Rural Marketing in a new Avtar i.e. Digital Rural Marketing

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Rural Marketing in a new Avtar i.e. Digital Rural Marketing


Evolution of marketing from offline to online

We as marketers have seen rural marketing happening in traditional ways be it through wall paintings, hoardings, van campaigns, house to house reach out programs, haat, mela or mandi campaigns etc. Most of the marketers have been successful in this approach and garnered excellent results over the period of time. FMCG, telecom and automobile categories have been pioneer in having huge brand visibility in every nook and corner of the town and villages. Traditional medium is not going to get vaporized any sooner than later but some behavioural changes of rural folks have been noticed where people are spending substantial time with their smartphones, thanks to the disruption of the market by Reliance Jio due to which cheap data is available to them topping up with smartphone availability in a low price range making the affordability easier for them.

Most of us still think and see rural India with old spectacles i.e. poor infrastructure, a disconnected world with poor literacy and backwardness. Today’s rural India has transformed in multiple ways and now people are getting the same exposure what their urban counterpart get by having DTH connectivity, children attending school and then going for higher education and bringing back the wisdom to become today’s purchase influencers and transforming the complete ecosystem and mindsets.


Rural people are consuming digital for educational and entertainment purposes

It’s being noted that multiple channels are mushrooming on YouTube initiated by farmers which are attracting huge traction of farmers across the country. People are spending their time in getting the updates of new agriculture practices, innovations, practices by progressive farmers, dos and don’ts about farming practices, new product introductions, knowledge about new seeds, pesticides, farming tools and equipment etc.

Facebook, YouTube and Tiktok are very popular among youth which is making them busy not only for entertainment purpose but mostly for their education and upskilling. Youth is again working responsibly and helping their elders to understand this new ecosystem by accessing the internet for multipurpose like updating about the weather, nearby mandi rates, buying agri-products, household products using eCommerce sites like Flipkart, Amazon and other hosts of agri platforms etc. During this process, they are being exposed to numerous brands during the journey of transaction and information update which is making them major influencers.



Case study on UPL Digital Campaign in 5 States For Their Weedicides


UPL joined hands with  Ascent Brand Communications for a collaborative approach towards promoting and branding their launch of Shagun and Vesta for ensuring high-quality crops for farmers to five different states in India  (Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh).Our strategic planning starting from introducing the campaign as “Shagun 21-11 ke sath gehu ki kheti dhamake wali ” to performing the activities in respective vernacular languages. Our activities like identifying digital promotional social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Google Display Network, and mobile marketing to receiving feedback from users from picture uploading, text message, and voice message created a lasting impact in the minds of the target group. With that we completed the campaign in a limited time period of 25 days, keeping a regular track of the status of missed calls received which was more than 250 calls per day, contacting each caller which we received was more than 6.2k, crossing the target of 10 million people, reaching more than 14.5 million people, generating 70k link clicks and more than 4.5 k participation was received within 18 days of the campaign. Through GDN and YouTube also, we generated more than 24.4 lakh and 15.4 lakh impressions respectively.



Case study on Shriram Bioseed Digital Campaign


Bioseed possesses an immense pool of germplasm, among the most extravagant on the planet. It has developed to have one of the highest levels of effectiveness throughout all of Asia. It has proliferated its network to Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Laos, Cambodia, Nepal, and China. It also has brilliant expertise in research & development, field & lab testing, production, and farm management.

Ascent has provided the helping hand for the initiative taken by Shriram Bioseed to enhance its brand awareness among target locations through mutual collaboration.

The goal and aim of the campaign are to provide brand & product recognition and create awareness to receive more leads for business, thereby increasing brand presence.

To stand out in the competitive mustard market, “Sone ki kheti munafe wali, har khet sona, har ghar khushhali” campaign was implemented successfully.

Ascent had to reach out to four target location in a time crunch of 1month.

To overcome this hurdle we adopted social media and mobile marketing promotion campaign. Appealing creativity adapted over social media platforms. While in mobile marketing farmers’ missed calls and issues are sorted out.

The campaign result came out to be enormously shocking. As within the stipulated time of 1month, we achieved our goal satisfactorily. We received a lot of positive responses and applaud on both social media and through telecommunication. Many farmers gained interest in using the product. Also, some forwarded our campaign for the benefit of their fellow mates. The campaign was engaging and successful with the social media impression of more than 129k farmers from four states, total impressions on Facebook were 17,83,986 which was more than what was expected and regular average impressions were more than 2.7k  generated from total link clicks were 5,921.



