The key idea behind the 4th Annual Rural Marketing Strategies Conference was to establish a cost effective reach model and pry into the rural consumer behaviour to optimize the potential. Over 30 leading brands belonging to varied categories such as FMCG, agro chemicals, cement, electronics, telecom, agri-tech, etc., shared their knowledge and expertise about the rural market scenario while discussing strategy models and important rural case studies.
On the first day of the conference, a workshop activity, which consisted of roundtable discussions and presentations focusing on developing business models, pricing strategies and innovative products was conducted. The second and third day saw three sessions each of case study and strategy presentations in a classroom fashion. Three, 30 minute presentations, took place in each session. They also concentrated on the role of brand diversification in creating an experiential outreach and the tangible beneficial value that it offers the rural market. Q&A sessions followed suit for doubt solving purposes.
The success stories of organizations that have tapped the rural market and maintained consistent stability and growth were brought forward. The topics discussed were deciphering the behaviour and psychological mindset of the consumer, creating brand awareness in media dark areas using traditional media and innovative ideas to appeal to the rural consumer, customizing products and services without diluting the quality to capture rural customers and also acknowledging the purchasing power of the rural consumer. This helped gaining the necessary insights needed to leverage the different approaches used by industries and to apply the same to their business type.
The execution of the conference was carried out by Markus Evans, a multi-national business strategies event firm in association with Event Crafter. The conference set up was approached in a strictly professional manner. More than imagery, the emphasis was on richness of the content and relevance of experiences shared by speakers on the same. Official invitations were sent out through mailers and personal invites.
When asked about the specific reasons for sponsoring the event, Siddhartha Chaturvedi, CEO, Event Crafter, emphasized: "We are a growing organization and are expanding our operations all across the nation, partnering a forum that addresses the subject of rural marketing, an area we specialize in, it made perfect sense for us. We are also the members of Rural Marketing Association of India and have co-incidentally won most of our national industry awards for the rural campaigns planned and produced by us. The 4th Rural Marketing Strategies conference gave us a platform to connect with other colleagues in the marketing fraternity, who are focusing on rural market as the market for the future and are creating strategies to make it come to the fore. The conference promised a lot of insight for us and we are really glad to have partnered the event as the sponsors since it has added a lot to our understanding of the rural market and has re-enforced our intent to work in the rural sector and try to create a difference in this market, which really matters!"
The chairpersons at the conference were Shailesh Naik, Head, ITC E-chaupal, and Sanjay Patro, Professor of Marketing & Associate, Dean, SPM & Research, XLRI Jamshedpur. The speakers included representatives from ITC, Godfrey Philips, Tata Tea, Nokia, HDFC Bank, Acer and other such prominent companies.