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Trend Spotlight – Vindra Dhanraj

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Vindra Dhanraj

We here at Trend Media Group are very excited to proudly highlight each month some of our brightest and most committed staff from our entire pool of superb employees who execute operations in 24 countries.

In this months spotlight blog, we introduce you to Vindra Dhanraj, Country Manager, Trend Media, Trinidad and Tobago. Let us learn more about her.

1.What five (5) words best describe you?

Organized, determined, dependable, diligent and logical

2. What piqued your interest in digital media?

Digital is disruptive and if you’re not for the change you can get left out like big brands like Kodak. In Trinidad and Tobago, it’s still called new media and a number of marketers are not sure how to use digital media and data to drive business growth. I welcomed the opportunity to drive the digital transformation.

3. With a predominant sales background, how has the marketing and digital marketing experience compared?

I’m in the company 11 years now; previously leading the Digicel Business Sales team for the last 8 years. I started the Digicel More brand in Digicel Business selling just SMS advertising and data analytics services and I knew right away this was the future of advertising. My background includes over 17 years of managing teams, project management, strategic decision making and planning skills, stock management, marketing management, customer relationship management, networking, product development, sales management, advertising, pricing, budgeting and corporate communications both in the public and private sectors. I possess a Masters with distinction in Entrepreneurship as well as a Third level Group Diploma with distinctions in Marketing, Selling and Sales Management and Public Relations. These all marry together so wasn’t a different world for me. I’m responsible for the revenue and EBITDA, so sales is still a heavy part of my plate. There is always something new in digital and you have to keep up.

4. What are some of the key advantages of a digital media source over a traditional one?

  • It’s measurable because you have data to work with at the end of the campaign.
  • You can get instant feedback, so you can tweak campaigns along the way with little or no additional cost to drive success.
  • You can go live in seconds to piggyback off some current event traffic. Peak time is all the time.
  • If you are looking for that quick offer to spike sales end of the month, you can get a campaign out the same day.
  • Lower production costs.

5. What do you find most challenging at Trend?

Lack of e-commerce in the market to really track point-of-sale conversions

6. Who or what has had the biggest influence on your personal, and professional life.

 God. I believe in doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do. I value my upbringing, morals and spirituality. I strive to do everything the best I can do it. My personal credo is “Failure will never overtake me once my determination to succeed is strong enough,” taken from the scroll from the Greatest Salesman in the World written by Og Mandino. That’s my approach to personal and professional life.

7. How do you balance life at Trend Media and personal life?

Oh boy. It’s tough. My days start with my alarm clock at 4.15am, I leave home at 5.30am and don’t close off until about 6-7pm while still checking emails throughout the evening. I also have a family, so I get into motherly duties in the kitchen as well as homework and revision with my son in the evening and then prep for the next day. It’s very tiring but I do have the support of my husband and we work both schedules to make it happen. I’m also a member of the Powerful Ladies Association and the American Chamber of Commerce where I Vice Chair the Trade and Investment committee and also a board director of the Digicel Foundation. I use those as my networking space. On weekends, I try to keep to family time. I keep thanking God I’m blessed with the energy to do so much daily.

8. What is your go-to source of relaxation?

I do abstract art when I can. I allow my creative mind to flow and it is so relaxing and rewarding. My son follows me into it as well so I do get some down time with him.

9. What is your current favourite mobile app?

Amazon…(J) I love to shop but in a busy world, you don’t have the time and patience to go through the racks. So I drop in the cart and ship out when I’m ready. It’s about convenience, value and quality for me.

10. What do you predict will be one of the main digital trends in digital advertising/consumption of digital media for 2017/18?

I think video in the digital space for both content and advertising. Consumers want information in the shortest time. They want it in a shareable format that can be viewed on the latest computers called smartphones. Video production costs will be more affordable for advertisers through this medium. Advertisers will be able to receive guaranteed video views and consumers will also get rewards for engaging them, so it is a win-win situation for all.



The Atrium at Piarco International Airport.

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The Atrium

The Airports Authority of Trinidad & Tobago has partnered with Trend Media Group to transform the islands’ airport network to attract a higher number of international passengers and achieve the dream of becoming a logistical hub at the Piarco International Airport, The Atrium.

Client Challenges:

  • AATT needed an innovative solution to engage an under-served audience at airport terminal in Trinidad

Amplify Solution:

  • We built a multimedia lounge outfitted with comfortable seating, charging areas, and WIFI media displays
  • We produced local stories and documentaries to promote the island
  • Created revenue opportunity for client with new and bespoke ad formats featured at the lounge

Next Phase:

  • Maintain monthly content cycles with more local video stories
  • Develop games and interactive digital tools to be used exclusively in the lounge

Read more about this partnership here.


