Chapter 18: Rural Marketing Strategies
Creation Is A Tradition And Technology A Way Of Life
An appropriate segmentation of highly heterogeneous rural market and identification of the
needs and wants of different segments will form the very basis for rural marketing strategies.
For the rural market, strategies for the 4P‟s of the marketing mix would be an ideal one.
(A) Product Strategies
(B) Pricing Strategies
(C) Distribution Strategies
(D) Promotional Strategies
A) Product Strategies
The following are the product strategies for the rural market and rural consumers:
1. Small unit packing: This method has been tested by products life shampoos, pickles,
biscuits, Vicks cough drops in single tablets, tooth paste, etc. Small packings stand a good
chance of acceptance in rural markets. The advantage is that the price is low and the rural
consumer can easily afford it.
Also the Red Label Rs. 3.00 pack has more sales as compared to the large pack. This is
because it is very affordable for the lower income group with the deepest market reach
making easy access to the end user satisfying him.
The small unit packings will definitely attract a large number of rural consumers.
2. New product designs: Keeping in view the rural life style the manufacturer and the
marketing men can think in terms of new product designs.
For e.g. PVC shoes and chappals can be considered sited ideally for rural consumers due to
the adverse working conditions. The price of P.V.C items is also low and affordable. 3. Sturdy products: Sturdiness of a product is an important factor for rural consumers. The
experience of torch light dry battery cell manufacturers support this because the rural
consumers preferred dry battery cells which are headier than the lighter ones.
For them, heavier weight meant that it has more over and durability.
Sturdiness of a product either or appearance is an important for the rural consumers.
4. Utility oriented products: The rural consumers are more concerned with utility of the
product and its appearance Philips India Ltd. Developed and introduced a low cost medium
wave receiver named BAHADUR during the early seventies. Initially the sales were good but
On investigation it was found that the rural consumer bought radios not only for information
and news but also for entertainment.
5. Brand name: For identification, the rural consumers do give their own brand name on the
name of an item. The fertilizers companies normally use a logo on the fertilizer bags though
fertilizers have to be sold only on generic names. A brand name or a logo is very important
for a rural consumer for it can be easily remembered. Many a times rural consumers ask for
peeli tikki in case of conventional and detergent washing soap.
Nirma made a peeli tikki specially for those peeli tikki users who might have experienced
better cleanliness with the yellow colored bar as compared to the blue one although the actual
difference is only of the color.
B) Pricing Strategies
Pricing strategies are linked to the product strategies. The product packaging and
presentation also keeps the price low to suit the rural consumer.
Some of the pricing strategies are discussed below: 1. Low cost/ cheap products: the price can be kept low by low unit packings like paisa pack
of tea, shampoo sachets, vicks 5 grams tin, etc. this is a common strategy widely adopted by
many manufacturing and marketing concerns.
2. Refill packs / Reusable packaging: in urban areas most of the health drinks are available.
The containers can be put to multipurpose uses. Such measures can a significant impact in
the rural market.
For example, the rural people can efficiently reuse the plastic bottle of hair oil. Similarly the
packages of edible oil, tea, coffee, ghee etc can be reused. Pet jars free with the Hasmukhrai
and Co Tea, Ariel Super Compact.
3. Application of value engineering: in food industry, Soya protein is being used instead of
milk protein. Milk protein is expensive while Soya protein is cheaper, but the nutrition
content of both is the same. The basic aim is to reduce the value of the product, so that a
larger segment can afford it, thus, expanding the market
C) Distribution Strategies
While it is necessary to formulate specific strategies for distribution in rural areas, the
characteristic of the product – whether it is consumable or durable, the life of the product and
other factors have to kept in mind.
The following strategies formulated for the rural category.
1. Coverage of villages with 2000 and above population: Ideally, coverage of villages with
up to 2000 and above population could be the break-even point for a distribution setup. By
doing so the percentage of villages covered comes to only 10% of all the rural population
covered will b substantial. With improved communication facilities it is possible to reach
distribution vas to these villages. 2. Use of co-operative societies: There are over 3 lacks co-operative societies operating in
rural areas for different purposes like marketing cooperatives, farmers service cooperatives
and other multipurpose cooperatives. These cooperatives have an arrangement for centralized
procurement and distribution through their respective state level federation. Such state level
federation can be motivated to procure and distribute consumables items and low value
durable items to the members to the society for serving to the rural consumers. Many of the
societies extend credit to the members for purchases.