Integrated MARKETING AND SALES COMMUNICATIONS in Rural Marketplaces in India

With around 6, 38, 667 villages, India boasts of the best variety of villages on the planet, hugely filled by 720 million people (72% of India lives in villages). It is market which can not be disregarded by the marketers. Customers in villages have their own sets of aspirations and are willing to purchase the right services. Companies recognize that that the rules of game are different as it pertains to rural markets, especially in a diverse one like India. The rural environment differs from the metropolitan and therefore communication to potential customers in an effective and effective manner is a major challenge for corporate marketers. An metropolitan communications approach may not keep well in these rural markets and thus there's a have to have a new Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) approach for the rural marketplaces in India.

This Research Newspaper will try to explore and find out how Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) can be used in the rural market segments in India and a strategic construction has been suggested for the same.

Keywords: Rural Marketplaces, Integrated MARKETING AND SALES COMMUNICATIONS (IMC).


The global financial meltdown has taken its toll on the making and service sector of the market, which, in turn, has slowed up the urban market. The firms cutting across industries have discovered the importance of rural market segments. With metropolitan India in the grasp of any slowdown, the rural market is aiding industries like automobiles, cement, consumer electronics, textiles, telecommunications and FMCGs expand. While urban organised retail is within pain, its rural counterpart is growing. Suddenly, the buyer in the laid back Indian village is being spoilt for choice. The rural earnings are progressing, because of the Government initiatives like National Rural Employment Guarantee Design (NREGS) launched in 2006 which promised career of at least 100 days to every member of a poor rural home. This served three purposes

It built rural infrastructure

Plugged pilferage of funds

Boosted the disposable incomes of rural families

The plan was rolled out to all the 596 districts of the united states. All told, Rs 66, 800 crores has been earmarked for the program. Another increase for liquidity among farmers was included with the plantation loan waiver of Rs 65, 318 crores completed by the federal government last year.

The bottom-line is clear. Customers in villages have their own set of aspirations and are willing to purchase the right services. Companies are knowing that to play the game in rural market segments is to comprehend and innovate products solely for the rural consumers and after tasting success can be replicated in the urban markets. For example, Tata Sky launched DTH (Direct to Home) mostly for the metropolitan marketplaces. However, in the rural accessibility, the bundle has been at Rs 99 monthly which was a mini-thali of types with somewhat of everything. The promotional promotions included taking Aamir Khan as the brand ambassador who could easily charm over the rural-urban divide and they also do a lot of offers and demonstrations so as to motivate the neighborhood distributors who identify the benefits of the service. Tata Sky has launched the Rs 99 pack in the urban markets as well.

Advertising goes hand in hand with economic expansion. With economic liberalization and increasing rural wealth, marketers are keen to inform villagers about the benefits associated with buying and eating their products and services. Prior to the introduction of economic liberalization in 1990s, there was little incentive for marketers to advertise their products and services, as rural market segments were mostly a seller's market.

The affect of the electric media, specifically television, video tutorial and the Hindi film industry, is contributing to the growth of rural aspirations, that happen to be being manifested in rural India in the form of increasing consumerism.

The rural environment is different from the urban and for that reason communication to prospects in an effective and effective manner is a major challenge for corporate marketers. The majority of advertisements created by corporate and business marketers, are generally urban driven and extend themselves to rural areas with no awareness to the worth and sensitivities of the rural audience, which are often in striking comparison to those of their urban counterparts. This has led to a poor understanding in the thoughts of villagers, about metropolitan media organizers and marketers.

Rural communication is not really a 'peripheral activity'. It does not, for instance, involve taking an audio-visual vehicle to a community and let's assume that this step is enough to attain out to customers. It needs an totally different way of thinking, which demands eliminating many mental obstacles. Companies have to understand that rural is a long-haul market, as profits for a while are neither immediate nor large.

Challenges in Rural Communications

There are many issues to communication in rural. Low literacy level; poor media reach and exposure and huge, heterogeneous and diversely spread rural audiences seen as a variations in vocabulary, culture and lifestyle-all these factors cause multiple difficulties to marketers seeking to take their messages to the generally media-dark or media-grey areas, of rural marketplaces.

