E-Marketing is the concept which emerges in a last decade. It evolved very well in western countries, rater in Asian Continent. While it starts emerging in Asian Continent, it concentrated more on electronic equipments. One more area in which this marketing concentrates will be the educational sector.
People focused the internet only for the purpose of information gathering. But as the technology improves and the people started migration, they concentrated in e-Marketing.
Close to 70% of India’s population resides in villages, and are in the rural segment. With India truly on the path of global IT leadership, it first needs to look into itself and consider that does this progress include rural population or not. With the advent of E-commerce, one area where progress of India is consistently slow is its backbone which is rural India. One reason for the same is that urban businesses have all the advantages of technology, while rural businesses fail in the same. Rural India has not been able to take advantage of ICT (Information and Communication Technology). In this paper, we will discuss the benefits rural population can derive from E-commerce. We will also take up cases in India and other countries where e-commerce has made considerable difference in the way people live. Lastly, we will also discuss steps which need to be taken by India to become a true global powerhouse, wherein progress will be evident even in its remotest part.
Basic strategy to be followed in e-marketing is the creating awareness of the product or services. It is not easy to create the awareness of the Product. If the Segment is Very Niche, It is so tedious to penetrate the people’s mind. It requires lot of creativity and data regarding the product or service.
E-Marketing can be defined in broader terms as not only trade in goods and services across internet but also new ways of conducting business and communicating with customers, suppliers and colleagues. One of the motivators for doing business in urban areas is greater commercial variety and access to technology. Moreover, the hindrance in choosing rural areas for doing business is distance e.g. proximity to the nearest airport or dock which can be necessary for some companies, location constraints e.g. skilled labor, and ready availability of information. One of the assumptions we would be taking in this paper would be the ready availability of infrastructure, especially telecom.
This is something which government is working on, but the process needs to be speeded up. In this paper, we would be covering three main benefits to the rural areas on the use of e-commerce.
Businesses in rural areas (e.g., agriculture)
I will start with why E-commerce is the needed to drive rural growth. Then, I will go into the details of the above benefits and in the process take up relevant cases as and when needed. At the end of it, I would give my recommendations.
Scope in e-Marketing:
Easy way of pitching the People.
Interested people Response
Service Marketing (e.g. Education)
Easy way of Pitching the people:
The E-Marketing Which targets the Right people based upon the criteria.
– Here the e-Marketing through e-mail which helps very nuch and a lot in this Scenario.
While an organization is Targeting for the customer Through e-Marketing,they will Collect the data (e-Mail Addresses) from the resource factor and they filter based on their desire product or services.Finally they pitch the Customer.
Interested people Response:
Another way of e-Marketing is through providing the advertisements in the popular websites or placing banners in such sites.
This creates the awarness among the People.
By Clicking the Advertisement the customer can respond to the e-Marketing, they both will get mutually beneficial.
Its Not necessary to place the marketing agency in all the contries.
Just the Organisation gather their customers through electronic data processing.
Even a Small village and every knook and corner of the globe will be getting marketed by the marketer.
Easy Service-Oriented Marketing:
Both tangible and in tangible products get marketed through e-Marketing.
Many Universities from Abroad , Marketing based on this Service-Oriented Criteria.
Through the e-Marketing they can capture the Students easily from the Rural Area.
Internet is fast becoming the way of life. With the mantra of “anywhere/anytime” and convergence of mobility and intelligence e-commerce happens to be the thing which can provide all this. Moreover, four things are needed to drive rural growth
i) Vision / Policy
From the above four, policy is something which is needed to be formed by the government and some immediate steps need to be taken in that direction, while the other three are something which can be provided by e-commerce.
E-commerce is the technology of the present. It can provide services which is beneficial to both rural community and corporate world. Moreover, it used in a right way, it can also be used to create awareness and teaching people as illustrated in case of ITC’s e-choupal below. It is used to make farmers improve the quality of their yield, with better technique and give them more power.
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One of the major benefits of e-commerce is that it can provide a cost-effective way to expand into the global arena and run ones own business. It can lower transaction cost by interacting directly with overseas supplier and customers and streamlines ones business. Not only that, it can help in removing the intermediaries and traders in the supply chain of global giants. This, along with higher responsiveness and speed at which business takes place has helped in reducing transaction cost, and increase profit margins. This is especially true in case of agricultural commodities. A very good example of this would be e-choupal by ITC. The case below will explain it in more details.
Employment is not a direct benefit from e-commerce but comes from the point mentioned previously. As and when, companies move to rural areas, they create job opportunities for a large number of people.
One of the reasons for a company to do the same is gain access to lower transaction cost as mentioned earlier. Another reason is to narrow its supply chain and move closer to its main raw material producers, removing intermediaries. This is evident from the e-choupal initiative of ITC. Lastly, companies move to rural areas to get access to specific skilled labor or cheap labor in general. All the above mentioned reason directly of indirectly create a number of jobs for rural populations. All this has been made easier for companies by the means of e-commerce and internet.
