How many of you know that “the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world?” Hi, welcome back, I am Ajay Adlakha, editor-in-chief of Rural Marketing business portal, the pioneer in bringing rural insights to marketers. Here, I am brining a new blog help businessmen and organisations to scale their businesses in rural India, by simplifying rural marketing.
Friends, in my previous videos and blogs you have seen a series on the Great Indian Rural Malls while there I talked on various ways to approach the market. Now, I have come up with a very important series on Rural Influencers. Yes, you get me right. There are whole lot of influencers that you need to keep in mind while approaching the rural markets .
The most important part in making strategy for rural marketing is the role of women. Yes she has become one of the most important part in all buying decisions. Today’s woman is a home maker, she is educated – according to Census 2011, 59% of rural women are literate now -, she is media savvy, she participates in social, economic and political activities too. That brings a change in their social behaviour which influences the consumption pattern of goods and services across rural India.
Women in rural India have many things which differentiate them and while approaching them you need to keep these factors in mind like religion, caste, class, education and economic status. However, there are many social evils that unite them such as domestic violence, female foeticide, dowry, the patriarchal approach of the society and many more.
In my previous videos, I have discussed how agriculture plays a very crucial role in income generation in rural India. If we go through women workforce numbers in farming practices, according to a study women constitute about 33% of farmers, 47% of farm labourers, 47% tea plantations workers, 46% in cotton cultivation, 45% in growing oilseeds and 39% in vegetable cultivation.
It establishes the fact that women are not behind men in economic activities in rural India but, participate equally with the men counterparts.
According to an Accenture study, 35% rural women hold paying jobs while 21% in the cities, 37% of the rural women consumers make purchases on their own. The number rises to 40 percent for working women in rural India. Eighty four percent of rural women travel outside of their village to a nearby town to shop for their needs.
In agriculture, they participate in various activities like sowing, transplanting, weeding, irrigation, fertiliser application, pesticides application, harvesting etc. In agriculture’s allied sectors, they are into cattle management, fodder collection, dairying, poultry, fisheries etc. On domestic front, they take care of cooking, child nourishment, water collection, household maintenance etc. And therefore, women’s role in rural marketing cannot be underminded.
With 50% reservation in the village panchayats, women are steering the country’s Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) which is the most powerful decision making body across rural India. Now they directly impact the implementation of government schemes at panchayat level. Considering the importance of women centric bodies such as self-help-groups (SHGs), aanganwadis and ASHA workers in rural marketing, we will discuss about them on separate videos.
Rural employment schemes like Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), have played a big role in putting women at the forefront of economic activities. Increasing literacy rate and employment among rural women through government’s social welfare programmes, along with rising incomes and penetration of mobile internet are transforming the rural consumer behaviour today.
Considering the important role of women in rural India, marketers have come up with women-centric marketing activities like HUL’s Project Shakti with 80,000 Shakti Ammas with presence in 18 states and Hero MotoCorp’s activity, “Chalo Sakhi Pleasure Seekhein” have been big success stories in rural markets. Similarly many more companies have made women centric activities in their rural marketing plans. So, the opportunity lies with the marketers.
So friends, you cannot ignore women while making your rural marketing strategies. I have put a big horizon of rural market in front of you. It can give your brands handsome growth. Get ready to extract the maximum from rural markets through reaching out to the rural women. All you need to do is to get in touch with us. We, with a highly experienced team of marketing and business professionals, can get you lion’s share from the rural markets.