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Bus Stands: New Vista Unfolds For Rural Marketing

Bus Stands offer a 360 degree experiential marketing experience for the brands as in a single location the brands can communicate, create awareness and engage with customers. After the audio messages on the PIS (at the bus stand), the brands could entice the customers to visit its booth or a stall at the same bus stand, give a product demo, engage with the customers with offers and enhance their product experience.

Photo Credit :

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Post Covid after a long hiatus, as the State Transport Bus services resume throughout the country, a new vista opens up for the brands to focus on their rural and small town marketing initiatives. The avenues include the bus stands for the OOH promotions, the Passenger Information Systems (PIS) of the bus stands for audio advertisements and the buses for brand promotions.

Pan India, more than 500 bus stands are available for audio advertisements on PIS including states such as Maharashtra, Karnataka, Punjab, Rajasthan, Goa, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana. As of today, this medium has the potential of reaching 400 Million people every month. The bus stands form the most impactful and cost effective platforms for brand marketing at a per-capita cost of less than a paisa. The crowd is also diverse and big in number.

Bus Stands offer a 360 degree experiential marketing experience for the brands as in a single location the brands can communicate, create awareness and engage with customers. After the audio messages on the PIS (at the bus stand), the brands could entice the customers to visit its booth or a stall at the same bus stand, give a product demo, engage with the customers with offers and enhance their product experience.  

This is the apt time for Corporates, government institutions and the retailers to cash in; for banks and fintech companies to educate rural audience on mobile wallets and mobile banking; for NBFCs, insurance companies and agro marketing companies to create awareness about their products; for the local auto, mobile and consumer durable retailers to put up demo display zones to generate enquiries.

In the small towns of the country, TV, Radio, Print and ATL holds limited impact to the buyers’ mindset. The rural folks are compulsive travelers as buses are the only hope for them for their travel requirement, making the bus stands their frequent meeting points. The travelers in a bus stand do not sit in a single location and roam around, making them compulsory listeners to the PIS.

Pan India, the PIS is completely digitally controlled from a centre and produce High Definition audio quality. The messages on the PIS could be customized locally. Using enchanting jingles, among other things, an advertiser can create local brand awareness or reminders in local language or dialect. The messages effectively reach the masses as the advertisements run in between the announcements just like at the railway stations or airports. The LED screens display visuals parallel to the PIS so that people could visually connect with the messages heard.

State transport buses are adopting strict social distancing measures. The buses reach remotest destinations, which no billboard would be able to reach. The ST Buses are reinventing themselves with bigger and better technology buses. There are enough opportunities to be grabbed for on the bus and inside the bus publicity. Corporates in association with the local dealers are re-looking it as a good avenue for promotions.

The Pitch Madison Report H1 2020 cites that OOH experienced a -55% degrowth to Rs 761 cr in H1 2020 from Rs 3,495 cr in H1 2019. The market growth in H2 2020 is expected to be much better. Of this, buses and bus stands would cater to a sizable chunk. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Tags assigned to this article:
rural marketing

Rajesh Radhakrishnan .

Chief Marketing Officer, Vritti Solutions

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