The National, a paper based in the United Arab Emirates, has an interesting article from the end of March about marketing efforts in rural India.
Increasingly, companies are viewing rural India as a tremendous potential market. But marketers are having to learn how to cater their product messages to rural consumers, which means having to navigate local languages, complicated local power structures, and preferences around advertising that vary widely from region to region.
And there’s the matter of determining who you’re actually marketing to:
One might assume that the “sarpanch,” or head of the village council, would be the natural brand ambassador for a range of consumer products. In fact, his authority is eroding, and he’s often seen as behind the times. The tastemakers are more likely to be college students who commute between their villages and nearby towns or cities. Indeed, even a village family’s lively, school-going 12-year-old is more likely to be plugged into the aspirational zeitgeist than an ageing local farmer, and will often choose the brand after the father sets the budget.