As a digital media enthusiast, there are two people I look to. One is Gary Vaynerchuk, the ultimate hustler, and the other is Douglas Rushkoff, a media theorist whom I had the pleasure of meeting on his visit to Ryerson University. Both men are accomplished authors. Gary's books include, "Jab Jab Jab Right Hook", "Crush It", "#AskGaryVee", and "Thank You Economy", and Rushkoff authored "Programme or be Programmed" and "Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus". I see Gary as the practical industry practitioner and Rushkoff as the academic. However, both men agree with me on one thing, and that is, we live in an attention economy. The ultimate asset in business today is attention. Businesses are all vying for our attention and he who knows where to find the attention will win. I believe Caribbean businesses can find attention everywhere, but the variable of success could be much more valuable if underpriced or cheap attention is found.
Many Caribbean businesses invest a large part of their budget in radio and television advertising which often times does not pay the dividends that entrepreneurs envision. Admittedly, it would be irresponsible to declare that mass media advertising doesn't work; however, much better ways to spend your advertising dollars exist. Let's take Grenada for instance. As a business, you could advertise your products or services on Grenada Broadcasting Network (GBN) or Maitland Television (MTV) at premium cost. With such an investment especially for prime time programming, I am sure you would be able to reach the people you intend to. However, I think there are more effective ways to spend your money, reach the same or possibly more people when compared to television but at much lower costs, and that is using Facebook advertising.
The cheapest form of advertising right now and entering 2017 is Facebook advertising, and it will be the case for a while until everyone jumps on board which would most likely drive the cost up. Therefore, now is the time to start putting some of your advertising dollars into Facebook ads. Facebook is the most powerful social media platform in the world, outside countries like China. With 1.6 billion monthly active users and the ability to get as targeted as you desire, how could you lose? With Facebook ads, you could probably reach most in your country that are interested in a particular product, between a certain age, and of a particular gender. Let's say, for instance; you have a product for women between the ages of 25 and 40. When you advertise on TV, do you have any guarantee that only women in the aforementioned age range would see your product? No, you don't, but with Facebook ads you could. Now analyze your personal television watching habits. When you watch TV and the program breaks for advertisements, do you sit and intently watch all the ads, grab your phone to tweet or post on Facebook about what you're watching, or do you use the time to get a glass of water or go to the restroom? Based on your personal admission, you may see why television advertisements may not be as effective even though it is costly.
Additionally, if you are an advertising or marketing agency, adding Facebook advertising to your services will be a huge boost for your business. One of the excuses I always hear is that people do not understand Facebook ads, but I have a secret weapon for you to learn about Facebook advertising. It's called Google. You can learn anything from Google and Facebook advertising is no exception. Unfortunately, some persons falsely claim that Facebook ads do not work when they have never tried them. However, I challenge you to give it a shot because I have been running ads for the last two years, and I have been getting positive results. Therefore, try it and tell me how it goes.