Posted on August 6, 2016
How to justify investments in rural marketing campaigns?
Rural marketing agencies have found surprisingly innovative ways to promote the product and build a brand under the pressure of unpredictable audiences and crowd of similar or competitive products. However, they still face the challenge of finding an indicator that can pen down the impact of their efforts perfectly to lower down the weight on their shoulders. Even though they try to convey the same using cost per lead, new contact rate, open and conversion rates, sales revenue etc., none of the above can satisfy the client’s curiosity. This challenge intensifies in rural areas due to the fact that products belong to lower prize horizon and client’s motive is fast money.
Why is it difficult to justify investment made in devising and implementing a rural marketing campaign?
There is no way to establish a direct link between the campaign and any financial gain accrued from it. A situation where you can see prompt results and profit is rare, so rare that depending on it to surface is not the smartest option. The emphasis on rural marketing has increased over time and organizations are readily accepting to bear expenses with the hopes of better results but at the same time, their interest in higher investment indicates their desire for better results. Unfortunately, no direct method has been devised to calculate the impact of this proportion.
In such a scenario, the rural marketing agencies best bet is to place their trust in justifying the investment through demonstrating operational efficiency while being effective.
A total of 97,000 crorerupees are scheduled to be spent on construction of roads under PMGSY scheme, majority of which are to connect rural areas.
How can this be achieved?
To provide services at the closest price to the fairly equated one. In the simplest words possible, it means doing what should be rightfully done, for market price or less. For the purposes of clarification, let us state that operating efficiency is not a practical synonym to cost reduction or even cost appraisal for that matter. It merely means attempting to find a way to accommodate the requirements of the campaign in the budget desired by the clients. The scope of the concept is broader than it appears as it invites the age old conflict between effectiveness and efficiency into focus.
Many contradictory views appear demanding the abolition of such reliance on efficiency, one such comes from Isaac Wyatt who believes;
“Effectiveness is the goal. Efficiency by itself isn’t the goal, and in fact, many Marketing Operations groups focus on being efficient, and they are, but at the wrong things. By lacking systemic ways to measure effectiveness, efficiency is used as a proxy indicator.”
The trouble is that while efficiency pushes the right way, effectiveness pushes the right thing which leaves them at loggerheads.
However, a more radical approach shows that there is no way of achieving efficiency without the inclusion of effectiveness. The perfect balance is considered doing the right thing in the right way. Even though finding a suitable way that fits the bill seems impossible, patience and innovation can guide the way. The secret is to pick up the best from both the approaches, this way you can avoid a low productive situation which might be called efficient due to lower investment and promote higher productivity at reasonable costs.
It is all about the mix, leaving one or both approaches behind may cost your business and your brand, carrying them forward will help both grow immensely.