Looking for a few good marketing ideas

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For those of you who don’t know, I’m working with one of Acumen’s health investments in Kenya: The Sustainable Healthcare Foundation. SHF’s mission is to improve access to essential medicines, basic healthcare, and prevention services for children and families in Kenya. SHF operates through a micro-franchise model; currently the network includes 65 outlets (clinics/pharmacies) owned and operated by nurses or community health workers. Most outlets include a small consultation room, pharmacy, and retail section with hygiene products.

SHF’s success depends on attracting customers, of course. And in an effort to boost our sales, we are going to designate a week in March for all staff and franchisees to focus on a marketing ‘blast’ of SHF’s products and services. This could range from speaking to church groups to raise awareness, holding education events on products like malaria bednets, or offering promotions (buy 2 bars of soap, get one free). As I brainstormed I realized I was overlooking a great source of creative thinking: all of you!

Would love to hear your ideas on creative ways to market CFWshops in rural communities – feel free to post on here, or email me directly at ccasey@acumenfund.org. Thanks!

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3 Responses to “Looking for a few good marketing ideas”

  1. John Tucker Says:

    We were doing a little marketing strategy meeting today… We are going to have our sales reps attend the regular weekly local farmers’ markets – They will set up a little temporary kiosk, demonstrate their products and hand out coupons for a free gift for people who come to the next clinic and bring their friends.

  2. Mark Says:

    Is SHF big enough to get your Kenyan distributors involved? Maybe further up the supply chain they’d like to make a special offer as well.

    Can you tell if sales in the retail section are driven more by impulse (“I’m at the pharmacy getting my meds…oh, I think I need toothpaste at home”), or are they planned purchases? Maybe distribute a hygiene product checklist for a healthy family, to make it easy for customers to see if they have everything. OR the classic pairing of products to make a deal…mouthwash and toothpaste, or cotton swabs with rubbing alcohol, or his-and-hers contraceptives. OR a sponsored poster contest (in a school, community center, or open to everyone)… best hygiene poster gets a prize, and all participants get to keep their markers and supplies. Posters get displayed around town afterwards.

    The store display in the picture strikes me as difficult to see what the products are, especially if the customer can’t read or see very well. Are there product listings available? How do the sales happen…do the customers know the products and request them by name, or do they rely on the nurse/salesperson help them decide what they need from the retail section? What about a clear pictorial listing of available products at the counter? Or something showing their use?

    I’m outta practice with the whole brainstorming thing…I miss it. Hope there are a couple of ideas in there worth exploring!

  3. Catherine Casey Says:

    Thanks JT and Mark, and all of you who emailed — these are great suggestions! Keep them coming. I’ll compile a list of suggestions and share it on the blog soon. We’re planning a week in April, so I’ll let you know how it goes.

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