Friday, September 25, 2009

Rural Markets- Understanding needs

I was recently going through this article, which talked about lenovo's strategy in rural China. Lenovo, in the first half of 2009 had a market share of around 28% in China making it the leader. The article had an interesting statement regarding lenovo's rural strategy. It read
"They like to give desktop PCs because the boxes are large," says Li Zhong, director of Lenovo's consumer business in the Beijing and Hebei region. "They deliver the computers to brides' families on trucks, which everyone can see. In these cases the bigger the box, the better." WSJ

LiZhong seems to have caught hold of the need of the rural Chinese consumer. India's large untapped rural markets are still waiting to be explored. Given the uniqueness of these markets and the innovative strategies required to tap them, the first step to explore them would be to understand the needs of the rural consumer. The tough part is that most consumers don't know what they need. The stated needs are obviously clear. But the real, unstated needs are what the marketers need to know. When the iPod came, nobody knew they would need it, but Apple created a need for it. The same goes for mobile phones, when mobile technology was new. The new Tata Ace or Motorola's Moto Razr is a result of careful understanding of the market needs. Both these products sold like hot cakes since a lot of research on consumer demands was put behind their design.

India's success may lie in tapping rural markets and the key to it would lie in understanding the needs of rural consumer.