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com IMT 72 Rural Marketing M2 PART A

Q1. Rural India is undergoing a massive transformation due to interest shown in t he rural markets by the public and private sector and even multinationals Given t his, elaborate on some of the initiatives undertaken in the rural sector.

Q2. Define Rural Marketing. Elaborate on Rural marketing is a two-way process. port your answer with illustration.


Q3. The unique characteristics of the rural market environment are: a. Prevalence of superstitions and taboos b. Occupational pattern related to agriculture c. Demand for cheaper and long-lasting products d. Review the impact of each of these characteristics.

Q4. Infrastructural facilities in the rural areas have undergone a major transfo rmation over the years. Highlight some of the key developments.

Q5. While rural market offers a vast untapped potential, it also poses several p roblems and constraints in terms of reaching out to this market. Highlight these key problems.


Q1. Elucidate the challenges faced in the marketing of fertilizers and agro-chem icals

Q2. What are the various factors that must be borne in mind while redesigning or re-modeling a product to suit the rural conditions?

Q3. The latest trends in rural marketing are concepts such as Contract farming a nd Agricultural Export Zones. Discuss.

Q4. Innovative promotions are a key factor for the tremendous growth of the rura l market. Justify. Q5. Elucidate how the formation of various types of co-operative societies has c ome to benefit the rural producers.


Q1. Discuss the various rural credit institutions available in the country and t heir objective and functions

Q2. Elucidate the three kinds of credit available to the rural dwellers from the credit institutions.

Q3. How are cooperatives formed? How do cooperatives help in promoting rural mar kets?

Q4. Discuss some innovative product strategies implemented by marketers keeping the rural consumer s need at the helm.

Q5. Discuss few strategies used by marketers for keeping the prices low so as to match the rural purchasing power


Rural channel in broadcasting

All India Radio & Doordarshan are two classic examples of institutions whose miss ion statement has certainly not been met with. Bahujana Hitya Bahujana Sukhya (the good & happiness of the majority) and Satyam Shivam Sundram (truth that is permane nt & beautiful)are among the best mission statements of any broadcasting organis ations the world over. But sadly, these statements have been totally ignored by policy makers & media planners in All India Radio & Doordarshan. If the good & h appiness of the majority is the aim, where are the majority people residing in I ndia? If 64% of India s population lives in the countryside spread over more than 6.15 lakh villages, far away from the urban influence, it needs to be examined w hether All India Radio is sensitised to the information, entertainment & educati onal needs of this majority (bahujans). Also, the real truth about Rural India i s that every third person there lives below the poverty line. Year round employm ent, easy access to safe drinking water, sanitary toilets & electricity are stil

l distant dreams. So, is Doordarshan portraying these truths, though they are no t beautiful , to promote introspection & public debate. That Doordarshan is totally urbanised & commercialised is a known fact. Let us t herefore examine AIR s role & responsibility since this is a cheaper medium within people s access. Less time: In the straight jacket programme pattern of AIR, the time devoted to r ural programmes has never been more than 6% and sadly enough, this has remained st atic over the decades. Ten-minute farm new in the morning & ten minutes of farm & home dialogue in the afternoon are the staple items for the listeners by most o f the 183 radio stations in the country.

Poor propaganda of development programmes: Successive governments have been impl ementing rural development & poverty alleviation programmes including wage emplo yment, self-employment & integrated development programmes for many years now. W hat role has the radio played in creating awareness about the objectives of thes e programmes? By educating rural listeners about their role, rights & responsibi lities vis--vis rural development programmes it could contribute to their better implementation.

Gender insensitivity: Media professionals are aware that the informational needs of women are different. Furthermore, 65% of rural women are non-workers (Rural Development Statistics, 1998, NIRD) and thus are available at home for listening to radio. Though most AIR stations broadcast for more than ten hours daily, the y do not find it possible to set apart even 30 minutes of programming time for w omen.

Neglect of children: India s population pyramid has a broad-base with children bel ow 15 years accounting for 38% of the total population (RDS, 1998, NIRD). We als o proclaim that children are the future hopes of the nation. But the tragedy is that the AIR cannot boast of a single programme for children. Broadcast planners have remained under the mistaken notion that it is enough to broadcast programm es for children during the weekends.

