By Gal Kamarski, HAF Intern & Graduate Student
Last Friday, HAF staff conducted a marketing workshop with the women’s cooperative center in Tenine-Ourika. Our project manager, Amina, and one of our volunteers, Davide (from Italy), led the workshop. Gal (myself), the HAF Intern and graduate student from Jerusalem, took photos and notes (also kept the kids busy). More than 30 women, of various ages (including several children as well), participated, asked questions and shared their ideas. We even got a chance to hear one of them sing!
It takes nearly 40 minutes of driving outside of the city of Marrakech, and you immediately feel the difference. Not only the weather becomes nicer, as you get closer to the mountains, but the all atmosphere seems to be dissimilar (for instance, different language, cloths, etc.). The car stopped right in the middle of Tenine-Ourika, the center of approximately 40 villages. As such, the main road was full with small shops, which sell raw materials, local products, food, and more, alongside with several restaurants and many small coffee shops (most of them with men only). A few meters walking and we were at the women’s cooperative center.
We started with asking: “what is marketing”?
After a short greeting and introduction, we started the marketing workshop. Throughout a participatory discussion, we tried answering what marketing is. First, we created a clear definition of what are the products, the markets and the different participants in our target market. Following that, we discussed the characteristics of both the sellers and the buyers, and the relationships between them. We suggested several new methods for approaching buyers, using both face-to-face interactions, and the media platform. Several additional questions were discussed, such as: how do we set a price for our product? Where should we sell the product? What tools can we use for promoting the product? The last part of the workshop focused on the differences between goals and targets, including a clear differentiation between short and long-term goals.
It was very interesting to hear how these women believe in the value of their product, and how they are open to discuss new ideas to improve it and its marketing.
While the mothers were participating in the workshop, the young kids seemed a little bored from all the talking… so we decided to play together, so their mothers can feel free to be fully ingaged in the workshop, without worring.
We finished the workshop with hot (and very sweet) treditional tea, and planty of tasty cookies, one of the main products which the women make and sell in their cooperative. The sweet (and tasty) gathering at the end of the workshop, was the time to discuss daily matters, ask personal questions, and get to know one another better. As much as the workshop contributed to the success of the women’s cooperative, it seemed as the warm gathering at the end, was not less influential. Warm tea, sweets, and the nice center as the platform, enable creating friendship between these women, built of personal relations, and strengthening the trust between them.
Hopefully, I will keep updating you on how the women’s cooperative is developing.