What is Sanitation Marketing?

Sanitation marketing is an emerging field that applies social and commercial marketing approaches to scale up the supply and demand for improved sanitation facilities. While formative research is the foundation of any sanitation marketing program, essential to understanding what products the target population desires and what price they’re willing to pay for them, components such as the marketing mix, communications campaign, and implementation are also critical to the design and implementation of effective program. 

Key Terms

at scale

behavior change communication (BCC)

Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS)

open defecation free (ODF)

sanitation ladder

fixed-point defecation

four Ps

marketing mix

open defecation (OD)

program manager

sanitation marketing

social marketing

  • The Case for Sanitation Marketing (WSP)
    Access to sanitation has been largely achieved through the private sector supplying individual households. Evidence from what works indicates that development of the market is the only sustainable approach to meeting the need for sanitation in the developing world.
  • Private Sector Sanitation Delivery in Vietnam (WSP)
    An international NGO developed a range of low-cost sanitation options and stimulated a network of local masons to market and deliver them to the rural population, resulting in increased sanitation access rate.
  • Experiences from Rural Benin: Sanitation Marketing at Scale(WSP)
    This Field Note presents the Benin story and its development of a successful national sanitation marketing program adapted to the rural african context. The Benin story illustrates that sanitation marketing can work even in areas without a history of hardware subsidies - a valuable lesson for other African countries seeking to develop rural sanitation marketing programs that stimulate household demand at scale.
  • Sanitation Markets at the Bottom of the Pyramid (WSP)
    Research conducted in 2010 in Peru to identify techniques for reaching the population at the bottom of the pyramid shows that linking public infrastructure investments in water and sanitation with strategies for ensuring access to affordable products and services, healthy behaviors, and adequate maintenance of new sanitary infrastructure can improve public policies for sanitation. Domestic private participation at the bottom of the pyramid is viable and can be achieved through efforts such as the Creating Sanitation Markets initiative, which promotes sanitation for the very poor, with a focus on the domestic private sector’s active involvement in sanitation supply, and public awareness of sanitation as a business opportunity.
  • Introducing SaniFOAM: A Framework to Analyze Sanitation Behaviors to Design Effective Sanitation Programs (WSP) (English)  (Vietnamese) *NEW*
    The SaniFOAM framework, developed to help answer questions about sanitation behaviors, categorizes sanitation behavioral determinants under Focus, Opportunity, Ability, and Motivation.