Practitioner's Tool / Developing Promotional Campaigns

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Promotion, in a traditional business sense, is one of the four elements of marketing, the others being product, price and place. It is how sellers communicate with buyers to influence purchasing decisions. Sanitation marketing, according to the Water and Sanitation Program administered by the World Bank, is an “emerging field that applies social and commercial marketing approaches to scale up the supply and demand for improved sanitation facilities.”

For community decentralized or on-site wastewater programs, marketing may aim to increase the willingness to pay for services, change behavior to make better use of wastewater technology or promote specific technology solutions. It may also contain an education component to help people understand how improving sanitation through wastewater treatment will benefit them.

Developing an effective promotions campaign involves using the data collected during the evidence-gathering phase to understand the needs, wants and desires of the people you wish to influence, and then developing and delivering messages through a variety of media to target those people. The messages present the “promise” that if someone engages in the behaviors or purchases the product you are promoting, his or her needs, wants and desires will be met. Promotions campaigns can range from very simple and low cost to very expensive and time consuming, and even the latter can fail to achieve the desired goals.

The references listed below can be very useful to help you determine when promotions campaigns are needed for specific programs and how to plan and launch them:

The next page in this section provides an example of a low-cost but highly effective promotions campaign that was utilized in San Fernando City in the Philippines.