Indifferent entertainment: It is disquieting to note that even the needs of the rural audiences are not given any weightage. Hari katha programmes in Andhra Pra desh, Kathakali Padangal in Kerala and Nautanki in Uttar Pradesh & other hindi s peaking states all go on air after 9:30 pm. By this time, most of the village fo lk are fast asleep. What prevents radio from broadcasting them between 7:30 pm t o 9:00 pm? National relays & cntral news bulletins are often cited as the stumbl ing blocks. The argument put up by the broadcast planners in lieu of these allegations, is t hat the Planning Commission has driven them to view every programme from the ang le of its revenue earning potential. However, this argument does not cut much ic e. On the contrary, it is observed that programmes for rural audiences too have a lot of revenue earning potential. This is borne out by the fact that advertise ments about chemical fertilisers, pesticides, tractors, pump sets, certified see ds etc. are crowded around regional news & farm news bulletins.

Serving different categories: Radio for decades, has retained programmes like Anu ranjani (classical music) which logs zero listening and Sangeet Sarita whose listen ership is far too negligible compared to film music programmes. In defense of th ese programmes, radio professional emphasis on their role to uphold cultural tra ditions & their duty to the society. But they seem to forget that they are as mu ch duty bound to serve the rural masses who are in a majority as against patrons of music & other fine arts who are an elite group & mostly urban-based.

Need of the hour: There is no justification for a public service broadcasting me dium depending on public funds, to ignore the interest of the vast majority of p eole who need & want its service. There is a wide-spread belief that with the ad vent of television & more particularly the cable television, radio has almost di sappeared from the urban media scene in India.

Questions 1. Do you agree with the view that there is a need for a rural channel in broadc asting? Why or why not? 2. How far do you appreciate the stand of AIR and its present programming policy ?

3. What kind of programmes do you suggest for the rural audience? CASE STUDY II

The Mirage in Rural Markets

With urban markets fast heading towards saturation, consumer durable majors are heading towards the rural markets, currently showing a marked increase in prospe rity.

Strange Experience: There have been many reports of colour television companies finding their assessments of the rural market going awry. With the rural areas b eing visibly poorer than urban centers the companies expected these markets to g o primarily for the lower end of their products. Instead, these markets have ten ded to favour the expensive models and have had little need for instalment schem es. The obvious explanation for this unexpected result would be that the rural m arket is in fact richer than we thought. But analysing this unexpected result in terms of income alone could be misleading. Indeed, the result may also reflect a larger failure in understanding the Indian rural market.

The trends have been noticed in rural colour television sales may well be the re sult of the factors other than income. Rural areas, and very small towns, contin

ue to see the dominance of the joint family. It is also not always considered po lite in rural society to prevent friendly neighbours from viewing programmes reg ularly on your television set. There is thus a need for the larger screen that m ost premium models provide. And the rural joint family would not have much use f or a monthly instalment finance scheme, as in an agrarian economy income is gene rated primarily at harvest time. The explanation for the unexpected marketing re sult may thus also lie in the social peculiarities of each rural society.

Ignoring this social dimension would have its costs for a company seeking to pen etrate the rural market. Television makers who decide that the fault lies in the ir assessment of rural incomes alone would respond by flooding the rural market with more expensive sets. But such a strategy would cater only to the rural elit e. There may well be a demand for a lower end television, even a black and white one, with a large screen. An approach that merely segments markets according to perceived income levels can thus miss potentially large rural markets.

The Study: Consumers in rural markets have begun showing an obvious preference f or branded goods vis-vis non-branded goods of rural origin, according to a study conducted by SRI. The study commissioned by the Consumer Electronics and Televis ion Manufacturers Association concludes that there is more conspicuous consumpti on of consumer durables by almost all segments of rural consumers.

The report also showed that only one in three households had a radio, the penetr ation of television and two-inone was even lower. A comparison of the education and income levels of different clusters indicated that those who give higher pri ority to consumer electronic products are the more educated and the affluent.

Among other products, the hand pump was the most owned durable in agricultural d urables and there was only a limited penetration of tractors. In the transportat ion category, the bicycle was way ahead of two-wheelers and four-wheelers with a market penetration of 73%. One in ten rural households do not own any of the ab ove durables.

While only 4% of all television owners own a colour TV, more than one in three t elevisions were gifts. Nearly one in ten televisions is a second hand TV. One in ten TVs is locally assembled. As far as brand awareness is concerned, it was no ticed that there was a high unaided recall only for older well established brand s such as Onida, Philips, Texla, BPL and Videocon. Most respondents were aware o f international brands only after aiding.

Questions 1. What conclusions would you make about the rural consumer, after analysing the findings of this study?

2. On the basis of this study, what recommendations would you give to the market ers of TV and other consumer durables? Contact for best and lowest cost solution or email solvedhub@g