Right this very moment, the designers of our team are working on the final look of our final report. This means that the report is hours away from being ready, at last! Therefore, we want to share some of the fruits of our labor by sharing a couple of the highlights of this brand spanking report. So consider this the premiere!
This is where the story of the report, as well as our deductions, begins:
On the 20th of February, we had a meeting with the Senior Water Supply & Sanitation Specialist Iain Menzies at the World Bank office in Dar es Salaam. While we were discussing effective communications in sanitation development projects, one sentence caught our attention: demand for the products should be created first before selling and promoting toilets. This made us reflect on the EcoSan case at hand and the true aspirations of the people in the communities: if we want to increase awareness around sanitation and EcoSan toilets, perhaps the focus should be shifted on the market – and most importantly on the people – once more and start by finding out what their real motivations are. As stated by USAID (2010), just providing the sanitation hardware is not enough to improve the health of the people.
Hmm, sanitation marketing you say? I wonder what happened next.
The field research defined the focus of the study towards marketing and promotion of the EcoSan toilets, including the marketing communications that aim to increase awareness around sanitation and the toilets at hand. Besides, sanitation projects should be “20 % of building and 80 % of education” (Huuhtanen, 2018). Furthermore, we thought that by focusing our study on promotional activities, we could provide feasible – and useful – suggestions. Our research question then is:
- How to design effective activities to promote EcoSan toilets for the people living in informal settlements?
Aha! So, how do you design these activities?
Firstly, the marketing segments such as mothers, landlords, urban gardeners and their aspirations concerning sanitation should be defined more clearly (e.g. FCG 2018 & Godfrey, 2018). The aspirations of segments should be explored through market research. For this purpose, we have developed a market research template. While conducting the research, the sample of the population should be large and diverse enough to capture the behaviours of the whole population. Subsequently, knowledge gaps could be bridged and messages for marketing communications for each segment could be designed to be more attractive for the predefined groups. These messages could then be utilized in meetings targeted for those groups e.g. maternity meetings.
I see! You heard it here first!
We will present more of our findings next Monday 21st of May in our final presentation during Aalto Festival. See you then in the Harald Herlin Learning Centre at 9 AM!
P.S. Buy a dry-toilet, you know you want to! https://www.pikkuvihrea.fi/en/
Inteviews with Pamela White and Ilmari Saarilehto from FCG, with Sari Huuhtanen from Huussi ry and with Amaka Godfrey from Loughborough University during Spring 2018.
USAID (2010). Sanitation Marketing for Managers: Guidance and Tools. USAID Hygiene Improvement Project. Washington, DC.