GroupM Dialogue Factory and Kantar this week launched the Rural COVID Barometer Report. The report provides a perspective on consumer sentiments, their consumption choices, and behavioral changes during the pandemic. Puneet Avasthi, senior executive director, Insights Division, Kantar; and Dalveer Singh, head of experiential marketing- APAC, GroupM, discussed more.“Rural means different things to different people. What we have used is the census definition for rural, which basically says habitats, which are less than 5,000 and populations strata. 75 percent of the income comes from agriculture and these habitats are less than 400 people per square kilometer, they do not fall under any municipal corporation or cantonment area,” said Singh.According to him, the key insights here is rural India is highly concerned about the second wave of COVID-19 and this concern is high among females, higher age-bands and southern states.“While they are concerned about the impact, they are also positive about the economic recovery once the situation is normal,” he added.Singh further mentioned that the government schemes have reached and are impacting these markets.Avasthi believes three things are dominating the mindset of the rural population. One is the impact COVID has on their day-to-day lives, the second is the fear of falling ill and the third is the desire to plan their finances.“These are three important drivers that are determining their overall choices and behaviour. Anything that is able to connect with them, is something that is going to be doing very well. Therefore, for brands, it is important to have communication that is addressing either one of the three, either it is allowing them to manage their expenditure better or allow them to earn a little more,” Avasthi said.For the entire discussion, watch the accompanying video.