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Rural Marketing in India : Stategies and Challenges
By Ruchika Ramakrishnan

First Published : 2006
ISBN : 8177081209
: 9788177081206
Pages : 222
Binding : Hardbound
Size : 5 x 9
Price : US$ 32

Over the years, marketers and researchers have realised that urban markets in India are fast reaching saturation levels and consequently rural markets in India have a huge untapped potential. As per NCAER projections, the number of middle and high income households in rural India is expected to grow to 111 million by 2007. Marketers are carefully examining the potentials of rural markets in India. The concept of rural markets in India is still in evolving shape, and the sector poses a variety of challenges. This book is designed to evolve workable strategies in the area of rural marketing in India.

Dynamics of rural markets differ from other market types, and similarly rural marketing strategies are also significantly different from the marketing strategies aimed at an urban or industrial consumer. The present book is designed to understand the rural consumer besides providing an overview of the importance of rural markets. It suggests to marketers how to fine tune their strategy to reap benefits in the coming years.

    The book presents specific reasons for growing importance of rural markets and defines some key relevant concepts. Moreover, the geo-demographic, economic and cultural environment along with the status of rural infrastructure has also been discussed in detail. It also describes various aspects related to product and pricing and examines various decisions that the companies would have to make with regard to these two elements of the rural marketing-mix. The book further examines the various problems that make distribution of the product a Herculean task in rural areas. Along with analyzing the promotional strategies based on the understanding of rural psyche, it also discusses three major components of promotion mix viz., advertising, sales promotion and personal selling.

The book holds various strategic and managerial implications for marketers and researchers engaged/interested in India’s vast rural market. It should also prove useful for teachers and students of commerce, management and economics.

