Social marketing improves public health by leveraging the power and efficiencies of the private sector. By using existing commercial infrastructure, incentives and methodologies, DKT is able to reach millions of customers with family planning products and services through existing retail outlets and clinics.
The goals of social marketing are straightforward: 1) to ensure wide availability of high-quality, affordable reproductive health products by building supply chains to register, import and distribute these products to a wide range of sales outlets and 2) to create demand for contraceptives through the development of integrated, evidence-based behavior change campaigns that promote the benefits of family planning and safe sex.
DKT ensures that contraceptives are easy to buy and that people want to use them. If women and men can find contraceptives at a nearby store or clinic, have confidence in the quality of the product and are able to choose a contraceptive that fits their needs, they are more likely to use them. DKT uses mass media and, increasingly, digital and social media, to increase awareness of family planning generally and DKT’s contraceptive brands specifically.
DKT also partners with the public sector in a variety of ways including supplying commodities as needed to ensure contraceptive security, supporting governments with service delivery and outreach work and training health providers.
Social marketing has many benefits. It is:
Non-patronizing: DKT contraceptives are not perceived as charity by consumers, who voluntarily spend their own money to obtain a product or service. Therefore, these programs are coercion-proof. Indeed, most consumers are unaware that the products they purchase are supplied by a non-profit.
Cost-effective: Charging a small price for contraceptives has several advantages: first, retailers make a small profit when selling these products, motivating them to keep it in stock. Secondly, products that are purchased are more likely to be used than products that are given away for free, reducing wastage. Similarly, many customers have greater confidence in the efficacy of purchased contraceptives and prefer to purchase them rather than get them for free at government clinics.
Quick: By using existing retail spaces and health service delivery networks, we are able to quickly scale up programming and provide contraceptives to thousands of outlets in a short period of time.
For more information on social marketing go to the Resources section of this website. The Contraceptive Social Marketing Statistics highlight DKT’s sales of condoms, injectables, emergency contraception (EC), oral contraceptive pills (OCPs), intrauterine devices (IUDs), and more.