The 7 Step Process to Sanitation Marketing

The 7-step framework is a tool to help governments and sanitation professionals develop and implement effective SanMark strategies.

SanMark works best when we work at scale and collaborate on market research and strategic design activities. SanMark is about catalysing markets – that is, helping the private and public sectors to deliver services to households on their own. From the start and throughout the process we need to consider whether our new market facilitation activities pass ‘sustainability’ and ‘scalability’ criteria:


Can businesses continue to sell the products and services without the need for on-going external donor finance? Are businesses, promoters and others suitably motivated and incentivised to continue supplying consumer demand? Are households provided with all the product information they need to properly install, use and maintain their products over time?


Are new products and services attractive and do they meet the needs and context of a large target population? Are project activities cost effective and time efficient? Can they be efficiently replicated on a larger scale? Are tools and systems simple enough to be used by second- or third- generation program staff and local partners?

Each step in the 7-step framework is important and builds on the outcomes, insights, and strategic decisions in earlier steps - so order matters. But, take care not to duplicate – if there are good market research studies or consumer-driven products have already been designed, start with these. As with most approaches, sector coordination will lead to the best results.

As you move through the 7 steps, consider how you can break out of ‘project-based’ thinking and focus on long-term market creation, including an exit strategy for initial up-front catalytic activities.

1. Planning

Step 1 Planning

Assess whether SanMark is right for you and where conditions are most favourable to get started.

2. Research

Step 2 Research

Conduct market research to understand consumer preferences and local businesses and supply chains.

3. Product Design

Step 3 Product Design

Develop the right products and services that address the user’s entire sanitation experience

4. Business Models

Step 4 Business Models

Design and test the best ways for businesses to deliver new products and services profitably.

5. Promotions

Step 5 Promotions

Design and test the best ways to motivate consumers to invest in improved sanitation.

6. Market Facilitation

Step 6 Market Facilitation

Bring it all together in a full-scale sanitation marketing program, with new roles for different market facilitation actors.

7. Monitoring

Step 7 Monitoring

Keep learning what works by actively monitoring and adapting your program as you go.

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