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CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR IN RURAL MARKETING By furai86 On October 16, 2011 Leave a Comment An understanding of consumer behaviour is essential in formulating

g the marketing strategies. However, information about rural consumers is limited and hazy due to lack of right competence, partial approach and limited knowledge and bias of the corporate managers. While the top managements commitment to understand the rural markets exists, the competence necessary for interacting and comprehending rural attitudes and behav iour is lacking at the lower, field staff level. The lower levels who look afte r implementation have exposure mostly to urban life and consumers. A deeper und erstanding of the rural milieu is needed for which people with proper exposure a re required. The research findings of marketing research and advertising agencies present dif ferent pictures of rural markets. Even after almost two decades, from the time when it first came into vogue, unde rstanding on rural marketing remains superficial at best. The argument, which t hrough not always articulated is, after all, rural people are also people like u rban and world have the same needs, desires and aspirations The characteristics of the buyer that affect the buying process include: Age and life-cycle stage Occupation Economic situation Life-style Personality an d self concept Psychological factors (a) : Buying is influenced by the age and life-cycle stages of people

(b) Evidently, the goods and services bought by a person are influenced by the occupation of the individual (c) The purchasing power of an individual is the prime consideration for mark ets. If the disposable income of an individual is high, obviously, he or she can buy a number of popular goods or a few expensive goods. Marketers have to find the income sensitivity of the goods and services they offer and make decisions like: Today, sachets of shampoos, toothpastes, hair oils, skin creams, cough syrup and several other products tap the vast rural market. The small unit purchasing is convenient to rurals who are mostly daily wage earners (d) : Lifestyle is a persons pattern of living. The pattern ofliving is determ ined by the activities, interests and opinions (AIO) of people. Activities Interests Opinions work, hobbies, shopping, social events, etc. food, fashion, family, recreation, etc. about self, society, government, business, etc.

(e) personality refers to the unique psychological characteristics that lead to relatively consistent and lasting responses to ones own environment. To relat e personality to products people purchase, there are two aspects to be considere d situation and person

(f) : the tree psychological factors, which help describe what goes on in th e minds of consumers, have influence on his decision-making. There are Perception Cognition and Motivation : It is the process by which people select, organize and interpret information t o form meaningful picture of the object. Three perceptual processes, for exampl e, selective attention, selective distortion and selective retention of audience make effective communication a challenge to markets. Selective attention of value Selective distortion they already believe Selective retention People remember what, in their view, is supportive People interpret information to support what People pay attention to things that they consider

to their beliefs and attitudes

The information gathering and processing styles of rural are simple since their sources and skills are limited. For them, learning is possible when the subject is simplifies; the presentation is made in their dialect and in a lucid style. With the aid of pictures and diagrams the audience is slowly involved in experi ential learning through demonstrations. Motivation is a process of creating motives. A motive is defined as an inner ur ge that moves or prompts an action. Motivation to purchase a product becomes posi tive when the product corresponds to a need or a motive, which is to be satisfie d. The motivation becomes stronger when such satisfaction is very important to the consumer. The BDP follows a logical sequence of five steps * * * * * * Need Recognition Information search Evaluation of alternatives Purchase Decision Post-purchase behaviour

(a) When the buyer recognizes a gap between his desired state and the actual stat, buying process starts. Such recognition maybe caused by stimuli either in ternal (self) or external (by environment or marketer). At this stage, marketer should help consumers identify their current and future problems and felt or lat ent needs. To do this, marketers have to research on consumer problems and need s. (b) : Generally, consumers try to find information pertaining to their want s atisfying products to make the right choices. The amount of information required depends upon: Type of the product convenience, shopping or specialty good. Nature of the produ ct complex, high-tech or simple and easy to distinguish Availability of sources the consumer may obtain information from one or more of the following sources Pe rsonal family, friends, neighbors Commercial advertising, sale people, displays

Public TV, radio, internet and print media Experiential handling, examining, usi ng the product Search expands with the availability of time. Marketers have to take into cogni zance this aspect and design offers to induce immediate buying. Keeping in mind the information needs of consumers, marketers should design communication progr ammes to reach the consumers and provide adequate and relevant information. The evaluation process may be done more carefully and logically in some cases, f or example, consumer durables. In case of convenience goods, which are purchase d for one-shot consumption, the evaluation may be very less. Occasionally, it m aybe impulse buying too. (d) All the existing brands in the market make a total set. through informat ion search consumer will become aware of some brands in the total set. Awarenes s set consists for brands which the consumer is aware of the brands, which meet initial, buying criteria, will be considered for further evaluation. They make up the consideration set. Through application of final criteria, the consumer e volves his choice set. All the brands in this set are acceptable to the consume r. However, the final choice will be made in favour of one brand. The choice i s dependent upon factors influencing the mind of consumer at this final state (e) A buyer feels satisfied when the perceived product performance is close t o his/her expectations, if it exceeds expectation, the customer is delighted. If it falls short of expectations, the customer is disappointed. Consumer is the basic foundation of every business. What consumer sees, thinks prefers and buys is of great importance to marketers to fine tune their marketin g offers and achieve high level of consumer acceptance and satisfaction. The em ergence of rural market as a viable proposition has sparked a new interest among marketers to explore and understand them. Related posts: 1. Consumers Decision Making- Preeminent Tool to Analyze Consumer Behaviour 2. How does social media marketing effect disaplines of marketing (e.g. PR, A dvertisment and consumer behaviour)? 3. What is Consumer Behaviour 4. Understanding Consumer Behaviour in Markets 5. CROSS CULTURAL CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR