Don’t Flirt with Rural Marketing

Mr RV Rajan has condensed his forty years of rich experience in rural marketing into a four-hour reading capsule. So much is packed in so few pages! Just hundred pages, if you want to know what “few” means 🙂

If you have anything to do with rural marketing, it is very likely that you already know Mr Rajan. To others, let me introduce him as the Founder of Anugrah Marketing and then Anugrah Madison Advertising. Before that he worked with Clarion and Grant Kenyon & Eckhardt.

As many as a dozen detailed case studies and scores of anecdotes, spread over fourteen chapters, make “Don’t Flirt” very reader-friendly. From the travels & travails of Shaw Wallace AV Van in interior Tamilnadu in the 1970s, to the more recent success of LG Electronics across India, you will hear about all of them here. 

Almost every chapter has some relevant lists, such as the coordinates of rural research organisations, rural marketing agencies, event management companies, secondary data sources on rural markets, dates of haats & melas in different states etc. Needless to say, such lists are a treasure, because a ‘google search’ doesn’t produce these results!

Then there are tricks of the trade in the form of Do’s & Don’ts for all conceivable rural marketing activities that make “Don’t Flirt” an invaluable handbook for practitioners.

The real icing on the cake are a large number of insights sprinkled throughout the book, that only a seasoned rural marketer as Mr Rajan could draw out. For example, 

  • distribution isn’t as much a nightmare as it is made out to be, 
  • importance of reliable local associates in designing & executing any programmes, 
  • complementary role of BTL activities when the TVCs and other ATL communication made for urban audience are used in rural, 
  • that solution to spurious products is not litigation or consumer education but efforts to raise incomes, 
  • and so on…

The only addition I would’ve liked to see in the book is a chapter or a table on “Then & Now”. Although one can get an idea about the transformation that took place in rural markets over these forty years from the book, a chapter explicitly highlighting Mr Rajan’s own assessment of what has changed, what stayed the same in these forty years would have been wonderful. Also, such a chapter would naturally set the reader thinking of the likely scenarios in the next seven to ten years – the future of rural marketing, in this age or rurbanisation.

I enjoyed reading the book. Very likely you too will…

You can buy “Don’t Flirt” from Amazon as well as Flipkart, or you can write to Mr Rajan at

PS: The “Don’t Flirt” advise in the title is because many marketers are not walking the talk when it comes to rural marketing in terms of a comprehensive engagement, unlike in urban marketing.