Case study on Pan Seeds Digital Campaign in West Bengal and Assam For Paddy Seeds


PAN Seeds in association with ASCENT made a successful campaign named HAR KISAN BANE ATMA NIRBHAR, ZYADA PAIDAVAR, ZYADZ KHUSHHALI’ for promoting and marketing their quality seeds to their target group in the region of Assam and West Bengal. ASCENT conquered many barriers like limited window period, highly competitive market, etc. with our innovative strategic plans like mobile meet, social media promotion, Bumper Dhamaka Offer i.e. a kind of cashback offers, mobile marketing in regional languages, etc. With these strategies in practice, ASCENT made remarkable achievements in creating a distinct brand identity, connecting with more than 164k farmers, generating a tremendous number of leads and goodwill for the company. The mobile meet was a new concept for them still we were able to conduct it with more than 7800 farmers and it was highly engaging and appreciated amid pandemic times along with that through OBD we connected with more than 164k farmers.   


How farmers are interacting and sharing their curiosities?

We at Ascent have created a complete digital profile of Prestige group who is involved in the manufacturing of cattle feed with a network across MP, MH, GJ, RJ etc. We developed their Facebook page among other social channels right from scratch and within 3 month period noticed skyrocketing growth in terms of traction, reach, engagement from farmers of these territories. Farmers pour multiple queries and enquiries for brands to handle and keep their sales staff busy in attending them telephonically and physically by visiting their places. It’s also noticed that many rural traders are there who also show their interest in applying for distributorship or dealership in their respective areas.

People spend their time in watching videos on YouTube and Facebook and start generating their interests by liking, sharing through their WhatsApp among their own farmers’/friends groups for their benefits. This way content gets viral and brands get a good uplift in its acceptance in the respective markets. This way brands are succeeding and digitally developing their brand visibility and online reputation other than demand generation of their products in the targeted areas. It is, of course, can be said as a new trend which is getting accepted by the marketers across the product categories by small, medium and large enterprises.

Watch Prestige Cattle Feed Case Study Video



Case study of a roofing sheet brand getting acceptance in rural using social media


We also would like to quote good learning from a roofing sheet brand i.e. Ankur which is a regional brand from ARL Infratech Ltd with a product range of cement fibre, color coated roofing sheets among other range of roofing solutions for rural markets.

This brand also caters to a large pie of rural and semi-urban areas with its huge dealer network across 5 states i.e. Rajasthan, UP, MH, PN, HR etc. We started this brand also from scratch and developed to a respectful level where it’s enjoying huge traction, reach, engagement from down villages across the geographies.

Creatives developed in such a way using vernacular which very easily connects with the people with a proper understanding. Here strategy, content and design play a great role in driving the engagement from the target group and hooking influencers for a boost to the brand.

Overall the concerted efforts have been great from our team fetching phenomenal numbers within 3 months i.e. Post reach increased 136%, Post engagement increased 219%, 4000+ link clicks in 1 month, Page followers increased by 88%,  Enquiries more than 1000 on Facebook within 3 months, Video views increased 611% etc.

Watch ARL Infratech Case Study Video



Case study of a solar pump brand getting huge engagement with farmers


We have another case study of Stanley Earth which is an Indian subsidiary of 175 years old US-headquartered Stanley Black & Decker group. Stanley Earth’s NADI smart water pump is a highly efficient BLDC motor technology, built on an excellent combination of Data Analytics, Cloud/Mobile Connectivity and manufactured keeping Indian farmers in the mind.

We have been handling this for the last couple of months and in a short span of time, we have been successful in getting good traffic to their website, generating good traction on their Facebook page. A systematic vernacular content strategy is rocking here too operating across 22 odd states.

Here we have the mandate to target the farmers at a granular level with an understandable and comprehensive content strategy with a local flavour of content to connect rightly with TG. We also have to target institutional customers and influencers in the NGOs, NPOs, Organizations with their CSR divisions working for the farmers’ welfare and facilitating them with solar pumps using their funds. This segment is being addressed with multiple channels like Facebook, Linkedin, Youtube, Instagram and Google Adwords and Display Network with differential strategies as per the need of the platform.

Overall the concerted efforts have been great from our team fetching phenomenal numbers within 3 months i.e. reach more than 5 lacs, Post engagement 34000, Enquiries more than 700 etc.

Watch Stanley Earth Case Study Video



Case study of a cattle feed brand targeting farmer and dairy owners through social media


It’s amazing to work on a cattle feed brand targeting farmers and dairy owners in the rural areas. Our client was a bit hesitant for his product category whether the digital route will be successful or not. But when we shared the statistical figures of rural consumption and behavioural aspect of farmers consuming data and spending their time on social media, we started the journey and thereafter never looked back. The response has been encouraging in initial few days itself when hundreds of comments and shares with substantial leads started pouring in.