Heterogeneity and spread

The communication routine in any culture is a part of its culture. No communication medium can can be found in a ethnical vacuum. Communicating the message to rural consumers ha posed tremendous difficulties to the rural marketer, due to large numbers of consumers scatters in the united states. The problem is further compounded by the heterogeneous nature of consumers there are 16 planned languages and 114 local vernaculars. For instance, the dialects found in the Vidharbha region, in Konkan region, in costal Maharashtra etc.

Limited Multimedia Reach

The limited reach of the mass media imposes constraints on general communication to rural consumers. These factors lead to poor meaning comprehension and negligible impact, which neglect to result in consumer awareness and therefore fail in creating consumer yank.

Understanding the Rural Audience

It is not sufficient to comprehend rural communication challenges as explained above: rather, what's equally crucial is the necessity to understand the behavioural and psychographic characteristics of the rural audience, in order to develop an effective rural communication strategy.


IMC is a management principle that is designed to make all aspects of marketing communication such as advertising, sales campaign, public relations, personal offering and immediate marketing interact as a unified drive, alternatively than permitting each to work in isolation.


Advertising has four characteristics: it is persuasive in character; it is non-personal; it is paid for by an discovered sponsor; and it is disseminated through mass programs of communication. Advertising announcements may promote the adoption of goods, services, folks, or ideas. Because the sales meaning is disseminated through the mass media-as opposed to personal selling-it can be regarded as a much cheaper way of attaining consumers. However, its non-personal character means it lacks the ability to tailor the sales subject matter to the subject matter recipient and, more importantly, actually receive the sale. Therefore, advertising results are best measured in terms of increasing awareness and changing behaviour and viewpoints, not creating sales. Advertising's contribution to sales is difficult to isolate because many factors effect sales. The contribution advertising makes to sales are best looked at over the long run. The exception to the thinking is within the internet market. While banner advertisements, pop-ups and interstitials should still be viewed as brand promoting and not necessarily sales motorists, technology provides the ability to keep track of how many of your website's visitors click on the banner, investigate a product, request more information, and ultimately make a purchase.

Through the use of icons and images advertising can help differentiate products and services that are normally similar. Advertising also helps create and keep maintaining brand collateral. Brand equity is an intangible asset that results from a good image, impressions of differentiation, or consumer attachment to the company, brand, or brand. This equity results in greater sales amount, and/or higher margins, thus better competitive benefits. Brand equity is set up and managed through advertising that focuses on image, product traits, service, or other features of the company and its own products or services.

Cost is the foremost downside of advertising. The common cost for a 30-second i'm all over this network tv set increased fivefold between 1980 and 2005. Plus, the common cost of producing a 30-second advertising for network television is very costly. It isn't uncommon for a countrywide advertiser to invest in the huge amount of money for just one 30-second commercial to be produced. Add more millions on top of that if celebrity skill is utilized.

Credibility and clutter are other cons. Consumers have become ever more skeptical about advertising announcements and have a tendency to resent promoters' attempt to persuade. Advertising is just about everywhere, from network tv, to daily magazines, to roadside billboards, to golf course signs, to stickers on fruit in grocery stores. Clutter induces consumers to dismiss many advertising communications. New advertising are emerging, such as DVRs (digital video recording recorders) which allow consumers to record programs and then omit commercials, and satellite radio which provides most its stations advertising free.

Public Relationships (PR)

Public relations is thought as a management function which identifies, establishes, and maintains mutually beneficial romantic relationships between a business and the general public upon which its success or inability will depend. Whereas advertising is a one-way communication from sender (the internet entrepreneur) to the receiver (the buyer or the retail trade), pr considers multiple audiences (consumers, employees, suppliers, suppliers, etc. ) and uses two-way communication to monitor feedback and change both its message and the organization's activities for obtain the most. Female tool employed by public relations practitioners is publicity. Publicity capitalizes on the news headlines value of a product, service, idea, person or event so the information can be disseminated through the news headlines media. This third party "endorsement" by the news media provides a vital boost to the marketing communication message: reliability. Articles in the media are perceived as being more objective than adverts, and their text messages are more likely to be consumed and believed. For instance, after the CBS newsmagazine 60 Minutes reported in the first 1990s that drinking moderate levels of burgandy or merlot wine could prevent center attacks by lowering cholesterol, burgandy or merlot wine sales in america increased 50 percent. Another benefit promotion offers is that it is free, not considering the great amount of effort it can require to get out-bound publicity noticed and picked up by media sources.