Services to Public
E-Marketing can cause a profound change in rural India in key service areas such as government services, banking, education and health. It promises to provide faster, better, cheaper and more flexible service delivery and this is irrespective of where the customer resides.
Online education is a new channel for delivering traditional distance education services, with the bonus of immediacy, interactivity, and easy access to a wealth of online information resources, including bibliographic databases. Discussion groups allow students to share information and debate ideas with each other, enhancing the learning process through peer-support and active engagement with the material. This is particularly important for geographically isolated students who are unlikely to have anyone physically available who is studying the same subject.
Telemedicine promises to give rural and remote communities a new way of accessing high-quality, real-time interactive health advice and assistance. Potential services include consultations with specialists via videoconferencing, electronic exchange of medical records and diagnostic tests, and general community access to an extensive range of online health information. The rurally-based GP can also benefit in terms of a reduction in professional isolation: via access to current “best practice” information.
The challenges to agricultural website usability for rural marketing in India arise mainly because of the highly specific local needs and the great diversity in local conditions. The major challenges are
Poor literacy rate – low use of textual information
Remote village locations – physical distances compounding problems of lack of proper price information and habitual dependence on middlemen.
Absence of alternate media for dissemination of info.
Absence of info in vernacular languages and multiplicity of languages.
Cash crunch of farmers, immediate cash transaction system and reluctance of banks to provide soft loans to farmers.
Economic, low-cost solutions – any technology solution aimed at benefiting the masses in rural India must be affordable and low-cost so that the perceived economic benefits of such an endeavor are much more than the cost of switching over to a different technological solution.
In the absence of timely and correct information about prices, arrivals and market trends, compounded with the problems of low cash-at-hand and proper advice, farmers are forced to sell their produce at lower-than-expected rates. The result is that the benefits of the ‘green revolution’ have not really percolated down to the farmers.
The Road Ahead
The road ahead is not going to be very easy. Of course, if handled very well, this can lead to a very high growth rate in the rural regions and the country on the whole. It needs to garner its strength in rural areas in a very well devised manner.
One of the main problems currently in rural India, as highlighted earlier is the lack of infrastructure. The basic telecom infrastructure is not present in major part of the rural India. The government on its part is trying to lay down this infrastructure, but the process need to be speeded up. Moreover, with the advent of technology, V-SAT can be used in places with laying physical cable is tough or impossible as used by ITC. Access to internet should be given to as soon as possible.
While infrastructure is a problem, another problem at the other end of the chain is the lack of knowledge about computers. Unless computer literacy is imparted, all the infrastructure and online services are going to be of no use.So, government should take initiatives to start campaign to provide basic computer literacy. In this whole transaction phase, care and patience needs to be taken, because this process would take a lot of time.
We need to use e-commerce to create awareness among the industries and companies. We need to convey the benefits like narrow supply chain, cheap labor, and lower transaction costs to the companies. At the same time we need to maintain the regions own strengths and highlight them to the companies. This can be done by creating web-portals, giving details about the place and its strengths. We also need to give the right image about rural people, not as slow moving but smart and intelligent people. This needs to be done by highlighting examples of the people from the same regions and what they have done. Also, some examples highlighting the use of e-commerce and success stories associated with the same need to be shown.
Government should also provide incentives to the companies to come and perform business in the rural areas. Specific subsidies can be devised for the same. Even though, such subsidies are available in India, its specific association has not been made. A specific cord between e-commerce and incentives to work on the same should be shown.
Apart from attracting outside companies, steps need to be taken to create local awareness of e-commerce and hence create small entrepreneurs locally. Not only that, farmers should be made aware of the benefits such as removal of intermediaries and increasing their profit margin.
This in turn would result in internal growth in the rural areas.
The power of e-Marketing for regional communities is that it alleviates the constraints of distance and isolation on business, employment and access to services. In order to successfully confront the challenges posed by e-commerce, regional communities will need to muster strategic vision and leadership, foster initiative and enthusiasm, and take a proactive approach to ensuring that they have all the resources they need to take maximum advantage of the information economy. We also need to make sure that appropriate support is provided to the corporate for such initiatives. ITC’s e-choupal, as illustrated is one of the best example in this area.
More such initiatives are needed to be taken, not only by corporate but also by government as the next stepping stone to the success of India is the growth of rural economy and to make its dream come true of growing at 10% rate, this is the thing which is of utmost important. There is immense potential in terms of the services that can be provided to rural India as shown above but it needs to be seen as to how far this potential is realized. A road map is now laid for us to progress and it is in our hands whether to follow or not.
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