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Jamaican brands not fully utilising digital assets

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BY SHANICA BLAIR
Online reporter
blairs@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

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Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Trend Media Aileen Corrigan says brands in Jamaica are not using their full digital assets to measure the impact of their campaigns.

During a panel discussion about the changing face of digital marketing at the recently concluded Tech Beach Retreat at Iberostar in Montego Bay, St James, Corrigan said it is absolutely fundamental, especially for small businesses, to be able to track what type of content is working and to be able to see the returns.

“What we are seeing with a lot of local brands is that they are focusing too much on one platform. A lot of companies don't have a website, they don't have a full, 360 digital or an e-commerce platform to know what is really working, and what we do is work with what is available and so [we belive] Facebook is a very good tool”, she reasoned.

The Trend Media CEO, whose company is in the business of bringing to the market digital-led media solutions that attract and engage valuable audiences, however, contended that the problem which arises from using Facebook only is the inability to track how you convert.

“So, if I'm selling something from my store and I have something on Facebook and I don't have the ability to track it and see how many sales I got from it, we are missing a trick,” Corrigan said.

Another key thing she noted when DigIT caught up with her after the panel discussion is that brands continue to do many campaigns without any benchmarks.

“One of the things we are seeing with a lot of companies is that they do a campaign then stop. They do another campaign and then they stop again. So even if they spend a little bit of money they don't really know their audience, they don't know who they are talking to and reaching out to and understand that when you do a campaign, if you don't have a benchmark you will not know what works or not.”

Corrigan noted that while businesses in Jamaica are a lagginga bit when it comes to digital marketing, it gives us the perfect opportunity to leapfrog in a lot of ways.

“Because we are a little bit lagging, we are learning from the rest of the world where they have not only messed up but evolved. What has worked and hasn't worked helps us to then bypass those lessons and that's our opportunity.

“Because we are a little bit slower on the digital side, it means that a lot of the trial and error that other countries have gone through; we can take lessons from them,” she expounded.

She explained that businesses in Jamaica have North America and Europe to look to, as they have already gone through the evolution of real, traditional digital marketing.

“If you want to call it banners- in-your-face marketing... you can see an evolution... that you start seeing more influencer marketing, more content-type marketing, and so Jamaica has the opportunity to now actually leapfrog and start getting into real, authentic type of content,” she stressed.

Corrigan, in the meantime, noted that in Jamaica she has seen a complete bypass from desktop to open marketing, and that we have jumped straight to mobile — which is exactly where the rest of the world is going.

Tech Beach, which convened for its third staging, is on a mission to elevate the image of the Caribbean as a business destination.

The Silicon Valley — inspired event saw more than 300 participants from North America, Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean coming together to discuss the future of business in a technology-driven world.

The platform, which was co-founded by Kirk-Anthony Hamilton, a Jamaican, and Kyle Maloney from the two-island republic of Trinidad and Tobago, was designed to encourage global wealth, innovation, leadership and media to connect with Caribbean business ecosystems drive entrepreneurship, investment, partnerships, and innovation.

This year's event was made possible through partnerships with the Inter-American Development Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank in Jamaica, among a plethora of other partners.

Tech Beach 2019 is already scheduled to be held in Montego Bay and is expected to expand on a number of initiatives, with an increased focus on corporate innovation and driving new investment through a series of private, round-table sessions.


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