Don’t slash budgets!…warns Caribbean Marketer

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General Manager of Bay Gardens Hotel, Waltrude Patrick (second from right) welcomes the BBEC team to St. Lucia at last week’s Caribbean Media Exchange on Sustainable Tourism (CMEx). From left: Jeremy Stephen, Dr. Basil Springer and Marita Greenidge.

Photo credit: Margot Jordan

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (December 13, 2009) – Young Barbadian marketing consultant Marita Greenidge is warning companies not to slash their marketing budgets in today’s recessionary environment. She advises that such times are when businesses should become more strategic about how marketing dollars are spent.

The 26 year-old Greenidge, a founder of the Barbados-based marketing consulting firm Crimson-Jade Consulting, is part of the executive management team and marketing advisor to the Barbados Business Enterprise Corp. (BBEC) which manages the new Barbados Entrepreneurs’ Venture Capital Fund.

“Marketing gets customers in the door so slashing budgets randomly without careful thought and analysis is not prudent. You have to ensure that the money spent creates value for the enterprise – and that means re-evaluating marketing strategies to determine what gives the biggest bang for precious marketing bucks,” says Greenidge, who holds an MBA in Marketing & Entrepreneurship from Simon Graduate School of Business, University of Rochester in New York.

Greenidge, who was in St. Lucia last week attending the 18th Caribbean Media Exchange on Sustainable Tourism (CMEx), lamented that too often companies fail to integrate their marketing strategies with company objectives, leading to a waste of resources.

“That’s why it often seems so easy to cut the money being spent on marketing,” she said, encouraging companies to spend more time instead developing marketing plans clearly targeted at company goals. “We need to understand who our customers are, what price and product benefits are most appealing to them and which marketing channels and distribution methods are most appropriate for each group. Doing this helps develop more targeted marketing strategies, trimming away the fat and creating a leaner marketing charge that can withstand the pressures of any economic downturn,” she said.

At the recent launch of the Barbados Entrepreneurs’ Venture Capital Fund, Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson announced a government guarantee on any principal amount invested in the fund. BBEC is actively engaged in seeking private sector investment – local, regional and international – now that this government guarantee has been announced.

The Venture Capital Fund promises to quickly respond to the investment needs of entrepreneurs whose ideas have the “DNA of an elephant”. Almost 40 local businesses are expected to benefit from the fund over the next year.

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About Barbados Business Enterprise Corp.
Barbados Business Enterprise Corp. (BBEC) is a public/private sector partnership with the Caribbean Business Enterprise Trust (CBET) Inc. BBEC manages the Barbados Revolving Seed Capital Fund and the Barbados Entrepreneurs’ Venture Capital Fund. BBEC is a virtual organisation that focuses on promoting economic development in Barbados. The trustees of BBEC are respected Barbadian business and development experts, Sir Neville Nicholls (Chairman), Sir Stephen Emtage, Peter Boos and Hazel Highland.