Saturday, February 28, 2009

Why It's Important To Understand Marketing Metrics?


As a marketer you must have an appreciation of your market. The most objective way to do this is to employ a marketing tool referred collectively as “marketing metrics”. The term, “marketing metrics” is used to describe the variety of statistics you can glean from your business operations or marketing strategies and tactics implemented in marketing campaigns.

For a retailer operating from a store front, it’s include basic statistics such as # visitors, # buyers, # non-buyer, # items purchased, $ volume, length of time in store for both buyers and non-buyers. All this information is collected in a data base and analyzed to provide guidance to serious marketers as to the effectiveness of the operation and marketing.

It should be obvious that developing metrics is extremely important to any business. The funny thing is that most businesses ignore this function. They don’t realize one thing.

“What Cannot Be Measured, Cannot Be Changed”

Unfortunately, even the Trinidad and Tobago government which could be considered the largest business in this country sets the trend for how most businesses in Trinidad operate. Very little relevant marketing data is collected or required by the government.

In all fairness, the Central Statistical Office in Port of Spain is a resource that marketers must turn to when planning an extensive marketing campaign. However, most of the data reflect the market position two or maybe three years ago and although it provides a picture in time it’s not very useful in assessing the present conditions of the market.

In addition, because of the secretive nature of most Trinidad businesses, it is impossible to harvest industry data from individual companies. As such, data collection is one of the weakest points of marketing in Trinidad and Tobago.
Let’s just add here that the Internet the ideal marketing medium to develop metrics. If you have a website you can easily gather metrics to determine its impact on your market.

You can gauge interest, measure conversions, length of visits or even the second an email was opened. The Internet is such a dynamic marketing medium that no other medium comes close to the details that can be gathered. But most businesses in Trinidad do not use the internet for marketing. Many operate with a single minded purpose and a philosophy that…

When Things Good, Is Only One Thing We Need To Know

In Trinidad data collection is only done on metrics that are important to the business owner. Most are only concerned with the daily, weekly and monthly volume of sales. To them, nothing else matters.

Very few keep any record of their customers not even their contact information. That works fine in an economy where demand is much greater than supply but things are changing as many automobile dealers are beginning to realize. As one CEO of a large company doing millions of dollars a year put it “we are operating by the grace of God”.

He spends over $50,000 in advertising.

Is Advertising Marketing?

Professional marketing in T&T really boils down to how impressive a company can look in the newspaper, radio and television. Many smaller businesses lean towards more inexpensive advertising like flyers and brochures. Granted, these are some tools used by marketers and can use to generate business but it hardly can be considered marketing. So…

What Is Marketing?

To understand what marketing entails consider that marketing should ideally begin at the conceptualization of a product or service. It is having an understanding of who will buy the product or service, what are their needs and how much they will be willing to spend.

It is appreciating the target market and the channels of distribution. Only then should product or service should be produced or sold. Advertising comew much later.  As resellers the product or service comes first then the marketing. Not being marketers businesses seek out ad agencies to promote their products but...

Are Ad Agencies Marketers?

In speaking with the owner of a large advertising agency in Port of Spain I asked him if they kept any data on the effectiveness of the ads they produced. His response was, “why should we, it’s the business that is spending the money, it’s their responsibility”.

It’s sad but he was right. It is the business responsibility if they afford to invest in hiring an agency the onus is on them to collect the information. But most don’t realize this. Apparently the agency owner also did not realize the immense marketing power of monitoring and testing the effectiveness of their advertising.

Thats all for today. 

The Power of Concentration

As Always Be Well

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

3 Things You Must Know To Enjoy Carnival

Dont Get There And Say "If I Only Knew I Would..."

Sometimes a little knowledge helps a lot. Most of what we know comes from experience but fortunately you need not experience everything to get knowledge. I guess that's one of the reasons we read. At least the ones who do. Point is there are some simple things you can do to get much more pleasure from the Carnival festivities in Trinidad. Here are 3 things you will need to know before you venture out.

