- List ten non-obvious assumptions about your target customers (or organizations) that you need to validate.
With our project moving into the launch phase, a lot of the questions that were had about our project and its stakeholders have been answered for the most part. However, there are a few assumptions that will have to be looked into further to get a better understanding of our customers and end users.
- Our end users are more willing to talk to to health workers. Although we know that this is usually the case, we should figure out just how many women still feel okay with talking to/going to male workers on the topic of UTIs since that could influence our marketing strategies.
- The women in rural areas are not as likely to be able to read as women in more urban areas. Although that is usually the case, getting a better idea on the literacy breakdown between rural and urban areas can give us a better idea on how we could go about advertising and informing them of our strip and health information.
- Pharmacies do not get as many women coming to them about UTIs. We believe this is the case due to the gender makeup of pharmacy workers being mostly male, but doing more research on this could confirm this and give us a better idea on the marketing approach they should take for our strips.
- The hospitals may be able to use more text based advertising since they are often located in more urban areas. This ties in a little bit with the assumption of literacy rates being higher in urban areas, but if we find that the literacy of the patients coming to the hospitals are not higher than other PHUs then that changes how they should market the strips to the end users.
- The community health workers do not have enough training to complete a preeclampsia blood pressure test after initial screening. My team was talking about implementing a blood pressure test after a patient screens positive for preeclampsia, but said community health workers probably should not handle that. We should see if they are capable of carrying out those tests, as it would make the process easier.
- Some of the PHUs will look to use these strips as a way to make extra profit. This is something that we would not want to validate, as it would mean PHUs are unethically selling them. This is where the training to educate on when and how to use them is important
- List ten hypotheses about your project that you need to test during fieldwork.
With our venture past the early starting stages and moving into an actual launch of a venture, most hypotheses that could have been had about our project have already been answered. However, there are still some hypotheses for our venture that can still be further tested.
- Having advertising for the strips at mother support groups will increase the number of people who get screened.
- Word of mouth advertising will be much more effective than any other form of advertising.
- If we include screening for preeclampsia on our strips, it will still be easy to read and the accuracy of the results will not diminish.
- The introduction of the quality control stickers on our bottle will ensure that no defective stickers will be used.
- The radio program will heavily increase the number of people that end up getting screened.
- If we add another member to the Ukweli team on the ground to accompany Hassan more people will get screened.
- Posters are the best type of visual marketing to get women to get screened. Although posters are very effective, it might still be a good idea to confirm that there is not another form of visual that would work better.
- The marketing strategies will have to change during different seasons. Although we are pretty sure this will be the case, we should look into this further to determine if/how much the marketing strategies would change.
- We would neet to create training sessions for PHUs on marketing the strips. We could test this and see how well the PHUs are currently putting information about screening and UTIs and then determine how much training is needed based off this.
- What do you think you bring to your team? How has your perception of your own strengths and weaknesses changed over the course of the class? Please be specific.
I think the obvious skillsets I bring to my team include marketing skills and graphic design skills, which are what my main tasks for the semester are based around. My marketing abilities will help the team create packets that will eventually be distributed out to the different stakeholders of Ukweli Test Strips (CHWs, Hopitals, other PHUs, etc.) that will outline how they should go about advertising and informing the target end user about both the product that is being offered as well as UTIs and Preeclampsia. This would generate a higher number of women who ask for the screening as well as increase the number of people educated about these health issues, and these two outcomes kind of go hand in hand. My graphic design ability has already started to help the team, as I designed new packaging for the test strips that has been sent to the manufacturers for production.
A less obvious thing that I feel like I can bring to my team is the ability to stay calm and collected in stressful situations. Throughout my life, during sports and various everyday activities, people have commented to me about how I always appear very calm even when things are not going right, so I feel like that quality is something I could instill in the rest of my team members. During the course of this project, both during this semester at Lehigh and on the ground in Sierra Leone, unforeseen circumstances will arise in our project that will cause issues for the team. In situations like that, I feel like my ability to remain calm could be taken up by the rest of the team, which would result in us overcoming the problem in a timely and effective manner.
I believe a strength of mine that has improved over the course of this project and class is my diligence. Although I was a fairly hard worker prior to coming on to this project, I feel like knowing I am working towards a larger goal than just a grade for the class has made me more motivated to do good work. I feel like I proved this to myself when I had to put multiple hours in a single night into designing new packaging for the test strips, then learning a new system of graphic design on Mac when the format of my design wasn’t right for the manufacturers.
A weakness that I have discovered is that I could be a better captain at times. Although I do not think this has been an issue up until this point, I have realized that there have been times when I could have taken charge on something our team was talking about during our weekly meetings, but left the talking up to someone with more experience on the team, so that is something I have to work on.