With the increase in globalisation and internet accessibility, businesses within the diaspora and Caribbean have the increased opportunity to tap into new markets across the region, however, accessing these markets can be challenging or tedious when done on a country-by-country basis.
Shanoy Coombs, development communication strategist and CEO for Infinity Integrated Marketing Communications Limited (Infinity IMC), is bridging that gap.
She argues accessing regional visibility does not have to be overly expensive or time consuming, as her company seamlessly offers public relations, advertising and other integrated communications support across the Caribbean.
“Having worked with several organisations that operate across different Caribbean markets, we discovered an interesting pain point where they wanted to place an advertisement or coordinate public relations activities in other Caribbean markets but were overwhelmed by having to contact media houses or partners in many different countries. We saw this as a unique opportunity to step in and offer this as a part of our suite of integrated communications services” said Coombs.
She adds that the organisations that have taken on the region wide services have experienced real value from being able to utilise a single firm to help them to deliver their messaging across multiple markets, especially at a time when the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) projects that the region is set to grow by 5.7 per cent this year. This, the CDB says, is due to the revitalisation of the tourism and energy sectors in several Caribbean countries.
“We are excited by the prospects really as we have also had personnel based in the diaspora who want to promote their products or services in different Caribbean markets and we are always thrilled to learn more about their offerings and help them to position these effectively,” she said, making note of the cultural differences in each market.
This focus on cultural differences is also a niche approach that Coombs’ Infinity IMC team adds to the work they do across the Caribbean.
With a Masters in Intercultural Communication and International Development from the University of Sheffield in the UK; a network of Caribbean-wide partners and a team that has occupied regional roles over the past 10 years, Coombs notes that her team is also adequately equipped to note cultural sensitivities and help clients to adapt messages to ensure they resonate with the different markets.
“What we have seen is that sometimes a client may be based in a diaspora country or one Caribbean country and wishes to export content into another Caribbean country. We therefore ensure we are assessing the cultural components of such content, as what may be acceptable in one market may be offensive in another” she added.
To date, the Infinity IMC team has worked with diverse teams including: a Canadian based company to launch a Caribbean based project and deliver ongoing communications support in five different Caribbean countries. They have also worked with a Barbados-based company to deliver media relations and advertising placements across 10 Caribbean countries and clients in the US and UK who wanted to maintain a presence in the Caribbean to highlight their products and services in the corporate and NGO spaces.
For Coombs, the prospects are promising and so she encourages persons based in the diaspora or across the Caribbean who want to expand their reach regionally to tap into the resources and professional services that Infinity IMC offers.
“It’s truly an opportune time to access regional markets. While companies focus on laying the groundwork and getting their products and services into brick and mortar or online spaces, it should be comforting to know that there is a singular company that can help to support their regional communications needs” she said.