Seizing The Opportunity To Be Heard Above The Din

Adrian Loveridge - Hotel Owner

There perhaps, in these trying times, can be no more apt expression than Carpe Diem or seize the day in terms of exploiting every possible opportunity in destination marketing. As an example, even before the dust had settled on the Super Bowl final or the victors partying had abated, within hours the Aruba Tourism Authority was out there, offering the losing side, a complimentary holiday. In a press release the CEO of the authority, Ronella Tijn stated ‘ We want to acknowledge and celebrate the hard work, dedication and season-long success of the team, despite their loss. We believe there is no better place to recover after a loss than Aruba. After all, we are known as ‘One Happy Island’.

Whether or not the New England Patriots take up the offer, massive attention throughout the US media has been grabbed in the wake of one of the most watched sporting events in the country, at very little, if any cost. I don’t suppose for a single second that Ms. Tjin woke up the morning after the event and suddenly thought of this idea. I am sure if their advertising agency, especially if it is based in the United States would have had it among suggestions to maximise awareness, especially at such a critical vacation booking period.

It cannot be surprising then that any canny sales driven organisation would want to be associated with this event, which attracts over 111 million viewers. Each 30-second paid commercial aired during the game costs a staggering US$3.5 million.  Again, it comes down to identifying and having the people who recognise that more can be done even when budgets are constrained.

Some years ago, the highly subsidised Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation, announced that they were going to increase the local programming content of their television station. Little, at the time did we realise that this would largely be achieved by adding two hours daily of Caribworld shopping offerings. As a marketing person with decades of attempting to achieve big picture results with very modest budgets, maybe I have always looked at things a little differently. But in anyone’s eyes, the broadcast time between the ever popular, Days of our Lives and the prime news segment would surely demand peak advertising rates and the largest viewer figures. Yet, so often, these 6 or 7 minutes ‘fillers’ feature overseas recording artists like Toni Braxton and Kenny G. As much as I like these outstanding performers, would it not be better to highlight some of our rising stars?

I think in particular of Cover Drive and their amazing achievement by capturing the Number ONE spot in the British singles chart with ‘Twilight’. The band and its promoters clearly recognise the use of social media with over two and a half million views (so far) of the official Twilight video, globally. But I am sure there is a local audience, of all ages that would be inspired and possibly motivated by showing the video locally.

When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. Savvy marketers look for, seize and exploit opportunities where they arise.

21 thoughts on “Seizing The Opportunity To Be Heard Above The Din

  1. Tired of these pieces.

    How miserable life must be for Mr Loveridge when it consists of seeing “missed marketing opportunities” every two minutes.

    The best marketing comes from word-of-mouth recommendation – the result of a having a great vacation in a wonderful destination. This is what we should concentrate on. The rest is all hype and background noise, and can actually be counterproductive

  2. Hmmmmmmm,

    I agree with you regarding ‘word of mouth’ but you only have to scan TripAdvisor to see that many tourism partners are not achieving a level of service to justify ‘our’ destination reputation.
    Are you saying that the Government wasted $4 million on hosting the Rihanna concert?

  3. @hmmmm

    Don’t agree with you.

    Perhaps you can explain why Bahamas and Antigua have been reported as showing significant arrivals.

    It is more than word of mouth. Also there is the report that Antigua spends $18 per tourist compared to Barbados $89.

  4. Hmmm…word of mouth is that Barbados has priced itself out of the market and that you get more bang for your buck in the other islands. Food is cheaper and many times better.

  5. Yet, so often, these 6 or 7 minutes ‘fillers’ feature overseas recording artists like Toni Braxton and Kenny G. As much as I like these outstanding performers, would it not be better to highlight some of our rising stars?

    I hope that in the same breath, there are Cds of our local artists available for sale to tourists in you establishment, especially since you boast of high occupancy along with a high number of return guests year round. Imagine the exposure they too can get as aspiring artists.

  6. Technician,

    Nice to hear from you.
    YES! I think we boast probably the mosty live (included) entertainment for a small hotel on Barbados. Among the local muscians that appear regularly are: Two Guitars, Bigie Irie, John King, All Stars Steel Band, Andre Woodvine (and various accompanists). EVERY muscian that has CD’s available are offered on sale to our guests.
    I think we play our part in supporting local music.

