Is it weird to start talking about change before the end of January? Although 2018 was a great year for us, we’re always in search of ways to learn and we hope you’re open to discussion as well. We’ve worked with many businesses across the globe but we have a deeper understanding for Trinidad and Tobago, which is not unique to the challenges of shifting to Digital within their Marketing and beyond. They have been some reoccurring discussions worth mentioning and I hope you’re open to share how we can make some of these changed in 2019.
Baby Boomers are not online
I wasn’t sure how to categorise the over 50s without offending folks with old school terms, such as ‘mature’, but this group is usually making business decisions and they are very important for digital transformation. Weirdly enough, they are also the fastest growing age group who are mostly engaged on Facebook. However, I have heard many excuses from Marketing Managers to CEOs as to why they will not click on digital ads, yet my mother is the first to forward me the latest herbal option she saw online to help my acid reflux. From my experience the Cost Per Click on Facebook, within the Caribbean, of the 45 to 60 age group is the lowest compared to millennials and Gen Z. They are also more likely to interact with content that caters to their environment.
As Facebook tries to churn out Public Releases from their multiple security breach incidents, there has been a mass shift to other platforms because it’s no longer cool. Cue the takeover of Grandma trying to book a reservation with her favourite restaurant Facebook page, while her grandchildren are on Snapchat.
Suggestion: change the narrative to “what type of content can we create to reach this audience”.
Websites are expensive
We approach website building wrong, so wrong, in Trinidad and Tobago. We see it as a laborious task which should be executed based on expectations for the business, instead as a tool that will help achieve your goals. The idea of an expensive budget for a website is a yesteryear approach, you need to start small and scale based on your customers. If your strategy is creating an online-type brochure to showcase your services, you shouldn’t be spending more that TT$6k, however if you’re heading into eCommerce, it will increase because you need platforms such as Shopify to ensure secured payments.
In addition, there are existing websites that need an upgrade to represent the mobile takeover which began with the popularity of smartphones. When we head in the back-end of our analytics, 80% of our users are exploring our pages via their phone, yet many local websites are not responsive. Why?
Suggestion: start with a simple template to gather information on how your users interact and make changes based on the data. When you have a year or so worth of data, revamp and build something your customers will interact with, which will reduce your overall spend on marketing and customer service.
I need to launch the Campaign tomorrow
This has been my pet peeve from inception. I am always fighting for the digital space from the planning stages because we’re usually caught in the aftermath of a promotion. We’ve seen our clients running campaigns in-store or in the newspaper with no knowledge beforehand. What happens is a haphazard instruction for us to create magic within a short period of time, because there is a myth that Digital happens now. Unfortunately, this is not the case with how humans engage with content, they need time to view it and decide if you’re trustworthy enough to maintain their attention.
For your business to remain relevant on Social Media you need to integrate Digital wherever possible. Running Radio ads? Let people know there is something special online. Do you have a full page ad? Include a call to action that sends them online.
Suggestion; stop separating your medium. We need to plan in advance to find ways to maximise your advertising budget because chances are you will run through different agencies complaining about the ineffectiveness of Digital. I’m sorry but it’s not me, it’s you.
We need more Facebook Likes
Vanity metrics are the death of your Social Media budget. Take a look at any local radio station’s Facebook page and you will see that 100k likes do not equate to users seeing your content. Jumping on the digital bandwagon because your manager said you should, is a great way to start, however when she/he asks for more users please advise that you need to find your customers and they are a subset of the 800k users from Trinidad and Tobago. This is why building and agreeing to a Strategy beforehand are extremely important for continuity. Within the enterprise environment you have to manage expectations from a group of individuals and sometimes people forget what was discussed in meetings, give them visibility on the plan and high level next steps. For smaller businesses, you have the luxury of being more agile and every dollar is more visible, therefore 500 likes could mean 1 new customer per month and a favourabe Return on Investment.
Suggestion: let’s just stop this, periodt.
I didn’t see the ad
When you purchase an ad space on the newspaper, you get the paper that day and highlight your ad to ensure you got your money’s worth. For the radio you send some adlibs and listen out on the set time to ensure it’s said right by the assigned announcer. When we manage your ad budget, you may never see the ad online….ever! Before we accept your money we map out who we will target and it gets granular, which will allow us to maximise every single penny. For example, if your customer is a female millennial who is looking for car insurance, the copy and supporting images will be tailored to her. She gets a private experience that will increase the likelihood of her engaging and sharing the information. Therefore if you’re the male Marketing Manager behind this campaign, you will get a snippet of the ad on a PDF document but please don’t expect to see it on your Newsfeed.
The local industry is filled with persons walking around with mirrors who believe the line between them and the brand they managed is blurred. Sadly I have bad news, it’s not about you, it’s about your customer and building a voice they are willing to engage with.
Suggestion; ask someone who’s within the demographic if they saw the ad. You can even ask persons in the office to be Mystery Shoppers, the digital edition.
The idea that Digital is the new kid on the block seems lazy because if Facebook was a child, it would have skipped Secondary School and already on their PhD. Social Media has amassed communities that required you to change your way of thinking to understand. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s possible.