Mrs Nafisa is a Zardozi client living in Mazar-e-Sharif city who recently decided to improve her marketing. She created a Facebook page to reach out to new customers and she printed business cards and brochures to distribute to target customers in the city.
Marketing through the internet is not usual amongst Afghan female business owners particularly in they are living in a conservative community. There are many reasons for this, social media is risky for women as there are many predatory men who prey on female social media users. This means that family members usually discourage women from using social media. In addition, women are not usually skilled in IT and internet access is costly and services are patchy at best.
Zardozi M&E staff have been supporting Nafisa. When they dropped into her shop in mid-December she said she was very satisfied with her achievements during the last month. She mentioned that since posting content on her Facebook page her customer numbers increased and continues to increase day by day. It has even helped her to get in contact with previous customers from years ago with whom she had lost contact when they got married and moved away. Now they travel to her shop regularly to place orders with her and they are delighted with her designs and her stylish garments.
Nafisa talked about the difficulties she faced in starting a Facebook page and in getting her cards printed. She explained that her family had been vehemently opposed to her seeking any publicity fearing for her safety.
“From the moment you share your idea, others may oppose or even stop you, but if you believe that this is going to bring a great change, you have to stand for it and I am sure you will soon realize that it’s worth all that struggle,” Nafisa said.
With a lot of effort, she finally succeeded in convincing her family and gained their support for managing her Facebook page. She takes their ideas while posting a sample of her work or quoting a price for her services. Nafisa’s younger daughter was the one who suggested printing business cards and brochures for advertising her business in other areas of the city.
“I think it is a very useful way to know what the requirements of customers are and what they think about our services.” Said Nafisa about her Facebook page. She also added that it’s more comfortable chatting with customers in private about prices.