4.2 Case study: engaging key opinion leaders in India
PATH partnered with Medentech, the marketer of Aquatabs® water purification tablets, and MART, a specialized rural marketing agency based in India, to test a bicycle entrepreneur distribution model. Bicycle entrepreneurs were expected to sell the product at weekly markets and solicit the assistance of local leaders to reach households directly and indirectly through community groups, eventually selling to retail kiosks when the market became large enough.
The pilot found that salespeople were most efficient when selling in a group environment organized by a local opinion leader. Further, group sales were most effective when the group was associated with social impact issues and could serve as a platform for disseminating public health information through demonstrations and discussions. Combined with the video-on-wheels campaign (see the case study in the Marketing Module), group sales explained 68 percent of repeat customers, thus contributing significantly to consistent use.