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Flirting with Rural India

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RV Rajan launches handbook to unlock rural market

Flirting with Rural India

Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore… India’s booming mega-cities are be getting brands and advertisers excited. But in the rush to capitalize on the growing community of cosmopolitans are they in danger of overlooking the country’s rural population – which stands at over 845 million people.


Veteran adman and rural marketing specialist RV Rajan has published “Don’t Flirt with Rural Marketing – The Handbook of Rural Marketing” a book to help brands who want to talk to this large market. The book contains a 14-step approach to Rural Marketing, packed with insights from the author, who spent 35 years of his 45 years’ advertising career, helping a wide variety of clients in conceiving and executing their rural marketing strategies.


The book begins with a Prologue, which describes the author’s interesting journey through the hinterland of the country, transforming a city boy into a Rural Marketing specialist.  


The chapters outlining the fourteen step approach include topics like  Commitment from the top management, choosing the right product, understanding the mindset of the rural consumers, getting a dedicated task force, Developing focused communication strategy, Performance evaluation etc. The highlight of the book is the elaborate chapter on Below the Line Activities(BTL) which account for 80% of the rural marketing efforts.  In this chapter the author provides a detailed   practical guide  for any kind of  road shows.


Many of the chapters are  supported  with Appendices giving very useful contact details of individuals and institutions who provide support services to anyone interested in making a foray into rural marketing.(Eg.) List of agencies specializing in rural research, list of agencies which help in planning and executing rural strategies, List of select event management companies, list of important Melas, Sources of  Secondary data on Rural Marketing etc. 


In his foreword to the book Mr. Kurush Grant, the Executive Director of ITC says, “The first usable manual for marketers.  Most serious marketing companies should make the book  compulsory reading for all their marketing and rural sales teams”.


Pradeep Kashyap, the father of Rural Marketing and President of Rural Marketing Association of India, agrees. “The book is a must have for anyone involved in Rural Marketing  because it has practical insights on Rural marketing which are invaluable for companies and agencies.”

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