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Business Lounge by Andre Burnett

The Jamaica Pegasus leads and we follow

“S

old”, exclaimed an exuberant Mrs. Prudence Simpson, director of sales and marketing at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, “I am completely sold on Twitter”. Coming off the huge success of the Jamaica Pegasus’ Twitter powered mingle, “Tweetup”, Mrs. Simpson has every reason to be excited about the opportunities that the microblogging website and its mobile offshoots have afforded the Pegasus in its new age marketing push. “In terms of direct marketing, Twitter is quite possibly the best avenue ever,” says the Glenmuir past student who studied business at the then College of Arts, Science and Technology in Jamaica, “the return on investment is measurable, you know right away when a tweeter is in your restaurant because they’re offering feedback and giving us the opportunity to improve”. While most businesses in Jamaica who have joined Twitter seem to have done so without any real impetus for using the service for actionable results, the Jamaica Pegasus marketing team seems to have hit the right chord with Jamaican Twitter users. “The key lies in engaging in your followers, our Twitter followers don’t feel as if they are being constantly advertised to”, says Mrs. Simpson, “this way we find that we allow our followers to be a part of our family which is really what Tweetup is about, its about allowing our followers

but Mrs. Simpson realizes that having direct access to one thousand, savvy young professional age people might be gold for an establishment that thrives on establishing and maintaining customer loyalty. “Twitter is measurable, immediate, and direct”, emphasized the marketing manager, “The Pegasus has been known for over 30 years as a high quality brand and now we’re able to bring that brand directly to our new generation.” advertisment

Mrs. Prudence Simpson tweets on her Smart Phone

to come and meet each other while enjoying and being introduced to what the Pegasus has to offer”. Mrs. Simpson conceded that traditional modes of marketing such as newspaper ads are becoming less effective in catching the attention of today’s tech savvy generation who are utilizing different methods of being informed. “Tweeting is often a way of reaching people immediately, say I’m having an event tonight, I cant very well take out an ad in the paper at a moment’s notice but I could tell my 1000 followers about it and even get their response to it right away”, says Mrs. Simpson, “today’s young people might see an ad in the paper and just skim over it or they might not even get a chance to see the ad because they get their news online”. Jamaica Pegasus’ just over one thousand followers may pale in comparison to the bigger international accounts

With such an enthusiastic and savvy marketing team led by the competent Mrs. Simpson, there is little doubt as to the reason that The Pegasus is a forerunner in social marketing in Jamaica. We can only hope that the rest of business Jamaica follow suite…forgive the bad pun.

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special

Recession Winners

Companies that survived the recession Inevitably, there will be companies that do well in a recession mostly because of the kinds of product and services they provide. Usually these are companies with highly reputable images and loyal customers who prefer to spend more of that lessened disposable income with them. Also companies that offer free or very inexpensive services will undoubtedly tend to do better but there were a few notable surprises when the dust settled. Here are our picks for the most surprising survivors that did robustly in the recession and what we could learn from them. Starbucks:

Huffington Post: What is the Huffington Post and why does it sound like something that Harry Potter’s cat employs for magical amusement? Well apparently, The HuffPo as it is abbreviated has become the second largest online source for news bettered only by the New York Times’ online counterpart. The site which has a unique combination of politics news and comedy is poised to take over the number one after having grown steadily through the recession. The lesson? Ingenuity and originality will trump any old recession any day of the week.

Huh? Who would’ve thought that overpriced coffee and pastries would have done well in a downturn? Well go figure, Starbucks first quarter figures in 2010 show that times are indeed booming. Profits up eightfold, revenues up 9% and same store sales up 7%, maybe coffee is comfort food...hmm. But really what happened was a combination of strategies that could be implemented in any Jamaican business. A customer rewards programme, a wider variety of products and a free service (in this case WIFI) helped to encourage customers.

ford motor company: Now this is a humdinger of a surprise isn’t it? A betting man would have lost his shirt betting against Ford staying out of Chapter 11 but the numbers are there for the viewing. Ford has restructured a number of its focuses (haha) with smaller, more fuel efficient cars and has taken a more universal approach to selling cars. The lesson here? Be flexible in your approach to business, swimming against the tide is almost always futile. yourmoney ezine


insights

An American Investment Banker in London:

Diamond in the rough?

“D

iamond takes over at Barclays”. The preceding headline had triggered an amusing reverie about a precious stone organizing a coup at the world’s largest financial services provider before my eyebrows furrowed at what the headline really meant. The serious part of my brain deduced that the headline really meant that Robert Diamond, the American who built Barclays Capital almost from the ground up and is primarily responsible for the company’s heavy reliance on investment banking, was being appointed as CEO of Barclays. Feeling rather pleased with having unraveled the mystery of the headline, my eyebrows furrowed at the idea of Mr. Diamond, a fellow once described by a former government minister as the “unacceptable face of banking”, being appointed at Barclays. It was hard to figure out if the majority of the furrowing came from the fact that another American was taking over the top spot at a large British Corporation, following Bob Dudley appointment at BP of course, or the fact that Diamond’s appointment means that investment bankers are now the heads of four of Europe’s largest banks. It is also of note that the Brady Dougan, CEO of one of those banks, Switzerland’s Credit Suisse, is also an American. Hayward’s appointment was received with little or no fuss, but Barclays has sparked a lively debate about the implications of appointing Diamond because of the image of investment bankers in today’s Britain. Critics have pointed to Diamond’s “casino banking” past and his reported salary as evidence that Barclays is painting itself into a corner by

the announcement of Diamond’s appointment was met with a drop in share value indicating that shareholders might not have the same confidence that the bank’s board has. Diamond’s predecessor, John Varley, was a banker deeply rooted in retail roots and the relationship between the two was often described as being somewhere between toxic and really bad. Diamond’s ascension to the to post could be viewed as Barclay’s thumbing its nose at those who complain that banks rely too heavily on their investment advertisment

Robert Diamond rewarding the kind of bankers that many blame for Britain’s (and the world’s) financial crisis. Do they have a point? Well…yeah, but Barclays didn’t make themselves available for Government taxpayer handouts in the heights of the crisis, so most of those doing the talking (government officials) really wouldn’t have a say if Barclays decided to appoint The Stig as their new CEO. It may seem a bit contradictory that people in government would have a problem with banks promoting employees who are especially adept at making money but it is understandable that there is some trepidation where investment bankers are concerned. In fact it would be downright practical to want to promote an image of caution by appointing retail bankers but as noted earlier the banks don’t seem to mind exposing caution to a light breeze for the services of proven moneymakers of which Bob Diamond is of the highest order. It is also interesting that

arms while treating the small customers as harshly as possible. But at the same time, these critics may be disregarding the fact that Diamond is a first rate banker who was not necessarily responsible for the crisis but may be suffering from his peers’ ineptitude. Whatever the case may be, let us all just hope that the end of this won’t come with a lot of finger pointing and “I told you so’s”.

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