Importance of Rural Marketing

Importance of Rural Marketing Importance of Rural Marketing

This is the fifth blog post in my blog series on rural marketing. Earlier, I had written blogs covering various aspects of rural marketing in Indiatypes of rural marketing, the scope of rural marketing, and the challenges in rural marketing.

There was a time when companies were primarily targeting urban customers while developing, pricing, promoting, and distributing products. Enterprises were making products available in rural markets long after launching them in urban markets.  But “Go Rural” is one of the hottest trends in marketing.

Most manufacturers these days develop and distribute rural-specific products and services. In addition, they launch new products simultaneously in rural and urban markets. Hence, a surge is being noticed in the number of enterprises implementing rural marketing strategies.

While developing, pricing, and distributing products, they focus on meeting the needs, preferences, and expectations of consumers living in rural environments. Likewise, they create brand awareness and generate demand in rural markets by integrating traditional and digital marketing channels.

Several market research studies suggest the steady growth of rural markets for pharmaceutical products, auto parts, and fast-moving consumer goods in countries like India. There are a number of reasons why most enterprises tap into rural markets. We can understand some of the reasons by discussing the importance of rural marketing for companies and startups.

Importance of Rural Marketing: 11 Reasons Why Rural Marketing is Critical for Companies and Startups

Large Consumer Base

In many countries, the rural population is much larger than the urban population. For instance, the statistics released by the World Bank suggest that 64% of Indians live in rural areas. Rural marketing creates opportunities for companies to expand customer bases by reaching out to a large percentage of the population living in rural environments.

Infrastructural Development

In many countries, governments are driving economic growth through infrastructure development. The infrastructural development brings down logistics costs by enhancing connectivity. Companies can leverage the enhanced connectivity to make existing products available and accessible to rural consumers. Also, the enhanced connectivity helps them run rural marketing campaigns without building channels of distribution.

Purchasing Power Growth

There was a time when most rural people were engaged in agricultural and related activities. Their dependence on agriculture makes them earn seasonal income. However, the employment schemes launched by governments have created opportunities for rural people to earn regular income without engaging in agricultural activities. The income rise enables them to demand and buy products/services popular with urban consumers.

Varying Consumption Patterns

Rural consumers differ from urban consumers in many aspects, including needs, preferences, and expectations. Sociocultural factors like traditions, values, and beliefs often influence the purchase decisions made by rural consumers. The differences in consumer behavior and consumption patterns create opportunities for companies to increase sales revenue by localizing products and marketing strategies.

Low Competition

Urban consumers these days have the option to choose from a wider range of products and services. Also, most urban consumers switched brands frequently to enhance their experiences. The abundance of product choices and frequent product switches make urban markets highly competitive.

However, the level of competition is still lower in rural markets than in urban markets. The absence of cutthroat competition makes it easier for companies to acquire customers and generate demand by running rural marketing campaigns.

Emerging Demand

The demand for non-agricultural products has been increasing in many rural markets consistently. For instance, rural consumers these days buy fast-moving consumer goods, while accessing quality education facilities and availing of healthcare services. Hence, companies and startups have the option to promote and sell a variety of products and services in rural markets.

Access to Natural Resources

No enterprise dealing in agricultural products can accomplish and sustain growth without reaching out to rural consumers. Rural marketing creates opportunities for them to set up channels of distribution in rural areas. A company can further curtail production costs by setting up operations in villages that are hubs for natural and agricultural resources. Hence, rural marketing becomes essential for companies and startups in specific sectors like agriculture, forestry, and mining.

Market Diversification

As a tried and tested growth strategy, market diversification emphasizes the addition of new products, services, and locations regularly. Rural marketing helps them leverage the growth strategy by making products and services available in rural markets. Furthermore, enterprises can expand their business by localizing products/services according to the precise needs and preferences of rural consumers.

Digitalization

As highlighted by several studies, most rural consumers these days access smartphones and spend time on social networks. Digitization and mobility make it easier for companies to create brand awareness and generate demand in rural areas using popular digital marketing channels.

They can reduce rural marketing costs by publishing content and ads that target both urban and rural customers. Additionally, they can boost rural marketing campaigns by leveraging traditional marketing channels like televisions and newspapers.

Incentive Schemes

In many countries, governments make essential services accessible to rural populations by running incentive programs. For instance, the Indian government has been incentivizing enterprises to provide ancillary health services to rural communities. Companies and startups providing specific services can reduce rural marketing costs by leveraging such incentive programs.

Sustain Profitable Growth

As noted earlier, cutthroat competition makes it challenging for enterprises to accomplish and sustain long-term growth. Despite incurring high customer acquisition costs, companies find it difficult to promote brand loyalty. Rural marketing helps them sustain profitable growth by building brand presence and promoting customer loyalty by tapping the expansion potential of rural markets.

Conclusion

The importance of rural marketing can be assessed from the increase in the number of enterprises implementing rural marketing strategies. They complement urban marketing strategies with rural marketing strategies to increase customer reach by leveraging growth opportunities.

However, no company can gain rural market share without adopting the right marketing mix. They have to reach rural consumers by integrating conventional and digital marketing channels. Likewise, their rural marketing strategies must boost customer acquisition and demand generation by focusing on 4As and 4Ps.

For instance, they can boost the sale of products or services in rural markets by focusing on 4As – accessibility, affordability, availability, and awareness. At the same time, they can make rural marketing campaigns successful by focusing on the 4Ps – product, pricing, placement/distribution, and promotion.

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