The Prospective Rural Market


By

Sandeep Saxena
Lecturer-Marketing
MBA Department
AIT
Rampur
 


Introduction

Rural marketing is on high demand these days as number of the companies have started seeking to enter in rural areas now due to number of the reasons one of them is saturation in uraban areas.

But because of some backward living-hood the personal selling efforts become a challenging role to play. The word of mouth is an important message carrier in rural areas. Infect the opinion leaders are the most influencing part of promotion strategy of rural promotion efforts. The Indian established Industries have the advantages, which MNC don't enjoy in this regard. The strong Indian brands have strong market so the consumer demand-pull and efficient and dedicated dealer network which have been created over a period of time. The rural market has a grip of strong country shops, which affect the sale of various products in rural market. The companies are trying to trigger growth in rural areas. They are identifying the fact that rural people are now in the better position with disposable income. The low rate finance availability has also increased the affordability of purchasing the costly products by the rural people. Marketer should understand the price sensitivity of a consumer in a rural area. This paper is therefore an attempt to understand opportunities, challenges and strategies in the rural market. 

Now the time the Indian Marketers are having the following views for rural marketing

* The metropolitan products & their marketing can be put into operation in rural markets with least changes
On the other hand.

** The rural marketing is a different concept so it require some other technical & skilled professionals which may be away from urban marketing.

Some actual aspects for Indian marketers

In India more than 65-70% area is covered by in rural areas. Which can provide a great opportunity for Indian companies. As we know that, rural markets have acquired significance, as the overall growth of the economy has resulted into substantial increase in the purchasing power of the rural societies.

Due to the green revolution the rural areas are consuming a large quantity of industrial and urban manufactured products. In this context, a special marketing strategy, namely, rural marketing, has emerged. But rural marketing should not be confused with agricultural marketing ľAs the Agricultural marketing denotes marketing of goods and services of the rural areas to the urban consumers or industrial consumers, whereas rural marketing involves delivering manufactured or processed goods or services to rural producers or consumers.

Hurdles for Indian Rural market

Rural markets, as part of any economy, have untouched prospective. There are number of problems confronting the effort to fully explore rural markets. The concept of rural markets in India is still in sprouting form, and the field poses a numbers of challenge. Circulation costs and non-availability of retail outlets are major problems faced by the marketers. The success of a brand in the Indian rural market is as unpredictable natural aspects like rain, dry, storm etc. Many brands, which should have been successful, but can't miserably. This is because most firms try to extend marketing plans that they use in urban areas to the rural markets. The unique consumption patterns, tastes, and needs of the rural consumers should be analyzed at the product planning stage so that they match the needs of the rural people.

Therefore, marketers need to understand the social dynamics and attitude differentiations within each village though nationally it follows a consistent pattern. The main problems in rural marketing are: -

* Understanding the mind set of rural consumers
* Pitiable Infrastructure
* Logistics
* Channel Management
* Promotional activities

Dynamics of rural markets differ from other market types, and similarly, rural marketing strategies are also significantly different from the marketing strategies aimed at an urban or industrial consumer.
Strategies to be Followed in Indian Rural Market-

Selling Strategy

First of all the marketers are supposed to understand the needs & mental level of the rural consumers and then act accordingly. Rural marketing involves more meticulous personal selling efforts as comparative to urban marketing. Firms should abstain from designing goods for the urban markets and subsequently pushing them in the rural areas. To effectively tap the rural market, a brand must associate it with the same things the rural folks do. This can be done by utilizing the various rural folk media to reach them in their own language and in large numbers so that the brand can be associated with the myriad rituals, celebrations, festive - fairs, and other activities where they assemble.

Circulation Strategy for their products/services

Number of the ways can be used for distribution One of the ways could be using company delivery vehicle which can serve two purposes - it can take the products to the customers in every niche and corner of the market, and it also enables the firm to establish direct contact with them, and thereby make easy sales promotional activities. However, only the companies having excellent Infrastructure can adopt this channel. The companies with relatively fewer resources can go in for collective distribution where a tie-up between non-competitive marketers can be established to facilitate distribution. Annual fairs can be organized which are quite popular and provide a very good platform for distribution because people visit them to make several purchases.

According to the Indian Market Research Bureau, around 8000 such fairs are held in rural India every year. Rural markets have the practice of fixing specific days in a week as shopping day known as "Haat' when exchange of goods and services can carried out. This is another potential low cost distribution channel available to the marketers.

Advertising Strategy

Marketers must be very careful while choosing the mediums to be used for communication. Only less than 20% of the rural population has habits of purchasing or reading newspaper so, only the audio(specifically) &  visuals (can also) should be used to convey a right message to the rural people. The traditional media forms like folk dances, puppet shows, etc., with which the rural consumers are familiar and comfortable, can be used for their specific product campaigns programmes. Radio is also very popular source of information and Entertainment so the Ads on radio can also be a helpful tool for marketers.

Ending

Thus, looking at the hurdles and the prospects as well the strategies, which rural markets offer to the marketers and the manufacturers, it can be said that the future is very bright for those companies who can understand the variations of rural markets and make use of them to their best advantage. A radical change in attitudes of marketers towards the positive and growing rural markets.

Bibliography

a-
Singh, Awadhesh Kumar ,Satyaprakash Pandey, "Rural Marketing Indian Perspective".

b- Pradeep kashyap, Siddhartha Raut- The rural marketing

c- S. Neelamegham," Marketing in India, Cases and Reading, Vikas Publishing House Pvt. Ltd,
    III Edition, 2000.
 


Sandeep Saxena
Lecturer-Marketing
MBA Department
AIT
Rampur
 

Source: E-mail May 11, 2010

          

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