The Digital Marketing Surge in Trinidad & Tobago

Everyone and their mother has suddenly gone into digital marketing because people are learning online (or otherwise) that the revenue is “nice” and “easy”. Some are doing it because they have a considerable number of social media followers and believe it to be as simple as some YouTubers portray.

While many may deny it as their primary motivation, there is a discernible connection between the zeitgeist reflected in the information’s exposure and the recent uptick in self-proclaimed digital marketers.

While it’s all good for everyone to pursue meaningful careers and businesses, here’s what to expect with this recent upsurge:

A Collapse in Quality Services.

The real Professional Digital Marketers who are truly talented will have to compete with unprofessional, and untalented people claiming to be digital marketers because the entry level has now dropped.

There’s nothing wrong with competition, however, the Mohammed Alis of the industry will now have to vie for attention against the Logan Pauls – implying that top-tier marketers will find themselves facing lowballers.

Extremely low-Profit Margins

We’re going to witness a replay of what occurred in the photography and media business in our nation a few years ago; individuals undercutting each other to secure clients, resulting in drastically low prices and consequently, meagre profit margins—sometimes even leading to losses.

I’ll give an example: Back when I was offering media services, someone charged a client for media services a dumbfounding $500 TT, that was valued competitively at $3500 TT, a mere 14.2% of the market value. You can’t compete with that without starving.

Fly-by night attempts

What happened during COVID with online platforms and businesses will happen again. Many tried to create online platforms and services, but approximately 95% of these ventures have vanished or transformed into digital ghost towns. Others resorted to inappropriately calling their Instagram profile an “online shop” in a bid to adapt to the evolving digital landscape.

The social media marketing services now are a clear example of what’s going to happen. I observe businesses investing in these services without experiencing growth, making a significant impact on their brand, generating sales, or attracting additional customers/clients.

Low-Quality Work

There will be an upsurge of low-quality marketing. A.I. hasn’t reached the point of excelling in genuine digital marketing that effectively translates into sales. Therefore you’re going to see many businesses burdened with an extra monthly expense for a strategy that proves ineffective.

This will muddy the water for the real professionals, subjecting them to undue scrutiny by sceptical prospects who were previously burnt by entry-level marketers.

I’ve witnessed individuals engaging in activities solely for profit without understanding the nuances, resulting in their short-lived presence. Such actions not only harm the market but also contribute to the overall confusion and challenges for others in the field.

On the Plus-side

However, there is a sort of silver lining in this upsurge, for business owners at least. Healthy competition, when practised professionally, can bring benefits. Brand and business owners will now have a plethora of choices. Existing professionals in the field will need to elevate their game, and those offering average-quality marketing will be compelled to enhance their services or die.

The TakeAway

If you have an interest in digital marketing or have recently ventured into it, it’s crucial to approach it with a sense of worthiness. Don’t simply dive in because of the allure of substantial earnings with seemingly “easy” work.

Success in digital marketing demands dedication, expertise, and a genuine commitment to understanding the intricacies of the field. Being worthy of the profession ensures a more sustainable and meaningful contribution to the industry.

Business gurus have been preaching this for years. Be passionate about what you do. That’s the only way to succeed.

History Repeats itself

I’ve witnessed this pattern unfold in various forms over the years. The bubble will burst once it continues to grow, this is probably just the beginning so we’ll have to see how quickly it evolves.

All of the aforementioned scenarios are going to happen whether or not we like it. So all I can say to established digital marketers is brace yourself. Extremely low profit margins are coming. I hope you survive.

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