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360 Degree Marketing and Sales Model align all the activities, agencies and vendors towards the achievement of the company’s goal. This model helps to maximise the ROI (Return on Investment). The ROI is measured in real terms and is monitored on real time basis. The actions are taken accordingly in order to get desired results. Every marketing activity starts with a goal. To achieve that goal, different activities are planned, different agencies and vendors are hired. All the agencies and the vendors are controlled by the marketing managers of the companies. Sometimes, the activities are aligned but the vendors and agencies are not aligned. Secondly, the marketing plans do not monitor sales on real time basis. The measurement of ROI is also done on factors other than sales. The misalignment of marketing and sales leads to erratic results. In order to solve this problem, the 360 Degree Marketing and Sales Model came into existence. In this model, all the activities are optimally planned. Secondly, alignment and monitoring of all the activities are done on real time basis. All the parameters point towards the product sales. First of all, a product analysis and a market survey is done in order to understand the brand positioning and market potential of the product in a particular area. The target audience is identified and sale targets are set. After selecting the towns and the respective villages, advertising activitiesand tools are selected and planned. Experienced field manpower is recruited as required. A financial brick is developed around which the whole building of marketing campaign is built. The model starts with the data collection supported by a call centre and branding activities. The leads are generated and converted through field force and followed up through call centre. The branding is done at retailer level, in the selected villages and towns. Electronic media and print media is used for the mass campaigns
and digital media is used for specific hitting. Sales are monitored and actions are taken as per requirement. Reports are generated on daily basis and sales are ensured. After the completion of the campaign, the feedback is taken and planning for the next phase is done. The 360 Degree Model can work wonders, it is explained as follows.

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The advertising campaigns can be devised by taking many factors into account like the type of product, the target customer, the influencers, area of operation, mass media selection and the target’s exposure to digital media. The life cycle of the product is also taken into consideration because the campaign will be different for new products as compared to established products whereby the strategy developed will be entirely different. The expansion to different areas is also a major challenge while developing a campaign. Multiple strategies are used by the rural marketers. Here, we will discuss about various types of campaigns which may be of some use to the marketers. Customer meets are done to showcase the product on first hand basis in order to build the brand. Multiple types of customer meets can be done. Companies can participate in local melas and exhibitions to register their presence. The weekly local markets (also called Haat Bazaars) and grain markets can also be an interesting place to use for marketing activities.Some companies use door to door campaigns and some identify the influencers and use them like their ambassadors of brands. TV, radio and newspaper advertisement can also be used for reaching out to masses in a particular area. But the most effective campaign could be the 360 degree campaign where the return on investment could be the best.The strategies can be many but let’s discuss about the most effective ones.



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Role of Cooperatives and Self Help Groups

The role of cooperatives cannot be ruled out in the growth of rural economy. Cooperative movements like Amul is the one of the biggest examples. In fact, dairy and sugar co-operatives have made India a ‘Major Nation’ in the world with regard to ‘milk’ and ‘sugar’ production. Today, India can claim to have the largest network of co-operatives in the world numbering more than half a million, with a membership of more than 200 million. The cooperative credit facilities and distribution of fertilisers and agrochemicals have been a huge success. The cooperative sugar mills in Western Maharashtra have changed the fortunes of the farmers in that belt. Although cooperatives have failed in many parts of the country due to political interference and corruption, still this movement has changed the entire country’s mind-set towards agricultural growth. Self-help groups have mostly worked for women empowerment. In the stimulus package announced by the union finance minister to fight COVID 19, collateral free loans have doubled for women self-help groups (SHGs) from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh. This will help 63 lakh SHGs covering 7 crore families. There are 44.61 lac women SHGs as of March, 2019. The following news appeared in the Tribune News Service, Chandigarh on March 6. After leaving her government job as a Mathematics teacher in the early 90s, Ludhiana based Gurdev Kaur Deol decided to empower rural women and girls. It started as a small group in the form of a self-help group and today she is transforming the lives of 300 families by marketing their produce through Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs). She is not a lone example. There are many women and NGOs who are engaged in transforming the lives of rural women through self-help groups. The women who were unemployed earlier are now earning anywhere between Rs 5,000 and Rs 20,000 per month. This income is making women more decisive and independent. Self Help Groups are building nation. Rural marketing is the approach to see these opportunities and help people of rural India to realise their dreams and aspirations. There is a huge plethora of areas and geographies where the marketers can start, move and grow with the growing economy of rural India. Rural India is calling, “Come with us let’s grow together.”

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Diversity in Agricultural Seasons and Crops:

India is a very diverse country, having multiple climates in different parts, different crops and different crop patterns. The variation of temperatures in Northern region is 1 degree to 45 degree Celsius, whereas in south, it is almost stable around 30 degrees. The monsoon also varies and so does its arrival in the country leading to variation in crop patterns. The major crops in India are divided into four categories, Food Grains (Rice, Wheat, Maize, Millets and Pulses), Cash Crops (Cotton, Jute, Sugarcane, Tobacco, and Oilseeds), Plantation Crops (Tea, Coffee, Coconut and, Rubber) and Horticulture Crops (Fruits and Vegetables). On the basis of seasons, the crops in India have been divided into Rabi, Kharif and Zaid crops. These variations are the major causes of different challenges in different regions. The level of adoption of technology is also different in different regions. The fertiliser usage per acre in Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland is 2.4 kg and 3.2 kg respectively whereas the usage in Haryana and Punjab is 220 kg and 243 kg. In most of the states in India, the average consumption is much below 200 kg per hectare. This vast variation also shows the huge opportunities in rural India, arable land vs non arable land and scope of micro irrigation and soluble agri inputs.

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Agro Mechanisation and Automation of Rural India

The mechanisation in agri-sector have been on the rise since many decades. But now with the integration of communication channels and availability of knowledge and awareness, it has become seamless. This activity has helped the farmers to adopt new technologies into their lifestyle and farming. Many automation companies and auto mechanisation have entered into the market and are making solutions available. This market is going to improve a lot in the coming years. The integration of automation with internet and connecting it with satellites would be doing wonders. I believe the next few decades will be completely different. I expect there will be huge changes in marketing as well.