Electing the communication channels
The communicator must select efficient channels of communication to carry the message. Communication channels are of two broad types, personal and non-personal.
Personal communication channels
Personal communication channels involve two or more persons communicating directly with each other. The might communicate face to face, person to audience, over the telephone, or through mail.
Personal communication channels are further divided into:
Advocate channels consists of company salespeople who contact buyers in the target market. Dalmia Consumer Care has assembled a team of rural sales promotion (RSPs) to promote their non-tobacco bidi brand Vardaan in rural areas. In addition to performing their routine sales jobs, the RSPs also target consumers directly at haats.
Expert channels consist of independent experts who make statements to target buyers. Marketers of building/construction products like cement and GC sheets target masons to promote their brands. Expert communication channels command more credibility in rural as they are considered insiders and posses the required technical knowledge.
Social channels consist of neighbours, friends, family members and associates who talks to target buyers. In the rural context, the social channel is the first channel to which potential consumers automatically turn, before they solicit views and opinions from the outside world.
Non-personal communication channels
Non-personal communication channels carry messages without personal contact or interaction. They include the mass media, atmosphere and events.
The mass media consist of the print media (newspapers, magazines, direct mail), the broadcast media (radio, television), the electronic media (audio tape, videotape) and the display media (billboards, signs, posters). Most non-personal messages come through paid media.
Deciding the Promotion Mix
Companies face the task of distributing the total promotional budget over the five promotional tools
Sales promotion Direct marketing Public relations
Salesforce (personal selling)
Each promotional tool has its own unique characteristics and costs. Marketers have to understand these characteristics in order to select the most appropriate and useful tool.
Creating advertisement for rural Audiences
Communication experts need to keep the following factors in mind when creating advertisements for rural audiences.
Understand the mindset of potential customers, including their hopes, fears, aspirations and apprehensions conducting qualitative study (Focus group discussion) among the target audience would help in better understanding of the consumer mindset.
Pick up ‗gems‘ in the form of idioms, expressions, words, etc. in relation to the product category for later use in the creative.
Tricky, clever, gimmicky, or even suggestive advertising does not work with rural audiences. 'Flicks‘ using very expensive computer graphics without any human presence go over the heads of rural audiences.
Combining education with ‗entertainment‘ is a good route to take when targeting rural audiences. Using locally popular flim stars or even featuring religious events (melas) popular in the region, helps strike a chord with rural audiences.
'Quickies‘ (short television commercials) do not register well with rural audiences. Advertising agencies need to provide for ample time and space to communicate a message properly and effectively to the intended audience. This is seen for instance, in the popularity of the two-minute theatre commercials screened in rural cinemas.