What is Rural Marketing? Definition & Features

What is Rural Marketing? Definition & Features

Marketing is a well-known principle of business that offers the opportunity to promote your product or service to potential customers. In this article, we'll break down the basics of rural marketing.

Marketing is a well-known principle of business that offers the opportunity to promote your product or service to potential customers. In this article, we'll break down the basics of rural marketing.

What is Rural Marketing? Definition & Features

What is Rural Marketing?

The goal of rural marketing is to make sure the goods and services you offer are marketed to a rural-specific audience. Doing this will help you make more sales to your target audience.

National Commission on Agriculture defines rural marketing as, 
“Rural marketing is all about tapping and delivering the needs of the rural customer or consumer from sources in and around the local community.”

Rural marketing is the process of getting people to buy your farm commodity. It includes all the aspects of market structure, which is both functional and institutional. For example, pre- and post-harvest operations are part of rural marketing. This definition simplifies some parts for those who don't work in this field.

Below is a quick summary of the rural marketing experts' definition of the topic:

Here are definitions of rural marketing by experts in the field.

This quote from T. P. Gopalaswamy:

Rural marketing is a two-sided process. It includes the release of activities that direct the flow of goods from urban to rural areas (manufactured goods) and back again (agricultural products). Rural marketing goes on within rural areas, as well.

Thomsen defines Rural marketing as:

The study of Rural Marketing incorporates all operations and the agencies conducting them involved in the movement of farm-produced food, raw materials, and their derivatives from the farms to final consumers, and the effects of such operations on producers, middlemen, and consumers.

What are the ways of Rural Marketing?

Marketing to rural customers is a three-step process:

1. Urban-Rural Market:

Urban marketers venture out to the country to sell their goods and services. Some of these goods may include FMCG goods, consumer durables, agricultural pesticides and more.

2. Rural to Urban Market:

The concept of "going rural" means promoting from rural areas to those in urban centers.

3. Rural to Rural Market:

This process involves exchanging and trading agricultural products, carts, and cattle within the rural community.

The 4 A’s of Rural Marketing

When entering the rural market, businesses are advised to identify the 4 aspects of successful rural marketing:

1. Affordability

Rural consumers are those who live in rural areas and have a culture, needs, and demographics that differ from urban inhabitants. Markets should be reaching out to rural consumers by understanding and fulfilling their specific needs which may vary from city dwellers. Products or service should also be marketed based on what the rural population is in the buying capacity for.

2. Availability

One of the key aspects of rural marketing is ensuring that your products are always available, even on days when deliveries don't come through. When you reach out with your products and services to a rural marketing environment, you will increase your availability by ninety six percent. As soon as possible, it's crucial that you provide an online or in-person shop for items, or have inventory at retailers in areas like these.

3. Acceptability

Rural consumers aren't a separate demographic. They're your target audience, and they deserve to be included in your marketing strategy. Be sure that the voice you give them matches their needs, and don't neglect to build acceptability for your product or service among them.

4. Awareness

Understanding rural marketing campaigns, it’s important for brands to know that their message should reach the right consumers. A good way to raise awareness is by using commercials on medium like TV, outdoor media, or Radio and Outdoor. Product packaging, colors, taglines, slogans play a key role in advertising campaigns.

10 Features of a Rural Market

Marketing in rural areas comes with a different set of challenges and opportunities than in urban areas. For example, rural communities are more spread out, so it can be difficult to target everyone. Targeting the right people is one strategy that often helps with marketing in rural areas.

1. Large, Scattered, and Diverse Market:

The rural population is often larger and more diverse than areas with an urban population. The urban market is usually concentrated in a few major metropolitan areas, however other regions are left with much smaller populations. This means residents have to travel longer distances or have greater inventory and transportation costs as compared to the city dwellers.

2. Agriculture is a Major Source of Income:

The major income of rural consumers comes from engaging in agricultural activities. Recently, there's been a decrease in the dependence on agriculture and an increase in other sectors, which are instrumental in the growth of the rural economy. However, even if one crop fails, it can lead to extremely low disposable income for the rural people.

