Rural marketing

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This article was considered for deletion at Wikipedia on March 10 2014. This is a backup of Wikipedia:Rural_marketing. All of its AfDs can be found at Wikipedia:Special:PrefixIndex/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Rural_marketing, the first at Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Rural_marketing. Purge

woooo... dead end! Rural Marketing is any marketing activity in which the one dominant participant is from a rural area. This implies that rural marketing consists of marketing of inputs (products or services) to the rural as well as marketing of outputs from the rural markets to other geographical areas. http://www.ruralmarketing.org/

Marketing is the process used to determine what products or services may be of interest to customers, and the strategy to use in sales, communications and business development. It generates the strategy that underlies sales techniques, business communication, and business developments. It is an integrated process through which companies build strong customer relationships and create value for their customers and for themselves. It is a function which manages all the activities involved in assessing, stimulating and converting the purchasing power to effective demand for a specific product and service. This moves them to the rural areas to create satisfaction and uplift the standard of living.

Rural areas of the country or countryside are areas that are not urbanized, though when large areas are described country towns and smaller cities will be included. They have a low population density, and typically much of the land is devoted to agriculture. Defra have a working definition, The Rural/Urban Definition, that was introduced in 2004 as a joint project between a number of Government Departments and was delivered by the Rural Evidence Research Centre at Birkbeck College (RERC).

Strategy

Marketing strategies that worked for urban markets do not necessarily work for the rural ones. There are 7 differentiators identified in Why the rural market is different, JWT, 2009

1. Intra community influences are relatively more important than inter-community ones. Word-of-mouth in close knit communities is more powerful.

2. Scarcity of media bandwidth. Rural individual's access to media channels is limited and in the case of broadband the comparable upload and download speed may be slower. Online shopping is seen as a solution by many but will be dependent on broadband speed.[1]

3. Slow to adopt brands. Slow to give them up. Rural consumers will be slower to pick up trends or brands but will remain loyal when accepted.

4. Expenses are year long; income is seasonal. Many rural areas rely on seasonal tourism peaks when income will be high and to a lesser extent agricultural incomes from seasonal crops. This means there will be more disposable income at certain times with rural businesses and employees.

5. Information hungry; but entertainment starved. Isolation from entertainment centres has led to companies trying edutainment to get their message across.

6. Higher receptivity to experience advertising. Retail outlets in rural areas have many demonstration areas along with markets for tasting.

7. Commercially profitable; and socially acceptable. Brands with demonstrable local, rural, environmental and/or social credibility stand a better chance.

Rural Marketing meant different in 3 different periods. Part1(before 1960):It was a completely an unorganized market,where “baniyas and mahajans” dominated the market.Rural marketing was another word for agricultural marketing because agricultural produces like food grains and industrial like food grains and industrial like cotton,oil seeds,sugarcane etc. occupied primary attention and the supply chain activities of firm supplying agricultural inputs and of artisans in the rural areas received secondary attention. Part 2(1960 to 1990):The greatest thing which happened in this period was green revolution which led to farming involving scientific and technological methods and many poor villages became prosperous business centers.With better irrigation facilities,soil testing,use of high yield variety seeds,fertilizers,pesticides and deployment of machines like power tillers,harvesters,threshers etc.,the output increased especially wheat and paddies.Due to this marketing of agricultural inputs was also now there a new potential market.Now marketing of rural marketing meant “marketing of agricultural inputs” and “agricultural marketing”.Agencies like Khadi and Village Industries Commission,Girijan Cooperatie Societies APCO Fabrics,IFFCO,KRIBHCO Company bloomed and government paid special attention to promote these products.Sale of handicrafts,handloom textiles,soaps, safety matches and crackers increased on large scale in urban areas. Part 3(after mid 1990):Since 1990, India’s industrial sector had gained strength and maturity.It’s contribution to GNP increased substantially.There was metamorphosis of agricultural society to industrial society.With support and development programmes of central and state governments,service organizations and socially responsible business groups like Mafatlal,Tatas,Birla,Goenkas and others the rural areas progressed socially and economically.

The economic reforms further increased competition in the market,the rural market grew steadily for household consumables and durables. A few other companies known for their marketing orientation –Hindustan Lever,Philip India,Asian Paints,Singer and Larsen and Turbo have also taken great efforts in this direction.

Hindustan Unilever(HUL) started successful rural marketing projects like “Project Shakti” and “Operation Bharat” in India.Hindustan Unilever began the first home to home operation in rural areas in personal products in 1998 which was known as “Operation Bharat”.By 1999 “Bharat Operation” covered 13 million rural household.During the course of operation, there were HUL vans which visited villages across the country distributing sample packs comprising a low unit price pack each of shampoo,talcum powder, toothpaste and skincream priced at 15rs.This was to create awareness of the company’s product categories and of the affordability of the product. Coca Cola also explored the market by introducing bottles at rs.5,backed with Aamir Khan advertisement .Amul is another case in point of aggressive rural marketing .In 2000,ITC tried developing direct contact with farmers in remote villages in Madhya Pradesh.ITC E-choupal was a result of this initiative.

Rural Marketing is growing at a far greater speed than its urban counterpart .Multinationals have realized the potential and are ready to tap rural markets .To name a few Colgate, Eveready batteries, LG Electronics, Phillips, BSNL, Life Insurance Corporation, Britannia and Hero Honda are trying to seep in rural markets.

Problems in Rural Marketing Communication: The literacy rate among rural consumers is very low there print media has very little scope in the rural areas .In India there are 18 languages which are recognized,these languages and many dialects are spoken in rural India. English and Hindi are not understood by many people. Due to this rural consumers do not get exposure to new products. Transportation: The transportation infrastructure is extremely poor in rural India.In India there are six lakh villages.Almost 50 per cent of them are not connected by road also.India has second largest railway system in the world,many parts in India are not connected through railways. Availability of appropriate media:The radio network in theory covers 90 per cent,but people who actually listen is less.T.V is not available in every house in rural areas.Therefore opportunities are very low in rural areas. Warehousing: There are many agricultural products which are produced in a particular seoson but is demanded throughout. Due to lack of adequate and scientific storage facilities in rural areas, stocks are being maintained in towns only.

References

[1] http://www.myfinances.co.uk/cut-your-bills/2011/06/01/rural-broadband-problems-make-online-shopping-a-postcode-lot [2] http://www.ruralmarketing.org/

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