In recent years, rural markets of India have acquired significance, as the overall growth of the Indian economy has resulted into substantial increase in the purchasing power of the rural communities. On account of 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 often, rural marketing is confused with agricultural marketing – the latter denotes marketing of produce of the rural areas to the urban consumers or industrial consumers, whereas rural marketing involves delivering manufactured or processed inputs or services to rural producers or consumers.
WHAT MAKES RURAL INDIA ATTRACTIVE?
It is an upcoming market and the following facts substantiate this- ? 800 million people
? Estimated annual size of the rural market
â€¢ FMCG Rs 65,000 Crore
â€¢ Durables Rs 5,000 Crore
â€¢ Agri-inputs (incl. tractors) Rs 45,000 Crore
â€¢ 2 / 4 wheeler vehicles Rs 8,000 Crore
? In 2001-02, LIC sold 55 % of its policies in rural India.
? Of two million BSNL mobile connections, 50% are in small towns/villages. ? Of the six lakh villages, 5.22 lakh have a Village Public Telephone (VPT) ? 41 million Kisan Credit Cards issued (against 22 million credit-plus-debit cards in urban) with cumulative credit of Rs 977 billion resulting in tremendous liquidity. ? 42 million rural households are availing banking services in comparison to 27 million urban households. ? Investment in formal savings instruments: 6.6 million households in rural and 6.7 million in urban India. ? Nano-Marketing or sachets worked well in rural India and there is ample scope for the products to be accepted by consumers if the price is competitive.
MARKETING STRATEGIES TO CAPTURE RURAL INDIA
? BY COMMUNICATING AND CHANGING QUALITY PERCEPTION
Companies are coming up with new technology and they are properly communicating it to the customer. There is a trade of between Quality a customer perceives and a company wants to communicate. Thus, this positioning of technology is very crucial. The perception of the Indian about the desired product is changing. Now they know the difference between the products and the utilities derived out of it. As a rural Indian customer always wanted value for money with the changed perception, one can notice difference in current market scenario. ? BY PROPER COMMUNICATION IN INDIAN LANGUAGE
The companies have realized the importance of proper communication in local language for promoting their products. They have started selling the concept of quality with proper communication. Their main focus is to change the Indian customer outlook about quality. With their promotion, rural customer started asking for value for money. ? BY TARGET CHANGING PERCEPTION
If one go to villages they will see that villagers using Toothpaste, even when they can use Neem or Babool sticks or Gudakhu, villagers are using soaps like Nima rose, Breeze, Cinthol etc. even when they can use locally manufactured very low priced soaps. Villagers are constantly looking forward for new branded products. What can one infer from these incidents, is the paradigm changing and customer no longer price sensitive? Indian customer was never price sensitive, but they want value for money. They are ready to pay premium for the product if the product is offering some extra utility for the premium. ? BY UNDERSTANDING CULTURAL AND SOCIAL VALUES
Companies have recognized that social and cultural values have a very strong hold on the people. Cultural values play major role in deciding what to buy. Moreover, rural people are emotional and sensitive. Thus, to promote their brands, they are exploiting social and cultural values. ? BY PROVIDING WHAT CUSTOMER WANT
The customers want value for money. They do not see any value in frills associated with the products. They aim for the basic functionality. However, if the seller...