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6Characteristics of Rural Marketing:


India is a big country and its rural markets have varied characteristics that change from
people to people, region to region. Some of the mainfeatures of Indias rural markets are:
-1)Diverse Nature: There are 6,38,667 Indian villages in all.

Out of these 50% share a very small population of less than 500 and alimited purchasing power.
Many of these villages dont even have asingle shop.

In the second category there are 2,50,000 villages with a population between 500-2000. There
are at least 5 shops per village.

Lastly there are 60,000 villages with a population of more than 2000.

Companies should try and focus on the last two categories more asthey have high potential.
Regional disparities heavily influenceeconomic development, social interaction patterns,
mobility patternsand awareness levels.

This in turn influences purchasing power.2 ) U r b a n M a r k e t S a t u r a t i o n :

There is a cutthroat competition in urban markets, which have reacheda stage of saturation.

As a result, marketers are shifting focus to greener pastures in ruralmarkets, as


there is equal number of households in rural areas as in urban areas.
3)Rising Disposable Income of Rural Customers:

New tax structures, good monsoons, the green revolution and theAdminist
e r e d P r i c i n g M e c h a n i s m ( A P M ) h a v e r a i s e d d i s p o s a b l e incomes in rural areas.

It is ironic that rural people spend so lavishly on weddings, ceremoniesand festivals amidst
deficiency.

Today the rural consumer shop for value.

It is this income that the companies are going to tap in the


n e a r future.4 ) R i s i n g L i t e r a c y L e v e l s :

Nearly 45% of rural Indians are literate out of which 59% are men and31% are women.

Around 12 crore people in


villages are literate as compared to 12.5 crore in urban India.

Every year produces 60 lakh literate people.

F a r m e r s a r e r e m a r k a b l y w e l l i n f o r m e d a b o u t t h e c h a n g i n g w o r l d around them.


The increased enrolment in schools has also generated a wave of ruraldemand for lifestyles and
aspiration products. Hence, one cannot makegeneralizations about Indian Rural
Markets.5 ) S p r e a d o f C a b l e Tel e v i s i o n :

T h e g r o w t h o f s a t e l l i t e T V c h a n n e l s h a s h a d a m a j o r i m p a c t o n villag
ers.

It has led to a change in lifestyle and consumption patterns.

Television has high capacity to raise interest levels as it has greater accessibility
compared to other media.

Rural consumers now aspire to buy brands rather than to just purchasecommodities.
1.7Classification of Rural Marketing:
URBAN RURALRURAL URBANRURAL RURALUrban to Rural (U2R):
A major part of rural marketing falls in this category. Itis the transaction where urban
products are sold in the rural areas. The urban products, which are generally sold in rural
areas, are pesticides, fertilizers, seeds, FMCG, tractors, bicycles, consumer durables, etc.

Rural to Urban (R2U):


It is basically where agricultural products are marketedin urban areas. Usually a farmer seeks to
sell his produce in an urban market. An agent
or m i d d l e m e n p l a y s a c r u c i a l r o l e i n t h i s m a r k e t i n g p r o c e s s . T h e s e
a r e b a s i c a l l y cooperatives like AMUL, MAPRO, etc. Products sold under R2U category
include seeds,fruits, vegetables, milk and milk products, forest produce like beeswax,
honey, spices,cotton for textile mills etc.
Rural-to-Rural (R2R):
This includes activities that take place between twovillages in close proximity to
each other. The transactions involve areas of expertise
a particular village has. Items in this category include agricultural tools,
h a n d i c r a f t s , bullock carts, dress materials etc.