3. Low Standard of Living:

Rural life means having to do things differently. For example, rural folks primarily engage in daily wage labor and agriculture, which isn’t as stable an income source. Financial planning is difficult for the rural population because their income is so unstable. The vast majority of the rural population lives below the poverty line, and it has low literacy rates and low per capita incomes compared to city dwellers. Plus, the rural population also tends to be socially withdrawn when it comes to their approach and lifestyle.

4. Infrastructures Facilities:

When you live in a rural area, it can be difficult to get the supplies you need for your business. Unlike urban areas, rural areas are sparsely populated and lack the infrastructural facilities that we often take for granted. This severely limits marketing strategies for promoting products or services in these areas.

5. Facebook Region:

There's been both constant and sustained growth in the rural markets. The steady growth is accompanied by a healthy rise in demand from this sector for various traditional goods like FMCG products, agricultural inputs, and bicycles. These opportunities are the result of an increase in employment that has revealed multiple sources of income.

6. Traditional Outlook:

A major obstacle to the growth of rural populations is their continuous resistance to change. Development is a process that includes continuous changes, and because of this, a traditional mindset hampers progress. As rural youth's literacy levels increase, they're stepping up and creating the foundations for long-lasting development.

7. Diverse Socio-Economic Background:

Society consists of a group of people with a wide variety of different backgrounds who live in rural areas. They're spread out geographically, which causes them to have diverse lifestyles from region to region. Each region has its own culture, religious beliefs, level of prosperity and land fertility. In addition, each population is employed differently, which also adds to the diversity of these individuals. Finally, their demographic and geographical impacts their lifestyles.

8. Buying Capacity:

The purchasing power of people living in rural areas is closely related to the development of the rural economy. The principal source of purchasing power for rural consumers is the marketing of agricultural and allied products to people in urban areas. Rural demand for consumer goods can be indirectly linked in some cases to increased rainfall, since agriculture is dependent on rainfall, and rural populations are dependent on agriculture. However, government spending on flood control, irrigation, anti-poverty schemes, subsidies, and infrastructure development ensures that rural populations have increasing purchasing power.

9. Literacy in Rural Areas:

Low literacy levels in rural areas impede the growth path and cause obstacles. In many cases, people find it hard to communicate with print media, which reduces its relevance. With a traditional marketing approach, reaching the rural population is quite difficult. The rural population congregates more around electronic media, which does open many marketing channels for corporations, but effective communication still doesn't exist.

As rural families migrate for higher education opportunities, the persistent challenge of low literacy rates looms. Increased education and awareness programs by governments are helping to raise literacy levels which is then stimulating new industries for workers.

10. Prevalence of Spurious Brands:

Due to the presence of illiteracy and frugality, conning people has become an easy way to make a living. To make matters worse, this makes it extremely easy for fake brands with bad products to penetrate markets that are unable to defend themselves. These cheap knock-offs are in competition to do better than the others and win over these rural markets by taking advantage of their ignorance.


By understanding what rural marketing is and how it differs from other types of marketing, businesses can better target their products and services to this unique market segment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Rural marketing is the process of promoting and selling products and services to rural consumers or those living in rural areas.
The features of rural marketing include the need for customized products, use of local languages, understanding of rural lifestyle and culture, and the need for a distribution network that reaches remote areas.
Rural marketing is important because rural areas represent a significant market segment and have unique needs and purchasing behaviors that need to be addressed. Additionally, rural marketing can help to promote rural development and improve the standard of living in rural areas.
Some challenges of rural marketing include lack of infrastructure, difficulty in reaching remote areas, low literacy rates, and limited purchasing power.
Companies can effectively target rural consumers by understanding their needs and behaviors, customizing products to meet their specific needs, using local languages in advertising and communication, building a strong distribution network that reaches remote areas, and providing affordable pricing and financing options.