1. Mobile – Everybody’s got one.
In Jamaica mobile phone penetration is 99%, which presents a fresh opportunity for marketers to connect with customers for brand awareness, loyalty programmes and to increase sales. Mobile marketing is direct, personal, immediate and cost effective compared to the traditional TV and radio marketing budgets. As long as marketers don’t spam, mobile marketing may be the missing link in personalized communications. Offer coupons, specials, discounts, event information and daily menus get creative and find a mobile marketing agency that understands.
2. Join the Club or Create One
Wise marketers will capitalize on the growing influence and appeal of social networks. Besides the leaders MySpace and Facebook, social networks exist in niches from teens (Tagged) to seniors (Eons) to photographers (Flickr) to business professionals (LinkedIn & Plaxo). And Caribbean and Latin American web surfers are on those networks, as well as those that cater specifically to them such as vibesconnect.com, idletribes.com, caribfriends.com, caribbeanmassive.com, thecaribvibe.com, christianvibes.com, mivibes.com and wamba.com.
Scotiabank recently used Facebook’s ad network to ran their promotion that targeted the 18-35 year old demographic and you bet they were successful in making that connection. Web only t-shirt company Sprawl Tees used Facebook to push sales up 80%. Other options for marketers are to create a Facebook group and build an online community or create their own branded facebook app that engage their demographic. Social marketing is a real opportunity Caribbean brands can run with.
3. Play that Video
In the US Market alone there is 70+% internet broadband penetration, streaming video – for marketers in the tourism, travel, export and trade this is a mustdo marketing tool. eMarketer reports 123 million Americans watch a video monthly; three-quarters tell a friend. For smart marketers online video is an enormous opportunity to engage, educate and entertain. Observe also how brands use Youtube to test and launch products and build brand awareness.Get information on Caribbean IPTV networks that have quality content and a solid distribution network such as realvibez.com and brokencurve.com. Another way is to integrate video on your existing website that for example instruct customers how to use or install your product or show previous examples of experiential marketing projects, be creative and interesting. So whether it’s for entertainment, for building brand loyalty or driving traffic to your site, online video is worth considering. Also read: Realvibez launches the first web distribution service for Caribbean Music videos and go to brokencurve.com
4. Online advertising
Online advertising was officially legitimized this year in many minds. In the US, media brands such as New York Times dropped their paid subscription model and picked up online advertising as the preferred business model. They now believe they’ll make more money from making their content free and placing relevant ads in front of readers.
It was also the year that saw the rise and multiple buyouts of the online ad network. Yahoo! bsought BlueLithium the 6th largest ad network for about US$300 million in cash and in April Google announced that it would pay US $3.1 billion for the advertising outfit DoubleClick. Online ad networks bring together quality site owners and marketers who want to run ads across their network or to a specific target within the network. It’s an online advertising option Caribbean brands must consider. Go to clickz.com for information on top ad networks globally. See It’s all about advertising these days.5. Rise of the Widgets
Mini-software applications, “widgets,” provide unprecedented access to hard-to-reach targets as Facebook and MySpace can attest. According to ComScore, 220+ million folks used widgets last May. iLike, which allows Facebook users to share iTunes playlists, grew to over 10 million users in 10 months. Slide, which creates slideshows and embeds them in social network homepages, claims to be the largest personal media network in the world, reaching 120 million viewers monthly. And it’s only just beginning.
Ingrid Riley, Founder of SiliconCaribe, New media consultant and tech entrepreneur.
About the Author
Ingrid Riley is a new media consultant and tech entrepreneur, with over 10 years local and international experience in technology, media and communications. Her areas of expertise are in Web and Mobile Product Development; Digital Marketing Strategy; Web and Mobile Content and Business Model Development; Research and Consumer Trendspotting.
SiliconCaribe was launched on September 7, 2007 by Ingrid Riley, award-winning investigative journalist and publisher now new media consultant and technology entrepreneur. She serves as editor and leads a small passionate team located in Jamaica, Trinidad, Eastern Caribbean and New York. Our homebase is Kingston, Jamaica.