Though change is common, some changes seem peculiar and paradoxical. Today, in the Indian economy, we witness one such bi-faceted change—a change from national to global on one side, and urban to rural on the other. Though the change is evolutionary and characteristic of a developing nation with a huge population and vast resources, one requires visionary entrepreneurship to respond proactively to it.
FMCG companies such as HUL, P&G and Colgate–Palmolive and consumer durables companies such as LG, Samsung and Philips, along with agri-input marketers, social workers and government agencies have exhibited visionary leadership in nurturing the rural markets. Rural markets have become sought-after destinations for corporations by compulsion as well as choice. Compulsion, because markets are saturated and there is nowhere to go and choice, because they are attractive and viable. Many experiments are being conducted to find the best way of reaching, attracting and retaining rural customers. Further, having survived the recent recession, the rural markets hold the promise of a bright future for intelligent and innovative marketers.
WHY STUDY RURAL MARKETING?
The study of rural marketing has become significant because of the saturation of the urban markets and the increase in the purchasing power of the rural population. The rural market is a tough place to explore with many differences, difficulties and vagaries. The sector poses a variety of challenges, including understanding the strategies to supply and satisfy the rural consumers.
The expanding interest of business managers in rural marketing has led to the formation of the Rural Marketing Association of India (RMAI), which has become a knowledge bank and training forum for young, budding marketers. These developments have produced a considerable academic response in the form of courses, seminars, research papers and text books. This is enough to stimulate interest in documenting the philosophy, concepts and techniques in a more systematic way for the benefit of readers.
The first edition of Rural Marketing: Text and Cases was written to fill the need for a comprehensive book on rural marketing that discusses strategies specific to the rural markets within the framework of general marketing. The second revised and enlarged edition of the book, while retaining the popular features of the first edition, provides a more comprehensive coverage of the changing profiles, issues and practices in the context of rural marketing. Rural Marketing: Text and Cases now covers a wider spectrum of products and services, with a decision-oriented and strategic outlook, and attempts to capture the rapidly changing profile of the rural market.
NEW TO THE SECOND EDITION
The second edition has been written after taking into account the feedback provided by students, reviewers and the numerous instructors who have used the first edition of the book. Besides discussing the traditional 4 P’s of marketing in the rural context, extensive coverage of the applications of the rural marketing mix for promoting consumer products and services as well as agri-inputs and outputs has been provided. Emphasis has been laid on decision making by questioning and explaining the implications of the different situations and behaviours. The experiences of marketers and leading companies have been codified as examples and cases throughout the book.
Some of the major changes you will find in this edition are:
- Addition of eight new chapters: The second edition comprises 18 chapters that examine the expanded field of operations of rural marketers and the innovations in approaches and techniques.
- Increased coverage of the agri-input and service sectors: The agri-input and service sectors have been covered in great detail.
- New chapter on social marketing: An exclusive chapter that focuses on the concept of societal marketing in rural areas.
- Additions to the end-of-chapter exercises: Short answer questions, essay questions, mini projects and Internet exercises test students’ understanding of concepts and promote critical thinking.
- Forty-six new case studies: Thirty-six end-of-chapter cases and ten comprehensive cases at the end of the book highlight the best practices followed by leading companies and provide conceptual clarity to the unique integrities of the rural market.
- Complete supplement package: A comprehensive supplement package comprising an instructors’ manual, PowerPoint lecture slides and multiple choice questions support interactive teaching and learning.
STRUCTURE OF THE BOOK
Rural Marketing: Text and Cases comprises 18 chapters divided into six parts—new horizons, insights, designing strategies, applications, looking into the future and cases.
Part I —New Horizons explores the new horizons of rural marketing. Chapters 1, 2 and 3 examine the opportunities provided by the rural markets and establish a foundation for the study of rural marketing.
Part II—Insights discusses the important aspects that provide insights to marketers interested in designing strategies. Chapter 4 examines the intricacies of rural consumer behaviour and their implications on marketers. Chapter 5 discusses the methods and tools useful for researching the rural markets, while Chapter 6 evolves the guidelines for target marketing and positioning.
Part III—Designing Strategies elaborates on the 4 P’s of the marketing mix in the context of rural markets. Chapters 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 deal with product, price, promotion, communication, and sales and distribution strategies. The chapters in this part examine the application of the marketing framework for the different products and services in the rural markets.
Part IV—Applications offers an insight into how marketers make use of the marketing mix framework for different products and services. Chapter 12 explains the marketing practices of companies dealing with FMCGs and consumer durables. Chapter 13 elaborates the approaches adopted by agri-input companies to promote their products and services. Chapters 14 and 15 discuss the marketing of services such as banking, insurance and telecommunications as well as social marketing. Chapter 16 and 17 present the problems faced by farmers and artisans in marketing their products and examine the roles played by the government, corporate enterprises and NGOs.
Part V—Looking into the Future focuses on the future trends of rural marketing. The final chapter of the book establishes that cultural differences, emotional attachments, ICT developments, and grass-roots level innovations are the future drivers of rural marketing.
Part VI—Cases presents ten comprehensive cases that provide an insight into the application of rural marketing knowledge, skills and techniques with respect to different products and services in divergent marketing situations.
THE TEACHING AND LEARNING PACKAGE
The student and instructor support resources provided with this book make learning and teaching a pleasurable experience. They include:
- An Instructors’ Resource Manual that provides an analysis of all the case studies and answers to all the chapter-ending exercises in the book.
- PowerPoint lecture slides that outline the main theories discussed in the chapters and enable instructors to make effective presentations.
- The mQuest application that enables students to revise concepts, search for or find definitions, take quizzes and get instant feedback on their cell phones.
The instructors’ manual and the PowerPoint slides are available at www.pearsoned.co.in/csgkrishnamacharyulu.
WHO MADE THE REVISION POSSIBLE?
The book has drawn information and inspiration from several executives, writers and researchers. We are highly indebted to them for their path-breaking and thought-provoking contributions. The sources of information are carefully acknowledged to facilitate further references.
Special thanks are due to researchers, management students and teachers in different colleges and academic institutions and marketing executives, who have appreciated the first edition of the book and offered ideas for updating the book with contemporary information. We are obliged to R. Seshadri, Managing Director of Anugrah Madison Advertising Pvt. Ltd for his encouragement and support. We are grateful to Professor T. Siddaiah, Principal, SVU College of Commerce, Management and Computer Science, for his interest in the revision of the book.
We are indebted to Pearson Education for encouraging us to revise the book. Rajesh Shetty coordinated the reviews at the time of preparing the revision plan. We are thankful to our reviewers for their frank opinions, critical evaluation and constructive suggestions. A major credit for the book coming out in its present form goes to Priya Christopher, who inspired us from time to time by setting deadlines, suggesting ideas and promising support. We are grateful to her for her analytical feedback. We also express our thanks to M. E. Sethurajan, M. R. Ramesh and A. Maran who worked hard to bring the book out in time.
Finally, our gratitude and appreciation to the light of our lives—C. Sri Krishna and C. Srivalli—who are adept at selling their ideas using innovative marketing techniques.
HOPES AND EXPECTATIONS
The book is targeted at post graduate management students, researchers, teachers and industry executives. We hope that it benefits marketers interested in rural conquest and teachers engaged in training young management students for marketing careers. Students pursuing distance education programmes will also find the book useful as it is written in a lucid style with numerous examples and interesting case studies. The book is also intended to stimulate research scholars to undertake projects in this burgeoning field. We welcome feedback and suggestions for further improvements.
C. S. G. Krishnamacharyulu