Online marketing reach in the rural market

21/10/2022 0 By indiafreenotes

There are various differences between urban market and rural market. So, it is necessary to make different market research design for rural areas as compared to urban market.

The various difference between urban and rural market research are as follows:

Difference # Urban Market Research:

  1. Respondents: Literate, brand aware, individuals respond individually.
  2. Time: Willing to respond, have time pressures, spare little time for researchers.
  3. Accessibility: Easy to access
  4. Secondary data source: Internal data, syndicate research, published media, many sources & large data.
  5. Primary data source: Large number of middlemen, experts, sales force, consumers, opinion leaders.
  6. Sampling: Respondents form relatively homogenous group. Income can be a criterion.
  7. Data collection: Use of sophisticated instrument, style and administration. Respondents are comfortable with number ratings and timeliness.

Difference # Rural Market Research:

  1. Respondents: Semi-literate or illiterate, brand unaware generally group responses.
  2. Time: Hesitant but devotes time.
  3. Accessibility: Tough to access, geographical distances and psychological approaches are barriers. Do not speak easily to outsiders.
  4. Secondary data source: Very few sources and less data.
  5. Primary data source: Less number of all categories.
  6. Sampling: Heterogeneous groups. Income and land holding to be carefully applied.
  7. Data collection: Require simplified instruments. Respondents comfortable with colour, pictures and stories.

In the context of rural marketing, this approach is necessary for both high value consumer durable items and capital agriculture inputs. It has been found by experience that the rural consumers do not decide on the bests of information provided by the companies or their advertisements. They prefer to consult others who actually possess the various brand of the product and also get their experience in using them.

Rural consumer makes well-considered buying decision for a specified brand often after lot of consultation with the opinion leaders. But opinion leaders change with the product category.

While for agri-inputs, the opinion leaders group consists of progressive farmers, agri-extension workers and village leaders, for other product categories, the opinion leader group consists of friends, well-informed relatives(particularly those working in nearly towns), educated youth and to an extent traditional village leaders. Dealers to play a major role in influencing the choice of a brand at the point of sale.

The electricians, mechanics and technicians which are found in almost all villages to service and repair products could be provided with free accessories, tools and their shops could be painted with company logo and brand name. These persons considered as specialists in their field could act as local brand ambassadors and could promote the products for the company as they are acting as opinion leaders for products in their field and their advice is sought by the villagers and given weight age in the purchase decision.

The following play the role of opinion leader in the case of corresponding product category:

(a) Successful farmer – for farm inputs

(b) Village youth who go to city – for lifestyle products

(c) School children – for personal care products

Asian paints launched its Utsav range during the Pre-Diwali season. Salesmen selected the opinion leaders in village and painted the village post office, library, or the house of the pardhaan to demonstrate that paint does not peel off. Salesman organized meets at the local dealers, where village painters were invited.

Integrated campaigns, which are – low cost, scalable, offer multiple contacts, and are interactive in nature, help in increasing brand penetration and frequency of usage need to be developed for the rural market.

Promotional activity must generate a lot of word of mouth publicity so that the brand is on top of mind when rural consumer purchases a product. Therefore, touch and feel aspect must be built into promotional activity. Brooke-bond organized marches in rural areas with band, music and caparisoned elephants to promote their brands of tea.

  1. Folk Media:

There is a good audience available for different folk media in the rural world. Marketer can effectively utilize some of these to take his message to the rural audience. Different folk’s media are popular in different regions; therefore the folk medium selected must be popular in the region; then only it will be able to provide the desired level of audiences, some of the folk media, which can be used as a promotion vehicle, are described here below.

(a) Puppetry:

In rural India puppetry is an avenue for entertainment and creative expression, which might be ritually scared and meaningful as a means of social communication and vehicle of social transformation.

It is an excellent way of storytelling through the moving images called puppets. The cost of this medium is very less and is very popular in Rajasthan, Orissa and Haryana. People of all ages and genders can be targeted by incorporating the product in the narrative.

Song and Drama Division of the Government of India makes wide use of puppets in its campaigns to promote various government projects, several other organizations, government, semi-government and private, have also used puppets in support of individual schemes.

For example – Life Insurance Corporation of India used puppets to educate rural masses about Life Insurance. These plays were shown to the audience in villages in UP, Bihar and MP. The number of inquiries at local offices of LIC during the period immediately following the performance was compared with normal frequency and found to be considerably higher. The field staff of the corporation also reported a definite impact on the business.

(b) Folk Theatre:

Folk theaters are mainly short and rhythmic in form. The simple tunes help in informing and educating the people in informal and interesting manner. It has been used as an effective medium for social protest against injustice, exploitation and oppression. Government has used this media for popularizing improved variety of seeds, fertilizers, etc.

(c) Nautanki:

It is a folk dance drama which is performed in Uttar Pradesh on a make shift stage surrounded by a tent. It is a prime attraction in the village fairs amongst all age groups because of its narrative style and rustic humour. This folk media provides captive audience and marketers can use it as a platform to promote their products as rural audience believes that the performers are more credible than conventional media like TV or radio.

(d) Tamasha:

It involves seductive Lavni dance drama and interactive session with the audience. As only males are the audience therefore products meant for males can be effectively promoted through this media. The script can be modified to incorporate the product benefit, advantages and its availability.

(e) Birha:

Started during the freedom struggle to promote and develop the independence movement through the medium of songs, Birha is song about the current social realities of the day and is sung at gatherings, which draw big crowds. It is a musical night organized in the state of Uttar Pradesh and is popular amongst all the sections of the society. This is a very effective medium to deliver social messages and can be used for promotion of products that are very relevant for the rural masses.

Cultural practices and traditions of villages should always be given adequate weight age while deciding on the promotional strategies. A broad generalization is less likely to deliver effective results in the rural areas. Therefore, it is important to pilot-run a campaign and measures its effectiveness at a very small scale in one or two villages before launching a large-scale operation in similar socio-cultural settings. It is quite possible that a promotional campaign, which was successful in one area, might not only be ineffective but also boomerangs in the other.

While any one can think of ideas for below the line activities it requires conscious efforts by professionals to connect with the audience with the right communication package-which takes the core message of the brand and communicates it in a language, idiom, style and situations, which is easily understood by the target audience