Social Media Marketing Fail, An Analysis

Opening Personal Note:

Hello to all my readers. Apologies for my brief hiatus. I changed jobs which upped my hours on the grind and allotted me less free time for blogging. But I’m back.

 

Social-Media-Contests-Anchor-Social

From experience, It’s safe to say that many marketers still play the ‘guessing game’ about how to optimally use social media for branding or advertising. Frequently, the result of this ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ methodology is poor/ambiguous audience engagement results.

Such was the case recently, when our marketing team  executed a social media contest which merely garnered 2 participants.While we had a high # of shares, retweets as well as strong CTR, the contest failed (hard) on the only indicator of success which truly mattered – actually getting people to enter and participate.

What went wrong? For this social media contest, we had invested in strong creatives, put together an attractive prize package, utilized a top-notch social media contest platform and we had even undergone training for using the Facebook ad platform. In addition (and quite remarkably), this social media contest followed on the heels of another of our social media endeavors – which had garnered strong participation from the public.

When I expressed these thoughts to a friend of mine who ran a marketing agency, (surprisingly) I received a very even-keeled response,

Social Media is the Wild Wild West marketing. We’re still figuring out how it all works. Snags and pitfalls are commonplace.  You’re going to have to fail fast and often to be more consistently successful….”

My friend’s recommendation was to do a deep-dive analysis with my team and use the outcomes to hone our instincts for engaging audiences over social media in the future.  Below, I share the salient points of our analysis – starting by briefly looking into practitioner models for  ‘social media engagement’

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Briefly, What is Social Media Engagement?

Social Media Engagement, broadly , is defined as the audience responses in the wake of a brand’s social media activity (for e.g. posting of a video or offering a discount/coupon offer).  Bosco Anthony expands the definition by incorporating the importance  of social media engagement, “it is a form of validation of a brand’s social media outreach/presence.”

There are multiple layers to social media engagement, however, that marketers must recognize and be able to peel apart.  Matt Simpson, for example, characterized social media engagement as a funnel.  The narrower parts of the funnel at the bottom consist of audience response types where ROI can be more easily measured or estimated. The broader top of the funnel consist of response types where ROI becomes more ambiguous or impossible to measure.

Tuvel Communications, on the other hand, portrays this engagement complexity as an onion, where different types of responses exist on different layers; the deeper one goes into the onion, the more meaningful audience engagements with the brand become. For example, responses such as following  or liking the Facebook brand page  exist on the outer layers of the onion  BUT advocacy for the brand (re-tweets, shares) and active contributions (service queries and comments) exist at the deepest layers.

When we apply these engagement models to the context of the failed social media contest, we can see a clear distinction. The contest performed well at Tuvel Communication’s outer layers or Simpson’s top of the funnel. However, the contest performed poorly at the deeper levels of engagement.   Why was this the case?

Here’s what we found and the top 3 lessons we learned:

We were ignorant of potential time burdens/ user frustrations as it relates to participating in the contest.

Contest structure simplicity, as every experienced practitioner can tell you, can make or break your chances for getting your audience to hit the submit button with their contest entry details.  When we leaned back and re-examined our contest structure, we realized the contest structure wasn’t as simple/easy as we had initially thought. In fact, it may have actually been cumbersome to the users/participants.

We realized we had failed to account for pesky pre-requisites – steps that participants needed to complete before attempting specific tasks on the entry form. For e.g. We asked users to leave a review on our app but we did not account for the wait-period which users had to undergo to sign up for and activate an account with our app. (Our team had hurdled passed the sign-up steps several months prior; therefore, unfortunately it dropped off our radar as potential barrier to entry). For a digital community which values ‘instant gratification’,  this cumbersomeness may very likely caused them to lose interest in the contest.

Therefore, we (inadvertently) proved right the practitioner rule of thumb: always plan for and understand user experiences with the product Even if it was just for a social media contest.

We were lulled into a false sense of security by fancy, well-marketed technology.

Prior to the social media contest, our team had signed up for an app service that enabled us to easily create contest pages for social media. This app service marketed itself impressively, demonstrating a history of success with other major brands across multiple sectors and countries. Indeed, after performing a small (but in hindsight shoddy) in-house beta test, were satisfied with the capabilities of the app service and decided to roll it out for our social media contest.

However, our confidence in this service was mislaid. When our digital/IT team ran some deeper checks, we found that the app service was indeed buggy. Incredibly, the app’s landing page showed up as ‘unavailable/blocked’ on many mobile phones. This seemed corroborated by Analytics which showed hundreds clicks from mobile phones to the contest page but zero conversions. What we surmised happened was that many mobile phone users had seen the ‘page not available’ message and then quickly clicked the back button, instantly disregarding participation in the contest.

