The recent research that was conducted by Equal Partners was to understand rural consumer behaviour. According to the research, rural consumer behaviour has changed significantly over the last decade.
As per statistics, the percentage for ownership of television has gone up by 11 per cent, eight per cent for two-wheelers, eight per cent for refrigerators, and just 0.7 per cent for the four-wheeler.
Rahul Saigal, COO, Geometry Global, reiterated the need for such a study. He spoke about how the rural consumer behaviour has changed, and how market prioritisation must be the beginning of all rural marketing campaign planning.
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Madhukar Sabnavis, vice-chairman and director -- client relations, Ogilvy & Mather, India, had an interactive session with the audience and posed questions such as whether urban percolation methods still worked with rural markets. "Or, do you think that marketers are missing something by not addressing them correctly with any specific message?" he asked.
Vivek Sharma, chief marketing officer, Pidilite Industries, gave the answer. "I don't think it always works. Rural consumers have a totally different need. For example, if there are people living in huts, they still need water-proofing and anti-termite solutions. The idea here is not to sell anything that we have, but to sell what suits them in their conditions," said Sharma.
When asked if clients can really afford to make different creatives for rural and urban target audiences, Shireesh Joshi, COO, strategic marketing group, Godrej Group of Companies, said, "Some clients do have that kind of budget depending on the scale of operations and importance of rural as part of the business."
Agreeing with Joshi's view, Sharma said, "If the business is big, it is affordable. You can afford some kind of a film or a message, but if you cannot reach to that specific audience, it will not have the desired effect."
Ravi Shankar, CEO, Decision Point, lent an insight into consumer segmentation, category consumption, and rural consumers.
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Raghu Roy, founder and managing director, MaRS, offered his views on his understanding about rural consumers. He said that the opinions of both children and husbands were considered when it came to lifestyle and consumer behaviour.
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This RScape research was conducted by Equal Partners: IIM-Ahmedabad, MaRs, Decision Point and Geometry Global.