Public relations' role in the promotional mixture is becoming more important because of what Philip Kotler identifies as an "over communicated contemporary society. " Consumers develop "communication-avoidance regimens" where they are likely to tune out commercial text messages. As advertising manages to lose a few of its cost-effectiveness, marketers are embracing news coverage, events, and community programs to help disseminate their product and company messages. Some consumers may also starting their purchase decisions on the image of the company, for example, how environmentally accountable the business is. In this respect, public relations plays an important role in delivering, through news reviews, sponsorships, "advertorials" (a kind of advertising that instead of selling a product or service promotes the business's views regarding current issues), and other types of communication, what the company stands for.

Sales Marketing promotions (SP)

Sales special offers are immediate inducements that offer extra incentives to improve or speed up the product's movements from maker to consumer. Sales special offers may be directed at the consumer or the trade. Consumer promotions such as coupons, sampling, prices, sweepstakes, price packages (packs that provide greater quantity or less expensive than normal), low-cost financing deals, and rebates are purchase incentives for the reason that they cause product trial and encourage repurchase. Consumer campaigns may also include incentives to go to a retail establishment or need more information. Trade marketing promotions include slotting allowances ("buying" shelf space in retail stores), allowances for presenting the brand in retail advertising, screen and merchandising allowances, buying allowances (size discount rates and other volume-oriented incentives), bill back allowances (pay-for-performance incentives), incentives to salespeople, and other strategies to encourage merchants to carry the item and to press the brand.

Two perspectives may be found among marketers regarding sales campaign. First, sales promotion is supplemental to advertising for the reason that it binds the role of advertising with personal selling. This view respect sales promotion as a minor player in the marketing communication program. A second view respect sales promotion and advertising as distinct functions with objectives and strategies very different from one another. Sales advertising in this sense is add up to or even more important than advertising. Some companies allocate as much as 75 percent of their advertising/promotion us dollars to sales campaign and just 25 percent to advertising. Finding the right balance is often a difficult task. The main reason for sales advertising is to spur action. Advertising creates the offer by developing a brand reputation and building market value. Sales promotion helps close the offer by providing bonuses that build market quantity.

Sales promotions can stimulate customers to select a particular brand, in particular when brands look like equal, plus they can produce more immediate and measurable results than advertising. However, overweight a reliance on sales marketing promotions brings about "deal-prone" consumers with little brand devotion and too much price level of sensitivity. Sales deals can also induce competitors to offer similar inducements, with sales and profits suffering for everybody.

Personal Selling (PS)

Personal offering includes all person-to-person contact with customers with the purpose of introducing the merchandise to the customer, convincing her or him of the product's value, and closing the sales. The role of personal offering varies from corporation to organization, with regards to the aspect and size of the company, the industry, and the merchandise or services it is marketing. Many marketing professionals recognize that both sales and non-sales employees act as salespeople for their organization in one way or another. One research that perhaps facilitates this contention found that marketing executives predicted better emphasis being put on sales management and personal advertising in their company than on other promotional mix factor. These organizations have launched training sessions that show employees that they become salespeople for the organization and exactly how they can enhance their interpersonal skills with clients, customers, and prospects. Employee prize programs now compensate employees because of their work in this regard.

Personal offering is the simplest way to produce a sale because of the interpersonal communication between the salesperson and the chance. Communications can be tailored to particular situations, immediate opinions can be refined, and concept strategies can be altered to accommodate the reviews. However, personal offering is the priciest way to make a sale, with the average cost per sales call ranging from $235 to $332 and the average variety of sales calls had a need to close a offer being between three and six personal phone calls.

Sales and marketing management classifies salespersons into one of three categories: creative offering, order taking, and missionary sales repetitions. Creative selling careers require the most skills and planning. They will be the "point person" for the sales function. They prospect for customers, evaluate situations, regulate how their company can fulfill desires and needs of prospects, and, most importantly, get an order. Order takers dominate after the initial order is received. They cope with repeat purchases (right rebuys) and revised rebuys. Missionary sales reps service accounts by presenting new products, marketing promotions, and other programs. Orders are considered by order takers or by vendors.

