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How COVID Changed Channel Marketing  


In 2009, if you worked on Facebook or websites in Trinidad and Tobago and mentioned the word ‚Äėconversions‚Äô to a client, you would more than likely get blank stares.¬†¬†

By 2019, everyone understood the digital marketing funnel. In fact, it’s required learning in any tertiary marketing programme. But local marketers were depending on offline distribution channels to distribute goods and services, despite creating both online and offline campaigns. This means that despite digital investment, many campaigns were not linked to actual dollars spent.  

One positive thing the COVID-19 pandemic has done is ensure that most (if not all) business owners understand that online, you can successfully start AND complete the marketing funnel. Some infrastructure that was established and gained popularity between 2020 and 2021 facilitated this:   

  • Banks fast tracked online transfer infrastructure on their websites or apps.¬†More importantly, they‚Äôve made it so that transfers between banks now only take hours to clear, instead of days or weeks.¬†If your customer does¬†not have a credit card,¬†or you haven‚Äôt¬†invested¬†in e-commerce tech, they can still order your products online through something as simple as an IG DM. Customers then transfer payments directly from their account to yours, providing you with a screenshot of the transaction as proof of payment.
  • Many established medium or large businesses, especially in the food industry, invested in e-commerce websites and¬†branded¬†apps to allow customers to order and pay on the same platform.¬†At the end of 2020, PriceSmart Trinidad Ltd. finally listed its extensive inventory online and invited customers to order via the website or app, incentivized with free delivery or preferred parking for pick up.¬†¬†¬†
  • Other businesses have¬†opted to join¬†multi-provider delivery apps that take the burden of¬†investing¬†in¬†a bespoke¬†e-commerce platform off¬†of¬†their shoulders. For example,¬†Burger King and Popeyes use the Hello Food app to reach their customers, while the WiEat, FoodDROP and Skip D Line apps provide an ordering portal for¬†a range of local food providers.¬†¬†¬†
  • Providers like WiPay have made the online payment process secure and easy.¬†Several¬†apps also offer¬†3D secure online credit card payment systems¬†through¬†partnerships with international platforms.¬† ¬†
  • The LINX network and all LINX debit cards are going the EMV (chip card) route. Local banks have begun issuing debit cards enhanced with VISA chip technology, allowing customers without credit cards to also¬†shop¬†online using their¬†debit¬†cards. Not all VISA debit cards are currently able to do this, but it is in process, according to bank officials.¬†¬†


Enabling online conversions helped keep businesses alive through pandemic lockdowns, when offline channel marketing was compromised or impossible. Now that society is opening back up, digital channel marketing remains important. Consumers want to retain this new flexibility and convenience, and for businesses, it is an opportunity to get cold, hard statistics on how their online marketing is translating into sales. Running successful ads on Instagram should funnel customers straight to your website, app or your DMs, where you can track who bought your products after seeing your advertising. We know clear ROI is always at the top of every business’ Christmas list! 

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