‘Bharat’ has rightly been a buzzword in the Indian business ecosystem off-late. Businesses across the country have turned their attention to the ‘Bharat’ segment. I have come across many case studies about the methods used by brands targeting the urban segment, however, the rural or ‘Bharat’ segment remains an uncharted territory for many marketers. For me, this was an interesting challenge as our marketing campaigns had to be unique and original in order to create a real impact and set precedence.
AgroStar as a brand is built to serve farmers, the backbone of the Indian economy. Over the years, we have emphasised on building a genuine brand through genuine content-led advisory that has actually helped in improving farm incomes. It has resulted in building a deep connection with our farmers and helped us win their trust.
Now that you have a brief background about the ‘Bharat’ segment and AgroStar’s endeavour of building a genuine connection with our farmers. Let me take you through what went behind our recent recognition at the ET Brand Equity’s - Brand Bharat Awards 2022. AgroStar was shortlisted in two categories - Occasion-based marketing and B2B marketing along with esteemed brands like Dell India, Pepsi, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, Truecaller and others. It is a great honour for us to be recognised along with such legendary names.
Occasion-based marketing campaign:
We ran an 8-day campaign to support an occasion-based sale, Republic Day, on our omnichannel platform. This specific sale was limited to only our mobile app till last year (2021), whereas, this year (2022) it went live across all our channels (Mobile App, Agri Advisory centre and Offline stores). The sale was launched with the objective of building a property around important national days, for our existing and potential consumers. For us as a team, executing this campaign required high collaboration and coordination across various functions. The key objective of the campaign was to penetrate the market further, hence our offline stores or as we call them ‘Agrostar ki laal dukaan’ were added as a way to maximize reach and leverage all our platforms to achieve targeted business numbers as well as improve the brand equity of Agrostar.
A glimpse of the digital collaterals used during the campaign.
Our goal was also to build a deeper relationship and loyalty with our customers in order to boost our year-on-year growth. The campaign helped us acquire new customers, build farmer communities, and provide brand expansion. We achieved this by providing consumers with engaging content in local languages, providing unique offers, and lucky draw gifts with our integrated activity at our Saathi stores, mobile app, and social media platforms. The biggest challenge in executing this campaign was to identify the genuine offers that can be appealing to our farmers and available across three channels, and also ensure that it is in line with our mission of Helping Farmers Win.
Another challenge was the inclusion of our Saathi stores as this was the first time we were running a sale across all channels at the same time. To overcome this, we trained our Saathi store partners and established the rules of the sale that could help them maximize our reach to the farmers.
This combined with the challenges provided by the second wave of COVID challenged our team to go above and beyond, we were at times short of resources but never short on the will to succeed.
We decided to open up our offline stores or as we call them - ‘Saathi Stores’ in May 2021. These stores on a district level are our partners in expanding our reach and further catalysing our mission of Helping Farmers Win. Building an omnichannel experience for our farmers was necessary to create multiple touchpoints and deeper in-person engagement with them. Once a Saathi partner is on-boarded, their store is transformed into #AgrostarKiLalDukaan and given a unique identity. Branded with the recognisable red colour of AgroStar these stores stand out and have a distinct visual appeal.
The key to the success of our campaign was to ensure that our Saathi partners receive consistent communication about the benefits of this partnership. We created activities to engage with our partners while onboarding and ensuring their experience with us is a good one right from the beginning. To enhance this experience we have also built the AgroStar Saathi App which helps us engage consistently with our partners while solving their problems like local farmer connects, order placement, easy payments, self-checkouts, offer discovery, complaint and return management, and various other insights to help our partners grow their business. Today, the majority of our new partners are onboarded through our referral program which shows the genuine relationship we are building with our partners.
Getting recognised for our concerted efforts by ET Brand Equity has reinforced our faith in the process of building a genuine brand which is focused on building a deep connection with its customers and delivering real impact. I’m proud to share that our offline presence has now crossed more than 5000 stores across 5 states, take a look at what one of our partners has to say:
Learnings and way forward
One of my biggest learnings from this whole exercise is that even though so many brands are now vying for the attention of their customers (farmers in our case), only the brands who are genuine and adding true value to their customers will stand build that deep and long lasting connection. Another learning is to be prepared for chaos, as executing such campaigns across multiple channels requires high amount of coordination and there are bound to be instances where things don’t happen as planned. In such times, you should be flexible and adapt to the situation to make the most of it.
Getting recognised by ET Brand Bharat’s panel is a huge shot in the arm for me and my entire. We have definitely raised the bar this year and hope to continue doing so for years to come.