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Businessmen, know thy customers

Caption - bmobile's Nigel Jordan

The Caribbean Digital Expo (CDX 2) kicked off with a bang on April 10th with local, regional and international speakers sharing valuable information on the importance of online media and how analysing customer engagement could take a company’s brand to the next level.

The workshops catered to professionals charged with responsibility for companies’ digital strategies and sought to build theirunderstanding of analytics (the discovery and communication of meaningful patterns in data). Presenters suggested ways digital pros could keep their brand relevant with a focus on targeted advertising, web analytics, engagement tracking and offline analytics techniques.

Held at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad, Port-of-Spain, the CDX 2 conference was co-sponsored by telecommunications giant bmobile, (a silver sponsor) as part of the mobile provider’s push to promote businesses’ use of mobile and social media technologies to gain competitive advantages for themselves and the country.

Speaking at the conference, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Caribbean Ideas Limited, Chike Farrell, cautioned those slow to adapt. Farrell said digital technology was quickly becoming one of the key transformational drivers of the economy in the 21st century and the time had come for all businesses to get onboard. He said the field was rapidly changing the way customers communicate, interact and consume in a highly competitive global market. 

“Our passion is the development of the Caribbean. We are avid believers in the idea that digital technology when applied the right way, can help Caribbean organisations large and small, and that’s why we push our particular rock up our particular hill,” he said.

Director of Innovation at Lastminute.com, William Beckler, delivered a thought-provoking presentation on the importance of advanced web analytics and why businesses should sit up and take notice of emerging trends in the technology and in consumer behaviour. An accomplished public speaker, Beckler is responsible for new business models and disruptive innovation at Travelocity International and is sought after for his often controversial ideas on innovation, marketing, travel and analytics.

Stating that digital media can increase the reach of one’s business, Beckler said an optimised website and aggressive social media marketing can help business owners target more customers and get more people interested in their products and services.

Maintaining a healthy customer relationship management (CRM) system, he said, is key to generating value for businesses. “Create clever ways to reach customers,” he advised. “Asking your customers questions builds trust. Focus your efforts on customer details...Know your customer.”

Also speaking at the workshop was bmobile’s Nigel Jordan whose case study provided attendees with an insight into analytics and planning as he gave relevant examples of the company’s use of these strategic tools.

Through analytics, Jordan said Bmobile was able to gain valuable knowledge from its data analysis and recommend action to guide decision making. When using analytics whether conventional or digital media, Jordan underscored the importance of being clear on what one wanted to measure, such as traffic, sales or usability. He said with the recent launch of the company’s 4G (Imagine Next) Network, Bmobile used analytics to measure the feedback of customers on its new and improved website and discovered that traffic had dramatically increased 360% for daily visitors to the bmobile website.

“It’s important to give customers pertinent information that’s important to them,” he said, while adding that it was also essential to identify target markets and speak specifically to each different audience.