MARKETING OF BANKING SERVICES IN RURAL AREAS
Banks today are operating in a highly competitive and rapidly changing environment. In the changing economic scenario, a professional approach to business development is essential and the survival of a banking institution depends on its ability to take up challenges coming up in the environment. Developing business through marketing of bank’s services is one of the crucial areas which need attention of the bankers to ensure profitable survival.
MARKETING : CONCEPTS
The role of marketing in an organisation’s existence and growth need not be overemphasized in today’s competitive environment. According to Peter Drucker, “marketing is so basic that it cannot be considered a separate function”. It is the whole business seen from the point of view of its final result, that is, customer’s point of view. Survival of an organisation depends upon its ability to acquire resources necessary for its sustenance. One of the modes of survival, as observed by Philip Kotler, is “exchange”, whereby an organisation creates and offers goods and services that are able to attract and satisfy the purchasers, in exchange of its value. This option can be gainfully exercised only if the organisation develops the capacity to produce the needed goods and services. The organisations should be geared to identify the customer needs and preferences which are subject to change over a period of time. One of the policy issues discussed in marketing is the ultimate objective of the marketing efforts of an organisation. The general belief is that the objectives of marketing is to maximise the market’s consumption of your products and services. However, it would be desirable to set the goal at maximising consumer satisfaction, rather than consumption. The organisation, in the long run, is likely to benefit from a customer oriented approach to marketing. The approach, in other words, should ensure strong foundation for the institution’s existence, because the concepts of marketing has its origin on the premise that man is a creature of needs and wants. And there is constant effort on his side to satisfy his needs. Further, his needs and wants keep changing with time, circumstances and the immediate environment in which he is operating. Marketing management essentially involves the efforts to achieve the need satisfaction of the target group the institution is trying to serve. There are various philosophical aspects which can give conceptual orientation to marketing personnel’s approach. The “selling concept” assumes that the consumers will either not buy or not buy enough of an organisation’s products unless the organisation makes a substantial effort to stimulate their interests in its products. This becomes all the more relevant when the organisations are functioning in a rich environment of competitors. “Product Concept” in marketing philosophy assumes that the consumers will favour those products that offer best quality for the price, while “production concept” assumes that consumers will favour those products which are available and affordable. An organisation’s task, therefore, should be to serve target markets in a way that produces not only want satisfaction, but long-run individual and social benefit as the key to attracting and holding customers. The need for a well defined institutional framework within the organisation to manage the marketing efforts should be reckoned by any business concern. It is, therefore, essential that the institution constitutes a marketing wing which will take care of the marketing function of the organisation. This compartment has to work smoothly with other segments of the organisation. Acquiring modern marketing orientation requires support from top management, a committed task force, constant review of strategies and a consultant’s help if considered necessary. The marketing wing should be adequately supported by a “Marketing Information System”, which is a critical...
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