At JZ Marketing & Communications, we spend a considerable amount of time each week making the rounds to visit current and prospective clients. This is always an eye-opening experience. What surprises us first is how many businesses in the island of Aruba have yet to get fully on board with digital marketing. The second thing that surprises us is how many businesses who are new to digital marketing have unrealistic expectations about it. In light of these points, we thought it would be good to explain in greater detail what Caribbean digital marketing is all about and what your business can expect to achieve from it.
Caribbean Digital Marketing: Your Last Resort?
When an Aruban business initiates first contact with JZ Marketing, we pay close attention to determine why they’re reaching out to us. In many cases, it is because their business is not performing as well as they want it to. Many entrepreneurs try to do everything themselves or with a very small staff. In this case, their previous success came from them knowing at least one part of the business puzzle well enough to make gains. The problem, however, is that they don’t know enough about all the other pieces of the puzzle they need to sustain success for the long haul. In desperation, they reach out for help in turning things around, and they tend to think that marketing is the answer. We can agree with that idea, with a few caveats.
When a business turns to Caribbean digital marketing as a last resort, it makes for a tricky situation because the business will tend to have unrealistic expectations about what we can do for them in the short-term. Sometimes a business thinks if they just launch a campaign on Facebook and amass thousands of Likes, everything will be okay. There are several things wrong with this line of thinking:
- You don’t actually know that a lack of digital marketing is the cause of your business problems. If it is, then great, our Caribbean digital marketing expertise will get the results you’re looking for. But if your lack of digital marketing isn’t the root cause of your business problem, then you’ll be frustrated by a lack of results even after stepping up your digital marketing efforts.
- Amassing thousands of social media likes in a short amount of time, such as a few weeks, is not realistic unless you don’t mind spending a boatload of money. Like anything worthwhile, achieving quality results takes time, and even more so if you don’t have ton of cash to spend on making it happen.
- Social media likes don’t necessarily translate into immediate sales. It sure would be nice if they did, but the relationship is not that direct for most businesses. It’s another unrealistic expectation many businesses have when getting started with digital marketing.
What Caribbean Digital Marketing CAN do for Your Business
For JZ Marketing to do right by your business, it’s important to determine what your primary audience is. For businesses in Aruba, the main three categories are going to be tourists, locals, or a mix of both. We work with clients in all three categories, and once we know what the primary target audience is, then we try to define that even more. If your primary target audience are tourists who come to One Happy Island, then it makes sense to target your messaging by country according to who is sending the most tourists to Aruba. Here are the percentage of tourists coming to Aruba from various countries:
- 60% come from the United States.
- 16% come from Venezuela.
- 3% come from the Netherlands.
- 13% come from a combination of Argentina, Canada, Brazil and Colombia.
Surprised? Some are surprised by only 3% of Aruban tourists coming from the Netherlands, given the Dutch influence on the island. While the number seems small, it’s still the third-largest source of tourists from a single country. What’s more surprising is the significant number of tourists coming to Aruba from South America – Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil and Colombia.
We work with nine different restaurant clients on Aruba. All of them depend on both tourists and locals, but where they fall on that spectrum varies widely by client. Some are heavily weighted towards tourists while others have a mostly local clientele. Knowing this makes a big difference in how to approach digital marketing for these clients! For those focused on the local audience, the messaging tends to be about everyday convenience and value, as well as catering private events on-site. For those focused more on tourists, it’s about keeping them engaged with what’s happening and reminding them of what’s special and unique about the restaurant so it’s in their minds the next time they come to the island.
Caribbean digital marketing is essential to any Aruban business that wants to sustain success in the 21st century, but it’s important to be realistic about what it will achieve for your business. If you’d like to start building your company’s digital marketing program, contact JZ Marketing today!