Barbados Wrap: Digital Brochure

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Wrap is  a HTML page with app-like functionality. Through bite sized pieces, you can wrap any content, function, or web service into a complete mobile user experience. To view a wrap, you click a banner ad on a site or a link in a SMS on your phone and Up comes a Wrap with the details of a brand’s newest promotion, product information, or even a monthly newsletter!

Client problem:

The Barbados Tourism Authority needed to provide easy and accessible information via mobile about things to do in Barbados when visiting the island.

Mobile Wrap technology


  • The Brochure was delivered to visitors, disembarking cruise ships, who connect to ‘Barbados Free Wi-Fi’ network in Bridgetown Port.
  • The Barbados Visitor Wrap was a first to market initiative using Trend Media’s Mobile Wrap technology. The Visitor Wrap was delivered via Free Wi-Fi to cruise ship passengers disembarking in Barbados Port. The Mobile Wrap enabled passengers to swipe through exciting and engaging content by each of our partners about places to go and things to do in Barbados.
  • Over 14,000 people engaged with the Barbados Visitor wrap with each partner receiving detailed reporting on views, dwell time, click through rate, and coupon redemptions
  • There was an average click through rate of 0.8% or more.

Partners involved were:

  • Atlantis Submarines
  • Harbour Lights
  • Limegrove Mall
  • Courtesy Car Rental
  • The Boatyard

To see the video, please click below:

2016 Digital Round-up

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In one way or another, most businesses in the Caribbean used digital marketing this year. Whether they started a blog, a Facebook page, or a website, digital marketing had a place in their 2016 marketing strategy. With just about a week left in the year, this is the perfect time to reflect on the top business digital trends of the year, from a Caribbean stand point. Here are the top five trends that, in our opinion, gave digital marketing a big boost this year.

  1. Social media marketing

In our 2016 predictions last year, most of the marketers we asked, predicted that social media marketing would increase in the Caribbean in 2016, and that is one of the many predictions we saw come true. Businesses started seeing social media as more than just something to be on but more of a tool that can be integrated into their marketing strategy. In addition to using the free tools that each platform offers, businesses started investing more in content and paid ads. Most noteworthy about the use of social media this year is that businesses focused more on using it to connect with their audience rather than just to push their product/service. In our 2016 Trend Media Regional Advertising Spend survey, the majority of the businesses we surveyed were using social media as part of their marketing/advertising strategy, with 82% saying they use Facebook.

  1. Mobile advertising

Businesses started to take advantage of the increase in mobile data and smartphone usage, by meeting customers in this space that they spend a lot of their time. The interesting thing to note is that this year businesses weren’t just re-purposing their desktop or print ads for mobile, like they did in former years, but rather taking advantage of mobile specific designs and formats to maximize the reach, and effectiveness of their ads. One format of mobile advertising that was widely used in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago this year was wrap advertisements.

  1. Mobile Apps

Though mobile apps are a type of mobile advertising, we thought it worthwhile to explore their development separately. This year, companies that did not have mobile apps introduced them, and those who already did, greatly improved on them. The push behind mobile applications showed that businesses are recognizing the (admittedly hard to miss) mobile and digital revolution that is taking place. People are spending more time online, but more so on their smartphones than on their laptops/desktops. Businesses noticed that if they can integrate their services into an app, it would improve their customer’s brand experience.

  1. Hyper-targeted advertising

Businesses started to realize this year that with the introduction of online marketing comes the opportunity to target ads to the people that are most likely to act on them. Ad blockers are increasingly popular and to get the most out of advertising online, marketers started to ensure that ads are placed in front of persons who are interested in their product/service. With this targeted feature, brands were able to personalize ads to appeal to the audience they were targeting rather than taking the “spray and pray” approach.

  1. Content is King

In case you missed it, content showed in 2016 that it is still king. In addition to ad blockers being popular, when browsing online, people are more likely to consume a piece of engaging content rather than stare at an ad. To appeal to their audiences, more businesses started focusing on creating and delivering great content. Whether it was a company blog, engaging social media campaign, or a Facebook Live show, brands moved out from behind their ads and connected with their audience.

2016 was a great year for the digital revolution to take form. More businesses in the Caribbean started realizing the benefits that digital marketing and advertising offer, and found a way to merge them with their traditional methods. All sights are now set on 2017, and the digitally led team here at Trend Media Group is ready to embrace the digital growth and possibilities that the New Year will have to offer.

