The Rural Marketing Agencies Association of India (RMAAI) is on activity overdrive. The association plans to launch a new awards concept, the ‘Rural Marketing Works Awards’, on the lines of the Effies (formerly known as the AdWorks Trophy) to honour effective rural marketing campaigns.
The AdWorks Trophy of the Ad Club of Bombay was launched in 1998 and is known as the Effies from Ad Club Bombay since 2001 after the New York-based AMA lent its name to the awards.
Speaking to exchange4media, R V Rajan, President, RMAAI and CMD, Anugrah Madison, said, “We are in the process of finalising the model for the awards. Broadly, it will be on the lines of the Effies of the Ad Club Bombay, and case studies will be presented and evaluated for their marketing effectiveness. At this point, the city hasn’t been decided on, but we think it will be apt to hold it in either Delhi or Mumbai, sometime around June this year.”
He added that the awards would also serve in creating training materials and case studies on rural marketing, of which there was a serious dearth at present.
The association is also actively involved in training management students, and is offering a team of people from across agencies to institutes for a course of 10-12 sessions on rural marketing. The first of the courses has been completed for the SP Jain Institute of Management, and the organisers say that the interest levels in the topic are increasing by the day.
R Seshadri, Deputy MD, Anugrah Madison, explained, “In our own interactions, we observe that the level of interest in rural marketing is going up. For a lot of students, the area is still kind of an enigma. We need to convert it into something more actionable.”
While many management institutes offer rural marketing as an elective course, there are many who are yet to introduce the subject even as an elective. The association’s attempt is to make this a compulsory subject as part of management courses, and it has been corresponding with the AICTE in this regard.
On the growth of the rural marketing industry in 2005, Rajan said, “The estimates are that the advertising industry in urban India has grown in single digits, and rural advertising and marketing has grown at between 15 per cent and 20 per cent. The consumer durables segment is certainly growing in rural India, and FMCG, which is already present widely, is also growing, but at a slower pace. The fact is that rural marketers are still in a flirtatious relationship with the markets. You need long term engagement for results.”
RMAAI will also launch a quarterly journal shortly. Sharing insights and the latest developments from across the country and abroad, it is being conceived as a publication useful to professionals in the area of rural marketing.