Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Marketing Update

Last time I talked about Biosand Filters I listed our action plans for marketing the filters for private sales.  If you found that interesting at all, you would probably like to hear how it’s going now.

Billboard signs:

Our plan of putting up large signs at every entrance to town stopped as soon as we met with the mayor.  We figured that he would request some personal favor in return for his permission to put up signs, so we combined our meeting about planting trees on city property.  The conversation between my colleague and the major went like this:

SM- As our NGO committed at the environment meeting, we will replace the trees around the park that have dried up.

Mayor- Yes yes, give 500 trees, that’s great.

SM- We will survey the trees around the park, then we’ll let you know how many trees we will replace.

Mayor- Of course, give 400 trees.

SM- After we count the trees needed, we’ll let you know.

Mayor- Okay fine, give 300 trees.

SM- We planted 300 trees around the park 3 years ago, most of them are living, so the number will be much less than the original.

Mayor- That’s okay. (pause) Just tell me I can write you down for 200 trees. 

After the discussion over trees, we should have known that the discussion over our signs would not go as well as we hoped.  We told the mayor our idea, and made sure to specify that we were not making any profit from the sales of the filter we were advertising.  The mayor was excited about our idea, praised our efforts in creating a water filter factory here, and said he would love to be involved in the growth of our project.  Then he kindly obliged to permit us put our signs if we paid him a cool $1,200 each.  SM kindly asked if the mayor would wave his cost, because the size and design we planned to use was going to cost $400 each.  He didn’t budge.  So, signs are out.  We don’t have the budget to pay that much for the signs, nor would we lend to corruption.  Yeah the mayor wanted to pocket the fee himself.


We’re about the send a poster design off to a printer.  It’s a pretty simple poster that shows the Biosand Filter, lists the benefits of clean water, and gives the address and phone for the factory.  My only problem is getting language support on the graphic design program I’m using.  If anyone knows how I can get more languages added to a Scalable Vector Graphics program, let me know.

Radio drama:

This has been the most fun.  Our team worked together to script a drama, and I helped them record it.  It goes like this (in another language of course):

Woman 1-Hello, how is your family, you house, your children?

Woman 2-Come in I’m glad to see you, my family is good, but my daughter is sick with diahrea again.

1-Where do you get your drinking water?

2-From the only water supply we have, the stream.

1-Why don’t you filter your water?

2-What is a filter?  I have heard of that.

1-There’s a new kind of water filter available here now.  It’s incredible because we also collect water from the stream, which is often cloudy, but after it goes through the filter the water is crystal clear.  Ever since we started using it, no one in our
house has been sick.

2-Where can I find one of these filters?

1-A factory was set up last year, (describes address), you can buy one there.

2-But what is the cost, I probably can’t afford it, I’m a poor person.

1-It’s $20

2-That’s cheap, considering that I can spend $20 each week when my children are sick.  All the trips to the clinic, the medicines, the doctor fees, it all adds up quickly.  Thank you so much for telling me about this filter, I will send my son to buy one today and we’ll start using it right away.  Thanks for your instruction, I am so glad to learn about this new way to stay healthy by filtering our water.

Thats your marketing update, give me your feedback or suggestions!


  1. Looks Good to me, is there going to be a picture of the filter on the ad? Maybe a little emphasis on the fact that filtered water will keep the family healthier.

  2. Love the commercial. A simple, yet effective conversation. I would love to hear what it sounds like in the other language. Maybe someday you and Tyler can act it out for us :)