We specially crafted the content strategy taking the TG in mind weaving local communication that too in local language be it Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati for the territories of MP, RJ, GJ and MH mainly. We developed the host of content comprising of images, snippets, GIFs, Videos for their vast product range and product features highlighting benefits to the farmers. We ran a few channel development campaign also, due to which hundreds of enquiries came in from respective territories which were later attended by the company representatives.

The brand has been successful in meeting out its objectives of brand awareness, brand recall, online reputation, and leads.

Overall the concerted efforts have been great from our team fetching phenomenal numbers within 3 months i.e. 60% Engagement increased, 6 lacs Impressions on YouTube, Post Engagement 86000, Page Clicks 58000, Enquiries more than 1600 etc.

In the same category, we also had one brand Milklane Aayush Cattle feed, a product from Milklane which is India’s first industrial-scale high-quality milk collection and supply platform focused on transforming the supply chain in the world’s fastest-growing dairy market for their Facebook campaign in Tamilnadu territory where the content crafted was in Tamil to better connect with farmers. The content was again a mix of images and video for wider acceptance. The results again have been fabulous for them which overtook the numbers received from concurrent offline campaigns.



Case study of an infertility centre getting inroads among rural families using social media


In the health category where we have managed IVF or test tube baby centre i.e. MP Fertility Centre based at Indore, especially targeting rural pockets of MP. Since there were a huge competition and saturation in the city and getting patients from semi-urban and rural was there on the mandate for making the going easy and smooth for the centre.

The major challenge was to address the myth about infertility among rural people and encourage them to go for the first meeting with the right clinic and the specialist doctor instead of depending on other places wandering here and there with multiple experimentations.

Since the subject is a taboo and it’s tough to break the ice easily to get the subject talkable in the family and society against many pre-set reservations, apprehensions and superstitions.

Generally, couples shy away in discussing the issue at the family level openly and clearly and even if they share it, they get influenced by multiple experimentations at the local level which deteriorates the case even further.

Here we developed the strategy of vernacular approach with an emotional connect with target and influencer groups looking at the psychology of couples puzzled with infertility issues associated with family and societal issues.

We have been successful in addressing the core issues and behavioural problems by setting educational and sensitizing campaign breaking the myth and stereotypes prevalent in society and we have been able to establish the centre as the best and dependable centre for fertility treatments in the highly competitive market by continued series of educational content targeting potential patients and influencers.

Overall the concerted efforts have been great from our team fetching phenomenal numbers within 3 months i.e. reach more than 9 lacs, Post engagement 29000, Likes and reactions 19000, Enquiries more than 150+ etc.

Watch MP Fertility Centre Case Study Video



Case study of a solar brand getting traction of rural families



We got an opportunity to work with Gautam Solar with 21 years of existence is recognized as one of the most trusted partners for solar power plants and clean energy solutions in India. It is one of the largest manufacturers of solar lights in the country. We got this brand right from scratch to develop it with some challenges to address first.

The company was facing huge competition in the highly cluttered solar market where main players were surrounded by a lot of unorganized ones without advanced manufacturing facilities and doing the assembling jobs of a solar installation with assembled components which weakens the warranty benefit at customer end.

We weaved the content strategy and communication in such a campaign way which addressed all the issues and made the brand image as a prestigious and dependable brand with assured services and warranty commitments.

They got huge traction on Facebook from semi-urban and rural pockets and the communication also got across the TG well translating in enormous engagement as likes, comments and shares.

We have one another experience working with a solar brand engaged in the installation of domestic, industrial and institutional systems. We generated huge inquiries for the Wari solar brand in the tune of 35 lacs in a short span of 30 days from focused geography in Madhya Pradesh. Another campaign in the series generated them another 30 lacs of business in a very strong pipeline.


Marketers should understand the role of digital marketing for their rural business

These cases are setting milestones in the marketing of brands in rural areas. Most of the marketers are still not aware of the truth of rural people’s such an acceptance and addiction to these digital channels using and sharing the content within their communities.

This is the time when marketers should understand the role of digital marketing for their business in its true sense to take the complete mileage of it and get set for its preparation by engaging the right resources and a right & dependable digital marketing agency with rich resources, knowledge and experience of working in rural areas with a deep understanding of consumer behaviour, their culture, ecosystem, social settings so that the right solution and plan can be developed to reap you the real rewards of its engagement for your business.


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