(Extracted from the Observer dated Mar. 14, 2014)
A local information technology company has developed an online tool designed for businesses to use digital media in an effective and profitable way.
The rapid fragmentation of media in the digital age has created a complex environment for marketers to reach consumers. According to a report by internet giant Google and global market research firm Ipsos, 90 per cent of consumers move sequentially from screen to screen on a given day. Smartphones, it was reported, are by far the most common starting point for sequential activity.
While these statistics may be less extreme in Jamaica, by all indications it reflects a growing trend. Jamaican firms are increasingly investing resources in alternative digital channels, especially social media. But local IT outfit e-Business Solutions thinks companies have largely failed to effectively capitalise on the development, and has launched a software aimed at getting businesses to maximise on value from digital assets.
"Businesses are aware that they need to have a presence in the digital media, but have been struggling to do so successfully," said Wayne Marsh, principal of e-Business Solutions, which developed the web-based tool Branditise.
Marsh said a lot of local companies hire so-called social media experts, who only post random messages on sites daily without any strategic plan behind them and are ineffective.
Branditise provides clients with a detailed step-by-step guide in strategising, executing and measuring the impact of digital marketing efforts for their brands. It is a tool similar to Google's Wildfire app or Hootsuite, but with a lot more hand-holding, according to Marsh.
"This new solution is unique in the world," he said.
On the website, companies define their goals, options of which include influencing brand reputation, increasing awareness, generating leads and enhancing consumer influence. They create a score card, detailing key performance indicators such as number of fans or followers in social media, visitors on a website and SERP (search engine results page) ranking. And the website helps clients develop the content strategy of their digital marketing plan, in conjuntion with an offline workshop on how best to use the system to come up with a plan.
"As a business owner, you are an expert in your own business, and you don't want to spend time to become an expert in digital media," Marsh said. "So the system fills that gap for you to make it easy for you as a business owner to use your business knowledge to create your own digital presence."
Marsh said the presently offline training portfolio will be built into the website by the fourth quarter of 2014.
The company is initially targeting the local market, then the region.
"Any company who needs to advertise, needs to 'branditise'," said Marsh, who heads a team of eight full-time and contract IT and support staff at e-Business Solutions.
National Commercial Bank, Jamaica Money Market Brokers, Jamaica National Money Transfer and Turks and Caicos-based NCS Money Services have already signed on to use the service, according to Marsh, who will officially launch the product on Tuesday Marsh didn't disclose exact prices but said the product is "competitively priced".