edition of the RK Swamy/BBDO Guide to Market Planning is now available. The earlier editions served as a source for market planning across the consumer packaged goods, durables, banking and insurance, telecom, automotive products, social marketing and government sectors.
I Natarajan, senior advisor and principal author of the guide, says, "There are very few guides like this in India which help a marketer allocate his scarce marketing investment to get maximum results. We're positive that no professional marketer can afford to not use this guide."
The guide's first edition was launched in 1989 (The RK Swamy Guide to Market Planning). "The whole concept was that India should not be divided into urban and rural, but that districts should be made into geographical units for marketing," recalls Srinivasan K Swamy, chairman and managing director, RK Swamy/BBDO. "After all, when it rains, it doesn't rain over only one city - there is a spill even in surrounding, maybe even unmarked, areas. The same rule applies to marketing," he explains.
The second edition was released a few years later, and MNCs have particularly benefited from the two guides. The third edition was launched in response to a specific request; readers wanted a guide purely for urban markets.
This new edition, which is the fourth, is a comprehensive analysis of urban markets, rural markets and a combination of urban+rural. "Therefore, a marketer can obtain information at various levels, be it district, urban or rural," Swamy says. This will allow for better segmentation by marketers.
As in the earlier editions, the guide provides three types of indices: Market Potential Value (MPV), Market Intensity Index (MII) and Market Exposure Index (MEI). All three are essential tools for market planning. The current edition of the guide has these indices separately for urban, rural and urban+rural.
MPV provides the relative aggregate market potential. MII provides the relative concentration of purchasing power. MEI is indicative of the relative ease with which the marketer can approach the task of marketing communication. These indices, according to the agency, have emerged as powerful marketing tools in the market planning process.
The new edition presents data for 515 districts in 21 states and three Union territories, covering 98 per cent of India's population. (The country has 593 districts.) Now marketers can define the geography they want to analyse by way of districts or towns or rural only, and develop the plans that best suit their needs.
Dr Gowri Arun, who has been the other prime mover of the guide, says, "The usefulness of the guide has been further enhanced by the interactive CD that not only aids advanced market planning, but enables the marketer to see for herself the geographical area of the chosen market, with the map showing rail lines, roads, district boundaries, etc."
Swamy, who is the publisher of the guides, says, "Producing the guide is not an easy task. The elaborate quantitative process uses 24 distinctive sources of data and weightages are assigned to each of these in a most judicious manner." The team took nearly two years to develop the indices for this edition. "Therefore, it is invaluable because it reduces the cost of marketing, if used wisely. We can also help marketers to use the guide more effectively if they wish to seek advice from our consultancy division."
The RK Swamy/BBDO Guide to Market Planning (Volume I and Volume II with interactive CD) is available for Rs 36,000. For another Rs 6,750, one can buy the earlier edition of the RK Swamy/BBDO Guide to Urban Markets, which also retails separately at Rs 29,700.