The lesson we learned is technology is very fickle (even those that claim infallibility); as marketers, we can lessen the chance of buggy tech biting us in the rear with more robust, in-house beta tests that cuts cross a range of platforms (Android, Apple) and devices (desktop, tablet, phones) .

We didn’t take advantage of digital’s synergistic effects to attract more participation.

New research from Microsoft/Brandscience and Google/Dove  indicates that a mix of digital and traditional media adds more lift to a campaign than digital or traditional media by itself. In fact, there studies indicated that  when digital is brought into the media mix “traditional media spend will work harder”.

Considering these findings, we clearly saw that we had missed an opportunity to amplify the advertising for the contest and, thereby, reap more participants. We had put the majority of our media spend into social and almost nothing for traditional media. Our logic at the time was that social ads would be more contextually relevant for a social media contest. Also, we would be able to use that  money we saved by not focusing on traditional to invest into an attractive prize package for the contest.

We surmised, however, that a lack of radio or print coverage actually did the contest a disservice. For the market and its current demos, research showed that many segments of the market still depended on traditional more so than social as a credible information source.

The Wrap Up

There’s no doubt that social media is a great way to reach and engage your audiences. However, marketers must ask themselves – just what kind of engagement are we getting? Is the engagement shallow or deep? Is it just fan counts or are people actually advocating for our brand using social media?

In order to avoid merely skimming the surface of audience engagement, our team leaned that i) we had to ensure that the responses we’re looking to receive are not too cumbersome for web audiences, and ii) ensure that these responses are feasible through the response pathways we present to audiences. In addition, we are reminded that despite the wide reach of social media, social media spend works best when complemented by traditional media spend.

-Shanique

In Search of the Elusive 2015 Marketing Crystal Ball

For many in the marketing community, the start of 2015 was heralded not just by fireworks but also by the systematic clogging of timelines and feeds with articles declaring definitive predictions, must-haves, must-dos, must-not-haves and must-not-dos for the 2015 marketing year.

I admit that I am guilty of giving into the initial frenzy of clicking and binge reading — that mad rush to absorb the wisdom of a multitude of digital mystics in a bid to get on top of key trends and to get in the know about the latest marketing lingo earmarked as must-have-vocabulary-for-any-serious-2015-marketer.

Much like interpreting a Sunday horoscope, however, the challenge (or maybe the futility) for many marketing professionals is managing to interpret the wisdom offered in these articles in a context appropriate manner. For example, Marketing Magazine’s 15 Ways to Embrace Change in 2015 sagely declares that marketers should “Ditch the Risk Aversion” and strive to “Do Less” . The reader, unfortunately, is left scratching their head wondering how, when, where, and why (if at all!) these nuggets of wisdom should be applied when doing marketing in 2015.

Similarly, Digital Marketing Magazine’s 2015 Digital Marketing Predictions predicts that ‘mobile devices will continue to gain more share of consumer’s attention’ and that ‘digital advertising will shift from being measurable to being truly accountable’. The first of these points offers no new information — it’s already a popular belief that mobile dominance is on the horizon — and the second point fails to give an indication as to how this radical change will be wrought given that many marketers still struggle with just measuring digital.

The frustration, at the heart of it all, is trying to realistically interpret these articles filled with snappy ‘instaquotes’ — shallow soundbites imbued with a kind of feel-good mysticism — into knowledge that is fresh yet actionable, able to be aligned with marketers’ business realities.

To be fair, however, several writers/publishers do attempt to avoid vague divinations and instead, strive to put out research-based predictions and suggestions. Take for example, the Content Marketing Institute’s (CMI) articles which revealed the findings of CMI’s annual content marketing survey; also, subsequently providing recommendations for managing content marketing in the year ahead. The articles, for example, revealed content marketers’ ratings for platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin . Also revealed was the frequency with which marketers publish online content.

Unfortunately, however, not even these ‘research-based sources’ can provide marketers with dependable predictors. Data findings are not infallible; findings are limited by things such as research design and the specificity of data collection instruments. For example, in one of CMI’s articles, New Content Marketing Strategy: B2C Challenged with Measurement, it is concluded that ‘If you want to be effective at content marketing, put your strategy into writing.’ A pretty straight-forward ‘do A to achieve B’ procedure, right?