#TrendChat Recap

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The Twitter Chat #TrendChat by  Trend Media Group was hosted on November 29, 2016. The chat topic, “Creating brand awareness through social media”, facilitated the discussion on how brands in Jamaica were using social media platforms to promote themselves and connect with their target audience. The chat featured 7 questions and giveaways.

We had the input of five main brands for this chat, as well as the input from our Twitter community. Our five brands were: Loop Jamaica, Digicel Jamaica, Jamaica National, Grace Kennedy, and Sandals Resorts.

Below are the questions and some responses from our chat:

Trendchat social

Q1: What makes a brand memorable?

  • Being authentic and relatable to consumers and customers.” @JamaicaNational
  • “Exceeding customer expectations. Providing something that your audience can only experience through you.” @SandalsResorts
  • “The experience that it created for the consumer” @GraceKennedyGrp
  • Setting yourself apart from the rest.” @KesiGardner
  • “Creating stories that capture the hearts of the consumer/target.” @1barnesam
  • “Definitely the way a brand interacts with their customers” @Shanz_ique

Q2: How has social media changed traditional branding amplification?

  • “Social allows brands the chance to speak personally with customers in a way that is direct & as such amplify the brand story” @Trendmediagroup
  • “Social media provides brands w/ more freedom to engage with customers on a global scale, increasing brand visibility & trust.” @SandalsResorts
  • “Real-time conversation. Personalized communications. Wide reach. Higher ROI.” @GraceKennedyGrp
  • Social media has created a two- way conversation that allows marketers to get some real-time feedback.” @1branesam
  • “social media has made it easier for brands to connect with their audience thereby creating a better relationship with them” @Shanz_ique

Q3: What factors do you consider before choosing a social media platform for your brand?

  • “We first consider if our target audience uses the platform and how it fits into our strategic objectives… We also give consideration to how the social media platform fits with our brand identity and how it can enhance it.” @JamaicaNational
  • “Establish the social channels your target audience lives on as well as the style of content most relevant to them.” @SandalsResorts
  • “What does the brand want to say? Who does it wish to speak to? What tone is the message to be delivered with?” @Grace KennedyGrp
  • “Does it sync with other tools I’m using? Does it offer real insights or value? Is it cumbersome to use?” @CamJayFen
  • “I would say it all depends on your target and where most of your target is located” @Malcolm18561

Q4: Should there be a difference in a brand’s online and offline image? Why/Why not?

  • “Generally, a consistent brand identity across all media is best.” @JamaicaNational
  • “A brand’s image should be universal both on and offline – authenticity provides credibility toward the brand.” @SandalsResorts
  • “The image of the brand should be consistent regardless of the medium.” @GraceKennedyGrp
  • “Consistency is key, however, depending on the platform – slight variations are acceptable” @DigicelJamaica
  • “No there shouldn’t be a difference. The image should be the same to keep consistency.” @Malcolm18561
  • “Consistency is key. For our brand, @LoopJamaica both app, site & social channels shld look and feel as one” @CamJayFen
  • “There should be synergy with online and offline. Customers want to connect with your brand story no matter what channel.” @1barnesam

Q5: How do you define and locate your target audience online?

  • “Enterprise tools show who our online audience is (demographics, etc). Consumer surveys determine who our customers are.” @SandalsResorts
  • “over time we’ve learned what defines our audience by seeing what combination of copy/images work best & when” @GraceKennedyGrp
  • “Social Media tools help us to identify demographic trends on various social media networks and the focus for each.” @JamaicaNational
  • “Over time we’ve learned what defines our audience by seeing what combination of copy/images work best & when” @CamJayFen
  • “Research is very important. Knowing the type of audience on a specific platform can help to decide which one is best for you” @Shanz_ique

Q6: What are two social media tools that you consider to be ideal for creating brand awareness and why?

  • “An enterprise system like @Sprinklr to publish and maintain your presence is a must, plus staying current on social trends.” @SandalsResorts
  • “Love Canva when access to Creatives are limited” @CamJayFen
  • “Creating pictures and videos and using them on your social pages. Pinterest is awesome for pics too” @Malcolm18561

Q7: Are there any examples of great social media campaigns that you’ve seen?

  • #ShareACoke – When @CocaCola personalized their product, their younger audience related to the brand in a unique way” @SandalsResorts
  • “One of my fav was @Oreo halloween campaign & how the snack was created in a scary lab & the teasing on social” @TrendMediaGroup
  • “Love @pepsijamaica’s new virtual fist bump campaign. Really reflects their audience & could be a Guinness WR!” @CamJayFen
  • “I say the @pepsijamaica emoji ads and the @nationalbakery ads are amazing. Those got my attention” @Malcolm18561

That’s a wrap for this #TrendChat on creating brand awareness on social media. A big thank you to all the participants , it was a great discussion! Look out for our next #TrendChat in January 2017.

