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Pillars of social marketing

Social marketing is the application of commercial principles and practices to sell socially beneficial goods that are not sustainable by commercial distribution alone. Social marketing generates revenue on a sliding scale based on overall economic development and donor subsidy makes up any gap. DKT Ethiopia is a social marketing enterprise – an NGO by definition – but a business at heart.

PILLAR 1: Commodity procurement
DKT Ethiopia’s current range of 13 products and 25 variants is sourced from leading manufacturers in India, Thailand, China, and other countries. Many DKT vendors are World Health Organization (WHO) pre-qualified while others conform to Global Fund regulatory (SRA) requirements. All are certified by Ethiopia’s Food, Medicine, and Health Care Administration and Control Authority (FMHACA). DKT International, DKT Ethiopia’s parent organization, is an emerging supplier in its own right, recently joining with WomanCare Global to supply the Ipas manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) kit as well as the Levoplant 2-rod implant.

PILLAR 2: Sales & Distribution
An axiom of contraceptive social marketing is that condoms, pills, and other products should be as accessible as, “tea, cigarettes, or Coca-Cola”.

DKT Ethiopia’s 28 sales teams routinely service 9,000 clinical and 7,000 pharmaceutical outlets across Ethiopia’s 11 regions. This is effectively all outlets in the country. DKT’s partnership with 90 youth and anti-AIDS clubs, Young Marketers, enables the organization to distribute condoms to tens of thousands more outlets like souks, hotels, pensions, and supermarkets. Unlike most NGOs, DKT generates revenue, which is wholly reinvested into the project. As Ethiopia continues to develop economically, the country’s ability to sustain a commercial FP/RH program, like DKT’s, grows.

1 CYP equals 100 Condoms; 200 Free Condoms; 14 Pill cycles; 4 Injections (3 mos) or 6 Injections (2 mos) or 12 Injections (1 mo); 20 Female Condoms; 14 EC;.33 Implants (3), .25 Implants (4), .20 Implants (5); .23 IUDs; .59 MA Doses; .0208 MVA Kits; 16 Miso.

PILLAR 3: Marketing
Great brands are trusted, affordable, desirable and essential to social marketing. Every year, DKT Ethiopia disseminates thousands of radio and television commercials that inform the public and encourage use of DKT products.

DKT Ethiopia adheres to DKT International’s affordability guidance, which requires at least one brand in any category to cost a couple no more than 0.25% of annual per-capita gross national income (GNI) adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP). To meet this standard while also generating revenue, DKT markets multiple brands of similar products at different price points.