Choosing the Right Rural Advertising Agency and Maximising ROI
A careful selection of the advertising and marketing agency is the key to success in the rural market. The rural agency with a rural team, who has an experience in rural parts would be the best people to do the work. Rural India being very diverse, needs a national presence in all parts of the country to execute the plan required. Even in the case of digital strategy, different language wise pages are required to be maintained and that can be done locally. The agency needs to be experienced enough so that the strategy should integrate with the local conditions. The practical implementation of the strategy at the local level is a must. The agency with robust processes in place would be able to do much better in implementation than the agency without any processes. The agency with local presence and with its own operations will be much better in implementation than just strategists dependent on the local vendors of low efficiency. The selection of the agency can be done on the basis of the following factors.
Rural Team is a Must:
The most important part to be observed about the rural agency is that whether its team is rural or not. The team members with rural base and experience would certainly make the difference. This is not just about having a degree in rural MBA or an agricultural degree, but to understand the culture, the language, the emotions and the fads in rural India. These strengths in the team is a must. The team players should have worked in those areas for minimum 5 years and have travelled length and breadth of the area understanding the crop patterns, youth aspirations and the living standards of the people of that region. The growth in the technology adaptation, the thought process and the mind-set of the rural people of the region are some of the most important aspects the team members should study and understand. These points are very important. The study of any brand and its competitors in that region which require introspection and feedback from the retailers and the end users. While studying the position of the brand in a particular region a strong team player is required.
National Presence with Regional Connect:
In order to build a brand across the country, the agency should understand every part of the country. This is possible only if the agency is working in all the regions and has a presence there. The agency should have their own office and presence and the basic works should be done by the agency itself. Many agencies are simply dependent on outsourcing to the inefficient vendors in local areas and try to control through a head office or office in a Tier II or Tier I city. This strategy do not work well. The reach of such agencies is till the Tier III towns only and villages are far away from them. The regional connect is a must for the agency to work in rural areas.
All Services in One Bouquet:
There are multiple things which a company does to build a brand. Some of them are mass media campaigns, outdoor campaigns, social media campaigns, digital efforts like Social Media Integration and SEO, call centres in multiple languages, etc. But are all these aligned properly to generate leads and convert them into sales? This is the real question. The alignment will help in designing the campaigns in such a way that every campaign is complimenting each other. In this strategy, the different channels, be it outdoor, mass media, different digital channels, call centre, etc. talk to each other and generate leads. The agency having all these services in their bouquet would be able to implement this in a much better way than the agency with few services with them. The presence in all regions is an all important aspect.
Implementation at Local Level:
Planning and strategy might be great. However, success completely depends on implementation. And the implementation is always at the local level in the case of rural advertising and marketing. The implementing agency needs to be practical and present at the local level. The agency should understand and know whether the planned things would be implemented or not, if yes then how. So if the planning and implementing teams are aligned then the results will certainly be wonderful and best. And if the agency is same the chances are much better. So I suggest the companies to connect with a single agency for complete marketing campaign across the country for better results.
Vernacular Teams at Local Level:
Translation in the local language has always been a challenge for every company. The translations can’t be done on a literal basis as sometimes the essence of the message gets diluted, so does the effectiveness in the campaign. So the translation needs to be done at the local level where people understand the culture and the dialect of that region. If I take an example Hindi is one language but every region like west UP, east UP, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, etc. have different dialects. So should the translation be. The special focus on the translation and its message is very important. In the case of vernaculars, it is not the perfect language that works rather the dialect used by the people. The dialect changes with some distance so the variation has to be considered. The communication should be made in every dialect where the brand is to be positioned. In the case of visuals like still pictures or videos, we should be very careful. While making a TV advertisement or a video, the video should not be dubbed. Rather reshooting should be done with local cultural elements in place with the universal communication. These can only be done if the agency understands all the regions where it operates and has a local presence. The local team of the agency can coordinate with the local team of the brand leading for better effectiveness while implementation. The agency with national coverage and local presence could do wonders. The brand manager should select such an agency.
The agency needs to implement the campaigns on the local level. All outdoor campaigns are to be coordinated on the local level basis and need a lot of coordination with the company’s team for better ROI. The communication is required to be in the local language so the translation also needs to be done at local levels to keep the essence of the communication intact. Even in the case of videos, the local actors with local communication should be used so that the advertisement connects perfectly with the people for better impact and ROI. Although a digital campaign can be run from central location but still it needs an input from local marketing and agency teams for the better implementation. Secondly in the case of digital marketing, the visuals are in local languages. Local language pages should be created on Facebook, Instagram etc. In order to manage them the local team would be a much better preposition than a person sitting in the national office. The regional team reports to the national team and a coordination is a must. The agency with such facilities at local level should be preferred.
An agency with strong processes at every stage would certainly give better results. Advertising agency working in larger areas must have ERP. Such agencies with defined processes measure every action and its results. The measurement is the most important aspect for maximising ROI. The process oriented agencies connect better with the processes of the client companies. The deliverables, roles and responsibilities are fixed in order to strengthen the process. The selection of agency on this basis can also be a good way. Some agencies sitting in metro cities tie up with unorganised cheap local vendors for the execution. These agencies no doubt use best of the processes but the local vendors don’t have any idea about them. As the implementation completely depend on them affects its effectiveness. Some care should also be taken while selecting the agency. Such urban agencies should be avoided. Selecting an agency with rural roots and own implementing teams would be ideal.
Building Practical Strategy:
Practical strategy which will help in building brand and capturing leads in every activity would certainly help the companies in improving their sales. The capturing process could be automatic and handled through digital and other channels. The practicality and simplicity of the plan is a must for its implementation. The practical plans can be made by the agencies who have experience of implementing them at multiple levels. The agencies with good experience should be connected for better results in rural India.
I have been running the advertising and marketing agency since 2002 with the name of Fateh Rural Pvt Ltd. We, as a team, have implemented multiple projects and have built many brands from scratch. Our clients include many MNCs and national companies. We have multiple regional offices and we are completely a process-oriented company with a complete ERP in place. We offer bouquet of services including designing, outdoor, mass media, digital, rural call centres and many more. We offer complete 360 degree lead generation sales and marketing model which aligns all the activities of branding and captures the leads and engages the consumers for brand building for longer durations.