Watch the recording of the pre-show here: If you have any comments, questions, or would like to share your answers to some of these questions, leave them in the comments section below.

Trend Spotlight on Keerene Carty

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Here at Trend Media we have an amazing team of hardworking professionals that execute our operations in over 23 countries. In this new monthly blog series, Trend Spotlight, we share a behind the scenes look at our team by getting to know more about our team members.

For our first feature, we sat down with Country Manager for Trend Media Group-Jamaica, Keerene Carty.  Continue reading to find out what Keerene’s job entails and how she manages a vibrant team of creative people while staying motivated and maintaining her fun-loving personality.’


Country Manager for Trend Media Group- Jamaica, Keerene Carty

1. What five words best describe you?

Five words that best describe me are: strategic, flexible, decisive, dynamic, and honest.

2. What does your job as Country Manager for Trend Media- Jamaica entail?

In my current role as Country Manager, my primary responsibilities include: strategic direction of the company within Jamaica, and managing the daily operations and collaborative projects among the Sales, Content, Commercial and Marketing teams, with a focus on meeting/exceeding Jamaica’s revenue targets, and building the Trend & Loop Jamaica brands

3. What is the best part about working in Digital Media?  

The best thing for me is that I get to work with a group of incredibly talented people who are constantly pushing the boundaries. Digital media is the now and future and it’s very exciting to be a part of the revolution that ignites change in Jamaica as more marketers shift to integrated marketing communications and results driven- marketing campaigns

4. Your job can be very demanding, how do you stay motivated?

I have a list of life goals that I’m guided by and working everyday gets me closer to that self-actualization. I also celebrate little daily wins and party in my car on the journey to and from work. Another key fix is that I make at least one weekend per month a mini-vacation and do something extremely fun!

5. What’s one interesting thing that the average person would not know about you?

I’m addicted to online quizzes, especially the really silly ones like “What type of burger are you?

6. What are your current favourite apps on your phone?

Loop & Words with Friends

loopwords with friends








Email Marketing: A nuisance or an ill-used strategy?

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Email marketing is simply any commercial information that you send to your audience via email. This commercial information includes ads, promotions, and requests for customer information. For most brands, email marketing is an alternate strategy for reaching out to their audience with the aim to build loyalty and rapport with them. Though this marketing strategy has proven effective for multiple brands, most campaigns do not return the high engagement or response rates that marketers expect, and as such most remove email marketing from their digital strategy altogether.  However, the solution may not be to eliminate email marketing , but rather to analyse and improve the way it is executed.

Yes, writing an email is quite simple (most of us do it at least 10 times per day), but crafting a marketing email requires a bit more strategy and creativity to encourage readers to open, and act on it. It is worthwhile to remember that your brand is not the only one emailing your audience, and receiving multiple emails can be overwhelming and bothersome. To break through this barrier, your email needs to be carefully crafted to stand out. Here are five things to consider when crafting emails to market your brand:

  1. Get creative with the subject lines: The subject line is the first thing that the reader will see when they receive your email. Much like the headline of a news story, you want to make your email subject attention grabbing. It should tease the content; give the reader a reason to open the email, and a reason to read through its contents. Here’s an example from BuzzFeed:

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  1. Keep your content short– Though you are writing an email and not a 30 second TV/ radio ad, the same principles of keeping the content short, and giving the most important details first, still apply. Think about receiving a lengthy email while going about your day, compared to getting a short one, which are you most likely to read? Most persons would opt to read a short but informative email over a long one that gives too much information. Craft your email messages and then re-read and edit multiple times before sending- there is always a simpler and more concise way to say what you are trying to. In the example below, Birchbox kept their content short, and ensured to say what the email was about in the first sentence:

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  1. Include a clear call to action– After reading your email, or even half way through, the reader should not be left wondering what you want them to do, or why you are sharing this email with them. Make your intent/ call to action clear. This will prove beneficial for those readers who are not reading your entire email but are merely skimming through. In addition to getting them to perform the action, a call to action can also prompt a reader that is skimming through your content to take a deeper look. For instance if your call to action is “Buy it Now” the reader may be inclined to go back and take a look at what is being sold, and why it is worth buying. In the example below Uber highlights its call to action by making it another colour and also states clearly what you will get when you act on its call to action.

