In eSwatini and across sub-Saharan Africa, adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) are at significantly higher risk of HIV infection and poorer sexual and reproductive health (SRH) than their male counterparts. AGYW demonstrate low demand for SRH services, further contributing to poor outcomes. Strategic marketing approaches, including those used by multinational corporations, have potential to support demand creation for SRH services among AGYW, but there is limited empirical evidence on the direct application of private-sector strategic marketing approaches in this context.
Project Last Mile worked with eSwatini’s Ministry of Heath to translate strategic marketing approaches from the Coca-Cola system to attract AGYW to SRH services. A peer-reviewed study by the Yale Global Health Leadership Initative presented qualitative market research using the ZMET® methodology with 12 young Swazi women (ages 15–24), which informed development of a highly branded communication strategy consistent with other successful gain-framing approaches. Qualitative in-depth interviews with 19 stakeholders revealed receptivity to the market research findings, and highlighted local ownership over the strategic marketing process and brand.
These results can inform similar efforts to translate strategic marketing to support demand generation in pursuit of public health goals to reduce HIV risk and improve SRH.