Who doesn’t love a simple, accessible, and appealing marketing method? After all, your business objectives keep you going all day in a business, so it is only fair that you leave no stone unturned in reaping the rewards of success. Though Haats in Rural Marketing is traditional, this Indian avatar of hypermarket promises to drive company marketing plans as they eye the emerging rural market, which accounts for 70% of total India’s population, 60 % of income, growing at a rate of 15%.
1. WHAT IS A HAAT MARKET?
A haat is an open-air market that serves as a trading outlet in rural areas. They take place on a weekly basis. It is carried out to promote or develop rural-to-rural trade. In addition to providing business opportunities, haat bazaars eventually concentrate on rural settlements and convert villages into small cities.
Haats are the oldest form of marketing in India. They continue to play an essential role in the rural economy. In addition to purchasing consumer goods, people can sell surplus agricultural and related items at these marketplaces. They are known as traditional hypermarkets in rural India.
2. HAATS: MOBILE SUPERMARKETS OF RURAL INDIA
When you read the definition of Haat Market, what image comes to mind? You picture a bustling marketplace with a slew of carts and vendors selling their wares against a plain backdrop. People walk around with shopping bags in their hands, and children occasionally eat a snack. Yes, a haat is like a modern-day flea market held in a city mall. However, something else you should notice goes beyond the palette’s noticeable colors: the possibility of a touchpoint.
3. ADVANTAGES OF HAATS FOR BUSINESSES
The haat, which has withstood the test of time, is the oldest of all marketing channels in rural India, offering a diverse range of goods and services to rural customers in the area, making it one of the best key marketing channels for rural marketing agencies in India and businesses targeting rural audiences.
3.1. Makes reaching out to potential customers easier
Haats, like large department stores, provide a one-stop shopping experience. Every week, new haats open, offering buyers a diverse range of products at low prices. There are over 45,000 haats in India, according to S Venkatesh, director of RW Promotions, a rural marketing agency. This is an excellent opportunity for any consumer brand to woo the target audience.
Each haat covers acres of land and has 300 to 500 stalls selling anything and everything that villagers require in their daily lives. As a result, many people congregate in the haat market, creating opportunities for businesses to showcase their products.
3.2. Provides the ability to engage
It is a market where your customers can purchase items such as furniture, clothing, durables, jewelry, cattle, machinery, and so on. Nonetheless, when haats are organized, people arrive with the intent to buy. So, to capture their attention, you can organize promotional events and interactive activities.
3.3. Its attractiveness promotes frequency
The haats are where commodities are exchanged. Over time, it has evolved into a rustic showroom. This is because most of the target demographic shops on these weekly haat days. As a result, haats appeal to consumers looking to buy used goods and those who prefer barter transactions.
Furthermore, the freshness of the fruit, the ability to buy in bulk for a week, and the bargaining advantage all appeal to the people and the week-long hardworking country inhabitants make Haats an important congregation point for marketers and businesses like you.
3.4. Location for brand promotion
A haat is a more promising place to promote than build a brand. Bargain hunters are more likely to remember a product or brand’s low price than its image or positioning. Haats are ideal for product displays and even sampling due to the large captive audience, playing an essential role in the community economy.
4. RURAL HAATS: WOOING POTENTIAL RURAL CLIENT’S
According to the Rural Marketing Association of India, 53 percent of stalls in rural haats trade for agricultural produce, followed by manufactured goods, primarily fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) with 19 percent, processed food with 6%, handicrafts and forest products with 5% each, services with 4%, meat and poultry with 3%, and others with 5%. FMCG, auto, and agri industries have entered these areas by conducting regular efforts to exploit rural haats. They’ve grown their brands over time and are reaping the benefits.
While FMCG giants Hindustan Unilever, Procter & Gamble, and Dabur were among the first to join rural haats, emerging rural enthusiasts from infrastructure, automotive, cosmetics, pharma, banking, and other sectors are now starting to activate in haats. It is no longer unexpected to see a lot of consumer goods companies attending weekly rural haats, not to shop but to woo potential rural clients. Mahindra & Mahindra, Emami, Colgate, and Airtel are among the top companies promoting their brands in haats.
After doing a rural haat activation in Durg Bhilai, Chattisgarh, the State Bank of India (SBI) found a lot of interest in its mutual funds from a small village in Durg Bhilai. SBI is pleased with its haat activities as well. “The goal was to bring the capital market to the most remote corners of the globe. There is a sizable untapped market, but it will necessitate extensive investor education. These types of activities are cost-effective, “SBI Mutual Fund’s executive director and head of the strategy, Sreenivas Jain, stated.
5. BIG BRAND’S APPROACH OF HAATS IN THE RURAL MARKETING
- Colgate distributed free samples and toothbrushes at these haats for oral health awareness and promoted their product as a substitute for neem twigs, charcoal, salt, etc.
- Dabur promoted its hair oil as a substitute for mustard oil. Also, health camps were set up in haats to make customers aware of their products.
- Sonata displayed their watches in the haats to make rural people aware of the value of time.
- To make the program “Project Shakti” more effective, HUL organized Shakti Days in villages‘ haats filled with music and gifts. Products were put on display and sold to consumers. Haats are a bonanza for Shakti Amma’s as it helps them clear their stock quickly.
6. MAKE HAATS IN RURAL MARKETING THE NERVE CENTER OF YOUR MARKETING APPROACH
India’s rural market is one of the world’s fastest-growing markets. Marketers must approach this touchpoint with a long-term mindset, conducting extensive research and having a thorough understanding of these haats to comprehend the wants and demands of a specific market segment, which will help them expand their market base and generate money.
Written by – Kirti