How rural consumers are more value conscious?
Within the fabric of the Indian society, there is the rural person, the Rurban and the Urban. Between these three segmentations, the rural person is the most value-conscious. The Rurban person is that much less and the urban person is the least of the lot. To an extent, value is ingrained in the DNA of the rural Indian. Value represents a price-quality equation in his/her mind. Every product and every service has a quality and bang-for-the-buck to offer. This bang-for-the-buck is calculated carefully and evaluated at every step of the product decision-making and taking process. The price-quality equation is essentially a weighing scale in the mind of the rural consumer, who puts quality and utility on one pan and money on the other. When the equation works in his favor, he buys. When it does not, he switches off.
How rural consumers pay more respect to traditions and customs?
The rural person is that much more connected to the four elements of nature than the urban person is. There is a direct and continuous correlation of life with the four elements of nature in rural. Air, fire, earth and water is worshiped. In many ways I would say that the fear of nature is the beginning of wisdom. This wisdom is still alive and kicking with rural folk. That makes them different from urban folk in terms of usage, attitude, consumption and behavior.
How rural consumers are strongly family oriented?
Family bonds within the rural format of life is strong. While in urban areas, there is what I call ‘urban de-bonding’ at play, in rural areas, there is ‘rural bonding’ at play. In urban areas we live ‘I, me and myself’ centric lives. Rural folk are that much more inclusive than urban folk are.
How increasing literacy is increasing readership in rural India?
Those who live in the geography that is rural are increasingly besotted with education today. The older folk know very well the merits of education and learning. The hunger for education is replaced by a hunger for jobs in later years. Readership is bound to increase, as is the ability of this mass to talk the same language in the same tone, tenor and decibel of an urban person.
What according to you are the mantras for rural markets?
My top five mantras for rural marketers to focus on is 1. Do not look down at rural markets as second-rung opportunities. Look at them as primary markets. 2. Do not be patronizing in your marketing approach. Do not hand over second-rate products for rural markets as opposed to your first-rung products for urban markets. 3. Stay honest and straight-forward. 4. Stop believing in the myths of marketing. Rural has changed dramatically, and new rural marketing is complex and exciting. 5. Stop sending your under-performing managers as Managers of the rural marketing effort.