Developing a Marketing Strategy for Drip Irrigation Systems and Treadle Pumps


The client was an NGO that made irrigation affordable for small and marginal farmers by developing and marketing low cost drip irrigation systems and treadle pumps. They used various static and dynamic promotional tools to create awareness for their products. With a view to optimising marketing efforts and costs, the client wanted to understand the tipping point i.e. the level of market penetration after which the market can sustain itself, allowing promotional efforts to be withdrawn and diverted to other under penetrated areas.

Our Approach

To develop a marketing strategy for drip irrigation systems and treadle pumps, UC adopted the following approach:

  • Understood and defined the tipping point penetration level for the villages - 
    • Studied each promotional tool in detail - the purpose, the sequence of usage, and the effectiveness of the tools
    • Conducted interviews with around 350 respondents to understand awareness levels and perception about promotional tools
    • Analysed promotional efforts and penetration levels in 58 villages, across 21 districts in 6 states
    • Defined the time taken to reach the tipping point in villages and segmented villages on attractiveness by analysing in detail around 20 structural, external and farmer profile related factors that impact adoption of the product in the villages
  • Suggested ways to reach the tipping point faster -
    • Analysed purchase behavior of farmers across the adoption cycle and identified new touch-points
    • Suggested new promotional tools that can be used to increase awareness
    • Identified the key opinion leaders that can be leveraged to inform and influence farmers.


A clear articulation of market penetration milestones - the point at which marketing efforts could be gradually reduced and appreciation of effectiveness of current marketing tools, new marketing initiatives and critical constraints to adopting products and mechanisms.