Getting the Message Out
As SOIL’s summer intern, it’s a pleasure to bring you an update about EkoLakay, SOIL’s household toilet social business pilot. This summer, I have the opportunity to participate in SOIL’s marketing team, which is testing marketing strategies for all of SOIL’s services and products. As you may know, selling even the best services or products doesn’t happen just by snapping your fingers. In order to achieve SOIL’s initial goal of serving more than 50 families in Ti Plas Kazo (a neighborhood near the SOIL Port-au-Prince office), the marketing team has been hard at work to get the message out and inform residents about EkoLakay. Recently, the team put together a Marketing Day in the community. Two weeks before the activity, schedules were established, tasks were assigned, and all was prepared for the event.
By 9:00 am on July 3rd, we were already in Ti Plas Kazo, busy setting up necessary items such as the tent, chairs, tables with flyers, contracts, and the DJ equipment – and of course the household toilet models. All was in order for a day very important for EkoLakay. “What’s that? Is it for sale?” asked a woman passing by. One of the members of the marketing team jumped up to give her more details about the service. And so began a busy day in Ti Plas Kazo!
All staff members, wearing EkoLakay t-shirts or vests, gave their best – which wasn’t easy with the hot sun, wild wind, and clouds of dust coming at us. You could ask yourself if we were discouraged; I will tell you with a quote from Fenelon in Les aventures de Telemaque: “True courage never can never be cut down!” Between giving presentations, answering questions, signing contracts and installing toilets for the new customers, the whole team kept their courage up. It was actually not difficult to be enthusiastic with so many interested people passing by, many of whom brought their money to sign their contract that same day!
It was 4:30 when we left Ti Plas Kazo, exhausted but joyful. With 12 installations completed and another 10 planned for the following week, the day exceeded our expectations and assured the team that SOIL will reach our goal of 50 EkoLakay customers this fall!