This article is part of a Spotlight series on rural marketing in India. Read more.

The size and appeal of rural India has tempted brands for decades, with countless attempts to capture a market that accounts for 12.2% of the world’s population. But not many have succeeded.

Thankfully, some brands have realised that a flirtatious or a promotional approach to rural consumers does not work. It should be more strategic, sustained and an inclusive approach to convert rural consumers to brand fans.

Companies like Glaxo SmithKline, Reckitt Benckiser, Hindustan Unilever, Colgate have created and mounted long-term initiatives for rural India. They are expanding and gaining from it.  Following them, other brands too, are now micro-targeting audiences in rural India and creating specific initiatives to expand their presence.