With over 1.2 billion people in India and the main occupation being agriculture, it comes as no surprise that a large chunk of the population stays in the rural areas. Places and locations that are far outside the city limits have a dwelling of a large amount of India’s population. Out of India’s total population, a mammoth 72% reside in rural areas. Thus as a market for companies to markets their products and services, rural India has huge potential that is largely untapped.
While it is easier for an organization to market their products and services to urban markets and the top of the pyramid, the challenge faced by them is tapping the rural market potential. Marketing to the urban audience is easier due to their acceptance of media and its various forms that are present in urban areas. Thus they are more susceptible to products that are marketed there.
The issue faced by companies and organizations is the fact that a large part of the rural population is media dark. Maharashtra alone, with a total population of 90 million, is one of the most populated states in this country. Out of this 90 million, a whopping 55 million people reside in rural and semi rural areas. Understandably, this presents unique and limitless opportunities for brands trying to make their presence felt in the semi rural and rural areas. Traditional media like print and TV reach out to only 45% and 40% of the entire population respectively. This means, that 46% of the population can be considered as ‘media dark’ or not being approached by any media.
With the traditional media reach being so limited, it’s a real challenge for advertisers to connect with their audiences and get their brand’s message across. It becomes important to find a solution that will not only reach the right people, but will also ensure their captive attention thus ensuring a high recall. The rural audience wants to know about the brands, products and services that are out there in the market. The only problem with him getting to know about them is the fact that they are not effectively made aware of all the choices and options that they have at hand. The method of penetration needs to be in a very targeted and systematic manner.
An option that has worked well for Lokmat and HUL for marketing their soap brand, Lux is using audio advertisements at bus stops. Through the help of Vritti i-Media, who are the sole authorized Agency by MSRTC (ST) to run Audio Advertisements at 90+ bus depots across Maharashtra which reaches out to approximately 10.3 Cr+ people per month, HUL and Lokmat were able to successfully market their products and services to the rural audience and significantly boost sales in those areas.
Connecting to the bottom of the pyramid is always going to be a challenge that will be faced by many companies and organizations. The way of getting around it, however, is an effective solution that can aid in allowing for a company to reach out to the rural audience and in an effective manner.