Direct Marketing (DM)

Direct marketing, the oldest form of marketing, is the process of communicating immediately with target customers to encourage response by mobile phone, mail, digital means, or personal visit. Users of immediate marketing include merchants, wholesalers, manufacturers, and service providers, and they use a variety of methods including immediate mail, telemarketing, direct-response advertising, online computer shopping services, cable shopping sites, and infomercials. Usually not seen as an aspect in the promotional mixture, direct marketing presents one of the very most deep changes in marketing and campaign within the last 25 years. Aspects of direct marketing, which includes direct response advertising and direct email advertising as well as the many research and support activities necessary for their implementation, have been implemented by virtually all companies employed in marketing products, services, ideas, or persons.

Direct marketing is becoming an important part of several marketing communication programs for three reasons. First, the amount of two-income homes has increased drastically. About six atlanta divorce attorneys ten women in the United States work beyond your home. It has reduced the quantity of time family members have for shopping outings. Secondly, more customers than previously rely on bank cards for payment of goods and services. These cashless ventures make products easier and faster to get. Finally, technological advancements in telecommunications and computers allow consumers to buy things off their homes via telephone, television set, or computer with ease and safe practices. These three factors have dramatically improved the purchasing practices of American consumers and made immediate marketing a growing field worldwide.

Direct marketing allows a firm to target more exactly a segment of customers and potential customers with a sales communication tailored to their specific needs and characteristics. Unlike advertising and public relations, whose relationships to real sales are tenuous or nebulous at best, direct marketing offers accountability by giving tangible results. The economics of direct marketing have also improved over time as more info is obtained about customers and potential clients. By figuring out those consumers they can serve more effectively and profitably, companies may become more efficient in their marketing initiatives. Whereas network tv set before offered opportunities to reach huge groups of consumers at an inexpensive per thousand, direct marketing can reach specific consumers and create a relationship with all of them.

Research reveals that brands with strong brand collateral are more lucrative in immediate marketing initiatives than little-known brands. Direct marketing, then, works best when other marketing communication such as traditional media advertising supports the direct marketing effort.

Direct marketing has its disadvantages also. As consumers built amount of resistance to the persuasive character of advertising, so have they with immediate marketing efforts. Immediate marketers have responded by being less sales oriented and more relationship oriented. Also, equally as consumers grew weary of advertising mess, so have they with the direct marketing efforts. Individuals are bombarded with mail, infomercials, and telemarketing pitches daily. Some direct marketers have responded by regarding level of privacy as a customer service benefit. Immediate marketers must conquer consumer mistrust of immediate marketing efforts credited to situations of illegal habit by companies and people using immediate marketing. The U. S. Postal Service, the Federal government Trade Commission payment, and other federal government and state firms may prosecute unlawful acts. The industry then negative aspects legislation regulating the action of direct marketers if it's not successful in self-regulation. The Direct Marketing Connection, the primary trade firm for direct marketing, works together with companies and administration agencies to initiate self-regulation. In March of 2003 the Country wide Do Not Call Registry gone into impact whereby consumers added their titles to a list that telemarketers acquired to eliminate from their out-bound call databases.

Emerging Tools of IMC

Sponsorships (Event Marketing)

Sponsorships, or event marketing, combine advertising and sales special offers with public relations. Sponsorships increase awareness of an organization or product, build loyalty with a particular market, help differentiate a product from its competition, provide merchandising opportunities, illustrate commitment to a community or cultural group, or impact underneath lines. Like advertising, sponsorships are initiated to develop long-term organizations. Organizations sometimes compare sponsorships with advertising by using gross impressions or cost-per-thousand measurements. However, the value of sponsorships can be quite difficult to assess. Companies considering sponsorships should think about the short-term pr value of sponsorships and the long-term goals of the business. Sports sponsorships make up about two-thirds of all sponsorships.

Social Mass media Marketing

The concept of social media marketing basically identifies the procedure of promoting business or websites through communal media channels. It really is a powerful marketing medium that is defining just how people are conversing. It really is one of the significantly low-cost promotional methods offering businesses large numbers of links and huge amount of traffic. Companies have the ability to get large attention and that really works towards the business. Social media marketing is a strong method applied by intensifying companies for offering their products/services or for just publishing content for advert revenue.

Social media can be an extremely useful tool using which companies can get their information, product information, marketing promotions all ingrained in the chain of networking world. Considering the newness of this marketing method, organizations are coming up with innovative ways to develop their marketing strategies. New systems are being created to approach clients. A lot of business organizations are allocating budget for web business development using social media marketing. It is a booming sector which will redefine the way marketing strategies are being shaped and marketed.

