Posted on July 20, 2016
Rural Mela is one of the best congregations in rural India for targeting rural people cost effectively
When we hear the word Mela, we are often plagued with the images of villagers naively concentrating their resources on games and food while a group of dancers magically attain synchronization in the crowd. Our vision on the subject is obstructed due to the portrayal of same in Hindi cinema but the fact is that this stereotyping is blinding rural marketing agencies.
In 2016, Fairs or melas organized in rural areas or small towns have a different aspect to their marketing opportunity. In the last few years, India saw brands such as Colgate, Dabur and Vodafone leading the way into mela marketing through Kumbh Melas and other big names like Sonpur mela, Navchandi mela etc.
They are no longer attributed to Hindu festivals but to an advertising alternative to target audiences in rural markets and small towns. We can safely say that if there is any rural equivalent of “mall activities” which has been chosen by several giants, it is rural Mela.
Similarities between the two can baffle you at once;-
- Availability of ideal crowd looking to have a good time.
- No rush as people visit both only with time to spare on their hands.
- Active participation from the crowd and ease in getting response.
- Buying behavior predictable.
If you equate both with the assistance of a catalyst for rural conversion, you get the same results.
What can this catalyst be?
In the most basic sense, the attitude and perspective of a rural marketing agency can act as the catalyst and assist in devising a successful marketing campaign in a mela .There are certain difference between rural areas and urban areas that need to be considered before exporting of this alternative into villages and rural areas. The feel of familiarity is one of the most challenging one to achieve in this transformation, villagers are attracted towards brands that seem highly functional and have a slight western influence but at the same time, they need the sense of association to trust the marketing agency.
For example, while in metro cities, a well dressed individual with good spoken English and sarcasm might generate better reaction from the audience but in villages, the same is replaced by rhymes, loud speakers and colorful settings. It is more about going big and extravagant in rural parlance; low driven efforts are not known to create the impact which is needed.
A rural marketer has to comprehend the preferences of his rural counterpart and serve their needs in a way they would most desire.
What are the benefits of Mela marketing?
Mela organized in rural areas are one of the best congregations for targeting audience from rural areas and small towns, here is why:-
- Brand visibility and exposure
Thousands of people belonging to diverse groups attend these melas; the advantage does not lie solely in numbers but in variety. Generally, all age groups and social economic status categories visit them. This provides brands visibility and exposure in circles they covet.
- Higher chances of conversion
People visiting these melas are relaxed and their buying walls are down, that simply means that they can be convinced more easily compared to interactive activities where they are invited on regular working days. Researches show that 73% of the visitors ended up making unplanned purchases in melas.
- Cost Effective
Given the benefits that brands can derive by the use of melas as a marketing opportunity, it seems to be providing return on investment. Expenses are minimal when this alternative is chosen as the creation of aura and environment is not the rural marketing agency’s responsibility. The brand gets a readymade platform.