There are two types of plans, one that was and one that becomes. Naturally, the latter is the one that comes together as a result of the combination of the real plan and a pinch of improvisation. However, the rural marketing agencies in India have concluded that even the improvisations need to be premeditated in case of rural marketing. When strategizing for rural market penetration, every move of the brand activation activity should be deliberate and well thought out.
Why the fuss?
Rural marketing in India is no cakewalk; the size of the market alone can be intimidating. More than half of Indian population (approximately 59%) resides in rural areas. It also presents the challenges that brands in urban areas are not used to tackling.
The Foreign Land
Villages and small towns in India differ in culture and living standards. At times, the cultural difference is so vast that brand managers might not be able to accurately predict the customer’s needs. This lack of understanding and difference in culture can often lead to ineffective communication strategies being adopted.
Resources or their lack thereof
Truth be told, every campaign brings unique challenges with it. The blow can come in unexpected ways and often rattle the brand before or during the campaign. These challenges can gain prominence when the accesses to resources are cut off or are way too expensive.
The Scarcity of Information
Market researches done in rural markets of India are scarce and rather undependable. Either they paint a rosy picture of accepting markets or they scare the brands with stories of rejection by the common folks. Statistics that would help the brand formulate a policy is not found easily.
Innovation: Demand vs. Supply
Rural audiences are always looking for magic and attach to the sentiment of the brand more dearly than their urban counterpart. This puts up the question of bringing something new to the table, new products and newer ways to launch them. When you venture into “new”, you are standing at the starting point.
Ad-hoc planning does not work in rural India
Impromptu solutions and makeshift campaigns don’t get results in rural areas, what it needs is a considerable amount of planning and strategizing to win the hearts of consumers in villages and small towns.
What goes into such extensive planning?
In a word, efforts but most of all it is about taking all the right decisions at the right time.
Do Your Homework
Do not underestimate the power of rural India and how easily it can overwhelm anyone. Therefore, knowing what you are getting yourself in is necessary.
Strategize and Then Strategize For When That Strategy Does Not Work
Assuming that a strategy or a plan would go as planned is naive. So plan for success and also for failure, a common mistake that ends up costing the brand is when it is not prepared to handle the leads that are generated from a successful brand campaign. So, the lesson is, stand in the middle of the crossroads and be ready for whatever comes from whichever side.
Get Professional Help
An experienced rural marketing company or brand activation agency can elevate the brand using their understanding of the markets, familiarity with it and years of hard work.