1. Introduction
1.1 Saturation of Urban Market
1.2 Peculiarities of Rural Market
2. Rural Marketing: Importance and Issues
2.1 Growing Importance
2.1.1 Increase in Purchasing Power
2.1.2 Government’s Focus on Rural Development
2.1.3 Penetration Level
2.1.4 Size of the Market
2.2 Rural Market and Rural Marketing: Definitions
2.2.1 Rural Market
2.2.2 Rural Marketing
2.3 Domain of Rural Marketing
2.4 Distinction between Rural and Urban Areas
2.5 Problems in Rural Marketing
2.5.1 Widely Scattered Villages
2.5.2 Low Level of Literacy
2.5.3 Heterogeneity
2.5.4 Language Diversity
2.5.5 Unstable and Seasonal Demand
2.5.6 Inadequate Bank and Credit Facilities
2.5.7 Lack of Infrastructure
2.5.8 Evolving Rural Consumer
3. Rural Market: Environmental Analysis
3.1 Geo-demographic Environment
3.1.1 Geographical Dimensions
A. Districts
B. Villages
3.1.2 Demographics
A. Population
B. Sex Composition
C. Age Profile
D. Literacy
E. Occupation
3.2 Economic Environment
3.2.1 Income Generation and Distribution
3.2.2 Credit Availability and Savings Pattern
3.3 Cultural Environment
3.4 Rural Infrastructure
3.4.1 Rural Roads
3.4.2 Rural Electrification
3.4.3 Rural Housing
3.4.4 Rural Communications
A. Rural Post
B. Rural Telecommunication
3.5 Characteristics of Rural Consumers
3.5.1 Pattern of Purchase and Consumption
3.5.2 Influence of Perception and Attitudes
3.5.3 Degree of Brand Loyalty
3.5.4 Reference Groups
A. Rural Students
B. Retailers
C. Rural Teacher
3.6 Market Segmentation
3.6.1 Traditional Segmentation Variables
A. Geographic
B. Demographic
3.6.2 A Logical Approach
3.7 Marketing Research
3.7.1 Location of Research
3.7.2 Which Approach? Individual or Collective
3.7.3 What Tools
3.7.4 Solutions
4. Product and Price
4.1 Nature of Product Competition
4.1.1 Direct Competition
A. Other Urban National Branded Products
B. Regional Branded Products
C. Unbranded Urban Products
D. Unbranded Products of Village Origin
4.1.2 Indirect Competition: Substitutable Products
4.1.3 Spurious Products
A. Definition
B. Spurious Names of Leading Brands
C. Winning Features of Spurious Products
D. Strategies to Curb Down Spurious Products
4.2 Positioning
4.3 Product Development
4.3.1 Extension
4.3.2 Adaptation
4.3.3 Innovation
4.4 Branding
4.4.1 Building Brand Identity in Rural Areas
4.4.2 Name and Tagline
A. Name
B. Tagline
4.4.3 Semiotics
4.4.4 Brand Loyalty
4.5 Packaging
4.5.1 Packaging Strategies
A. Small Packs
B. Synchronisation with the Local Culture
C. Strong Packaging
D. Innovative Packaging
E. Labelling
4.6 Product Support Services
4.6.1 Warranty and Guarantee
4.6.2 After Sales Service
4.6.3 Zero-Interest or Low-Interest Financing
4.6.4 Price
4.7 Strategies
4.7.1 Low Unit Price
4.7.2 Economy Models
4.8 Conclusion
5. Distribution Strategies
5.1 Major Constraints
5.1.1 Poorly Developed Transportation Infrastructure
5.1.2 Lack of Warehousing Facilities
5.1.3 Low Occurrence of Retail Outlets
5.1.4 Highly Dispersed Village Settlements
5.2 Levels of Product Movement in Rural Areas
5.3 Channels of Distribution
5.3.1 Direct Distribution
A. Direct Distributor or Direct Stockist Structure
B. Van Operations
C. Super-stockist-sub-stockist Structure
5.3.2 Indirect Distribution
A. Wholesalers
B. Retailers
C. Haats/Shandies
D. Melas/Fairs
E. Barefoot Salesmen
F. Self-Help Groups (SHGs)
G. Mobile Traders
H. E-Distribution
I. Postman
J. Syndicated Distribution
K. Working with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)
L. Use of Cooperative Societies
M. Utilisation of Public Distribution System (PDS)
N. Utilization of Multi-purpose Distribution Centres set up by Petroleum Companies
O. Mail Order Business
P. Rural Banks
Q. Agricultural Input Dealers
R. Novel Methods
5.4 Satellite System
5.5 Indirect Distribution to Direct Distribution: A Framework for Analysis
5.5.1 Benefit Side
5.5.2 Costs Side
5.5.3 Distribution Structure
5.6 Conclusion
6. Promotion Techniques
6.1 Advertising
6.1.1 Advertising Objectives
6.1.2 Advertising Budget
6.1.3 Advertising Message
6.1.4 Advertising Media
A. Conventional Media
B. Rural-Specific Media
C. Miscellaneous Rural-Specific Media
D. Guidelines for Effective Media Buying for Rural Areas
6.1.5 Evaluating Advertising Campaigns
6.1.6 Selection of Agency
6.1.7 Changing Role of Rural Communication Agencies
6.2 Sales Promotion
6.2.1 Sampling
6.2.2 Demonstrations
6.2.3 Exchange Schemes
6.3 Personal Selling and Sales Force Management
6.3.1 Selection
6.3.2 Training
6.3.3 Compensation and Supervision
6.4 Conclusion
7. Summary and Conclusions
Appendix I: Area, Number of Districts, Tehsils, CD Blocks, Towns and Villages, 1991
Appendix II: State-wise List of Districts in India (in 2001)
Appendix III: State-wise Media Reach
Appendix IV: System of Marketing of Agricultural Produce in India
▪ Importance of Agricultural Marketing
▪ Present System of Marketing
▪ Measures to Improve Agricultural Marketing
▪ Inter-Ministerial Task Force on Agricultural Marketing
▪ Salient Features of the Model Act for State Agricultural Produce
▪ Marketing (Development and Regulation) Act, 2003
▪ Initiative by the Government of Karnataka
▪ Agricultural Marketing in the 2005-06 Union Budget
Appendix V: Rural Credit in India
▪ Credit Needs of the Indian Farmers
▪ Sources of Rural Credit
▪ Co-operative Societies
▪ Micro Finance
▪ Kisan Credit Cards (KCCs)
▪ Moneylenders
▪ Advisory Committee on the Flow of Credit to Agriculture and Related Activities from the Banking System (Chairman: V.S. Vyas)
▪ Agricultural Credit: Recent Policy Announcements
▪ Agricultural Credit in the 2006-07 Union Budget



Ruchika Ramakrishnan did her M. Phil. and M.Com. from the Department of Commerce, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, Delhi in which she topped in both the disciplines in the respective years. She also completed her SET from University of Pune, and JRF from UGC. Apart from teaching experience, she has presented papers and attended workshops at the national level. Her areas of specialisation include marketing management, marketing research and advertising and sales promotion. Presently, she is a lecturer in the Department of Commerce, Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), University of Delhi, Delhi.

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