Rural India is an immense marketplace that is altering swiftly, and marketers are required to understand how to reach out to them. They can be best reached outside the urban vicinity that has aggressively powered brand growth.
As of 2018, there are around 649,481 census villages in India, and approximately 100,000 of these are home to fifty percent of the rural population and hold around fifty-nine percent of its overall wealth. Within these, marketers should concentrate on about 80,000 that have a population of more than 2,500 the minimum commercially reasonable and practical amount for distribution purposes.
Why mobile-first strategy is the need of the hour for rural India
Mobile seems to be the most natural solution to bond well with the somewhat cut off rural customers. Consumers in rural India may not have a way into TV or computers, but they are likely to have a mobile phone, and that’s where a company brand requires connecting with them directly. Mobile marketing is one of the best tactics for brand creation, its nurturing, and product refinement in rural India.
Boost in penetration of mobile phones and internet access in rural areas
The boost in penetration of mobile phones and online access is offering marketers with fresh opportunities to reach out to rural customers, and the government’s efforts to universally bring broadband to rural India will increase those prospects. The online shopping would further increase because of high mobile internet incursion, and retail M-commerce sales would double.
So understanding how rural consumers like farmers react to and utilize mobile is significant for mobile marketing. Missed calls and SMSes have been a widespread strategy until now. However, agricultural suppliers are finding that people are turning to communication channels such as WhatsApp with a boost in Smartphone penetration.
Increasing reachability of products to rural areas through mobile marketing
While enabling a product to rural regions, partnering with local influencers like doctors, teachers, village councils, can be a significant part of an outreach marketing campaign. However, marketers should not anticipate a higher volume of conversion rates matched to urban areas.
On the other hand, Google describes rural India as the ideal testbed for fresh users, providing linguistic diversity, a broad series of incomes, literacy and infrastructure issues, and application requirements.
Today, blending the reach of mobile with tempting content is by and large a winning recipe. Mobile-based web portals, banner advertisements, content-based campaigns, and a selection of other options accessible to marketers can be highly valuable in taking mobile marketing beyond messaging and missed call promotional tactics.
Emerging marketing and partnership opportunities
On the same side, marketers should opt for marketing and partnership opportunities in relation to government infrastructure investments. Tata BP Solar, for instance, has designed marketing and packaged solutions for the varying energy requirements of medical centers, banks, and schools in rural areas, all of which are the hub of government spending.
Reducing data prices, packaged data plans, improved coverage footprint, and healthier device accessibility have contributed to the growth of mobile usage in rural India.
Here is an example of how a brand has used the power of mobile to interact and engage using content in the form of knowledge to help rural audiences in India.
Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO)
IFFCO, with telecom giant Bharti Airtel and Star Global Resources Ltd., has enabled IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Ltd. as a joint venture. Airtel is enlarging its network backbone to IFFCO Kisan and also offering sustainable returns generating business opportunities.
In this business model, SIM Cards are made available to IFFCO farmer teams, which are further used to communicate and use knowledge to allow people living in villages to grow faster through applicable information. The Value Added Service (VAS) is made available, which helps in providing these knowledge-based solutions to deep rural farmers.
The customized solutions offered in mobile marketing include –
- Vernacular Text SMS
- Voice Messages (OBD)
- Multimedia Messages (MMS)
- Pop-Up Vernacular Text SMS
- Interactive Voice Response
- Mobile App Banner Advertisement
- Push Notification
- WhatsApp Marketing
- Rural Ground Gathering
- Miss Call Alert Service (24X7X365 Sales Person)
- Call Centre Service 12)
- Social Media Recommendations
It is predicted that due to the digital explosion, sixty percent of India’s population would have smartphones with swift and consistent data connectivity by the year 2025. It is even forecasted that by the year 2020, 50% of the internet users will be from rural India as per a report by Boston Consulting Group (BCG). So, with the boost in mobile usage, the purchasing pattern will go up, and market potential will rise.
Entertainment activities in the form of video and audio content are also steering the online usage in rural parts of India. So, to connect efficiently with the media incoherent rural audiences, mobile marketing is today the best probable solution.