What is Rural Marketing?
Rural marketing is a practice where urban products are exchanged with rural products to meet the need & desires of both rural customers and to realize organizational goals. The main objective of rural marketing is to offer affordable products to rural customers, improve their standard of living, and achieving the organization’s goal as a whole.
Rural marketing is an emerging marketing concept that manages a series of activities related to the purchasing power of rural consumers into demand for specific products and services. In addition to that, it also involves the transfer of these products and services to the rural area with an aim to create satisfaction among rural customers and a better standard of living.
Slowly and silently rural marketing is getting prominence, it is best for the companies to be involved in this marketing concept where the nation is developing and most of the population are living in rural areas like Nepal. Taking excerpts from the owner of Godrej Company, “At the current growth rate, the rural market will soon outstrip the urban market.”
In general, there are three approaches to rural marketing. They are listed as follows:
Urban to Rural: Urban to rural marketing approach involves the selling of products and services by urban marketers in rural areas. For example, FMCG products, pesticides, consumer durables, etc.
Rural to Urban: Rural to urban approach is also referred to as agricultural marketing. In this approach, the rural producer sells his products in the urban market. For example, fruits, vegetables, forest products, dairy products, etc.
Rural to Rural: Rural to rural marketing approach refers to the marketing activities that occur between two proximate rural areas. For example, pottery, agricultural tools, handicraft, etc.
The primary characteristics of rural marketing are explained as follows:
Large Population. As per the latest (2019) census, the rural population constitutes about 79.85% of the Nepalese population. This large population is a big market to find the target customer.
Diverse and Heterogeneous Market. The rural market is incredibly diverse and heterogeneous. This diversity provides a market for all kinds of products and services.
Socio-Economic Pattern. The majority of the Nepalese rural population has low per capita income and low purchasing power.
Literacy level. It is estimated that rural Nepal has a literacy level of 38% as compared to 64% in urban areas.
Standard of living. Low per capita income, low purchasing power, low literacy, and overall social and economic backwardness have to lead to a low standard of living in rural areas.
Cost. Rural marketing is not that expensive when the cost to promote product urban market runs in millions, it’s only a few lakhs.
Rural Marketing Mix
It is also referred to as 4As of rural marketing, namely availability, affordability, acceptability, and awareness. These 4As are now essential mantras to succeed in while to market in rural areas for any marketers or businesses.
Availability. Most of the rural people do not have the infrastructure to go far to purchase necessary goods. Similarly, they do not have roads, most of the things they do by walking. They prefer the goods and services that are readily available to their local areas.
Affordability. Rural people have a low amount of income as compared to urban areas people. They want to consume goods by saving their some incomes. They can not afford the expensive products. So while marketing in rural areas, the marketer should consider the per capita income of rural people, and as per their capacity of purchasing he has to price the goods and services that are affordable to them.
Acceptability. Rural customers accept the goods and services that satisfy their needs, wants, as well as do not harm their norms, values, and customs. So, the marketer should consider those people’s norms and values. Identify their need, want, and desires and market the products that are likely to be accepted by those rural people.
Awareness. It is an act of doing positive work for rural people. The marketer can make aware of his goods and services to the people, the advantages of those products while consuming. He also can do wellness programs to raise the standard of living of those people and so on. For long-term success in the rural market, it is necessary to think about people living standards and their communities well being as well.
Reasons for Adopting Rural Marketing
The major reasons for adopting rural marketing are listed as follows:
Size of Population. The rural market is attractive due to its increasing size population. More than 79% of the Nepalese population live in rural areas which is a great chance to find target customers.
Competitive Urban Market. Today competition in the urban is very high, even the completion is fierce. To achieve the target market requires a huge amount of expenses, however, the chance of achieving the target market is certain because of more competitors. It makes good sense to do rural market.
Rising Rural Prosperity. In recent times the level of income of rural areas people has risen. Modern practices such as modern farming, industrialization, employment, etc. have improved the spending and purchasing power of rural people. It makes sense and gives an opportunity to marketers, that their products are going to be sold in the rural markets.
Change in Lifestyle. Because of modern practices in the lifestyle of rural people of Nepal has seen gradual change. They now have been educated, have access to media, which make them aware of different conditions, goods, and services around the world. It creates a new opportunity to market different lifestyles markets.
Improving accessibility. Although at snail’s pace, the rural areas of Nepal have begun on a journey of development. Many villages have no access to transportation, electricity, means of communication, etc. This scenario gives more trustworthy access to smart marketers.