the standard of living in the rural areas and achieving the company’s mission simultaneously.
Rural marketing is a Two Way Process.
Urban to Rural
In this process, the urban market offers products and services to the rural market.
Products like FMCG Goods, Agricultural fertilizers, automobiles, etc.
Rural to Urban
This is another type of process in which the rural market offers products to the urban market. Such as Fruits, vegetables, flowers, milk, etc.
Opportunities Available to Corporate for Go Rural
The following are the opportunities that are available to business houses to go for rural marketing.
Increase in demand
Migrant workers who came to their home States during COVID-19 have created an environment that will lead to an increase in the demand of rural.
As recently Government of India has launched Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyaan employment scheme for migrant workers with an outlay of rupees 50000 crores who returned to their home during the coronavirus lockdown
Therefore this is the right time for the marketers to focus on fulfilling the demand of the new rural market.
Increase in income
The government’s focus is to provide opportunities to the migrant workers by providing Rojgar at the village. Once the migrant workers get employment at their home state that it will also increase the income of village people. Consequently, an increase in the revenue also generates demand for different products. Changes in income also create change into the taste preference and generate demand for other alternative products. Marketers have a big chance of identifying unfulfilled desires soon and adopting the strategies of rural marketing accordingly.
Competition in the Urban Area
The companies have a lot of competition in urban areas. It is very challenging for small companies to compete with big companies. Consumers in the urban area give more preference to branded items. So it is tough for small businesses to compete with a branded company.
If your business is in the initial days, you can focus on small rural areas and promote your company by running your brand awareness campaign.
Improved Infrastructure facilities
With the changes in technology, Advance has been made in rural areas. With this, villages now have better road connectivity, electricity, And internet connectivity.
With the improvement in all these Infrastructures now somehow, you can create brand awareness and access to promote your goods and services.
With the improvement in the telecom services and internet data availability, it is effortless for you to approach to people in rural areas via mobile phones.
New Employment Opportunities
THE government has come out with various employment schemes for rural areas to increase the source of income other than agricultural activities.
Schemes like MANREGA, Garib Kalyan Yojana Abhiyan Kaushal Bharat, are the schemes launched by India’s government to empower rural people.
It is now straightforward for you to promote your products and services in rural areas as you will get skilled people to employ who are aware about the rural market and customers preferences.
The government has launched Scheme Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) MSME in India to encourage to generate employment opportunities through providing financial support in establishing a Micro and Small business in the rural market to create employment in a rural area. If there is setting up new enterprises in rural areas, it will directly generate jobs and increase the income of people in villages, which will indirectly increase the purchasing power of an individual and, consequently, lead to a better standard of living.
Successful Products in Rural Market
In India initially in rural areas Philips as a holding in radio set. Videocon was the company to enter the agricultural market with the home compliances. Videocon targeted the rural people by launching a new radio set for INR 180 Philips cost to INR 250. by the introduction of the price difference, Videocon was able to grasp the market share.
Initially, it wasn’t easy to provide service for the two-wheelers. Hero Honda has made changes into services initiatives. Hero Honda established a mobile service center intending to provide a quality service at a rural customer’s doorstep.
Lifebuoy soap was a very prominent product of HLL. At HLL, it was never promoted as a cheap shop, but rather as a hygiene soap.
After seeing all this, all the companies modified the packing of their product.
The Escorts took out a bike named Rajdoot 233, priced at INR 33,300, to complete rural market expectations. It was a very cheap bike compared to other motorbikes, and people liked it more than scooters and mopeds. In rural areas, Rajdoot is used to carry milk.
The market is changing dynamically with changes in the scenario. With every move, you should also need to make changes to your business strategy.
The adoption of a new environment is also necessary to sustain in the market with other players. If you don’t change with the environment, then you will be defeated by other players. This COVID 19 situation has also created an opportunity for you to enhance the existing market or adapt to new strategies to identify rural areas.
You require an effective rural marketing strategy to identify the opportunity and threats.
Go Rural and Lead the show!
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