Before we start on with rural marketing and the application of the concepts of management on rural market, it is quintessential that we understand the definitions of what a ‘Rural Market’ in India is. This has often been a platform for heated debate since the definition of rural by government and the corporates vary.
Typically, from an Indian census point of view, rural has been defined with a ‘deprivation’ orientation, rural being a landmass without access to continuous electricity, water, the stock market. But the corporaes define it as ‘Rural India comprises all places that are not urban.’ As per the Indian census, the urban India is (a) All statutory places with a municipality, corporation, cantonment board or notified town area committee, etc. (b) A place satisfying the following three criteria simultaneously:
i) a minimum population of 5,000;
ii) at least 75 per cent of male working population engaged in non-agricultural pursuits; and
iii) a density of population of at least 400 per sq. km. (1,000 per sq. mile).
Initially the companies had a step child approach to a rural market with them launching only scaled down low cost version of products compared to the respective urban counterparts. But the saturation of the urban markets with competition has made the cos to sit up and think about the rural markets which has 72.2% of the total population as well contributing 43% of the total national income.
With the increase in competition, the importance for differentiating in the market gains significance. This hold good for a rural market as well. This blog tries to apply the principles stated in the book ‘Differentiate or Die‘ by Jack Trout as a strategy to survive the killer competition in the market with special reference to the rural market.