Alas, no. After being more closely examined, CMI’s carte blanche declaration turns out to be misleading. This is because CMI’s survey measurement instruments were attuned to collecting each marketer’s very subjective attitude about their own successes at tracking ROI — not a comparative ranking of each marketer’s actual success at tracking ROI. The more accurate conclusion would have been something along the lines of ‘If you want to feel more confident in your effectiveness at content marketing, then put your strategy into writing.‘ Small difference but a completely different meaning.

Therefore, what this all boils down to, my friends, is that —despite the recurring New Year hype — there really seems to be no marketing crystal ball, i.e. a definitive predictor for what to do or not do for the year ahead.

Rebranding an Island: The “Pure Grenada” Initiative

Launch Logo and Brand Tag

2014 saw the Spice Islands of Grenada re-branded as “Pure Grenada” – a destination rebranding initiative which aims to attract more high-end, selective travel adventurers to Grenada. Below, we briefly look at reasons behind the rebranding as well as the outcomes of the rebranding.

Context

In the past, Grenada had become fondly known throughout the Caribbean as the Spice Islands, due to the Grenada’s agricultural specialization in growing spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon. In fact, at one point the islands’ large production levels allowed Grenadians to boast of being the world’s second largest spice exporter.

Typical Spice Exports from Grenada: Ginger, Nutmeg, Pimento, Cocoa..etc

Typical Spices Exported from Grenada: Ginger, Nutmeg, Pimento..etc

Over time, however, Grenada’s spice production saw year-to-year decline and the local economy, consequently, turned to tourism as the primary source of national income. This national socio-economic shift had, thus, began to make the ‘Spice Islands’ moniker obsolete.

Furthermore, during this socioeconomic shift, Grenadians discovered that the ‘Spice Islands’ moniker was incapable of distinctly positioning Grenada as a stand-out tourism destination within the Caribbean. As one Grenadian blogger pointed out, the moniker was far from a unique destination tagline given that the Moluccas Islands in Indonesia and Zanzibar off the coast of Africa were also known as the ‘Spice Islands’.

Given the challenges indicated above, the Grenadian government made the decision to rebrand the nation’s tourism product as “Pure Grenada”. The “Pure Grenada” brand was designed to inspire associations of a destination “off the beaten path”, i.e. an Eden untouched by industrialization. The target would be discerning travelers interested in world class diving, uncrowded beaches, charming colonial architecture, and romantic rustic landscapes.

 

How Does the Plan Fare in Theory?

Marketing 101: Marketing must be based on consumer needs not firm’s product/service features.  Research over the years has consistently shown that need-based marketing compared to product-based marketing is far better for creating profitable and sustainable market segments.

In the case of the Grenada rebrand, the Grenadian government got it right. They shifted from marketing its tourism product on the basis of product/service features (Grenada:  The Spice Producing Island with nice beaches) to segmenting on the basis of consumer needs (Grenada: An Eden for exploration which the selective traveler desires).

Marketing theory also emphasizes the importance of sustainable competitive advantage. That is, “the attributes that allow [an entity] to perform at a higher level than others in the same industry.” (Boundless.com)

In Grenada’s scenario, the rebranding succeeds at  providing parity with neighboring tourism competitors rather than a competitive distinction. When we look closely at Grenada’s Caribbean neighbors, we find that multiple island nations offer a very similar (if not the same) tourism package targeted at a similar ‘selective traveler’ tourism demo. The rebrand, thus, seems to make Grenada’s  offering less ambiguous rather than more unique, in comparison to its neighbors.  

 

How Did the Re-Brand Fare on Implementation?

With regards to implementation, “Pure Grenada” encountered a major public hurdle right from the start. Many Grenadians initially responded negatively to the re-branding because they saw it is a forced change of the cultural identity of the Grenadian isles. For example, many critics pointed out that “Pure Grenada” sounded ambiguous and plain – a drastic departure from the distinct ‘spicyness’ of the islands’ culture. Furthermore, these critics pointed out that the blue and white color scheme used for the rebrand made did not honor Grenada’s national colors of yellow, green, and red.

One Grenadian writer in support the re-branding, countered that the rebrand targeted visitors and not targeted Grenadians themselves nor Grenadian culture. However, the rebrand’s critics quickly countered with the argument that since tourism was presently Grenadians primary means for interaction with the world, the tourism brand would in effect become the nation’s cultural brand.

