Promotion of Brand in Rural Market of India


By

Hitendra Bargal
Research Associate
Indian Institute of Management Indore (IIM-I)
Indore MP
E-mail:
bargalhitendra@rediffmail.com

Ashish Sharma
Lecturer
University Institute of Management
Jabalpur MP
E-mail:
ashu72_sharma@rediffmail.com

Dr. Vijay Pithadia
Assistant Professor
School of Management Studies
Shri Leuva Patel Trust College For Women
Amreli-365601 GJ
E-mail:
vijaypithadia@lycos.com
 


Abstract

Promotion of brands in rural markets requires the special measures. Due to the social and backward condition the personal selling efforts have a challenging role to play in this regard. 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 experience of agricultural input industry can act as a guideline for the marketing efforts of consumer durable and non-durable companies. Relevance of Mass Media is also a very important factor.

The Indian established Industries have the advantages, which MNC don't enjoy in this regard. The strong Indian brands have strong brand equity, 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 promote the brand image in the rural market. 

Introduction

Indian Marketers on rural marketing have two understanding (I) The urban metro products and marketing products can be implemented in rural markets with some or no change. (ii) The rural marketing required the separate skills and techniques from its urban counter part. The Marketers have following facilities to make them believe in accepting the truth that rural markets are different in so many terms.

(i) The rural market has the opportunity for.

(ii)  Low priced products can be more successful in rural markets because the low purchasing, purchasing powers in rural markets.

(iii)  Rural consumers have mostly homogeneous group with similar needs, economic conditions and problems.

(iv) The rural markets can be worked with the different media environment as opposed to press, film, radio and other urban centric media exposure.

How does reality affects the planning of marketers? Do villagers have same attitude like urban consumers? The question arises for the management of rural marketing effects in a significant manner so than companies can enter in the rural market with the definite goals and targets but not for a short term period but for longer duration. The Research paper will discuss the role of regard. The strategy, which will be presented in the paper, can be either specific or universally applicable.

Realities before the Marketers

70% of India's population lives in 627000 villages in rural areas. 90% of the rural population us concentrated in villages with a population of less than 2000, with agriculture being the main business. This simply shows the great potentiality rural India has to bring the much - needed volume- driven growth. This brings a boon in disguise for the FMCG Company who has already reached the plateau of their business urban India.

As per the National Council for Applied Economic Research (NCAER) study, there are as many 'middle income and above' households in the rural areas as there are in the urban areas. There are almost twice as many' lower middle income' households in rural areas as in the urban areas. At the highest income level there are 2.3 million urban households as against 1.6 million households in rural areas.  According to the NCAER projections, the number of middle and high-income households in rural India is expected to grow from 80 million to 111 million by 2007. In urban India, the same is expected to grow from 46 million to 59 million. Thus, the absolute size India is expected to be doubles that of urban India.

HLL chairman MS Banga Says, "This exercise may not pay in the immediate future, but will definitely give long-term dividends. Incidentally, over 50 percent of the sales of HLL's fabric wash, personal wash and beverages are in rural areas. And we see a future in going rural in a major way".

The improved agricultural growth is expected to boost rural demand, through not at too sizzling a rate. Moreover, the price drop in personal products, after the recent excise duty reductions, in also expected to drive consumption. "Better agricultural yields will give farmers more spending power, making the rural markets bullish," says an analyst.

As a result, HLL has planned a rural marketing program that is expected to result in a marked growth in the consumption of the company's products in the rural market. HLL will adopt three-pronged marketing strategy- new price points, sizes and awareness campaigns for its detergents and soaps segment to augment rural growth.

The Indian established Industries have the advantages, which MNC don't enjoy in this regard. The strong Indian brands have strong brand equity, 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. The small sachet packs are the examples of price sensitivity. Colgate has done this experiment with launching of sachet packs for rural markets.

Research Objectives

The research paper consist of following objectives:

(i) To analyze the present promotion strategy of few brands in rural markets.

(ii) To measure the success of rural marketing campaign of few brands in Terms of consumer appreciation.

(iii) To study the determinants of specification factors which can decide the success the rural promotion strategy.

(iv) To evaluate the effects of adopting the specific brand ambassadors in the rural marketing context.

(v) To present suffocate on above-mentioned objectives.

Review of Literature

The Marketing Mastermind (2003), Hindustan Lever rural marketing Initiatives by "A Mukund" Marketing Mastermind has given the perspectives in which HLL has approached towards rural markets.

The Economic Times (2003), "The rural market likes it strong" the strength of rural markets for Indian companies. Financial express, June 19, 2000 has published the strategy about FMCG majors, HLL, Marico Industries, Colgate Palmolive have formula had for rural markets.

Research Modus Operandi and Design

The research methodology for this research work is based on the survey technique. Few brands like Coca-Cola, BPL, Asian Paints have been chosen to conduct the research work.

