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Rural Marketing: Mobile Prospects

By Expert Author: Pintu Mahotra

Hinterlands, farmlands, agricultural land are some of the words that you use to describe rural areas. Why do you think that is so? The perception that rural areas are still living behind our urban years is a myth that has been smashed to smithereens in the last few years time and again. An area that contributes nearly 50% to the country’s GDP, with the help of its agricultural produce has become the biggest and newest markets to emerge in the recent times. A market that accounts for nearly 70 percent of India’s population; the per capital income in rural areas has grown tremendously since the beginning of the year 2000 in comparison to the urban area income growth.
A growth of 6.7% in the per capita income has brought in a wave of lifestyle change in the rural areas. This change has been beneficial for companies that were in search of new markets to market their product. Rural marketing is now one of the hottest trends to emerge in the recent times. Demand for consumer and lifestyle conveniences such as mobile phones, cars, two wheelers and of course televisions have grown over the last decade. People spends in rural areas was nearly 69 billion dollars as compared to 55 billion dollars spent by the urban population. Many companies have caught on to this trend and tweaking their marketing strategies to include rural marketing in a bid to gain further success for the distribution of their products and services.
Consumer electronics, appliances and means of communications industries have grown at warp speed especially the mobile market in India. Mobiles that were considered a luxury two decades ago are now a necessity and many have two mobiles these days. The Indian mobile industry has been growing with the subscriber base growing each day. This increase has been brought about by decreasing mobile tariffs and availability of low cost mobile handsets in the country. This market growth in mobile industry has also brought about a revolution in the way products are sold, with the introduction of mobile marketing in India the latest entrant in the marketing tools being used today.
The telecom subscriber base in India expanded to reach 90.44 crore according to the latest TRAI report. The number of telephone subscribers in India in the second quarter of the year 2013 was 904.46 million. New players like Videocon and Uninor joined the league of other mobile companies like Bharti Airtel, Reliance, Tata Teleservices and Aircel to get a share of the growing pie of mobile subscribers. Mobile marketing in the rural areas though in the nascent stage is completely price driven with availability of low cost mobiles. A new study conducted anticipated a growth of 32% CAGR during the year 2012. Sales of mobile handsets in rural markets is expected to grow at the rate of CAGR 17% , where battery efficient mobiles will play a huge role in driving sales especially in the rural areas. Mobile marketing in India is not a fad, but here to stay and will surely bring about a change in the way businesses market their products either in the rural or urban markets.

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