The development of the nation largely depends upon the development of the rural population. Mahatma Gandhi had once said: “India’s way is not Europe’s. India is not Calcutta and Bombay. India lives in her several hundreds of villages”.
The problems of rural marketing are continuing in spite of efforts to improve in the five year plans. The position is improving but slowly. So, the rural marketer has many challenges. But the vast & expanding markets call for good marketing strangers to create win situations to all parties in the chain of rural marketing.
Where the rural market does offer a vast untapped potential, it should also be recognized that it is not that easy to operate in rural market because of several attendant problems. Rural marketing is thus a time consuming affair and requires considerable investments in terms of evolving appropriate strategies with a view to tackle the problems.
The challenges of rural marketing are as follows:-
- Under developed people
- Under developed market
- Improper communication facilities
- Many languages
- Vastness & uneven spread
- Low per capita income
- Poor infrastructure facilities
- Seasonal demand
- Ineffective distribution channel
- Spurious brands
- Low Literacy Levels
1. Underdeveloped people
Rural society is found by tradition, old customs, practices etc. The impact of modern science & technology has made very less impact of the old beliefs are still continuing.
2. Underdeveloped market
Rural markets are not developing because of inadequate banking & credit facilities. Rural market needs banks to enable remittance, to transact on credit basis and to obtained credit support from the bank.
3. Poor or improper communication facilities
Most villages even today largely depends on telegrams and phones for their communication needs print media and visual media[Television cinema] etc reaches only a small percentage of rural Indians.
4. Many languages
India is a country of many languages. Language becomes a barrier in effective communication in the marketing efforts. The languages vary from state to state, place to place, district to district. There are now 18 schedule national languages.
5. Vastness & unevenly spread
India is a vast time & major approximately 3214km from North to South &2933km from East to West. Rural market consists of approximately 75 cores rural consumers spread across approximately 6,38,365 villages. Despite the urban migration, the rural areas continue to be the place of living for a vast majority Indians.
6. Low per capital income
Most farmers have small lands and many villages are brought prone, this result in low per capita income. Low per capita income results in low consumption pattern as compared to the urban population. The marketers faces challenges in rural marketing to decide about quantities, frequency of distributions, package size etc… due to the low per capita income of the rural people.
7. Poor infrastructure facilities
Infrastructural facilities like roads, ware houses, powers etc… are inadequate in rural areas. Infrastructural cost are very high and impact adversely in the rural market activities.
8. Seasonal demand
Rural economic is seasonal, rural people have two seasonal namely khariff & rabi. Villages have money mostly in these seasons. As village income are seasonal, demands are also.
9. Ineffective distribution channels
The distribution chain is not very well organized and requires a large number of intermediaries, which in turn increases the cost and creates administrative problems. Due to lack of proper infrastructure, manufacturers are reluctant to open outlets in these areas. They are mainly dependent on dealers, who are not easily available for rural areas. This is a challenge to the marketers.
10. Spurious brands
Cost is an important factor that determines purchasing decision in rural areas. A lot of spurious brands or look-alikes are available, providing a low cost option to the rural customer. Many a time the rural customer may not be aware of the difference due to illiteracy.
11. Low Literacy Levels
The low literacy levels in rural areas leads to a problem of communication. Print media has less utility compared to the other media of communication.
Transportation is one of the biggest challenges in rural markets. As far as road transportation is concerned, about 50% of Indian villages are connected by roads. However, the rest of the rural markets do not even have a proper road linkage which makes physical distribution a tough task. Many villages are located in hilly terrains that make it difficult to connect them through roads. Most marketers use tractors or bullock carts in rural areas to distribute their products.
Warehousing is another major problem in rural areas, as there is hardly any organized agency to look after the storage issue. The services rendered by central warehousing corporation and state warehousing corporations are limited only to urban and suburban areas.