Rural areas are a tough to market. They are so diverse and different that you cannot just imply one marketing technique across all. Above this, when it comes to developing countries there are more factors to consider like spending ability, lifestyle differences, differences in social statures etc.
Here are some tips to go for while running a rural marketing campaign.
1. Every rural is strategically different. Applying same strategy to all rural places can be a BIG mistake for your marketing campaign.
2. People are smarter and more cost sensitive. If you think you can plant some posh dreams and sell the product, THINK AGAIN.
3. Understanding their location, people and their activities in important. This helps align your product marketing to their needs.
4. It may seem like a pie or you may dislike it for the hard to understand differences, but you CANNOT IGNORE this segment. This is HUGE. If focused well, this alone can count up to major chunk of your sale. To note India has somewhere around 6, 50,000 rural areas on a rough basis, which is definitely a very big number.
5. GO SOCIAL, GO MOBILE. Mobile penetration has increased to a great deal and this is certainly a great platform to promote your products. With mobile, internet penetration has also increased and youth are using it. Go Social and you shall see a lot of youth from rural turning a customer.
6. THINK DIFFERENT. When it is marketing it is always important to think unique and differently. For rural this is even more true. Standard marketing techniques may go tangential without hitting masses. Invest in ideas which help connect with the locals more.
7. MOUTH PUBLICITY. No guerilla approach, no spike hypes, it is the mouth publicity which works. People in rural are generally not so open experimenting new brands (for the limited income they have). To get your brand popularity and come out of that “Unknown” region use campaigns to promote mouth publicity. Nothing works better than this. To do this you may consider doing some things free and in return be more “Known”.
8. EMPOWER while you sell. Focus on empowering people in Rural as your partners/ dealers/ selling agents to gain more recognition. Creating new jobs in Rural will make you more trustworthy and popular.
On a last note, if rural marking is done effectively, it can give brand loyal customers and can give your revenues a big boost.