How can we thrive to win their confidence?

Rural India is not a condensed
form of urban India. It’s totally a different market. Ingenious marketing is
needed to gain admittance to this unexploited market. With urban India, the
world’s largest middle-class population, now translated and more or less
subjugated and now it’s time to pat into what could be the world’s largest
unexploited markets, we call it the emerging India. Though urban India was a
tough market to snap, rural India will be nothing short of a paradox. On one
side is the magnet of a large virgin market and on the other side is more than 10
per cent of the world’s population fraught to have contact to basic facilities
like water, power and hygiene. And both these concerns are inter-related. So
how does one accommodate to this exceptionally mixed market, which speaks in
three dozen dialects with social and cultural multiplicity unparalleled in the

Engaging India’s non-urban and
rural markets will essentially require high level of personalization, run down
by trailing the fundamental brand value proposition. Improved responsiveness
and aspirations are generating distinctive consumer segments in rural India.
Although companies underrate the significance of customer service in rural
markets, almost half of the respondents feels that it is an important factor
while making purchases. Rural consumers give weightage to the product
functionality, the aesthetics and the brand image, although price is an
important factor. A growing number of rural consumers visit malls in
neighboring towns or cities to make purchases, frequently accompanied by their
family members. A younger and the growing segment of rural consumers are also
browsing the internet for information on various branded products and the
prices. Mobile marketing is going to be the future of rural marketing by means
of an increasingly connected rural population and the cost advantage it offers
as compared to traditional media in rural India.

Rural consumers normally spend
a few months gathering information for high-involvement products like consumer
durables and automotive purchases as they are critical to people’s livelihoods.
Rural consumers will not board the purchase journey until they are persuaded
that they have a need and to satisfy that they need to but a product or
service. An extremely vital breakthrough in the purchase journey; companies can
grab the attention of rural consumers by tailoring the value proposition to
meet their unique needs and requirements. Rural consumers consider their
friends and family members to influence them for high-involvement purchase
decisions. There is also growing significance of sector-specific experts –
mechanics for automobiles, electricians for consumer durables – who are often
consulted by rural consumers and their opinions are valued because of their
vast knowledge and real-world experience.

Therefore, as rural consumers
are cautious to approach businesses, it turns out to be increasingly
significant for businesses to proactively reach out to the consumers to pursue
feedbacks and resolve complaints to evade undesirable word-of-mouth.

Excerpts taken from an
article published by Prof. Anish K. Ravi

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