“There is only one winning strategy. It is to carefully define the target market and direct a superior offering to that target market.” – Dr. Philip Kotler
There might only be one winning strategy but its applications seem two-fold, as per the well-known marketing guru the secret lays in following a step by step pattern. The initial landmark is the identification of target audience which is followed by its pursuit.
What is the target audience?
Marketing strategies are focused on the potential customers, however, it is impossible to relate to everyone and therefore a particular group is segregated from the audience on different parameters. The marketing efforts are aimed at the said group. These are selected on the basis of age, demographics, product features etc. so that the people who are most likely to use the product are being focused on. This improves the efficiency of the rural marketing campaign and increases the chances of a positive reaction to the product.
What is the target audience for rural marketing campaigns?
Devising a rural marketing campaign does not come without its challenges and therefore this first step becomes that much more important. However, the fact that around 58% of the total rural population in India is engaged in farming activities has contributed greatly towards solving this dilemma. Marketers find this number delighting because now that their mark is set, they can create a path to reach it. Farmers not only dominate by numbers but in a conventional society structure, their influence is widespread and steady.
How to reach the target audience?
Identifying the target audience is not sufficient, finding a way to make them aware of the brand is equally vital to the success of the rural marketing campaigns. A platform is a necessity to connect with the target audience as a group, rather than individuals. A stage that can be used curate a personal relationship with them as farmers and potential customers.
The best way to put this together is through a “farmer meets”– where the community gathers with their peers to discuss and resolve common issues. Such meets are often organized by the council or village heads for various purposes and can provide the marketer with an active stage of communication that employs the marketer’s interpersonal skills to increase awareness about the brand.
FARMER MEETS AND ITS ADVANTAGES
Organization of one such meet does not put strain on the marketing budget but fulfills multiple objectives of the marketing campaign, such as:-
- Interactive session with the target audience where a link between the features of the product and needs and preferences of the farmers can be established. This can act as a great way of promotion of the product as well as enhancing awareness.
- Direct feedback can be from the farmers regarding utility and pricing of the product and used to create better strategies for future campaigns.
- Various other methods such as edutainment can be incorporated in such meets to ensure that the message is communicated to the farmers in a way that allows them to understand and retain it.
- It is a perfect opportunity to engage the target audience in the promotional activities so that they process remains interactive and thus effective.
- Cost utilization is optimum since the reach is magnified as compared to other means that sought to reach the target audience separately.
The Effectiveness Conundrum
While all testimony provides positive responses to the usage of farmer meets in rural areas, there is still a factor unspoken of while reviewing the efficiency of the same as a part of rural marketing campaigns.
A farmer meet should be organized through the correct channels and by deciding on the perfect agenda in order to make the most of it. It is a common understanding that a farmer is more likely to show up to a meet where he gets a solution to his problems rather than one that aims to increase sales of a product.
Therefore, farmer meets are capable of offering results as listed above only if organized and implemented effectively.