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  1. Keep your email design simple and consistent– If you are using artwork to enhance your email (which is highly recommended), the key is to keep the design simple. Make the design interesting enough to get the reader’s attention, but simple enough to place focus on the content. The design of the email is as much a part of the communication as the words in the email. Time should be taken to ensure that the design and the content are working together and communicating a clear message. In this example InVision merges a vibrant colour with a crisp simple design to amplify the content and make the email easy to navigate.

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  1. Refer to your reader in the content – When crafting the content for your email; try to let the reader feel a part of it. Using words such as you and your makes the content more personal to the reader and makes them feel that you are speaking directly to them without even calling their name. The personal appeal of your message increases the chances of the reader reading the content and more likely to execute your call to action. Have a look at how Stitcher personalizes its emails below:

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Talk with us! Have questions on this topic or would like to share some information? Post it in the comments below.



You’re invited to #Trendchat

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#TrendChat topic- “Creating brand awareness through social media”

Social media is a great tool for creating brand awareness in the digital space, but unlike traditional marketing tools, social media is constantly changing. From the introduction of new social networking sites, to modifications, and the addition of new social media tools, it can be overwhelming to keep up to date with it all.  Through #TrendChat you will have the opportunity to learn from the experiences of other brands with social media, exchange ideas and opinions, network with industry professionals, and find ways of incorporating new tools and practices into your brand’s social media strategy.

#TrendChat Questions

  1. What makes a brand memorable?
  2. How has social media changed traditional brand amplification?
  3. What factors do you consider before deciding which social media platform/s to use to promote your brand?
  4. Should there be a difference in a brand’s online and offline image? Why/ why not
  5. How do you define and locate your target audience online?
  6. What are two social media tools that you consider to be ideal for creating brand awareness and why?
  7. Are there any great examples of brands using social media that you’ve seen? What made them stand out to you?

How to join the #TrendChat

  • #TrendChat takes place on Tuesday, November 29, 2016 at 2:00pm for an hour.
  • Join the Twitter chat by tweeting from your company’s Twitter account.  
  • Follow the Trend Media Group Twitter page @trendmediagroup, to see the questions, designated by Q1, Q2… etc.
  • Stay in the conversation by including the hashtag #TrendChat in all your tweets related to the chat.
  • When responding to the each question, include A1, A2… etc so that others can know which question you are responding to.
  • You can search the hashtag #Trendchat during the chat to engage with other participants.
  • After the chat all the questions and responses will be published on the Trend Media blog on our website


Getting started with Snapchat for your Business

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snapchat-image       In 2011, the ever changing digital space saw the entry of Snapchat- the social networking app that allows users to tell stories through images and short videos. Originally tagged as a social network for teenagers, Snapchat has since surpassed this label through continuous app updates that appeal to a wider audience, which is now largely the 18-34 years age group, and options that appeal to marketers such as paid campaigns.

With the improvements of the app and its approximately 100 million daily users, numerous brands have incorporated Snapchat into their digital marketing strategy, of which Nike, BMW, and Gatorade are just a few. The most recent example of brands using Snapchat can be seen in the 2016 US elections when the app came alive with campaign fanfare. Senators, presidential candidates, celebrities, average man on the street, etc. were all using the platform to share their views on the election, document their voting process, and react to the results. There have also been reports of both presidential candidates purchasing and using Snapchat campaigns on Election Day to encourage voters to go out and vote and to vote for them.

The growing popularity in the use of Snapchat in social media marketing has shown that the app has now secured a place for itself as a viable social networking app for marketers, and if your brand is still not using it, you may want to start now. If you’re not convinced that your brand can successfully use Snapchat here are 3 simple content ideas to help you get started:

  1. Offer live access to events- Snapchat’s video and photo capabilities allow you to give a unique look at live events such as a party, a sporting event, or a product launch. Using Snapchat in this way gives your audience a vantage point opportunity to engage with you in real time, and allows you to entertain in a different light. The NBA’s use of Snapchat is a great example of this.
  1. Demonstrate a new product or service- If your company is introducing a new product/ service Snapchat is a great way to demonstrate its use to your audience in a quick time. Amazon made great use of this leading up to the release of its smart speakers.
  1. Take your audience behind the scenes- Your Company is not just brick and mortar, it is much more, and Snapchat can help you show that. You can use the app to show behind the scenes of your company’s operations highlighting company culture and the people behind your product/ service. Fashion brand Everlane is great at using Snapchat for this purpose.

Snapchat is not as plug and play as other social networking sites such as Facebook, but there is still added value to be gained by adding it to your brand’s social media strategy.  While you may not post to Snapchat daily, it is a viable tool to showcase your brand when you are aiming to be a bit more creative (than usual). Explore a different side of your brand, get creative, your audience will thank you for it!