ROOM NUMBER : 24
ROLL NUMBER : 658
SUBJECT : RURAL MARKETING AND SERVICES MARKETING
“ILLUSTRATE WITH THE HELP OF APPROPRIATE EXAMPLES, THE ROLE OF ADVERTISING, BRANDING & ALTERNATIVE DISTRIBUTION CHANNELS IN RURAL MARKETS”
Considering the environment in which the rural market operates and other related problems, it is possible to evolve effective strategies for rural marketing. The strategies discussed here though not universally applicable depend upon product characteristics, the targeted segment of the rural market, the choice of the rural area and its economic condition.
Some of the typical characteristics which will help in rural market segmentation are land holding pattern, irrigation facilities, progressiveness of farmers, cropping pattern; mix of enterprise, education levels, proximity to cities/towns, sociological factors, occupation categories. The small and marginal farmers, agricultural labourers and artisans forms the largest segment in rural market (about 2/3rd) where as rich farmers constitute about one third of rural market.
An appropriate segmentation of the highly heterogeneous rural market and identification of the needs and works of different segments will form the very basis for rural market strategies. For rural market, it will be ideal to think of strategies from the marketing mix point of view, main strategies are related to product, price, place and promotion which are described as follows.
A. Product and Promotion Strategies
Meaningful product strategies for rural market and rural consumers are discussed here.
1. Small unit and low priced packing
Larger pack sizes are out of reach for rural consumers because of their price and usage habits. This method has been tested by other products like shampoos, biscuits, pickles, Vicks five gram tins, etc.
In the strategy of keeping the low priced packed the objective is to keep the price low so that the entire rural community can try. This may not be possible in all types of products, but wherever this can be resorted to, the market is bound to expand.
Another example is Lifeboy, which was introduced in 75gm packs mainly to tap the consumers in the rural areas.
2. New product designs
A close observation of rural household items indicates the importance of redesigning or modifying the products. The manufacturing and marketing men can think in terms of new product designs specially meant for rural areas keeping their lifestyles in view.
3. Sturdy products
Sturdiness of a product either in terms of weight or appearance is an important fact for rural consumers. The product meant for rural areas should be sturdy enough to stand rough handling and storage. People in rural areas like bright flashy colours such as red, blue, green etc., and feel that products with such colours are sturdy but they are more concerned with the utility of the item also.
4. Brand name
The rural consumers are more concerned with the utility of the products. The brand name awareness in the rural areas is fairly high. A brand name and/or logo is very essential for rural consumers for it can be easily remembered. For example, Tata Namak (Salt) was positioned as ‘Desh Kaa Namak’ (The Nation’s Salt), in order to create a national brand image for the product. Rin washing bars are known by the lightning symbol which is a part of the brand name.
B. Pricing strategies
Pricing strategies are very much linked to product strategies. Some of these strategies are mentioned here.
1. Low cost/cheap products
This is a common strategy being adopted widely by many manufacturing and marketing men. Price can be kept low by small unit packings.
2. Avoid sophisticated packing
Simple package can be adopted which can bring down the cost as it is presently being done in the case of biscuits. Some innovation in packing technology is very necessary for rural markets.
3. Refill packs/reusable...