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In Defence of the Unvaccinated in Trinidad and Tobago – Market Segmentation

I still remember when Ms Quow handed me a permission slip to sign for one of my parents. Everyone was expecting visitors the following day at Belmont Primary School. This felt no different to previous instructions given for library visits, a zoo outing or anything outside of the classroom. At the sound of the bell, I rushed home to let my dad know that he had to sign the paper.

The next day started like any other; I waltz over to school 5 mins before the bell rang to start assembly because when your school is your next-door neighbour, why rush? During the day, my class was called to line up to submit signed slips and get a needle inserted into our arms.

That was more than 30 years ago, and because of my hobo lifestyle, I have no record of what was injected into my body that day.

If you were born in 2000s, your brain cannot process a world without social media.

Although that was my first memory of receiving a vaccination, it wasn’t my first rodeo. When I arrived on this earth in the Port of Spain General Hospital, I wasn’t given a choice with what was put into my body as I left the only place I knew for nine months.

Due to the grey hair appearing across my body, I’m obligated to share that I was born a couple of years after the internet was invented. There was no Facebook and Tweets were reserved for birds.

Facebook will celebrate its 17th Anniversary in 2022. It has played an important role in shaping the minds of citizens in Trinidad and Tobago. Over half of the population spend a significant amount of time hunched over their smartphones scrolling through their newsfeed.

If you were born in the late 90s, your life has been influenced by the internet. If you were born in the 2000s, your brain can not process a world without social media.

You and I are humanly the same, yet demographics have made sure we’re different.

I’ve managed to make a living for over a decade at AC Marketing Caribbean, focusing on Digital Communications. As an agency owner, I’ve had to endure countless discovery calls with entrepreneurs; and their outlook towards potential customers is problematic. The dreaded ‘I want to reach everyone’ dialogue ensues, which is a common approach by business owners and the public sector.

We need to realise that we cannot communicate with everyone the same way.

Segmentation in marketing is essential for the private sector in sales and for the public sector with vaccination. How you share information with someone born in the 80s will not as be effective as someone in the 90s, 2010s…well, you get the picture?

“…only in Trinidad…”

We’ve also created a narrative that separates us from the rest of the world. We use phrases like, “…only in Trinidad…” or “…God is a Trini…”. It’s said in jest, but this type of conversation makes us feel our problems are unique, translating into how we view the world.

I’m not disputing that Trinidad and Tobago isn’t unique, cuz where else will you find a doubles at 4 in the morning after a fete? However, our inability to acknowledge how easily influenced we are, coupled with a government that isn’t equipped to speak to a connected audience, it’s a recipe for the unvaccinated.

You must start with your intended audience.

KFC is the top food Facebook Page in Trinidad and Tobago. Their customer buying decision is based on price. They've invested millions in building a story through marketing and digital communications. It’s the reason why we walk in and ask for a two-piece and fries and not think about requesting to check the oil that made it.

As a child, I stood waiting for my turn to be vaccinated. I witnessed my school friends holding back tears and that was a sign of bravery. They were my influencers. That little girl still lives within me and her outlook on COVID-19 is one of many that exists amongst the people of Trinidad and Tobago.

Marketing Segmentation is the first step towards changing behaviour. If you want to reach everyone, you've already failed.


Would you like to learn more about Content Strategy? Check out our latest interview with Daniel Loveless on our YouTube Channel.

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