Faced with the challenge of creating demand in a weak economy, Brac business owners and managers learned the latest in guerrilla marketing at a recent Cayman Islands Investment Bureau workshop.
Attendees were exposed to the power of the social media wave and got useful tips for cost effective marketing strategies. Participants included a wide cross section of businesses from the hotel, bed and breakfast, performing arts and retail industry segments.
Guest speaker J.D. Mosley-Matchett stressed the need for businesses to understand and embrace the best practices in the their field and to remain relevant and competitive.
Ms Mosley-Matchett said: ‘When a company’s marketing strategy lacks effectiveness, managers may be tempted to try new ideas in a haphazard, piecemeal fashion, rather than taking a logical, well planned approach.’
She went on to note that as Sister Island companies continue to struggle with the overwhelming task of rising from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Paloma.
Ms Mosley-Matchett challenged the workshop participants to utilise guerrilla marketing tactics which involve attacking when the competition retreats. She encouraged businesses to offer specific product or service advantages to set themselves apart. Businesses were told it was crucial to maximise value and boost customer confidence and to build strategic alliances that will allow them to leverage any available resources.
Attendees learned of the many new marketing solutions which cost little or nothing to implement, on account of the social media revolution. The presentation provided Sister Island entrepreneurs with a sampling of high tech low cost tools such as Skype, for free international phone calls and video conferences. Businesses were told to use YouTube for sharing online videos and training presentations, twitter for micro-blogging and location tracking, among others.
CIIB’s Business Advisor, Lolita Bodden expressed the Bureau’s appreciation for Ms Mosley-Machette’s support and the participation by the Brac business community.
‘It is critical that business owners and entrepreneurs continue to be pro-active in seeking new ways to promote their businesses. We need to be creative and ‘think outside the box’; especially during this time of financial challenges,’ said Ms Bodden.
Ms Mosley-Matchett is a marketing professor at the University College of the Cayman Islands. She holds a PhD in Business Administration, an MBA, a law degree, and an electrical engineering degree.