Innovations in Rural Marketing

Innovation in Rural Marketing Innovations in Rural Marketing

This is the seventh blog in our series on rural marketing. The first blog highlights the differences between rural marketing and urban marketing. The subsequent blogs in the series cover important aspects of rural marketing – the types of rural marketing, the importancescope, challenges, and classification of rural marketing. In this blog post, we are highlighting some of the influential innovations in rural marketing.

There was a time when rural marketing was synonymous with agricultural marketing. In the initial phases, rural marketing strategies focused extensively on making various agricultural products available to urban consumers. However, modern rural marketing strategies focus primarily on boosting customer acquisition and gaining market share.

There was a time when companies reached out to rural consumers using traditional marketing channels like print ads, billboards, event marketing, and broadcasting. However, the surge in mobile penetration and internet access enables enterprises to acquire and retain rural customers by running multichannel digital marketing channels.

The transformation and evolution of rural marketing are driven by different types of innovation. Each type of innovation helps companies communicate with and engage rural consumers by solving challenges. Also, these innovations help companies run marketing campaigns by targeting rural and urban consumers simultaneously. We are discussing some of these influential innovations in rural marketing.

9 Influential Innovations in Rural Marketing

  1. Rural Consumer Outreach

Customer outreach refers to the strategies companies use to cultivate relationships with customers. Digital devices and channels have changed the way companies connect, engage, and influence rural consumers. They no longer engage indirectly with customers through distributors, retailers, and marketing professionals.

Instead, they build and foster relationships with rural customers by sending text messages, instant messages, and emails. They further send personalized messages to rural consumers by creating buyer personas. Buyer personas help them tailor brand and marketing messages by leveraging demographic information collected through polls, interviews, and research.

  1. Rural eCommerce

There was a time when eCommerce companies were delivering products to customers living in rural areas. However, leading eCommerce platforms have started delivering products to customers staying in the hinterlands. The expansion makes it easier for companies to sell products to retail customers by overcoming infrastructural and supply chain constraints.

At the same time, eCommerce platforms create opportunities for artisans and small businesses to sell their products to urban customers without investing in supply chain management. That is why; a surge is being noticed in the number of rural enterprises promoting and marketing their handicrafts digitally and aggressively.

  1. Financial Inclusion

Financial inclusion refers to making essential financial products and services accessible at affordable rates. There was a time when rural consumers lacked access to useful and affordable financial products or services. However, many banking and non-banking financial institutions have been focusing on financial inclusion in non-urban areas.

The financial inclusion makes many rural consumers buy mobile devices and two-wheelers on credit. Leading brands drive sales growth by partnering with various financial companies. The partnership helps them boost sales in rural markets where a large percentage of customers whose primary occupation is agriculture.

  1. Mobile Marketing

As highlighted by several studies, rural users will drive the sale of internet-enabled mobile devices in the future. The increase in mobile device sales creates opportunities for companies to promote their products or services in rural markets by leveraging smartphones and tablets. Leading companies these days expand customer outreach by sending text messages, instant messages, and emails to rural customers using mobile devices.

Also, they boost customer acquisition by running targeted mobile marketing campaigns. In addition to customizing mobile apps for rural consumers, they have been adopting a mobile-first approach. The mobile-first approach helps rural customers gather information about products, services, and brands. At the same time, brands influence their purchase decisions by distributing content optimized for mobile devices and platforms.

  1. Marketing Content Localization

Adult literacy rates are much lower in rural areas in comparison to urban areas. While planning digital marketing campaigns, managers ensure that each rural consumer can access content in his preferred language. They address the literacy gap by producing content in various formats and languages. For instance, they target educated consumers by delivering content in English and local languages.

At the same time, they use content repurposing and translation tools to convert the textual content into audio and video. The audio and video content helps them convey the brand message to customers who cannot read the textual content. Many companies these days leverage artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to accelerate the creation of marketing content in various formats and languages.

  1. Omnichannel Marketing Campaigns

Access to mobile devices enables rural consumers to consume digital content in multiple formats. Educated consumers living in rural areas usually gather information about products, services, or brands using search engines and social networks. At the same time, a significant percentage of rural consumers gather information by watching videos or listening to audio.

Hence, enterprises these days drive demand generation and customer acquisition using organic and paid digital marketing channels. They keep brand messaging and customer communication consistent across channels by running multichannel or omnichannel digital marketing campaigns. They run omnichannel digital marketing campaigns to reach out to the targeted rural consumers, regardless of their preferred digital marketing channel.

  1. AI-Driven Marketing

In addition to automating routine marketing activities, Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies enable companies to run data-driven rural marketing campaigns. AI tools make it easier for companies to connect with rural consumers. A company can use AI-powered content writing tools to create multi-format and multilingual content for rural marketing campaigns.

Also, businesses respond to questions and queries asked by rural consumers by implementing AI chatbots. At the same time, intelligence technologies enable businesses to plan localized rural marketing campaigns based on real-time market data. They help decision-makers make sense of rural market and consumer data by sharing insights and highlighting trends.

  1. Tech-Driven Logistics

Logistics is often cited as a key challenge in rural marketing. Companies overcome this rural marketing challenge by leveraging cutting-edge technologies. Tech tools enable them to distribute and deliver products in rural areas efficiently and accurately. Leading companies drive rural market penetration using a wide range of logistic technologies.

For instance, they optimize loads and identify the best routes using transport management systems. Likewise, warehouse management systems make it easier for them to deliver products to rural consumers by storing and handling the stocks more effectively. Hence, tech-driven logistics have been increasing the availability of products in rural markets.

Conclusion

The huge rural population and growing rural prosperity create opportunities for companies to boost revenue growth by running digital marketing campaigns. However, rural marketing has been evolving consistently. The evolution or transformation of rural marketing is being driven by different forms of innovations. Each innovation of rural marketing makes it easier for companies to expand rural customer bases by reducing complexities and costs.

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