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  • I am a reformed marketer,

  • and I now work in international development.

  • In October, I spent some time in the Democratic Republic of Congo,

  • which is the [second] largest country in Africa.

  • In fact, it's as large as Western Europe,

  • but it only has 300 miles of paved roads.

  • The DRC is a dangerous place.

  • In the past 10 years, five million people have died

  • due to a war in the east.

  • But war isn't the only reason

  • that life is difficult in the DRC.

  • There are many health issues as well.

  • In fact, the HIV prevalence rate

  • is 1.3 percent among adults.

  • This might not sound like a large number,

  • but in a country with 76 million people,

  • it means there are 930,000 that are infected.

  • And due to the poor infrastructure,

  • only 25 percent of those

  • are receiving the life-saving drugs that they need.

  • Which is why, in part,

  • donor agencies provide condoms

  • at low or no cost.

  • And so while I was in the DRC,

  • I spent a lot of time talking to people about condoms,

  • including Damien.

  • Damien runs a hotel outside of Kinshasa.

  • It's a hotel that's only open until midnight,

  • so it's not a place that you stay.

  • But it is a place where sex workers and their clients come.

  • Now Damien knows all about condoms,

  • but he doesn't sell them.

  • He said there's just not in demand.

  • It's not surprising,

  • because only three percent of people in the DRC

  • use condoms.

  • Joseph and Christine,

  • who run a pharmacy where they sell a number of these condoms,

  • said despite the fact that donor agencies provide them at low or no cost,

  • and they have marketing campaigns that go along with them,

  • their customers don't buy the branded versions.

  • They like the generics.

  • And as a marketer, I found that curious.

  • And so I started to look at what the marketing looked like.

  • And it turns out that there are three main messages

  • used by the donor agencies for these condoms:

  • fear, financing and fidelity.

  • They name the condoms things like Vive, "to live"

  • or Trust.

  • They package it with the red ribbon

  • that reminds us of HIV,

  • put it in boxes that remind you who paid for them,

  • show pictures of your wife or husband

  • and tell you to protect them

  • or to act prudently.

  • Now these are not the kinds of things that someone is thinking about

  • just before they go get a condom.

  • (Laughter)

  • What is it that you think about

  • just before you get a condom?

  • Sex!

  • And the private companies that sell condoms in these places,

  • they understand this.

  • Their marketing is slightly different.

  • The name might not be much different,

  • but the imagery sure is.

  • Some brands are aspirational,

  • and certainly the packaging is incredibly provocative.

  • And this made me think

  • that perhaps the donor agencies had just missed out

  • on a key aspect of marketing:

  • understanding who's the audience.

  • And for donor agencies, unfortunately,

  • the audience tends to be

  • people that aren't even in the country they're working [in].

  • It's people back home,

  • people that support their work,

  • people like these.

  • But if what we're really trying to do

  • is stop the spread of HIV,

  • we need to think about the customer,

  • the people whose behavior needs to change --

  • the couples,

  • the young women, the young men --

  • whose lives depend on it.

  • And so the lesson is this:

  • it doesn't really matter what you're selling;

  • you just have to think about who is your customer,

  • and what are the messages

  • that are going to get them to change their behavior.

  • It might just save their lives.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

I am a reformed marketer,

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B1 INT US donor drc damien marketing hiv marketer

【TED】Amy Lockwood: Selling condoms in the Congo (Amy Lockwood: Selling condoms in the Congo)

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    Zenn   posted on 2017/09/06
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