Rural Marketing refers to the strategies made by different companies to target rural areas. Through this, they try to capture the potential market and satisfy the needs of the people living in the remote areas of the country.
Rural marketing is considered as a process to develop, price, promote, and distribute products or services in rural areas for dual purpose, i.e., to satisfy the needs and desires of rural customers and to achieve organizational goals. Marketers indulge in different rural marketing activities to motivate rural people to increase their purchasing power, and hence, the demand for a particular product. The intention behind rural marketing is to not only improve the living standards of rural people but also for the organization’s growth. In developing countries like India, the majority of the population resides in rural or remote areas that provide a great opportunity for undertaking marketing activities in these rural areas. Due to this, marketers are expanding in rural areas, which is still untapped as India has a great scope of rural marketing. So, in simple words, rural marketing is related to plan and implement different marketing activities for rural areas. The rural marketing constitutes a two-way process, which includes Urban to Rural and Rural to Urban. Different FMCG products, fertilizers related to agriculture, automobiles, etc., are provided to the rural market from the urban market. On the other hand, different agricultural goods like vegetables, fruits, milk, flowers, etc., are supplied by the rural market in urban markets.
Different experts have also described rural marketing. Let’s have a look at a few definitions:
- National Commission on Agriculture has defined Rural marketing as “a process in which the first step is to decide the production of farm commodity that is saleable and it includes all the aspects related to market system or structure, both institutional and functional, based on considerations i.e. both technical and economic, and also covers harvest operations i.e. pre and post, activities related to assemble, grade, store, transport and distribute.”
- According to Thomsen, Rural marketing is considered as “the study of all its operations and agencies who are involved in doing these operations, indulged in the movement of raw material and derivatives like textiles, food, etc. which are farm produced, from the farms to end-users or consumers, and the impact of these operations on middleman, producers and end-users or consumers.”
- In words of G.N. Murthy, Rural marketing is defined as the study related to different activities, agency and policies indulged in the purchasing of farm inputs by the agriculturists and the transfer of rural goods from agriculturists or farmers to consumers.”
Examples of Rural Marketing
Let’s see a few real-life examples of different rural marketing campaigns initiated by different brands in India:
1. HDFC Bank’s “Festive Treats” and “Har Gaon Hamara” Rural Campaigns
HDFC bank which is the brand name in the private banking sector had launched “Festive treats”, a financial services campaign last year in October for providing benefits to the rural customers as part of its rural marketing strategy. Through this campaign, people of rural areas are now able to avail special offers on different banking products like loans, saving accounts, and other deposits, etc., which are specially designed for them by the bank. Similarly, another rural marketing initiative “Har Gaon Hamara” was also started by HDFC Bank with the purpose of creating awareness of different financial products, digital services, and social welfare schemes among rural people. Further to strengthen this campaign and rural market outreach, HDFC Bank introduced ‘Har Gaon Hamara’ IVR (Interactive Voice Response) toll-free number to facilitate farmers for accessing or availing financial services.
2. “Experience Hyundai” Campaign by Hyundai
Hyundai Motor India had launched a rural marketing campaign in India, i.e., “Experience Hyundai” across 418 rural areas. The objective of this campaign was to generate strong customer engagement. The campaign was launched to increase the customer base and to connect more rural audience using a caravan in which Hyundai cars were displayed in villages and smaller towns.
3. “Khushion Ki Doli” by Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL)
The well-known FMCG Company, Hindustan Unilever Ltd’s (HUL) campaign “Khushion Ki Doli” also known as “Caravan of Happiness” was very popular in the rural areas. The main purpose of this campaign was to establish the HUL brand in dark rural areas or villages and to develop a deep customer engagement for brand adoption. Different HUL home care and personal care products or brands were promoted under this campaign like Surf Excel, Fair and Lovely, Lifeboy, Wheel, and Close-Up as per the daily needs of rural customers.
4. “Accessibility” Campaign by Coca-Cola
The soft drink giant Coca-Cola’s “Accessibility” campaign introduced “Chota Coke,” which was smaller in size than the traditional bottle of Coke and that is also at a lesser price. This rural marketing strategy of Coke helped in closing the gap between Coke and common refreshments that rural people generally took, like tea, lemonade, etc. It increased the company’s sales in the rural market by almost 60%.
5. “UTSAV” Campaign by Asian Paints
The well-known paint brand, Asian Paints “Utsav” campaign has been very popular in rural areas. In this campaign, the Mukhiya’s home in villages was painted 6 months before launching the paint as a demonstration for non-peel-off quality of paint. The concept for doing such a demonstration was that rural customers give more focus on other’s experiences of using brands to make purchase decisions. So, the Utsav campaign grabbed the attention of rural customers and also successfully built reliability and durability due to painted Mukhiya’s house walls and attracted lots of rural customers.
6. Dabur’s “Nauchandi Mela” and “700 Se 7 Kadam” Campaigns
The popular Indian FMCG Company, Dabur, came up with a different branding campaign, “Nauchandi Mela,” which is considered as the key congregations in rural areas in India. In this campaign, rural customers got a chance to have live experience of Dabur’s product, i.e., Pudin Hara Lemon Fizz. This campaign resulted in gaining a great market share of the product in the rural market. Similarly, Dabur also launched different social initiatives in rural areas to promote its brand, Sanifresh, which is a toilet cleaner. Out of these initiatives “700 Se 7 Kadam” campaign was a significant campaign and with this campaign, Dabur took the initiative to build toilets in rural areas. The objective of this campaign was to improve sanitation facilities in rural areas, especially for women. This campaign received great appreciation and response from the whole of India.