You are on page 1of 4


Instructor: Venkatesh Umashankar ( Ph. 471 94135 Credits: 03

Given that 70 percent of the Indian population resides within rural communities, that have structures and features different from urban societies, it is natural to have a closer look at how we could be effective in our marketing approaches while targeting rural consumers. Certain broad shifts have occurred in the past decade that further accentuate this need to review our understanding of this rural space such that corporations can sustain their growth by being more relevant and accessible to this large market. It is also true that given the economic difficulties the driver for FMCG sales and also in many service categories, the rural market has contributed greatly to push up corporate performances. This course will therefore discuss and debate about the structure and characteristics of this market along with developing insight vis--vis the marketing mix elements in order to enable the participants design effective marketing strategies and plans based upon a deeper understanding of the rural society and consumption patterns.

At the end of the course the students should be able to: Develop an insight into rural markets and their underlying structural characteristics Be able to apply their existing knowledge and understanding of the basic concepts of marketing and re-calibrate them in light of the realities of rural markets Define and structure marketing-mix elements with respect to rural market needs Understand the issues pertaining to ethical and sustainable aspects of rural marketing

Rural markets Meaning, issues, opportunities & challenges: The rural marketing environment Rural economic scenario Rural consumer behaviour Researching rural markets and consumption Segmenting, targeting & positioning Product strategy Pricing Managing distribution in rural markets Communication strategies for rural markets Marketing of services in rural markets Retailing in rural markets

References: Core Text:

Kashyap, Pradeep (2012) Rural Marketing. 2nd ed. Delhi: Pearson.

Supplementary Reading:
1. De, Partha S. (2012) Rural Sociology. 1st ed. New Delhi: Pearson. 2. Dogra, B and Ghuman, K (2011) Rural Marketing: Concept and Parctices. Delhi: Tata McGrawHill. 3. Gopalaswamy, T.P. (2010) Rural Marketing: Environment, Problems and Strategies. 3rd ed. New Delhi: Vikas Publishing. 4. Krishnamacharyulu, C.S.G. and Ramakrishnan, L. (2011) Rural Marketing: Text and Cases. 2nd ed. Delhi: Pearson 5. NCAER (2006) India Rural Infrastructure Report. New Delhi: Sage India. 6. Velayudhan, S.K. (2007) Rural Marketing: Targeting the Non-Urban Consumer. 2nd ed. New Delhi: Sage/Response Books.

The course delivery will involve your active participation in lectures, case analysis, discussions, videos, readings, individual and group tasks based upon primary and/or secondary research.

Quizzes (2 nos.) Mid-term examination Group Assignment o Project submission o Presentation End Term examination : : : : : : 20% (unannounced) 20% 20% 15% 5% 40%

Weekly Session Plan

Session Topic ISSUES, OPPORTUNITIES & CHALLENGES: Rural Markets meaning and nature; Is there really an urban-rural dichotomy that needs to be addressed separately; Potential of rural markets; BoP and rural markets- are they same; Need to study rural marketing in India. RURAL MARKETING ENVIRONMENT Defining rural India, the Rural society; Evolution of rural marketing, Rural market structure, and Size of rural market. RURAL ECONOMIC SCENARIO Rural market structure; Incomes & consumption; Physical infrastructure, Marketing infrastructure, Commercial infrastructure & govt. policies. RURAL CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR Cultural, Technological and Economic Factors, Characteristics of the Rural Consumer, Buying Behavior Patterns, Customer Relationship Management & the Trade Role. RURAL MARKET RESEARCH Planning Rural Research, Field Procedures & Rural realities, Understanding the Rural Market Research Industry SEGMENTING, TARGETING & POSITIONING Demographic, Psychographic & Behavioral Segmentation, Targeted/ Differentiated Marketing, Identifying, Selecting, Developing & Communicating the Positioning concept. PRODUCT STRATEGY Product Concepts & Classification, Rural Product Categories, New Product Development, Consumer Adoption Process. PRICING Pricing Influences, Pricing strategies, Role of Retailer & Schemes/Margins. MANAGING DISTRIBUTION IN RURAL MARKETS: Coverage Challenges & Dilemma, Channels of Distribution, Existing Distribution Models, Emerging Distribution Models. COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES FOR RURAL MARKETS Challenges in Rural Communication, The Communication Process, Developing Effective Communication, Rural Media, Role of Innovative Media Marketing of services in rural markets RURAL RETAILING & FUTURE OF RURAL MARKETING Conventional vs. Organized retail; problems in rural retail; innovation in rural marketing ISSUES PERTAINING TO SUSTAINABILITY & ETHICS PROJECT PRESENTATIONS Refs./Readings Core Text: Ch. 1 Reading: (Vaswani et al., 2005) Ch. 2 Cases HUL Shakti Amma

HUL Shakti Amma


SR#5: Ch. 1 Reading: (Kashyap, 2012) (Kumar, 2008) Ch. 3 Reading: (Subrahmanyan, 2008) Ch. 4


Ch. 5 Reading: (Vasavada-Oza et al., 2012) Ch. 6



Ch. 7


Ch. 8




Ch. 9 Reading: (Rajagopal, 2008) Ch. 10 Ch. 12 SR#4: Ch. 10 Readings: (Karnani, 2012)



18 19 20


Reading List:
1. Karnani, Aneel (2012) Markets of the poor: Opportunities and Limits. International Journal of Rural Management. 8(1-2), P. 7-17. 2. Kashyap, Pradeep (2012) The rural boom in India. International Journal of Rural Management. 8(1-2), p. 133-141. 3. Kumar, Arun (2008) Expanding people's might Putting social infrastructure into the hands of the community: Investigation into a village community. International Journal of Rural Management. 4(1&2), p. 129-152. 4. Rajagopal (2009) Branding paradigm for the bottom of the pyramid markets. Measuring Business Excellence. 13(4), p. 58-68. 5. Subrahmanyan, S. and Gomez-Arias, J.T., (2008) Integrated approach to understanding consumer behavior at bottom of pyramid. Journal of Consumer Marketing. 25(7), p. 402-412. 6. Vasavada-Oza, F., Nagraj A. and Krishna, Y. (2012) Marketing to rural women: How various leading brands are doing it? The IUP Journal of Brand Management. 9(2), p. 7-17. 7. Vaswani, L.K., Aithal, R., Pradhan, D. and Sridhar, G. (2005) Rural marketing in the development paradigm. International Journal of Rural Management. 1(2), p. 245-262.