The caustic nature of the public fallout over the rebrand allegedly lead to some Grenada Tourism officials receiving their marching orders. Most notably, the government in November 2014 reshuffled the Minister of Tourism into another cabinet post (even as government officials were quick to deny that the reshuffling was linked to the poorly received rebrand efforts which the Minister spearheaded)second logo.

In addition, the Grenadian government gave into public pressure, adjusting the rebrand color scheme and the major communication tagline to “Pure Grenada: Spice of the Caribbean” (See image at right).

 

 

Wrap Up

Whether or not Grenada’s rebranding effort  was ‘worthwhile’ will be seen in the official statistics on Grenada’s tourist arrivals during the peak Caribbean tourism season. KPIs which will provide conclusive answers will include: statistically significant increases in visitor arrivals, percentage of new visitors who matched the desired target profile. We look forward to examining these figures when they are released.

 

Brand Watch: Pinnacle Media Cayman

With the acquisition of the Cayman Free Press Ltd. this year, Pinnacle Media Group Ltd has catapulted itself to the top of the competitive crab barrel that is Cayman’s market for advertising and print services.

Formerly known as Pinnacle Publishing and Marketing, the name change to Pinnacle Media Ltd reflects the company’s expanded resources and capabilities as Pinnacle now controls the islands’ most prolific print publications including The Compass, What’s Hot, and InsideOut.

magazines

Furthermore, Pinnacle’s empire now also stretches into online media with the acquisition of the Compass’s online news platform–which continually has one of the top search rankings.

Pinnacle’s new moniker, we hypothesize, is also indicative of its new strategic direction: to become an all rounder in the Caymanian media landscape.

(Warning: Below, we engage in a fair bit of arm-chair thinking.)

word cloud

We predict that Pinnacle will vertically integrate services such as publishing, printing, strategic brand management, SEO and digital media consulting, creative and web development services, digital and event marketing coordination.

If the prediction holds true, the media house would be able to offer business managers/DMUS the convenience of streamlined campaign development and delivery all under one roof. All the touch-points in the process of campaigning (from planning to execution and evaluation) would be doable in house at Pinnacle.

Additionally, firm’s in Cayman shopping for holistic marketing support would also be able to take advantage of ‘automated advertising and campaigning’. In this automated set-up, the development and timing of the distribution of mcomms would be managed by Pinnacle Media account execs in accordance to a set budget, Pinnacle’s publishing schedule, and the editorial content of publications.

We had a little fun and provided a hypothetical example:

A new juice bar opens in GT and needs to increase awareness and grow sales. Using Pinnacle’s media services they work with marketers and creatives to develop their positioning and branding as well as to print menus and nutritional info leaflets for the bar counters.

The juice bar also decides to take advantage of automated advertising campaign services. Pinnacle executives who have been briefed on (or who have helped to develop) the core positioning of the juice bar will publish the juice bar’s ad comms in prime slots in audience appropriate magazines or in an issue of the Compass which features an article on obesity rates in Cayman.

Considerations:

Although Pinnacle Media’s vertical integration would provide it with a strong competitive position, the sustainability of that position would be comparatively less strong. Pinnacle may find that its dominance in print publications (which would be essential to any potential vertical integration strategy) becomes moot. This is because more advertisers on island are turning to other mediums such as Ecay, Google, and Facebook to reach customers more cheaply.

Our thinking is that Pinnacle (if vertical integration is indeed in the works) would be wise to continue to grow its presence in the online realm.

We suggest investing in fast growing social platforms such as SoundCloud, Polyvore, Pinterest. For example, the What’s Hot mag could ask readers to post their OOTDs (outfit of the day) on Pinterest and then feature a few of the top outfits in the magazine. 

 

Christmas Campaigning: Foster’s IGA vs Kirk’s Market

It’s that time again—when newspapers and post boxes from West Bay to East end overflow with cheerfully decorated holiday promotional materials as Cayman’s big brands make their play to grow or defend their shares for holiday sales.

Recently, two of Cayman’s major food retailers–Kirk’s Market and Foster’s Food Fair IGA–released their holiday dining and entertainment catalogs–mere days apart. It’s seems appropriate to follow up this head-to-head showdown with a comparative analysis of both holiday promos.

Courtesy of Foster's Food Fair via Facebook.com

Courtesy of Foster’s Food Fair via Facebook.com

Courtesy of Kirk's Marker via Facebook.com

Courtesy of Kirk’s Market via Facebook.com

 

Design & Brand Alignment
Foster’s catalog did not stray from the brand’s ‘no fuss-low cost’ core associations. The color theme and typography were minimalist and clean—the focus reserved for displaying high-res photography (read: mouth watering dishes).

