Companies globally face challenges when trying to get customers to discover their brands in small towns. Not having the right resources may perhaps make it difficult to promote a brand. In fact, one could say that realistically, the challenge is equal in large metros as it is in smaller towns.
How can marketers try to attract target audiences in small-town markets? Here are some tips….
360° marketing: The idea of a 360° campaign much more than an integrated “media” marketing campaign may help, involving the use of every element of the marketing mix to communicate the specified brand message to the target audience. As a brand, investing in 360° marketing would mean considering ATL, BTL (such as in-shop and shop-front activities, promotions and telemarketing, which work better for gauging customer response) advertising and digital platforms, which would resonate strongly with a Gen X target audience today.
Smart pricing strategy: The target audiences are price-conscious in smaller towns, and they are always on the look-out for new offers. One way brands can address this factor, is to iron out cost concerns across the board in small towns and big metros.
Long-time loyalty: The more repeat purchases a customer makes, the more likely he or she is to keep buying from you. It is not just a matter of offering coupons nonstop, but about rewarding shoppers for consistently choosing your store, or offering discounts they can’t find anywhere else. Speaking of rewards, shoppers love feeling recognised for coming back, buying again, or spending a specific amount of money. A little bit of recognition can indeed, go a long way.
Regional and vernacular media: Vernacular content is the new mantra for success in digital marketing. Now, you don’t need to be proficient in the English language to be able to promote your business on digital media channels. There is a huge market to be tapped, with just 125 million people speaking English in the country.
So, if your brand is Hyundai Creta which has a presence in Patiala where the TG profile is – males then, you are better off trying to make inroads into the regional media. And as a brand, you should in turn, tap into that market. By doing this, you will be geared towards targeting your segment, plus you will also be very ROI-driven.
Recognised brand ambassador: Brands are now aggressively focusing on Tier II & Tier III markets. Whether it is FMCG or consumer durables, everyone has tapped into these markets as they find more opportunities waiting to be encashed. And brand ambassadors double up to give a positive appeal. Take the case of Mary Kom, who is now Puma India’s new ambassador for their women’s training category. Look at the impact it will have in small towns, where she is equally revered. It had a similar effect when Flying Machine announced Arjun Kapoor as its brand ambassador, someone who was seen and believed to be the new cool! When Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag was brand ambassador for brand DHI India, it worked wonders for the brand! Such pan-India role models build a connect with people across small towns and cities, where the interest for cricket and Bollywood is massive.
Social media: Digital media-wise Generation X is pretty hooked on to Facebook, even though they may use Google, Instagram, Twitter or other social media. It is seen that Facebook is a great leveller across age, category and location. People in Kolkata or Nagpur, who put up posts on Facebook, for instance, will get equal views across India.
Win trust: Customers have less options in small towns. And if a brand makes a genuine, interesting pitch, it can win their trust; on the other hand, a hard-sell may not always work. At the end, educating customers and thinking about their well-being will only make brands move up the ladder and go that extra mile!