A very interesting article written by Vanita Kohli-Khandekar about the potential of small towns in India. The article talks about the growth in advertising spend in small-town India. The advertising spend has increased for the simple reason – small-town is consuming media (print, internet, DTH). Some highlights of the article,
- This story is not about rural India. It is about non-metro India. That means 382 towns, with populations ranging from one lakh to under 40 lakh. Some marketers also include towns with a population of 50,000. If you consider them, there are 779 towns.
- Small-town India is rocking. One estimate puts the value of sales from small towns at 30-50 per cent of the total for some of the leading durables, financial services and FMCG majors.
- Affluence levels in towns such as Kanpur, Indore or Surat are three-fourths or more than that in Mumbai.
- Not only do residents of these cities buy durables, financial services and telecom products at roughly the same pace as metro buyers, they also consume media in more or less the same quantities.
- Internet penetration, DTH sales and C&S (cable and satellite) off-take is growing faster in small towns.
- Big brands want to target small towns and their rising rupee power.
- More than one-third of the traffic on NDTV.com comes from small towns. To cash in, it recently launched NDTVKhabar.Com.
- UFO Moviez, the country’s largest digital theatre chain, has 1,080 screens across India. Of these, 80 per cent are in Tier 2 and 3 cities.
- The average value for most of the phones sold in these towns went up from Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000.
- As the prosperity of smaller towns draws in media, it has to learn to “localise more“
I believe the last point is important – media needs to “localise more”. Folks from regional areas want to read more about their city. And I believe they would want to read in their “local language”. The internet will become a very important medium to satisfy the needs of locals in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities.