By Hassan Ahmatay, HAF intern
Women of the Tamount N’tourit Cooperative with the F2F team, Mzouda
Photo credit: H. Ahmatay
“Marketing is very important for the cooperative, right? So what do you think about the importance of digital marketing for you as a cooperative specializing in couscous production?” – This was one of the questions that seemed new to the women of the Tamount N’tourit cooperative during the Digital Marketing workshop organized by the High Atlas Foundation (HAF) and the Farmer to Farmer (F2F) program.
The Covid-19 pandemic forced many companies to change their approach to digitalization. When before the internet and other digital media had just been one of several ways to reach customers and generate sales, they now became the only viable marketing option for many organizations. In order to ensure continuity and overcome the negative impacts of the crisis, companies had to change their operating methods by opting, for example, for telework or online sales.
Like other sectors the Moroccan cooperative sector with its more than 40,000 cooperatives has been hit hard by the pandemic and continues to suffer to this day in terms of commercialization from the economic and social repercussions of the pandemic.
Convinced of the importance and effectiveness of digital marketing and e-commerce for cooperatives, the F2F Program, which carries out many projects aimed at sustainable development in rural areas in Morocco, has created a workshop in collaboration with HAF to raise awareness and support the capacities of small cooperatives in order to introduce them to digital marketing and online sales.
On Wednesday, January 4th, I had the opportunity to visit the Tamount N’tourit cooperative with the HAF team to attend the digital marketing workshop for cooperatives. Accompanied by my volunteer colleague Younes and supervised by Ibtissam, the monitoring and evaluation specialist of the F2F project, we headed to the Douar Tourite in the commune of Mzouda near Marrakech.
After a warm welcome from the women of the cooperative, Ibtissam organized a short welcoming ceremony before we got to know each other and started the workshop.
My volunteer colleague Younes started by asking the women questions about e-commerce and digital marketing. For some of the women it was the first time hearing about this topic, but they were all eager to hear and learn more about the many benefits and opportunities it offers. To avoid misunderstandings we explained important concepts and ideas to the women in Amazigh.
The workshop lasted 4 hours and started with a theoretical and well-detailed introduction to the world of digital marketing to show the women different ways they could use to market their products. They discovered the most commonly used social networks for digital marketing such as Instagram or Facebook Marketplace. They also learned about several platforms provided to the cooperative sector by the Moroccan government.
In order to encourage these ambitious womens to use and deepen the knowledge they acquired during this workshop we prepared a design proposal for the visual identity of the cooperative beforehand. It contained a new logo which will help them to register a trademark to increase their ability to reach new markets and create new partnerships to help grow their cooperative.
Design proposal for the visual identity of the cooperative in Tamount N’tourit,
made by HAF volunteer Younes
COVID-19 has shown that a strong online presence is critical to success in business. HAF is committed to carrying out workshops on digital marketing to women-led cooperatives. The skills acquired in these workshops will translate into reaching a wider audience of potential customers, the development of new partnerships, the creation of a positive brand image and the empowerment of women in local communities. Continuing to carry out digital marketing workshops will not only strengthen these communities financially but also benefit the economy as a whole.