The cover of the catalog, however, was too spartan—if not plainly unattractive. It could have been easily mistaken for a daily menu that was accidentally picked up out of a Foster’s supermarket trolley. The cover distinctly lacked the ‘pick-me-up-and-open-me’ appeal typical for holiday promotional catalogs.

 

Kirk’s catalog, unlike Foster’s, embraced warm, inviting colors and typography to evoke the spirit of the season and also utilized a distinctive, attractive cover. The design fit well with Kirk’s Market green and ‘wholesome’ re-branding initiative—a move to occupy a position similar to that of Whole Foods in the US.

Kirk’s, however, allowed the typography and color scheme to take center place as opposed to focusing on showcasing a breadth of dishes and products. When compared to the Foster’s catalog, there was a distinct dearth of fresh, visual content for the reader to appreciate (read: drool over.)

Distribution Channels
Both players chose to primarily distribute their catalogs as inserts in the Caymanian Compass – for which about 10,000 copies are printed daily. Foster’s, however, gained the upper hand by distributing their catalog within the highly desirable Friday slot—which sees higher readership and has a 3 day holdover (because the Compass does not have Saturday or Sunday editions)

Kirk’s, however,  was not content to fall behind on reach. Eager to match their competition, Kirk’s leveraged multiple mediums of distribution—pushing their entire holiday catalog through social media, email newsletters, and their website.

Overall Diagnosis
Although both players had their strengths and flaws, both, nevertheless, created compelling holiday materials. Kirk’s Market, however, has a slight early lead based on the overall campaign attractiveness and the flexibility with which catalogs were distributed to the Caymanian public.

It’s much too early, however, to determine the overall outcome of this melee for holiday marketing supremacy between these two titans. I expect that these holiday catalogs are only the starting point of Kirk’s and Foster’s holiday campaigns and more advertising will be funneled to the public as we draw closer to Christmas and New Year’s.

Furthermore, with the growing number of brands opting into the realm of non-traditional marketing (digital marketing, out-of-home marketing, guerilla marketing,…etc), I expect that both these competitors will bring fresh, compelling advertising content at a later stage in the season.

Marketing Analysis: Pirates Week Cayman 2014

Featured photo courtesy of Don McDougall 2014 Photography

 

Cayman’s 37th annual Pirates Week Festivities wrapped up this weekend.  There were mixed reviews about this year’s festival—attendees praised aspects such as great performances from acts such as Kes The Band and Fab 5 but criticized other aspects such as choices for event venues and poor food catering. In the wake of the debate about Pirates Week success and failures, it feels like an appropriate moment to render a marketing analysis for Cayman’s Pirates Week in order to understand the festival’s prospects for sustainable growth.

The Competitive Landscape: How does Pirates Week stack up against its competitors?

Comparison of Online Interest for Major Pirate Themed Festivals (Courtesy of Google Trends ®)

Comparison of Online Interest for Major Pirate Themed Festivals (Courtesy of Google Trends)

Cayman’s Pirates Week event continues to outperform other similarly themed Pirate events – based on trends in online interest (See Comparison Chart on right). During the the 2011-2012 period, flagging interest in Cayman’s Pirates Week event seemed to indicate that other competitors would overtake Cayman’s top status. However, that did not come to fruition as Pirate’s Week saw a steady rebound in 2013.

Don’t take that breath of relief, yet! Other festivals may, nevertheless, become a serious competitive threat if they made a concerted marketing push—especially if they capitalized on travelers’ negative reviews about Pirates Week. Tybee Island’s Pirates Festival  is a prime example of a competitor with the very real potential for eating away at Pirates Week’s online interest dominance. Held in Georgia (USA) during October, the Tybee Island festival has advantages such as

  • Easy accessibility — Tybee Island is located only 20 minutes from Savannah Airport in eastern Georgia or 2 hours from Atlanta’s airport Hub.
  • Cheaper accommodation rates — Tybee’s nightly room ratesi ranges between $55USD and $275USD while Cayman’s nightly room rates ranges between $120USD and $850USD

Given the serious budget cuts affecting the Cayman’s Pirates Week committee, 2015 would the best time for competitors like the Tybee festival to push for an advantage. Hence, the verdict is—in terms of competitiveness—the committee for Cayman’s Pirates Week needs to be on its toes from 2015 onward and continue to schedule innovative programming for Pirates Week.

i Rates provided by Hotel.com based on 1 room for 2 adults and child.

