The right product, in the right place, at the right time, and at the right price. According to Kotler “Marketing is the social process by which individuals and organizations obtain what they need and want through creating and exchanging value with others”.
Rural marketing involve delivering manufactured or processed inputs or services to rural producers or consumers. Rural Marketing is also defined as any marketing activity in which one dominant participant is from a rural area. Rural marketing is a two- way marketing process that includes the flow of goods and services from rural to urban areas and the flow of goods and services from urban to rural areas as well as the flow of goods and services within rural areas.
A market segment is a classification of potential private or corporate customers by one or more characteristics, in order to identify groups of customers, which have similar needs and demand similar products or services concerning the recognized qualities of these products, e.g. functionality, price, design, etc. Segmentation is the process of dividing a heterogeneous market into several sub- markets or segments, each of which tends to be homogeneous in all significant aspects. The division is based on the premise, that different people have different preferences.
Segmentation on the basis of geography is done depending on various factors such as Region: North, South, East and West.˃ Proximity to the feeder town: Density: The number of people per sq. km Climate: Moderate, rain fed or dry with scanty rainfall. Level of Irrigation: Whether good, moderate or scanty.
Demographic segmentation calls for grouping of their demographic characteristic It is based on the population, age group, literacy level and income of the rural consumer.
Such segmentation which is done using variables such as Lifestyle of the people, (whether rigid, traditional or changing), Occasion, (whether on a regular day or a special occasion), Benefits sought from the product (such as Quality, Price and Service), and Loyalty to brands (whether Low, Medium or High.)
It takes into account the specific behavior of a consumer related to occasions, benefits, user accounts etc.
In practical terms it is very difficult for a marketer to depend on a single variable for segmenting the market. It is a complex function since it depends on multiple factors that define market dynamics. In order to identify smaller, well defined, meaningful target groups marketers use several variables.
Untapped rural potential 6,27,000 villages across the country account for 70% of population 60% of national demand for various product categories comes from rural areas 41 million kisan Credit Card have been issued
Once segmentation has been done the marketer needs to evaluate each segment to decide which segment to target. Targeting involves evaluating various segments and selecting how many and which one to target.
While evaluating market segments two broad factors are considered1. Overall attractiveness of each segment2. Company’s objective and resource competencies.
While evaluating segments in rural one should not be impressed by size alone. This is because in rural the size of market may be big but purchasing power on people in rural area is limited. Therefore the growth of rural markets for different product categories should be evaluated while targeting the market.
Marketers should evaluate the segment opportunity with reference to their short term and long term objectives. If a company’s objective is to achieve long term sustainable sales volume by expanding its customer base then it has to go rural instead of expecting consumers to come to urban markets to purchase the products and services.
COVERAGEUndifferentiated ConcentratedMarketing Differentiated Segmentation or Targeted Marketing
Undifferentiated Marketing takes into consideration what is common among consumers and tries to include it in offer. It majorly relies on mass distribution and mass advertising. Only one product line keeps down the cost of research and product management. Due to low cost incurred in production and distribution the company can afford to set its price low.
Differentiated marketing strategy investigates and identifies differences between segments and tries to match the market offer to desires and expectations of each segment. This strategy results in:- Strong identification of company in product category. More costs but higher sales and profitability. More loyal consumers.
Due to small number of consumers in each segment, targeting only one segment would spread marketing efforts thinly over a vast area. As companies invest a great deal of time, effort and money to reach rural markets, it is important that they should have a multi segment strategy rather than single segment strategy to ensure adequate returns on investment.
In the case of single segment there is a risk of change in the preference if consumers although there is a lower risk of this in rural, as the pace of change in preference if consumers is slower. This is also known as niche marketing. EG HLL dominates the mass market in rural with a series of niche brands each aimed at small section of consumers. With brands like LUX, LIRIL etc HLL targets different consumer segment in rural market.
Research is the guidepost to laying the foundations of a successful marketing program, it must be planned, keeping in mind what is the objective of conducting research. It must also be designed in order to get maximum inputs, on an accurate and authentic framework, in order to yield the right results.
Marketing research is a function which links theconsumer, customer and public to marketer throughinformation. Information used to identify and definemarketing opportunities and problem, generate refineand evaluate marketing actions, monitor marketingperformance and improve understanding of marketingas a process.
Rural Marketing Research TypesPrimary Sources Secondary Sources
Primary data are collected especially to address a specific research objective. A variety of methods ranging from qualitative research to surveys may be employed. Some of the sources are1. Retail shops2. Tea stalls3. Schools4. Melas5. Influence groups
These are the readymade sources of information that a marketer can use for his or her research. This kind of data can be collected from government publication websites, research agencies. Some best sources from where marketer can get information are1. Government Websites2. Private Bodies3. Publications