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Marketing And Strategy

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Marketing and Strategy

November, 2011

Introduction

Marketers today are getting more and more consumer-centric in implementation of their strategies. Consumerism has driven the world market in such a manner that customer needs and preferences are always the first priority; be it for product designing or strategy designing. Hence, devising and implementation of appropriate strategies have become an inevitable part of every organisation's marketing department.

Indian consumers are amongst the world's most positive clan when it comes to job prospects and personal finances, according to 'Nielsen's Global Online Consumer Confidence 2Q 2011'. Moreover, India's consumer markets are set explode during 2000-2025, wherein the total consumption in the country is likely to quadruple making it the fifth largest consumer market by 2025, according to McKinsey Global Institute (MGI). MGI expects India's real gross domestic product (GDP) to grow at 7.3 per cent annually through 2025.

In the light of such positive future aspects in the Indian business environment, it can be easily stated that India is increasingly attracting foreign marketers and facilitating new avenues of growth for the domestic ones, which is ultimately proving beneficial for the consumers.

Marketers Eye Rural India

A report by National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) has revealed that rural households' expenditure on durable goods has increased from 3.1 per cent (1987-88) to 4.8 per cent (2009-10), confirming that the expenditure on non-food items like durable goods has increased over the past few decades.

Another study has revealed that lesser developed eastern states such as Bihar, Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Assam are leading rural sales in India. The analysis has strengthened the fact that rural markets are driving consumption of fast moving consumer goods (FMCG).

Companies across sectors such as telecom, pharmaceuticals, banking and even cosmetics are following the footsteps of FMCG companies who have strong presence in hinterlands. Certain developments that took place on the Indian rural canvas are discussed below:

  • HUL's management has approved an alliance with Tata Teleservices and Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) for distribution of telecom products. The latter intends to leverage the HUL's deeply entrenched distribution network in rural markets in India.
  • Similarly, drug-makers Ranbaxy Laboratories and Pfizer have tied up with ITC for distributing their over-the-counter (OTC) products across 6,500 e-Choupal centres spread across 40,000 Indian villages. E-Choupal is an ITC initiative that helps rural farmers procure agricultural and aquacultural products directly through the internet.
  • State Bank of India (SBI) has also partnered with both HUL and ITC, for financial inclusion among rural Indians.
  • Identifying the 700 million-people-strong rural India as a 'huge opportunity', global beverages major Coca-Cola has decided to alter its business to suit the preferences of people residing in rural areas. The company would work on packaging, pricing, accessibility and availability of the products to achieve the stated target.
  • Rural India, along with tier-II and tier-III towns, is also catching up with the urban population in e-commerce. The fourth edition of e-bay census has revealed that women in these areas are increasingly becoming net-savvy to purchase lifestyle and electronics products online. It also stated that online trading, through eBay, in rural India has jumped up to 9 per cent of total sales in 2011 from 5 per cent in 2010.
  • With an intention to empower rural India with better lighting solution, Luminous Power Technologies Limited has launched LED (light emitting diode) based Solar Lighting Solution that would be low cost option for rural home lighting requirements. Luminous Power Technologies Limited is a provider of power backup solutions for home, commercial, telecom towers and renewable energy systems.