The rural areas are where the markets of the future lie. Urban markets are becoming increasingly competitive and saturated for many products.
On the other hand, rural markets offer growth opportunities for firms caught up in intensive battle in urban and metro markets. Marketing gurus describe rural markets as the market of the new millennium. According to them, marketers have to understand the rural customers before they can make inroads into rural markers.
Rural marketing should not be considered as an expense but as an investment. Of course, the initial costs for distribution and communication are high and returns come after a long period of gestation, yet it is an investment worth making.
For success, the following points must be considered:
- An efficient countrywide distribution network must be created so that company’s products are available to the farmers at their doorstep.
- Advertising communication and servicing must be evolved in tune with rural needs and in ways different from what is effective in larger towns and cities.
- There should be a strong research and development team to produce products specifically for rural areas.
- Role of trade in distribution and communication must be strengthened.
- Pricing of products should be in line with the economic competence of villagers.
- Packaging should be simpler and more functional than ornamental.
In rural marketing, institutional promotion is more important than brand advertising. To a marketer, this is another hurdle because he/she may promote the institution and some other brand may be bought.
Inability of the smaller retailers to carry stocks without adequate credit facilities is an impediment for growth of retail in rural areas. Rural markets have also inadequate warehousing, which leads to delay in replenishments of stocks.