Rural Marketing

Some Insights
By

R V Rajan Anugrah Madison Advertising P Ltd.
3.3.2010

Why go Rural?
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Proliferation of brands in urban High saturation levels in urban Greater awareness of brands in rural Ever-growing aspirations in rural No effects of slow down on rural markets !

Government Spending in Rural

‡ ALL RESULTING IN FARMERS INCOME RISING ‡ Tremendous opportunities for existing and new brands to enter rural markets

Size of Rural Markets
FMCG Agri-inputs Durables Automobiles (2 & 4 Wheelers) Clothes, footwear etc. Construction material Total
Source: CII Report (2008)

Rs.65000 crore Rs.45000 crore Rs.5000 crore Rs.8000 crore Rs.35000 crore Rs.15000 crore Rs.173000 crore

Building Brands in Rural India
‡ Contrary to popular belief people in Rural India are fiercely brand loyal
± Single Brand Villages

‡ Once converted, difficult to dislodge them ‡ First mover advantages

Pitfalls of Building a Brand in Rural India
‡ Merely stripping down all the µso-called¶ frills from the product currently being sold in urban ‡ Just extending the brand name to low cost packs, thus making it cheaper for rural. ‡ Merely modifying the packaging marginally. Eg: add the brand name in Vernacular languages, use cheaper packing material« ‡ Adapt the urban advertising by dubbing the film in the local language, translate the print material« ‡ Offer meaningless sales promotion giveaways eg. Combs, spoons, tumblers, etc. FREE

Route to Brand Building in Rural
‡ Build customisation
± Chotukool from Godrej Boyce, a nano refrigerator (43 litres cool box loaded from top) ± Co-created using suggestions from rural women and sold by rural women

Route to Brand Building in Rural
‡ Build Empathy / Relevance
± Nokia µLife Tools¶ for farming and rural community ± Agri information to farmers in association with Reuters ± Imparting of knowledge of English language to students by teaching one new word every day

‡ Build Recognition
± Rural folks understands symbols and colours better.
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ µPahelwan¶ Chap ± MRF µHaathi¶ ± Beedi µLaal Sabun¶ ± Lifebuoy Peela Powder - Nirma

‡ This also leads to duplicates and spurious products ‡ Largely sold in the Haats (weekly markets) in Rural India
± Rs.12000 crore p.a. is the estimated loss to FMCG sector

‡ Build Access
± Distribution in rural India is not a nightmare ± For FMCG reach villages (feeder markets) in towns with population 10000 to 15000 ± For consumer durables reach towns with population of 50000+ and also ± Look at opportunities in haats, melas, post offices, public distribution system etc.

‡ Build word of mouth
± Through effective communication using specific communication package aimed at specific rural audience

‡ Build word-of-mouth
± Importance of opinion leaders ± Educated village youth as opinion leaders ± Women and children as demand generators ± Customised events targeting specific groups with focused communication

Rural Rich Aspiring Middle Class

Bottom of the Pyramid

Ideal Media Strategy for Reaching Rural Audiences
Mass Media Plus Direct Marketing Efforts Opinion Leaders R U R A L M A SS E S Rural Cinema Radio TV Unconventional Media Focused Events

Other Points to Remember

Understanding the Characteristics of the Rural Masses
‡ Very intelligent and clever ± cannot be easily hoodwinked. ‡ Daily activity is routinised
± Plenty of time / No Sundays

‡ Very conscious of value for money

Understanding the Characteristics of the Rural Masses
‡ Does not like to pay extra for frills he cannot use.
± Eg. Colour TV

‡ High involvement in any product purchased
± Eg. Durables

Characteristics«
‡ Perceptions, traditions, values vary from state to state and in some cases from region to region within a state.(MRF Bullock Cart Tyres) ‡ Divisions based on caste, community and other hierarchical factors continue to exist.

So how do we communicate with the Rural Folks?

Rural Communication
‡ Keep the communication simple«
± No scope for gimmicks

‡ Take time in communicating the message
± Quickies have no impact.

‡ Think in the local language to capture the local spirit in the communication aimed at specific region.

Rural Communication
‡ Demonstration ± a key element for success

Shampoo Demonstration

Dalda Vanaspathi Demonstration

Demonstration

Analogies help in better comprehension.
‡ Examples
± MRF Bullock Cart tyre ± Tafe Tyres

Rural Communication«
‡ Television does not distinguish between urban and rural ‡ You may be able to get away with a common TVC for both urban and rural audience particularly for FMCG products« provided your communication is not gimmicky, suggestive and is easy to comprehend.

Reliance Mobile

Rural Communication«
‡ But when it comes to Durables, where rational decisions are involved, it is advisable to target the opinion leaders first. ‡ While urban oriented TVC may register with opinion leaders and help create awareness, for real impact down the line, a region specific and need specific communication programme has to be devised which provides for demonstration and touch & feel of the products.

Important
‡ Rural Urban Divide in terms of communication continues to exist ‡ Hence need for different communication packages focused on rural audience

Examples of different treatment for urban and rural
‡ Philips ± Consumer Electronics Division ‡ Leprosy Eradication Programme

Lessons from the Success of regional brands in recent times
‡ They understand the regional µethos¶ better ‡ They satisfy a perceived local need ‡ Their communication touches a µchord¶ which helps in brand acceptance ‡ They are flexible
± Adapt to changing market situations

‡ Eg. Anchor, Gadi, Ajanta, Cavinkare (Chik), Power, Goldwinner, Arasan

‡ If you are small with limited budgets start by concentrating on smaller areas
± Outdoor / local Cable TV / Radio / participate in local festivals etc.

‡ Even Nirma started very small ‡ Today it is a Rs.2000 plus crore company!

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