Wednesday, April 24, 2024

TOURISM MATTERS: Re-thinking sales and promotion strategies

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FROM A TOURISM PERSPECTIVE and many other sectors, it is almost impossible to comprehend how so many businesses seem to think they can trade to an optimal degree without maintaining a fully functioning and up-to-date website and/or Facebook page.

Also surprising is the number of local companies who take to the air via radio or in print with advertisements promoting new products, but have simply not thought through any potential consumer response, especially in terms of disseminating details like price, sizes, varieties and availability.

Do they realistically think that possible buyers are going to waste time trying to extract the details in a protracted phone call? And that’s assuming that the person on the other end actually knows anything about the item(s).

Of course there are notable exceptions, but certainly in my experience, emails are frequently not either answered at all, or days go by without a timely response. In case some people have not noticed, our world has become increasingly more competitive and many buyers simply will not wait for prolonged periods, when often they have responsive alternatives a simple click away.

What also continues to amaze me is that if I had a particular commodity, I would want everybody who may have even a vague interest in that product to know and that it was currently in stock and obviously the cost.

It also makes sense to actively seek smart partnerships to maximise any marketing or promotional efforts. As an example, the 60 plus restaurants who participate in the re-DISCOVER initiative provide an incredible opportunity to build brand awareness and volume.

Yet, I can only think of two or three hospitality suppliers who have even made an approach to us to explore if there are synergies that would benefit both the distributor and the target group of involved businesses.

Clearly many of these restaurants use similar consumables and if by offering some saving by concentrating purchases through one wholesaler, even at a slightly reduced mark-up, it has to be a win-win situation. Hopefully, anyone reading this column will be galvanised into positive action and by next week they will be beating our doors down.

Another area where perhaps one of the banks or other financial institutions might play a more proactive role is to facilitate more online payment options. Despite all the various restructuring our banks have done in the recent past, it is still far too commonplace to stand in a queue for up to an hour to deposit cheques, cash and other forms of payment.

This seems ludicrous in this day and age and no lessons seem to have been learnt over the years, that the customer’s time is just as valuable as their own employees/managers and time wasted in a line-up has a cost.

Surely any reluctance could not be driven by the desire to perpetuate service fees and other revenue generated through cheque printing and processing. Perhaps those cashiers could be better employed performing more profitable functions within the bank.

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