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Rural Marketing is defined as 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. 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.

Yes, big industries/multinational companies can use rural marketing as a tool not only exploiting opportunities existing in rural areas but see that along with selling their products in rural areas, they help the people develop themselves without being exploited by any means. One idea is for soap companies selling their products in rural areas. They can sell their products in rural areas with first low cost and good quality, then see that they convey few messages creating awareness on health and hygiene that could be on the top of the soap cover through small pictures or easily understandable messages in regional languages like: 1. 2. 3. Everyone should take bath daily. Everyone have to wash hands after going to toilet. One has to wash hands, legs using soaps after bathing animals/ cleaning animals, feeding them etc. Also saying our soaps could be used in all these places and it takes care of you in keeping clean and healthy. Thus soaps are sold and also ensuring people maintain better health. Soap companies have do a lot of feasibility analysis over these matters and also Health Ministry, as they can take steps such that these types of messages are printed on soap covers and baby products, etc. The government should attempt to bring to everyone's focus the major role of rural marketing for bridging the widening inequality between the rural and urban economy in India. The government should re-conceptualize rural marketing and should highlight the real need for dual perspective, i.e., producers empowerment and strategic marketing with broad-basing this domain in order to cover a lot of market relationships that are the part of this growing rural-urban links.

This difficult task could be achieved with the help of rural producers who can compete in marketplace with comparative and competitive advantage and consolidation of rural enterprises and agriculture. So rural and agriculture enterprises are in dire need to be linked together to urban and/or rural markets, minimizing the market resistance to the rural products and also maximizing the market orientation of the rural enterprises. One more point to add is rural marketing cannot be separated from rural development; rather it is a tool, with which the rural resources can get a better exposure of the larger markets. Many development initiators often forget the point of marketability of resources produced through various skill upgrading schemes and programs they plan. Any kind of production activity, without proper market linkages will not succeed or sustain in the long run. What the rural population need is proper intervention on forward and backward linkage fronts. Let the development initiators think on this line. Be an opportunity seeker first, then cashing upon those opportunities, let the beneficiaries be the communities you serve So friends think in all angles of the practical situations in rural market and contribute your ideas so we, young blood of India, can successfully serve rural market and make Indian villages happy with all facilities and also ensuring growth of business through rural areas.

Indian businesses to accelerate expansion into rural markets, says study


COIMBATORE: The economy may be slowing down. But that is not stopping companies from expanding their presence in rural areas. More than two-thirds (67%) of companies plan to rapidly accelerate the expansion of their businesses in rural markets, according to a latest study by global consulting firm Accenture. The monthly per capita expenditure in rural markets increased 19.2% between 2009 and 2012, surpassing urban consumption growth by 2%, the study found. In incremental terms, spending in rural India during these two years was $69 billion compared to $55 billion spent by urban India. "As incomes rise, rural consumption shifts from necessities to discretionary goods and lifestyle products, including mobile phones, television sets and two-wheelers," the study noted. Nearly 42% of rural households owned a television in 2009-2010, up from 26% five years earlier. Similarly, 14% of rural households had a two-wheeler in 2009-2010, twice the penetration levels recorded during 2004-2005. Rural markets already account for more than 20% of the total revenues for more than 65% of the companies surveyed. The study covered 70 businesses (multi-national and domestic) operating in rural markets across sectors.

RURAL INDIA BUYS * Products more often (mostly weekly) ; * Buys small packs, low unit price more important than economy ; * In rural India, brands rarely fight with each other; they just have to be present at the right place; * Many brands are building strong rural base without much advertising support, like Shampoos, detergent etc. * Fewer brand choices in rural areas; number of FMCG brands in rural areas is half that of urban. * Buys value for money, not cheap products EXPOSURE OF RURAL MARKETS IN INDIA * 630 million people; * According to a study by the Chennai-based Francis Kanoi Marketing Planning Services, estimated annual size of market is FMCG Rs. 65,000 Crore Consumer Durables Rs. 5000 Crore Agri Inputs (e.g., Tractors) Rs. 45,000 Crore 2/4 Wheelers Rs. 8,000 crore Total Rs. 1,23,000 Crore SAJMMR Volume 2, Issue 4 (April, 2012) ISSN 2249-877X South Asian Academic Research Journals http://www.saarj.com - 220 * In 2001-02, LIC sold 55% of its policies in rural India. * Of the two million BSNL mobile connections, 50% are in small towns / villages. * Of the six lakh villages, 5.22 lakh have a Village Public Telephone (VPT). * 42 million rural households are availing banking services in comparison to 27 million urban households. * Investment in formal savings instruments: 6.6 millions households in rural and 6.7 million in urban India. A national strategy in rural marketing and help them in executing it across different regions. Corporates are still apprehensive to "Go Rural." The rural market is growing at a far greater speed than its urban counterpart. The journey of markets to the rural markets has indeed been one of surmounting one hurdle after another; these include the 4 As - Availability, Affordability, Acceptance & Awareness - adopting themselves to the rural atmosphere marketers

RURAL INDIA PROMISES RETAIL GROWTH There may be a slowdown in urban retail, but 'Bharat' is still shining for retailers . The next phase of growth is expected to come from rural markets with rural India accounting for almost half of the domestic retail market, valued over $300 billion.Rural India is set to witness an economic boom, with per capita income having grown by 50% over the 10 years, mainly on account of rising commodity prices andimproved productivity. Development of basic infrastructure, generation of employment guarantee schemes, better information services and access to funding are also bringing prosperity to rural households.

"Overall there is a huge market which is waiting to be served, ready to splurge, willing to explore new products and services, and retailers can tap on their wallets," said Ramesh Srinivas, national industry director (consumer markets), KPMG India CONCLUSION With an approximate population of 700 million people, the rural Indian market is important for multinational corporations to tap. Although rural Indians need to purchase consumer goods just as their Western counterparts do, rural Indian consumers have a different set of needs that must be met by both package and product. Spending time researching the rural Indian consumer as well as the market before diving in can help to prevent unnecessary struggles and failures. If the opportunity exists, partnering with an existing Indian company upon market entry can provide several key advantages to a company. Understanding the available distribution networks in rural India is crucial to making a successful entry into the rural Indian market. Packages need to be designed to withstand more distribution abuse due to poor roads and more primitive modes of transportation. Finally, when creating a package for ruralIndia, small sizes allow consumers to try new products. It also caters to the factthat most rural Indians have low disposable incomes and little storage space at home. By applying these lessons that have been learned from multinational corporations in the past, the task of entering the rural Indian market should be promising. Rural Retailing in India Given that an overwhelming majority of India\'s population lives in rural areas, retailers are fast penetrating rural india. Rural india is experiencing the same changes as urban india - changing consumer preferences and consumption patterns, increasing exposure to different lifestyles and products, and increasing purchasing power.The retail sector has played a phenomenal role throughout the world in increasing productivity of consumer goods and services.