Effective Communication Strategy in Rural Marketing – Indian Perspective

Rural Marketing Communication Explained with Indian Persepective


There are different aspects to effective communication strategy in rural marketing which includes not only the communication message but also the language, media used, social & behavioural influences etc- There are many variables across all these aspects in the rural marketing especially India. However, the basic communication process remains the same even in the rural market.

The Communication Process Model in Rural Marketing

The communication process model remains standard for both rural and urban markets. The sender sends the encoded message using a selected media which receiver receives and decodes to understand the message. This is more or less same as in urban markets. However, there are many variables in the model in case of communication strategy in Rural Marketing. e.g. There can be language barrier and the message doesn’t get decoded the right way and gets wasted as ‘noise’. Also due to unavailability of mature media in rural markets the message might not be hitting the right target audience.

Communication Process ModelThe rural environment plays an important role in the way the message is understood by the consumer. Below are prime three reasons because of which the target audience might not understand the desired message:

  1. Selective Attention – The consumer may not even notice the stimuli
  2. Selective Distortion – The message is indirect and twisted making it difficult to understand for the rural audience
  3. Selective Recall – The consumer retains only a fraction of the communication.

All the above three conditions add to the ‘noise’ in the communication process model and thereby play an important role while making the communication strategy in Rural Marketing.

Effective Messaging in Rural Marketing

This is a major challenge in rural marketing and most of the times an organization resorts to specialist agencies to answer this question. The rural consumer should connect and relate to the message. Broadly, below are the heads to be taken care of while crafting a rural message.

  1. Languages – The message should be easily understood by the rural consumer. It should be simple and use appropriate key words for instant connect. Message should reflect culture and religious sentiments of the audience. e.g. Dabur distributed religious calendars in rural markets.
  2. Pictorial Presentation – Considering the literacy levels of rural markets, pictorial representation of message becomes an important part of communication.
  3. Message Form – The message should be native to the place and have utility for the consumer.
  4. Source – Many times the source from where the message is coming from adds to the credibility in the rural market. The message source can be
    1. Likeable
    2. Trustworthy
    3. Expert

Product Interest of Rural Consumer

The product interest in rural marketing is one of the prime aspects to be understood before crafting any rural marketing communication. The product interest can vary with different influencers in the life of a rural consumer/villager.

The below chart explains how influencers effect product interest and decision of a rural consumer.


Social and Behavioural Influencers in Rural Marketing

Media used in Rural Marketing Communication

The media used in rural marketing could be:

  1. Mass Media or Conventional Media – TV, Radio, Print, Cinema, Video on Wheels etc-

Traditional or Non Conventional Media – Puppet Show, Folk theatre, mela, paintings, posters etc-Rural Marketing Communication Media ChannelsNon conventional mediums are considered useful creating effective communication strategy in rural markets. Below is a general flow of message across traditional mediums in the rural market.

Usage of Non Conventional Media in Rural Marketing




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