Part of running a world-class business means constantly iterating, testing, and adjusting how we do things. And now that Asili is going on its third year, we’ve learned enough about our existing businesses that we feel comfortable taking that next step – learning how Asili can be even better.
Over the past few months, we’ve been doing a lot of digging – testing different demographic areas in eastern Congo, conducting market research, and increasing marketing efforts. We’re learning what works best for our customers, and what might most encourage them to visit our three clinics throughout the region.
One of these marketing strategies is getting our staff out into the community – meeting people where they’re at. Our brand ambassadors have held health fairs in nearby churches, offering free introductory clinic services like checking people’s blood pressure and basic health consultations. They’ve also engaged Asili’s youngest customers by holding Sunday Schools where kids learn about the importance of washing their hands – and with the pamphlet they’re given, they take home an Asili clinic coupon to their families. We’ve sent our community marketers to do door-to-door marketing, speaking to people in their homes about what makes Asili different. They’ve even arranged for groups of women to go to the clinic at the same time, making a visit to the clinic a time for women to be together, to have safety in numbers as they travel there, and feel confident trying something new, together.
These marketing efforts paid off, but they also come at a high price – a high amount of staff time and energy goes into getting just a few more people to the clinic. So, the team went back to the drawing board. They knew market research has shown that Asili prices are not only competitive, but that other nearby clinics of lesser quality charge more for medications and consultations as well. So they thought, what if there’s both a business opportunity here, and a humanitarian one? What if we lowered our consultation prices, but increased the number of people who visit the clinic?
So beginning in March, we’re launching a promotional period where our consultation prices will be lowered, but prescription medication prices and diagnostic testing will be raised slightly to make up for lost revenue. The Asili team believes this promotion will be a powerful way to spread the word about Asili quickly, and attract new patients from all over the region. Once the promotion launches, the team will be watching the numbers closely and adjust as needed.
Ultimately, our hope for Asili is to allow as many Congolese families as possible to access our clinic – the more people that can afford to be seen at our clinics, the healthier and stronger communities will become.