Since 1989, DKT International’s core mission has been to provide safe and affordable options for family planning and HIV prevention through social marketing. Today, DKT designs and implements social marketing programs in 20 populous countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. DKT programs served over 21 million couples in 2013, using standard conversion factors for Couple Years of Protection (CYPs). This figure makes DKT one of the largest private providers of contraceptives and family planning services in the developing world.
Throughout the world, social marketing programs have been very successful in promoting family planning. In 2012, social marketing programs provided 65.5 million CYPs, approximately 25 percent of couples in the developing world using modern spacing methods. In 2013, social marketing provided over 2.8 billion condoms, 206 million oral contraceptive pills, 33 million injectable contraceptives, and over 2.8 million IUDs.
The social marketing of reproductive health products and services has several unique advantages:
It is fast. Because social marketing relies to a great extent on existing commercial and health service delivery networks, it can be scaled up quickly, providing contraceptives to tens of thousands of outlets in just a year or two.
It is non-patronizing. Social marketing contraceptives are not perceived as a “program” by consumers. Rather, they are seen as normal commercial goods that offer consumers a benefit at an affordable price.
It is highly cost-effective. Because social marketing products and services are purchased, they are more likely to be used than those given away for free.
In addition to branded, product-specific campaigns, DKT also implements behavior change communication campaigns that provide people with the information they need to make smart, informed decisions that can help them stay healthy, and even save their lives.
Recently, DKT started implementing email marketing tools for reaching the audience via email marketing, which is even more cost effective.
DKT uses both branded and generic campaigns to encourage health behavior, and sometimes uses them together – the generic campaign to promote a general category of behavior (such as use of oral contraceptive pills or modern contraceptive methods) and a branded campaign that creates demand for a specific product or service (such as Choice oral contraceptive pills in Ethiopia).