The emergence of Rural and Remote areas into marketing is untapped potential and so there’s an emphasis on the need to explore them. Marketers over the past few decades, with innovative approaches, have attempted to understand and give opportunities to rural markets. Rural marketing is an evolving concept, and as a part of any economy, has untapped potential; marketers have realized the opportunity recently.
The rural population has shown a trend of moving to a state of gradual urbanization in terms of exposure, habits, lifestyles, and lastly, consumption patterns of goods and services. Rural per capita consumption expenditure grew by 11.5 percent while the urban expenditure grew by 9.6 percent.
What is Rural Marketing?
Rural marketing is a process of developing, pricing, promoting, and distributing rural specific goods and services leading to the desired exchange with rural customers to satisfy their needs and wants, and also to achieve organizational objectives. The concept of Rural Marketing in India Economy has always played an influential role in the lives of people. In India, leaving out a few metropolitan cities, all the districts and industrial townships are connected with rural markets.
The rural market in India generates bigger revenues in the country as the rural regions comprise of the maximum consumers in this country. The rural market in the Indian economy generates almost more than half of the country’s income. Rural marketing in the Indian economy can be classified under two broad categories. These are:
|Rural Marketing in India Economy covers two broad sections|
|1.||Selling of agricultural products in the urban areas|
|2.||Selling of manufactured products in the rural regions|
There’s a simple 4A model to streamline rural business is total customer-oriented. And if implemented, then your own rural business could skyrocket. The 4A's are Affordability, Availability, Awareness, and Acceptability.
4A Model To Rural Marketing
There’s a simple 4A model to streamline rural business is totally customer-oriented. And if implemented, then your own rural business could skyrocket. The 4A's are Affordability, Availability, Awareness, and Acceptability.
The design of the product should match the needs of the customer. The Customer should not think that they cannot buy it, which means it should be in their buying capacity.
The greatest problem in the rural market is to reach the customer or retailer. It’s the logistics way to make the product available there.
The Awareness program should be in such a manner that it should reach the customers' mindset. The only way of reaching the customer is through the commercials on media like TV, Radio, and banners.
The customer should think that they can buy the product by putting extra money on that. They should feel that the product is designed as per their needs and it should deliver a great solution to the customer.
Remote areas are a goldmine for any business person for a long time and who are obviously willing to take the risk. Such business not only increases your income among the rural folk but it’s clearly visible that there has been an improvement in consumer purchasing power, and therefore there is a demand for products and services. Although it’s never easy to establish the market in a remote area. You will face challenges such as underdeveloped infrastructure systems and a lack of proper distribution channels among others.
Here are ways in which you can overcome these challenges and run a successful business in remote areas
Strategies To Run A Business In Remote/ Rural Areas
1. Conduct Market Research
This is the most important factor in a business in a remote area. You need to understand the target customer base for your product. Get to know the income levels of the communities residing, the purchasing power of the basic family in that community, their needs, and how much they would be willing to spend for that product. This will not only help you identify your prospective customers but their characteristics too, such as age groups and social class among else. Also, have a look at what grants you could get in a rural area.
2. Gain the Trust of the Local Community
Urban businesses are usually profit-centered and there’s no need for extra hard work like what’s needed in remote businesses because they are community-centered. If you want to achieve long-term success in a rural area, then you need to earn the trust of the people around you. Establish a long-term relationship by providing consistent, efficient, reliable, and cost-effective products. And if the community is satisfied with your services then, you will be able to retain existing customers and attract prospective ones.
3. Develop Appropriate Distribution Channels
The success of any business totally depends on the product or service reaching the intended customer base. It i often difficult to access them. What you can do is, you can develop a multilayer distribution channel where you have sub-distributors at different points. You can also have a delivery van to take the product to the customers’ doorsteps. To ensure you have excellent communication with your retailers and always ensure, the product is always available to the customers.
4. Use Rural Marketing Strategies
Businesses in remote areas need marketing strategies tailored to rural areas. One of the best marketing strategies for rural area business is to identify and develop rural talent into the business. They are always in a better position to understand the mindset of their people and then you can work with them easily. Locals are also likely to embrace business that gives opportunities to their own community. There is no better strategy for a remote business than training and promoting a local up among the ranks. You can also use the services of local influencers and opinion leaders to market the business.
5. Proper Inventory Management
Inventory management will help the business have a clear vision of how best they can cater to the needs of their customers, where they are doing and where they need to improve, and whether their marketing strategies are working or not. This sort of inventory helps keep a regular update of which products are moving and which ones are slow, and how the different categories of customers are responding to the different products.
6. Have a Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate social responsibility is a way of your business, to give back to the community. To gain strength, participate in the development of communal infrastructure and facilities such as the construction of dispensaries, environmental conservation efforts, and giving scholarships to needy students. You can also organize workshops for the unemployed rural youth or uneducated youth to equip them with job skills even if they won’t be absorbed by the business. This will go a long way in helping the business integrate into the community and gain acceptance everywhere.
The concept of rural marketing in India is often been found to forms ambiguity in the mind of people who think rural marketing is all about agricultural marketing. However, rural marketing determines the carrying out of business activities bringing in the flow of goods from urban sectors to the rural regions of the country as well as the marketing of various products manufactured by the non-agricultural workers from rural to urban areas.
The rural market in India is not a separate entity in itself and it is highly influenced by the sociological and behavioral factors operating in the country.
If you analyze, it’s quite easy to market your rural business and it becomes super easy if you perceive a customer-oriented approach.