Future of rural Markets
RURAL MARKETING-THE FUTURE OF INDIAN INDUSTRY.
Indian agricultural industry has been growing at a tremendous pace in the last few decades. The rural areas are consuming a large number of industrial and urban manufactured products. The rural agricultural production and consumption process plays a predominant role in developing the Indian economy. This has designed a new way for understanding a new process called Rural Marketing. The concept of rural marketing has to be distinguished from Agricultural marketing. Marketing is the process of identifying and satisfying customers needs and providing them with adequate after sales service. Rural marketing is different from agricultural marketing, which signifies marketing of rural products to the urban consumer or institutional markets. Rural marketing basically deals with delivering manufactured or processed inputs or services to rural producers, the demand for which is basically a derived outcome. Rural marketing scientists also term it as developmental marketing, as the process of rural marketing involves an urban to rural activity, which in turn is characterized by various peculiarities in terms of nature of market, products and processes.
Rural marketing differs from agricultural or consumer products marketing in terms of the nature of transactions, which includes participants, products, modalities, norms and outcomes. The participants in case of Rural Marketing would also be different they include input manufacturers, dealers, farmers, opinion makers, government agencies and traders. The existing approach to the rural markets has viewed the markets as a homogeneous one, but in practice, there are significant buyer and user differences across regions as well as within that requires a differential treatment of the marketing problems. These differences could be in terms of the type of farmers, type of crops and other agro-climatic conditions.
One has to understand the market norms in agricultural input so as to devise good marketing strategies and to avoid unethical practices, which distort the marketing environment. Many of the inputs used for production process have implications for food, health and environmental sectors. Rural marketing needs to combine concerns for profit with a concern for the society, besides being titled towards profit. Rural market for agricultural inputs is a case of market pull and not market push. Most of the jobs of marketing and selling is left to the local dealers and retailers. The market for input gets interlocked with other markets like output, consumer goods, money and labor.
The importance of rural marketing can be understood from the fact that today modern inputs i.e. diesel, electricity, fertilizers, pesticides, seeds account for as much as 70% of the total cash costs and 23% of the total costs incurred by the farmers in the Green Revolution areas. Further the percentages were higher at 81% and 38% for small; farmers owning 1.85 hectars of land.
Strategies for rural marketing
Rural marketing in India is not much developed there are many hindrances in the area of market, product design and positioning, pricing, distribution and promotion. Companies need to understand rural marketing in a broader manner not only to survive and grow in their business, but also a means to the development of the rural economy. One has to have a strategic view of the rural markets so as to know and understand the markets well. In the context of rural marketing one has to understand the manipulation of marketing mix has to be properly understood in terms of product usage. Product usage is central to price, distribution, promotion, branding, company image and more important farmer economics, thus any strategy in rural marketing should be given due attention and importance by understanding the product usage, all elements of marketing mix can be better organized and managed.
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