SCDF and Montage N.V. team up for long-term Carnival marketing push

POSTED: 04/2/12 3:50 PM

GREAT BAY – The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) has teamed up with Montage N.V. to lay the groundwork for a local and regional marketing push for Carnival 2012 and initiatives for Carnival 2013. The SCDF has also signed an agreement with Caribbean network Tempo for the promotion of St. Maarten’s Carnival. More info on this agreement will be released this week.
The ultimate aim of the relationship between the SCDF and the Montage team led by marketing guru Grisha Marten, is to implement a steady marketing plan targeting mainly locals, tourists and neighboring islands to increase Carnival’s potential as a revenue generator for St. Maarten and form a sales method that will stimulate traffic to the local events that will in turn allow the foundation and its stakeholders to meet financial projections.
SCDF Secretary Michael Granger has been appointed as the Marketing Coordinator that will liaison with Montage on the formulation and execution of the marketing push. Thus far the team’s efforts, and by extension the SCDF events, has already resulted in visibility through newspaper ads, posters, flyer, radio spots, websites, social media outlets, banners and “guerilla marketing” through the use of promo teams and direct mail. The process is guided by a comprehensive media plan drafted by Montage and the SCDF’s own marketing plan.
The SCDF reports that St. Maarten’s Carnival has already had requests from visitors in the US, Canada, South America, Europe and the neighboring island asking about the best places to stay and best periods to travel to St. Maarten for Carnival.
“And we have not really implemented a full marketing blitz due to the late allotment of marketing monies from government,” Granger explained.
Later he’d add, “But marketing for Carnival does not stop when Carnival ends. Our intention is to continue pushing, regionally and internationally, the islands largest festival after Carnival. This will include attending trade shows in collaboration with the St. Maarten Tourism Bureau, attending regional Carnivals and music festivals and coming up with creative ways locally to maintain a high level of interest for Carnival. In these regards, the partnership with Grisha and her team is invaluable.”
Additionally, the aim in 2012 is to adorn strategic locations on the island with festive decorations. The décor will present a festive look with a burst of bright colors essentially displaying various aspects of the culture surrounding Carnival. Both ports of entry (PJIA and Harbor) will be decorated. Light pole banners along the Walter Nisbeth Road started going up this past weekend and more is in store including the round-abouts.
“The purpose of this partnership is to steer SCDF on a course that will enable it to secure the required funds, position Carnival as a stronger economic engine for St. Maarten while at the same time strengthen its position in local industry and achieve greater levels of profitability year after year. To accomplish these objectives, we analyzed the external and internal environments surrounding Carnival and identified the various marketing strategies designed to bring it to greater success. We then tabled an implementation process aimed at ensuring that the desired results are achieved,” Marten explained.
President of the foundation Stuart Johnson added that the preparation and execution of carnival is an ongoing task inclusive of both short-term and long-term marketing plans.
“It should be noted that this marketing plan, though specifically for Carnival 2012, forms a basis for future plans which forms part of our overall 5-year development plan for St. Maarten’s Carnival. This plan is in its final stages and should be ready to be presented to government within short,” Johnson said.
“The development and implementation of a media, communications and marketing strategy that reflects the Carnival’s year-round local, regional, national and international activities, takes a proactive and constructive approach to submitting positive stories about the Carnival’s history, traditions and cultural significance and the redevelopment of a dedicated website that is well maintained and serves as a central information and communication resource for St. Maarten’s Carnival in particular. Currently the SCDF’s Facebook page serves as a vital and popular communication resource and this too will be enhanced with Facebook ad purchases etc,” Johnson added.

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