Thursday, July 19, 2007

Rural Marketing Case 1 : Maruti in Overdrive mode in Rural India




MUL has started targeting the rural markets aggressively, with an ambitious rural marketing drive. It has tie-ups with Regional Rural Banks for car finance. The campaign which started early this year , has started showing results. The rural sales figure stands at 2,700 cars and generated about 20,000 inquiries through its rural scheme. The break-up for the cars shows 50% of the cares sold were Alto and 20 % Maruti 800. The success is attributed to the increased focus on these markets and the appointment of Rural Sales Executives by dealers. The number of Rural Sales Executives is at 1500 and many more will added according to the company sources. These Rural Sales Executives belong to the same area and are stationed there itself. Through this the company is aiming at improved interaction and more conversion and improved comfort level with the sales personnel.

Apart from the dealer network the company has been an active particpant in the major Melas in the rural areas. Last one year has seen the presence of Maruti in rural melas like the Kisan Mela (Ludhiana), Sonpur Mela (Bihar), the Kila Raipur Sports Mela (Punjab) and Pushkar Mela (Rajasthan). The Melas provide both a platform for demonstration and improving product awareness, but also to book cars. One the schemes offered in the Melas included booking a car for only Rs 500 (plus three silver coins given free per booking).

Thus in this case the company is using both it's established dealer network and also Melas where it can meet many people who cannot be reached by its dealer network. Through this the company is able to address the 'accessibility' issue of rural markets, and by employing local sales people it is trying to address the 'acceptability' issues.

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