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Challenges in Rural / Village advertising in India

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Village advertising India, Business and distribution system using Rural advertising

Challenges in Village / Rural Advertising

The rural Indian market is growing at a rapid pace for many products and simultaneously, the tastes and choices of rural consumers are getting transformed drastically.So, Rural advertising is gaining ground in today’s competitive advertising market. The services and products that are being offered to rural folks may or may not be different from the ones in urban areas. But the strategic way they are promoted and marketed has a point to research. To face these challenges, marketers are using a combination of advertising and promotional techniques and also unique media communications for rural areas.

There has been a lots of discussion on advertising in Indian villages. Rural India presents immense opportunity for sure but for everyone trying to make moolah out of it, there are unique challenges that the area presents and need to be cautious.Today we would like to share my experience, which I have gained after multiple years of off and on field research.

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1.Logistics and Distribution:

Infrastructure continues to be top challenge in Indian villages. Additionally, dearth of an efficient distribution system prevents complete reach of services/products into rural Indian villages. One of the most preoven models in recent times has been the usage of the Indian postal service by mobile companies is penetrate scratch cards to the rural areas. The mighty Indian Postal Service with more than 1,50,000 post offices is the largest distribution network across the globe, and has more than 120000 centers in India’s villages.


2.Payment collection:

Although times are changing very fast,the majority of the population in Indian villages are still devoid of banks. Clearly cash collections, are unclear and hard to monitor, especially since cash cards or technology-driven centralized Point Of Sale (like Suvidha or E-mitra) have still not reached all rural areas. The proven manufacturer,distributor and retailer network has been the only success so far, although setting up such a structure is hardly feasible. Indian Rural Advertising – Challenges and Opportunities


While pricing for Sachet may have worked well for shampoo and detergent brands, the overheads in payment collection create hinderances and don’t always allow easy flow pricing. It is easier to collect in larger amounts as every instance of collection and carrying of cash has associated costs. Extra income, though, isn’t always high since the bulk of rural population is dependent on agricultural and income cycles using crops are very un predictable and not constant as used to be in the case of us salaried professionals.

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4.Scaling scope across demographies:

India is a country of different cultures, the trend becomes even more scattered in the case of remote villages. Setting up business operations on a PAN-India level encounters different kinds of issues in various states ranging from social to political factors. Any business model where scalability means scaling on real grounds operations is bound to run into unknown issues as we switch from one state to the other. Added the differences in consumer priorities and behavior across locations than in the relatively less scattered urban Indian population.

5.Developing inorganic scale:

Developing artificial scale through partnerships has resulted in growing overheads in the rural Indian market. Finding the right person with reach in villages is not so easy to start with. Moreover, there are very few companies who are strong on these people across multiple areas. Hence, a whole-India roll out requires multiple strong partnerships resulting in growing partner management overhead costs.

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6.Social and cultural barriers:

The kiosk model has successfully in some parts and not worked in other parts of rural India due to socio-cultural fabric. One of the prime reasons for the fall down of the kiosk model was the lack of usage by women ,reason being their discomfort in going to kiosks run by opposite gender. MyHoardings don’t at any point want to play down the potential that is present. Most of the points just go back to the basic assumption that rural India is a volume market and need scale that is organically is the largest challenge. Ones who will succeed in solving these problems will definitely change the world around us.

Most of consumer product and service agencies in India are rapidly targeting Indian village markets for expanding their ground businesses. Some of the companies which have already made their presence registered in the rural areas are LG Electronics, Britannia,Hindustan Unilever, Coca-Cola, Philips, Palmolive and various telecom operators and life insurance companies.For the first time in India, ITC  started its rural mall “Choupal Sagar” in remote areas of the country in order to serve high potential rural consumers. This Choupal sagar provided warehouse storage facilities for the storage of farm produce purchased from the farmers and also functions as a shopping-cum-information center for rural consumers.Recently Axis Bank took new measures for growing its network in rural areas. It’s also planning to appoint more field staff in villages and set-up centers with Internet and other basic services at rural branches. The target behind all these efforts is to create awareness and changing spending habits among farmers and others about bank services and benefits.



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FAQ’s for Rural Marketing in India

Rural advertisement consist of various brand promotional activities carried out by companies in order to enhance brand awareness and visibility in Indian villages among rural audience.

OOH media options like Mobile van advertising, Kiosk Advertising, Hoardings and Wall painting are used to target rural markets and audience in India.

Rural markets in India, unlike their counterparts in urban  areas are highly difficult to predict, and have specific characteristics and behavior. Financially, the rural population of India is mostly mix of low and medium level varying irregular income and flow of farm income may vary as per the monsoon season.

Rural promotion or brand activation in Indian villages primarily include set of various activities to boost particular brands visibility and awareness in remote village areas in a given geographical location.

In India’s growth story of being a developing nation, villages have played an important role. Overall rural development efforts has reached villages as well and same can be seen in data of average rural household spending. Growing purchase power definitely attract brands to grow their footprints in Indian rural areas.

MyHoardings have capability and expertise to help brands build their rural marketing strategy. With vast experience in brand promotion in rural areas of India, MyHoardings can provide planning expertise and hassle free campaign execution of ad plans and branding in every corner of India.

Despite a long growth story, challenges remain in rural marketing sector in India. Data shows that number of people under the poverty line has not reduced at the planned and expected rates. Along with that, lack of better transport infrastructure, multiple languages and dialects, low income per capita and seasonal low demand clouts rural markets with clouds of uncertainty in India.

Since India rural markets remain uncertain when compared to urban counterparts, performance measurement also remain a challenging task in limited time periods. As far as Rural marketing is concerned, sustained presence in market is the key to perform in Indian villages and performance can only be verified with sales data in hand for ample period.

Yes. As an established rural branding agency in India, MyHoardings help brands to provide end to end services in rural marketing sector in India. We also provide experienced and influential promoters for interactions with villagers who can be beneficial for brands in Kiosk branding and roadshow advertising campaigns in India.

Yes. MyHoardings is growing rural advertising agency in India and multiple brands have chosen to collaborate with MyHoardings to execute their rural branding campaigns in Indian villages.

Products and services can be promoted with static ads like OOH hoardings, wall painting or interactive advertising mode involving promoters using mobile Kiosks or roadshow advertisement.

Wall painting is traditional, popular and impact creating mode of advertisement in rural Indian. Brand promotion in Villages with Wall painting include painting client creatives on available large walls in rural areas of India.

Wall wraps are usually considered as advanced version of wall painting, include large size flex or vinyl stickers pasted on road walls and retail areas in India. Wall wrap is an very economical and cost effective mode of outdoor advertisement and branding in India, especially in rural areas.

Growth story of Indian rural markets in past few decades is a well-known. Will rise in rural economy, increasingly more and more brands plan to increase their presence in Indian villages in order to increase company footprint and enhanced sales.

Roadshow advertising is used to promote a particular company products and services by displaying same on vehicles and carrying vehicle in busy rural areas of India. Usually promoters also accompany the roadshows in order to explain the product details or plans to the rural audience.

Rural advertisement activities vary highly when compared to urban marketing which need separate planning and crafting different messages for different audience groups. Rural advertising is also dependent on the cultural, geographical and social formats of living.

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