 

Pirates Weeks Offerings & Perceptual Positioning

What do attendees get when they shell out anywhere from $3000USD to $6000USDii to visit Pirates Week Cayman? Fortunately, a lot. Attendees can choose from a broad variety of events including: boat races, costume parades, floats, street-side food markets, firework displays, sea swims, 5K and 10k runs, heritage markets, live concerts and music fetes.

Costume Parade
pirates week to hell and back Photo Gallery - Pirates Week Festival.clipular

The problem: With so many events on tap, Pirates Week suffers from an identity crisis. There is a clear thematic divergence between events that cater to fulfilling tourists’ cosplay fantasies and events that cater to the celebration of Cayman’s local Heritage. Apologists might argue that it’s all one and the same as Cayman has a distinct history of piracy. However, whether or not such a statement can be deemed as accurate depends on national sentiment: Would Caymanians agree that their legacy of piracy has  a great enough cultural resonance that Pirates should be the center piece of their national celebrations?

Nevertheless, achieving greater thematic unity among scheduled events should be given genuine consideration. Events that seem to diverge significantly from Pirates Week’s core brand associations will most likely suffer from low turnout rates and low sponsorship levels. In order to achieve thematic unity, the Pirates Week committee needs to reformulate some events or trim the event schedule. With the budget cuts affecting the committee, the later suggestion might be the most viable.

ii Based on air travel out of Miami and 3-day accommodations, food, and car rental expenses for a family with 2 adults + 1 child.

The Promotional Mix for Pirates Week

The promotional mix for Pirates Week has adequate breadth — leveraging multiple mediums and channels.Travel brands, travel blogs, and local partners were all brought on board to push awareness.

festival 1
travel blog travel blog 2

Online social media push —which has become essential component of digital marketing —also had a strong showing in terms of audience engagement.

Given the competitive threats discussed prior, however, it’s important to avoid complacency and strive to keep the promotional mix for Pirates Week fresh and flexible.  For the next-go-round, I would recommend complementing the current promotional mix by buying into more native advertising and pushing more promotions through on-demand media such as streaming radio, podcasting, or vlog channels.

Expanding Out of Home Advertising in Cayman

Out of home advertising (OOHA) incorporates multiple formats including but not limited to billboards, free standing commercial signs, window and door signs, and transit advertising.

OOHA allows advertisers to connect with on-the-go and out of home audiences more efficiently than traditional formats such as television, newspapers and magazines.

OOHA has been strongly regulated in Cayman, however. The Department of Planning has enforced strict guidelines as to the type of outdoor signage permissible on the islands. The mandate behind this strict regulation of outdoor advertising is the preservation of the natural beauty and scenery of the Cayman Islands as well as avoiding the creation of road distractions and safety hazards.

Planning’s guidelines, for example, prohibit the use of free standing advertising billboards. This has constricted Cayman’s OOHA landscape as billboards typically dominate the market for OOHA in other countries. In the US, for example, billboards account for 64% of all OOH revenues.

Other regulations include limitations on the types of transit advertising permitted. Advertising on bus shelters, for example, is permitted but not on public transit or on vehicles– with the exception of business logos and advertisements placed on company vehicles.

(See recent news reports on plans to remove side walk impediments including advertising boards)

However, with the growing demand for more effective ways to reach customers on island, advertisers have been expanding the boundaries of OOHA in Cayman.  OOHA formats such as advertising in movie theaters and at sporting venues have been leveraged. Digital formats such as small digital screens at kiosks and mobile screens by roadsides have been put into play.

Courtesy of High Impact Digital Billboards.

Courtesy of High Impact Digital Billboards.

OOHA at Annex Field, GT, Cayman.

OOHA at Annex Field, GT, Cayman.

The next step that I predict is the move to leverage more LBA (location based advertising) on mobile devices—where consumers receive targeted marketing communications  based on their location. For example, customers using a coffee shop’s public wifi receive coupons for dinner at a restaurant nearby. Or customer’s using the supermarket’s wifi receive alerts about items on special.

This prediction is based on the frenetic pace of growth of Cayman’s telecommunications industry which provides Cayman’s residents and businesses with stable, high speed internet connections over the majority of the island.  It’s also based on the growing number of businesses embracing digital or mobile push advertising to drive more traffic to stores. (For e.g. Hurley’s supermarket pushes it’s weekly shopper savings online and through email blasts; Cayman Islands Red Cross uses online Bulk SMS distribution to alert members about volunteering opportunities; Telecoms provider Digicel allows advertisers to send out SMS blasts to mobile telecom customers.)