  7. For several years Barbados has NOT been advertising on a consistent basis in Canada.

    The only TV ad right now is for the Breakfast in Barbados radio competition.

    Walk into a travel agency in Toronto and there are no posters of Barbados.
    There are no Billboards and rarely a newspaper ad.



    The musicians need to sell their music on the internet. Create a website, get a payment system set up and sell to the world.

  9. Cover Drive’s TWILIGHT video has already had over 3 million views.
    This is the power of the Internet and with the upcoming album release, imagine being able to get to that number of possible purchasers.

  10. Hants | February 15, 2012 at 9:34 AM |

    The musicians need to sell their music on the internet. Create a website, get a payment system set up and sell to the world.

    That is already happening for quite some time Hants. They had to, if you knew the politics involved in airplay for local artists.

  11. @Techie

    Not sure our tourist product is designed for spring break crowd.

    The issue of selling local music is embedded more in developing ‘managed ‘ cultural industry. From such a structure how we develop and market music etc can be done to a plan. At the moment the adhocism will not cut it.

  12. I travel throughout the region on a regular basis and am constantly amazed at comments about Barbados “pricing itself out of the market”. Firstly Barbados was always a high priced destination and attracted a clientele that could afford those prices. All that changed when the charters started coming. However that along with cruise ships is now the norm and the clientele has changed hence the emphasis on prices and value for money.
    I seldom find places to stay eat or drink in any of the islands above mentioned which are cheaper than Barbados where I would feel both safe and welcomed. Yes supermarkets prices are high here and that is what most people are basing their argument on. However restaurants hotels and bars in the other islands charge US $ in most cases which immediately doubles the price to us and then they are usually double that again. of course there are great “local” spots in all the islands which are great value but how many tourists feel safe seeking them out???
    A case in point Oistins V Arawak Key in Nassau. Same thing basically – fish fry- though their emphasis is on conch, far more bars and restaurants at Oistins, better variety of food, more music and dancing, better location and the buses run until at least 1.00am in Barbados – they finish at 7.00pm in Nassau thereby forcing people to use taxis. Same thing could be said of Gros Islet, Anse La Ray, Buccoo, etc etc.
    I agree with Adrian on the CBC fillers and of course on the speed at which the other islands jump on opportunities- I actually was surprised that Aruba beat Butch Stewart to it – then again he had probably invited the Giants!!
    I am always wary of tourist arrival numbers – ” lies, damn lies and statistics” comes to mind. I look to see how the hotels, restaurants and bars are doing- talk to the hoteliers – they are not all complaining!!!!!

  13. Much more good news to be delivered re our Cruise ship industry, wow this Minister of Tourism wukking.
    Another 40,000 persons to be delivered to these shores what a grand result after much hard work.

  14. Isn,t Barbados being highly promoted on an international level by Rhianna they are countries in the Carribean who would give any thing for such a promotion. How about four months ago when Barbados was also promoted on the Today Show.i mean it is not as if the movers and shakers of the Tourism is not doing anything.

  15. David wrote “The issue of selling local music is embedded more in developing ‘managed ‘ cultural industry.”

    Ok maybe in Barbados.

    • @Hants

      There is no industry in Barbados. On what basis would a ‘foreigner’ buy Bajan music?

      In Jamaica there is an industry of which reggae is a part, in T&T there is an industry of which soca and steelpan is a part. What gives for Barbados?

  16. Yes results indeed but i submit to you that the likes of Rhianna and our image as represented by international media would and have given and will continue to give positive results. The tourism industry is lucky that in this time of economic down turn we have one of our own who can wave the banner both intrnationally and locally. alot of people who i have met during my recent travels are quick to point ouit that they want to travel to barbados and the first name mentioned is rhiana which shows relevance

  17. @ David,

    Don’t be offended but you are wrong.

    “foreigners” buy music because they like what they hear and so do we. They don’t care what the country of origin is.

    This does not negate the fact that Government should support cultural industries including “music”

  18. Heard the Two Guitars last summer at Cobblers Cove. Upon returning home, I spent considerable time in the US contacting embassies, clubs, DJs, and other music venues to try to drum up some interest in bringing their great sounds to the US. Unfortunately, there was NO interest.

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