For quite a while now, we have been continuously bombarded with news of our slowing economy, be it via the morning newspapers or the TV news channels. So much so that we can actually close our eyes and script the next day’s news. There is talk of our slowing economy everywhere.
With squeezing margins, growing competition (fuelled by the growth in the economy so far), increasing distribution costs (thanks to the spiralling fuel cost), piling inventories et al, the list of woes is ever growing. Coupled to this is the worrisome trend from western economies. Most marketers would agree that the situation couldn’t be worse, especially because most categories enjoyed a consistent growth over the last decade. And yet, there is news to cheer about.
Poor availability of goods and services in semi-urban areas, small towns and rural areas—a worrisome trend for the overall economy—is a big opportunity area for marketers. They can just tap into these markets, get the first mover advantage and grow effectively by boosting their bottom lines. Let us now take a close look at how marketers can possibly come out of all these reasonably unscathed.
Market prioritisation has always been the starting point for any good and intelligent market planning activity. In fact, market prioritisation is the first step to the whole process. Resources to any marketer are always limited and scarce. Any intelligent marketer will plan out the allocation of scarce resources most effectively. This science is even more critical with the imminent slowdown hitting us by the day. The Indian market is more diverse and vibrant than most markets in the world. This, therefore, warrants greater resilience among marketers. A marketer has to understand where the money lies, who is more inclined to consume, what is the infrastructure support and is the media well entrenched, for the media is what leads the market finally.
It is but poignant, that when GDP is poised to grow, even if it is at 8%, individual customers may perhaps consume less, but that will not necessarily imply that aggregate demand and consumption are all set to fall. It is, therefore, essential that marketers pick and choose markets based on market potential and also map such markets with their existing geographies for effective distribution. Analysis from the recently published RK Swamy BBDO Guide to Market Planning reveals interesting potential markets that perhaps are not well-known or talked about in marketing circles.
Marketers, if they tap into such geographies, can benefit tremendously by making good use of growing prosperous markets. Such markets will help in expansion and in terms of marketing strategies like deriving better returns from distribution, better inventory management, better management of receivables to sales ratio, better margins.
Let us consider the district of Kurukshetra in Haryana with a total population of over 8 lakh (Census 2001) combining all villages and towns. This small geography displays excellent purchasing power both in its towns and villages. This place beats most districts in its purchasing power potential. The rural villages in Kurukshetra alone find themselves ahead of urban centres in 289 districts out of a total of 515 districts covered by the study.
Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Goa together are as big as Maharashtra. If marketers can pick best markets from these states, they can replicate a market as big as Mumbai. Mumbai is still the biggest market in terms of its aggregate potential. Marketers can actually go out and dig gold from opportunity areas be it the urban towns or the rural villages. Now that is smart, targeted marketing. India’s growth story is still unfolding with emerging pockets of prosperity and the smart manager gets the best. Marketers with a broad horizon could even do a projection analysis and draw a 3-to-5 year blueprint for expansion and plans to realise sales vis-a-vis potential.
6 months ago