Internet Marketing

Internet marketing generally known as i-marketing, web-marketing, online-marketing or e-Marketing, is the marketing of products or services online. The Internet has taken media to a global audience. The interactive aspect of Internet marketing in conditions of providing instant replies and eliciting responses will be the unique attributes of the medium. Online marketing is sometimes regarded as broad in scope because it not only refers to marketing on the Internet, but also includes marketing done via e-mail and wireless advertising. Management of digital customer data and electronic customer romance management (ECRM) systems are also often grouped alongside one another under internet marketing.

Internet marketing ties along creative and technical aspects of the web, including: design, development, advertising, and sales.

Internet marketing also identifies the keeping media along a number of stages of the client engagement circuit through search engine marketing (SEM), search engine marketing (SEO), banner ads on specific websites, e-mail marketing, and Blogging platforms 2. 0 strategies.

Mobile Marketing

Mobile Marketing entails communicating with the consumer via mobile (or mobile) device, either to send a straightforward marketing note, to introduce them to a fresh audience participation-based campaign or to permit them to go to a mobile website.

Mobile connection not only enables people to connect to the Internet via a mobile telephone, PDA or other gizmo, but also consolidates the several communication programs in a simple, yet effective medium.

Cheaper than traditional means for both consumer and the internet marketer - and easy enough for almost any age group to comprehend and build relationships - Mobile Marketing really is a streamlined version of traditional eMarketing.

Strategic Framework for IMC in Rural Markets in India

A strategic construction for applying Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) in the rural market segments in India has been suggested. Listed below are the elements of the construction

Objectives: The firms need to create and review their targets for the rural marketplaces. The desired results and result needed from an integrated communications programme have to be decided which becomes the base for another steps in the implementation framework.

3A's of the Adoption Process:

Awareness Creation: Firstly, awareness must be created about the brand and the product in the rural market. An urban product might have low or almost nil consciousness level in the rural market. The various tools that should be used at this stage are PR, Direct Marketing, Advertising and Occurrences.

Adopt the Brand: Once understanding has been created about the brand, steps need to be taken so the rural markets adopt the brand. The various tools that needs to be used at this time are Personal Selling, Sales Marketing promotions and Street shows.

Brand Purchase: Once people have used the brand, steps must be studied to ensure that people choose the brand and become repeat buyers. The tools which must be used at this time are Sales Advertising and Personal Advertising.

IMC Tools: As stated before, different tools provide different purposes in the rural market segments. For recognition creation, PR, Direct Marketing, Advertising and Events are useful. Rural advertising will be different from the metropolitan advertising keeping in mind the different profiles of the rural customers. Occasions also are incredibly effective tools as they employ prospective consumers.

The tools helpful for adopting the brand are Personal Selling, Sales Campaigns and Road shows. The market segments accept and take up the brands once salience has been achieved in the previous stage. Road shows are newer IMC tools which are showing to be extremely effective. They must be leveraged in the rural markets.

In the brand purchase stage, tools like Personal Selling and Sales Offers can be used as they may have a direct impact on the brand purchase by providing incentives plus more direct information about the brand.

Select Right Mix of IMC: All these previously listed tools have to be used judiciously and in the right percentage to achieve the desired marketing objectives. There needs to be a proper fit between your chosen tools and the IMC aims. Depending on the periods of the adoption process, the related tools should be given importance over others and also overall marketing budget must be considered.

Adds Incremental Value to the Firm: The implementation of an Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) model in the rural marketplaces in the above mentioned manner will add incremental value to the company.

Since almost all of the corporate are looking in a huge manner to exploit the rural marketplaces in India, these strategic platform might be useful for them to devise an IMC strategy. And it goes without saying that an metropolitan IMC changes from a rural IMC.


Customers in villages have their own set of aspirations and are willing to pay for the right services. Companies are understanding that to play the game in rural marketplaces is to comprehend and innovate products specifically for the rural consumers and after tasting success can also be replicated in the metropolitan market segments. The rural environment is different from the urban and for that reason communication to potential prospects in a proper and effective manner is a significant challenge for corporate and business marketers. An metropolitan communications approach may not hold well in these rural market segments and thus there is a need to have a new Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) procedure for the rural market segments in India. The strategic framework for Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) developed in this newspaper may be employed by companies as part of their rural strategy. Thus the firms can truly add incremental value to themselves.

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