Rural Consumer and Aspects of Rural Marketing

15th February 2024
Rural Consumer and Aspects of Rural Marketing

The rural market is extensive and diverse. It makes up a significant part of the Indian economy. However, the rural market is different and cannot be treated the same as the urban market. Needs and behaviors of rural customers are different and the way rural markets operate and the factors that influence it are distinguished.

Key Demographics of Rural Markets

To understand more about Rural Markets, we can divide the consumers into suitable categories. Some of the categories are:

  1. Income:

    The population living in rural areas usually come from low income groups. This is because the most common occupations involve farming, labor work, small shop retailers, people providing small services, and similar small scale occupations. Hence, their earnings are usually low. Also, people in the rural areas usually earn wages and payments on a daily or weekly basis. Consumers are more inclined towards buying necessary consumer goods.

  2. Occupation:

    As discussed earlier, the rural population are involved in simpler occupations. This involves labor workers, farmers, shopkeepers, and small scale retailers and service providers. People are more likely to buy household use products, industrial and farming raw material. This can be insightful for brands and potential businesses to create products that provide value and cater to their basic needs, while creating more room to offer other products.

  3. Culture:

    Culture is an inseparable part of our country and more prominently so in rural areas. Cultural factors such as different religions, castes, traditions and linguistic groups often affect the choices, and purchase decisions.

  4. Age Groups:

    Rural areas often display higher populations who are middle aged or seniors. Younger population tends to move to urban or semi urban areas in search of education and employment opportunities. Hence, it may be effective to use products that target the resident population in the areas.

Factors Influencing Rural Consumer Behaviour

  1. Culture:

    Depending on the region, cultural groups often display subtle to major differences in buying behavior. Politics also play a part in shaping buyer perspectives. This may involve rules or curbs set by local Gram Panchayat to bigger political groups.Social traditions and attitudes affect how a rural consumer perceives your product. Attitudes towards taboo topics can be influential in product choices.

    Further, Indian Society is classified into castes and sub castes, which is more prominent in rural areas. Caste System may affect an individuals social rights and behavior, and subsequently the choice of products they buy. In some regions, the caste system may prove a challenge in free flow of goods.

    From a marketing perspective, it is important to be sensitive towards different castes while ensuring that the brand, their product or product messaging does not offend any caste or group or their sentiments and attitudes while crafting our message or product in a manner that offers a solution.

  2. Literacy:

    The level of income of the rural population also impacts their buying preferences and patterns. For example, lower income groups may buy less products and in minimal quantities, compared to higher income groups. The level of income itself is influenced by other economic factors that we will be discussing below.

  3. Employment:

    Amount of employment opportunities available nearby rural regions along with frequency of wages impact a household’s level of income, further affecting their purchase decisions. Occupations like farming and industries can cultivate demand for raw materials.

  4. Cost of Living and Infrastructure:

    Cost of living is the amount rural consumers have to pay to avail essential facilities and services. This could be the expenses incurred on housing, transportation, utilities and medical facilities. Higher spending on living can lead to reduction in spending on consumer products.

  5. Infrastructure and Technology:

    Infrastructure like sufficient transportation, warehouses, and communication can ensure smoother flow of products within supply chains, allowing more choice of products to be available to rural consumers. With time, awareness of a wider and newer range of products can improve rural consumption patterns, reducing conservative buying and making them open to trying new products and brands. Technology like the internet and television, can help with e-commerce activities, online services, and more awareness about different choices of products available in the market.

  6. Government Policies:

    The government often provides various schemes, subsidies, incentives, and programs to encourage development of rural areas. Subsidies and incentives from the government can facilitate purchases in those areas.

    1. Conclusion:

      Greater economic activity can also facilitate development and progress in rural areas. The Rural Economy is rapidly developing. After understanding the rural market it becomes easier to formulate and implement efficient marketing strategies that can help a brand tap into the high potential rural market. Despite challenges, efficient marketing and growing investment, the potential of businesses to expand their reach to rural areas and grow looks incredibly promising for organizations as well as the economy as a whole.