In today's world, marketing is much more than mere selling. Small enterprises can hardly match the advertising support or distribution reach of a large corporation. In India, small units sell best in limited or neighbourhood markets or when they are meeting a low volume specialised demand which no large player can effectively cater to. Increasingly, now, the endeavour is to build the marketing activity of small units around their competitive advantage ie., products which are labour intensive, items which cater to niche markets, low volume high margin products, sub assembly tasks, outsourcing jobs and ancillarisation. Sub contracting exchanges are being established through Government and Industry Associations to promote such interface. After sales service for imported products, AMCs on electronic equipment, reverse engineering (to the extent that it is WTO compatible) are the other areas being encouraged.
Activities such as brand building, sustaining loss leaders, extension of product portfolio, nationwide advertising, huge sales force, competing with large scale imports are tasks best left to large players. Small enterprises in India are realising that the term "marketing" perhaps implies different things to different people. For new start ups, head on competition with established giants makes little sense. A better mouse trap does not, ipso facto, lead to increased sales and more profits.
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