The Gram Panchayat areas have been selected on random basis from the list of available Gram Panchayat. The four-Gram Panchayat have been short-listed and 60 respondents have been selected in each Gram Panchayat so the total sample size N = 240.

The respondents were organized in a group and asked about their views on following advertisement actions and theme.

1) In case of Coca-Cola how does the role of Aamir Khan affect the rural consumers?

2) In case of BPL Television how does Amitabh Bachchan give the impression about BPL Brand

3) How does the advertisement of Asian Paints with the Slogan "Sunil Babu" influence the rural consumers

The research design applied for this purpose is experimental with descriptive. The experimental design was suitable as the rural consumers fell interest about it and descriptive design depends on the explanation past about the campaign of these Brands.

Conceptual Framework

Given the Literacy scenario in to consideration the promotion of Brands in rural markets requires the special measures. Due to the social and backward condition the personal selling efforts have a challenging role to play in this regard. 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 experience of agricultural input industry can act as a guideline for the marketing efforts of consumer durable and non-durable companies. Relevance of Mass Media is also a very important factor. Door Darshan had already acquired high penetration in rural households.

Now the cable and other Channels have also penetrated in rural households. The newspapers and other printed Media are also gaining strategy but their role is still secondary in this regard.

Results and Discussions

The field exercise has given the various inputs about the rural consumers. This experience was unique from a marketer's point of view that the companies must have a proper understanding of rural marketing environment at a region wise basis. The data has tabulated in following manner. Advertisement of Coca-Cola (Acceptability pattern)

Contents

Favor

Non-Favor

No Comment

Language and content of Ad.

72%

20%

8%

Back ground effect of Ad.

50%

20%

30%

expressions and communication styles of Aamir Khan

85%

15%

-


The Ad plays an important role for giving boost to rural consumers feeling. The feeling plays very important role. The Language and content (72%) and expression style of Aamir Khan (85%) play significant role.

BPL advertisement

Contents

Favor

Non-Favor

No Comment

Amitabh Bachchan as a brand Ambassador

75%

20%

5%

The Action style of Amitabh Bachchan

65%

30%

5%

The language of Ad.

62%

20%

18%


Amitabh Bachchan is a leading player in the ad feature. The Action style of Amitabh Bachchan is a very delighted factor for rural Consumers.

Contents

 Favor

Non-Favor

 No Comment

Style of Presentation

77%

20%

3%

The concept of ad.

65%

20%

15%

Interesting and delightful Ad.

63%

17%

20%


Style of presentation plays an important role. 77% is a high figure as this affects the whole creativity aspect of any ad. The total concept and delight fulness is a strong factor for this ad. Different Modes of promotions in rural market.

Modes

Favor

Non-Favor

No Comment

Hats

65%

30%

5%

Wall Paintings

40%

53%

7%

Melas

65%

20%

15%


Hats and Melas play a very important role in this regard. The 65% response in favor of this is an indicator of this.

Suggestions

1) Rural consumer environment must be understood before the creation of ad.

2) Rural mindset accepts the brands easily, which are close to their culture. This point must be reflected in ad for rural markets.

3) Sponsorships to the Melas and Hats must be considered in a significant manner.

4) Selection of brand ambassadors, lyrics must not be ignored in this regard.

They have a special liking for folk culture so this can be taken in an effective utilization of brand promotions.

Conclusions

The following conclusions could be drawn:

1) The Language and content must be according to the suitability of rural environment.

2) Background figures are also a deterministic factor.

3) Admissibility of brand ambassadors plays an important role in this regard.

4) Special promotion measures are the strong applicable factors in this regard.

Bibliography


1) Monish Bali, "The rural market likes it strong", The Economic Times, [Interview by An Awasthi],
August 23, 2000.

2) Neeraj Jha, "Gung-ho on rural marketing", The Financial Express, June 19, 2000.

3) T. P. Gopal Swamy," Rural Marketing, Environment-Problems and strategies, Wheeler Publishing, 1997.

4) www.hill.com

5)
www.indiainfoline.com

6) The Marketing Mastermind Case study HLL- Rural Marketing Initiatives ICFAI Press, PP. 62, Feb 2003.
 


Hitendra Bargal
Research Associate
Indian Institute of Management Indore (IIM-I)
Indore MP
E-mail:
bargalhitendra@rediffmail.com

Ashish Sharma
Lecturer
University Institute of Management
Jabalpur MP
E-mail:
ashu72_sharma@rediffmail.com

Dr. Vijay Pithadia
Assistant Professor
School of Management Studies
Shri Leuva Patel Trust College For Women
Amreli-365601 GJ
E-mail:
vijaypithadia@lycos.com
 

Source: E-mail November 16, 2005

   

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