Rural marketing: marketing to the rural, poor, or disadvantaged

Pratik Modi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The meaning of the word ‘rural’ is multi-dimensional. ‘Rural’ has been viewed in at least four different ways (see Halfacree 1993, 1995; Pandey 1996): urban–rural dichotomy view; census view; socio-cultural view; and rural as a state-of-mind. Most of the emerging economies of the world are predominantly ‘rural’ in charac-teristics. The meaning of rural and urban in the marketing context was debated as early as 1938 in a short paper which appeared in the Journal of Marketing by Meserole (1938). The author argues that the rural–urban is not a dichotomy but a continuum, and the Census classification of ‘rural’ on the basis of population number is not helpful to marketers as it gives no consideration to the overlapping ‘rural’ and ‘urban’ characteristics. This was also probably the call for marketing researchers to incorporate ‘rural’ in their research and knowledge building. Unfortunately, this has not happened. Marketing researchers continued to build marketing tools, techniques, concepts, frameworks and theories keeping the urban markets and western consumers in focus.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-5
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Journal of Rural Management
Issue number1/2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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