Marketers need to understand the psyche of the rural consumers and then act accordingly. Rural marketing involves more intensive personal selling efforts compared to urban marketing. Firms should refrain 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, festivals, "melas", and other activities where they assemble.
One of the ways could be using company delivery van which can serve two purposes - it can take the products to the customers in every nook and corner of the market, and it also enables the firm to establish direct contact with them, and thereby facilitate sales promotion.
However, only the bigwigs can adopt this channel. The companies with relatively fewer resources can go in for syndicated distribution where a tie-up between non-competitive marketers can be established to facilitate distribution. Annual "melas" organized 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 melas are held in rural India every year. Rural markets have the practice of fixing specific days in a week as Market Days (often called "Haats') when exchange of goods and services are carried out. This is another potential low cost distribution channel available to the marketers. Also, every region consisting of several villages is generally served by one satellite town (termed as "Mandis" or Agri-markets) where people prefer to go to buy their durable commodities. If marketing managers use these feeder towns, they will easily be able to cover a large...