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What technological disruptions mean for rural marketing?

Past two decades have been the decades of technological disruptions such as high speed mobile internet, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and many more. How have these technologies made a difference in rural markets?

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The increasing penetration of mobile and mobile internet in rural India has brought paradigm shift in the rural markets. Mobile internet has democratised the access to information on fingertips.

Past two decades have been the decades of technological disruptions such as high speed mobile internet, satellite imaging, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and many more. These disruptions have started playing vital role in rural India.

“There are many ISMs that touch human lives. Today, this is the era of Digitalism. It is the new religion. Digital formats are sweeping human lives. Social media, mobile technologies, cloud, analytics and Augmented Reality (AR) are sweeping physical abilities aside,” says Harish Bijoor, brand guru and CEO of Harish Bijoor Consults Incs,

“A new competence is required today. This is digital competence. The point is simple, digital technology and devices that are connected to it in the future, will do things with greater efficiency and at optimal cost that will rival human abilities and costs. Therefore, in the future, it is the system silly! Move over human being, and move in digital tech!” Bijoor adds.

Thanks to the penetration of ICT, today’s consumers in rural India are more aware than the past which has raised their expectations. To cater to the rising expectations, marketers need to bring in changes in their brand strategy.

Making a suggestion to the rural marketers, Bijoor says, “Marketers cannot anymore offer less-quality offerings to rural consumers and better-quality offerings to urban consumers. There is a need to interlink the needs, wants, desires and aspirations of rural and urban consumers closely and offer the best to both segments. Rural and urban distinction is today just a geography distinction. Rural is a mindset, as is urban.”

The two way communication has made easy for the markers to understand the need of rural consumers before developing a product. Furthermore, brands are capable to get instant feedback from consumers for future strategy.

Before the invention of mobile phones; distributors, stockists and retailers had to place orders 15 days in advance and had to keep stocks for that period. Today, they are placing instant orders electronically and getting products instantly. It has enabled them to have lesser quantity of stocks which help them have more varieties and brands. On the other hand, this has helped more number of brands to supply products in the rural markets. And therefore, technological disruptions are the new phenomena which have to be applied by the marketers for a sustainable business in the rural markets.

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