1. Extended Hours: Understand that everything that you do during Carnival will take a few hours. The all "inclusive" can usually extend itself anywhere from 6-10 hours. The good thing here is that everything you need in the way of food, drink and entertainment is available. On the other hand, large open public events like Panorama, or Kiddies Carnival events can take a lot longer and food is not included. A perfect opportunity for vendors of a variety of local pastries, delicacies, drinks (alcoholic/non) and food at premium prices. You may want to prepare for this by taking something from home to sustain you. Some people just love the idea of tasting the variety of foods, if you are not one of them be proactive.

2. Long Johnny Walks: Understand that during the Carnival season, the quickest way to get anywhere in Port of Spain is by foot. Wear proper walking attire. Ladies, leave the high heels at home instead opt for sneakers or soft flat shoes. And even with comfortable flat sneakers or shoes your feet will hurt if you are not used to walking. The funny thing about Carnival is that everything seems to be happening a couple of miles away and when you get there you have to walk a couple miles more before you get to the real happenings. Whatever you do, prepare yourself to walk especially on Carnival Monday and Tuesday. Actually, if you intend to "jump up" most of the walking/dancing will be done in a band with your friends and associates. I promise your feet will hurt.

3. You Can't Play Mas and See Mas: Its ironic but if you intend to play mas on Monday or Tuesday, understand that you will not be able to see most of the masqueraders. It you want to enjoy the variety of shows you need to mingle and that dreaded word again "walk around". Of course, you can opt to go find a seat at the Savannah or some local sitting place and see everything. That's kinda like looking at TV with real people passing by and you gawking. Some people attempt to reach a reasonable medium by playing mas on one day and viewing the next. Tuesday is known for the day that the more expensive large colorful bands compete for prizes. But thats your choice.

Thats all I have for today. This week I'm playing host to a Canadian who have never experienced Carnival. Maybe I would be able to share some of her impressions of the place and the event.

If you can add another tip you think will be useful, please do so by making a comment below.

Enjoy Carnival and be well.

Tony Puck


This is the week before Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago, anticipation and excitement is in the air. The murder rate is steadily increasing with criminal becoming more brazen committing crimes in the center of Port of Spain and easily escaping. In the meanwhile thousands of tourists are arriving daily with expectations of a great time in a cauldron of crime without punishment. The overriding thought in their minds is "it wouldn't happen to me". But lets face it with the way things are here now, tourists are obvious targets for theft and robbery with violence.

For this reason many locals are avoiding the large crowds and finding themselves in religious retreats or simply staying at home to avoid any trouble. Of course most carnival parties are now all "inclusive" meaning that the promoters are attempting to keep out the criminal elements of the society by charging high entrance fees and screening their guests. Unfortunately, many of the criminal elements are easily able to afford the fee because of their involvement in crime.

Visitors are being warned that there are presently gang wars going on in Trinidad and a shootout can erupt at any time. The best advice is to be constantly aware of your surroundings and to be ready to hit the dirt as soon as something untowards occur.

Unfortunately, with the constant loud noise of music and the throngs of people that attend most events being aware of your surroundings is not an easy or enjoyable task. What ever you do, do not succumb to the natural instinct of flight when something happens. Crowds seems to take on a mind of its own and blindly move into one direction or the other.

If you suspect that there is a gunfight or even a fight involving the throwing of missiles like bottles or stones your best reaction is to hit the floor and from there get your bearing. Your chances of being hit or becoming trampled by a crowd is reduced if you do not become a part of the stampede to escape the unknown.

This is also a time to turn the other cheek and not to get into any petty arguments that may trigger a confrontation. If you are visiting the island, try as much as possible to attend any event with other locals or in groups. Advise each member of the group to stay aware and not to instigate any actions that might be viewed as confrontational while dealing with natives.

Carnival is billed as the Greatest Show on Earth. Don't let a few dozen criminal stop your fun. Go out and play mas. I'm playing on Jourvert morning. Its the highlight of my Carnival experience.

Take care and say a word of prayer for your safety.

Please feel free to add a comment if you have anything you think people should know about being safe this Carnival in Trinidad.

Be well and stay safe.

Tony Puck

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