Constraints in Rural Marketing and Strategies to overcome25th March 2021
Delivering to the rural markets is a real challenge to many marketers. In fact, the whole dynamics of rural markets are so unique that one has to look at beyond traditional marketing mix with advanced mix containing the 4A‟s instead of the traditional 4P‟s of marketing:
- Acceptability develop what the consumer wants,
- Affordability, make an affordable product,
- Availability, product made available at villages
- Awareness; Don’t promote the brand, demonstrate the product.
Most of the marketers look at rural market as an extension of existing urban market hence they simply dump their existing product which is outdated in urban market into rural market. Hence marketers fail to penetrate into rural market in big way. Though rural consumers attracted towards urban life styles their dynamics are differ from urban consumers. Similarly, rural marketing strategies are also significantly different from the marketing strategies aimed at an urban consumer.
Hierarchy of Market:
Rural consumers have identified market places for different items of their requirements. Thus depending upon the purchase habit of rural people, the distribution network of different commodities has to be different.
Non-Availability of Dealers:
It is not possible to have direct outlets in each rural market; firms need to have service of dealers, which is not easily available.
Many Languages and Dialects:
The number of language and dialects vary widely from state to state, region to region and even from district to district. Though the recognized languages are only 16 the number of dialects is around 850.
Vastness and Uneven Growth:
India has about 5 lakhs villages, which are scattered over a wide range of geographical area, and also they are not uniform in size.
Central Warehousing Corporation and State Warehousing Corporation do not extend their services to the rural parts. The warehouses at mandi level are managed by co-operative societies who provide services to members only.
Communication infrastructure consisting of posts, telegraphs and telephones are inadequate.
Transportation infrastructure is very poor in rural India. Though India has the fourth largest railway system in the world, many villages remain outside the railway network. Many villages have only kaccha roads while many of rural interiors are totally unconnected by the roads. Because of this the physical distribution is difficult in rural areas.
Underdeveloped Societies and Populace: Majority of Indian rural societies are still underdeveloped they follow old customs, traditions and beliefs. The modern science and technology have made a less impact on their lives, the people in the rural areas are rigid and not ready to adopt the change in any spears. This is a major reason why scientific innovations are not entering the rural segments and they are not getting the expected outcomes.
Uneven Distribution of Villages: India is a vast country approximately raning form 3214 Km from North to South and 2933 Km from East to West. Rural market consist of 638365 villages as per 2011 censes, some villages are large and some of them are small and remote. Further, each village will have different culture, agricultural pattern followed by different climatic and geographical conditions. In this scenario it is difficult to frame a single policy of development of all rural areas ignoring their economic, geographical, cultural, and political backgrounds.
Poor Planning and Market Research: The concept of planning was almost absent in the rural markets, due to lack of marketing information facilities. Rural producers fail to produce to the goods as per the demand because of the above reason. Further, they will not search for markets, customers and consumers for their products and services. Due to which in spite of the quality and low price of rural products they were not able to market them and initiate marketing activities in the rural areas.
- The rural populace should be developed in all aspect’s strategies must be designed by the central government, respective state governments, local bodies and NGOs for the upliftment of the same.
- Adequate infrastructural facilities like roads, bridges, ware houses, marketing yards, information centres etc., must be provided by in association with public and private partnership.
- Communication networks like postal, telegraph, telecommunication, television, cinema, etc., need to be strengthened in the rural India. It can be done with the help of the technology and customized services designed to satisfied the communication requirements of rural masses
- Banking and financial system need to be redesigned and reinforced as per the requirements of the rural societies. Private banking system, co-operative credit societies and other financial institutions should extend their operations to the rural areas and should provide all possible services
- A program should be initiated to connect all rural areas with the highways, urban and semi urban centers throughout the country. A broad understanding must be developed on cultural patterns, climatic and geographical conditions pattern of living traditions, customs, values, and beliefs of the peoples with the help of research centers in that respective areas.
- Training Programs must be designed to impart the knowledge in vocational and non-agricultural sectors to the rural people so that the dependency on agriculture can be reduced and the rural entrepreneurial activity and industries can be strengthened. This measure will definitely increase the average and per capita income of the rural house holds
- Both central and state governments should provide a platform through which rural entrepreneurs can join together in a given area to comeback the problems of low production this would include standardizing their products, common marketing and sharing of revenues in proportion to the contribution by each member.
- Interventions by government agencies are needed to do the market research and disseminate the findings to the rural marketers at an earliest so that they can be benefited with the competitive advantage. Further accurate market planning form the main ingredient in an effective marketing plan. Hence marketing palming must be done on scientific and statistical basis
- Rural entrepreneurs should be trained in the areas and usage of computer and information technology. Customer data base must be maintained to build healthy business relations with the help of electronic and social media.
- Local business clients, markets, customers and consumers must be identified. This will reduce the cost of logistics, transportation and price of the products.