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Forty four per cent of our rural population owns TV sets: RScape

By Suraj Ramnath , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Marketing | February 10, 2016
The research says that 22 per cent own two-wheelers, while three per cent own four-wheelers in the overall rural population.

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

Madhukar Sabnavis

Vivek Sharma

Shireesh Joshi

Ravi Shankar

Raghu Roy

There were several points that were discussed at the event. One of the issues was how to reach out to the rural markets in an effective manner and what innovations could brands carry out for high brand recall. There were suggestions from the audience about communicating differently with the rural audience since the approach cannot be the same as for the urban audience.

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.

Click here to understand more about the research.

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.

Click here to get a complete view of research.

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.

Click here to get a complete view of the research.

This RScape research was conducted by Equal Partners: IIM-Ahmedabad, MaRs, Decision Point and Geometry Global.

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