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Sinclair and Ruiz is a consultancy that creates integrated local, national and international marketing strategies


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COVID-19: Business Continuity and Recovery.

The Post-Pandemic Recoverybcp

By Mauricio Ruiz Arnaut.

Most business owners are always thinking about how to improve their business strategies for future eventualities and growth. However, in an uncertain situation like the one we are living in these days, it is almost impossible for everyone to be fully prepared. That does not mean that you cannot take suitable steps to develop systems to improve the existing progression of your business. Although the pandemic is front and centre in most aspects of life and business right now, it is important not to focus all your efforts solely on a COVID-19 related strategy. Take this opportunity to make a plan that will benefit your organization in the long term and provide your customers and clients with enough information to see you as a long-time partner and keep their loyalty. What worked yesterday may not work today, so give them a reason to keep believing in what you have to offer.

 Continuity

Not every business will make it through this crisis. Businesses that will clearly not survive are best to cut their losses as soon as possible to avoid incurring continued and new debt. We have seen this already in several cases across Canada. Organizations that can keep moving forward will need to adapt to renew. Circumstances are not necessarily 100% negative and changes are not necessarily bad if done with the right approach and proper strategy.

It is important to move forward with proven strategies that still apply in post-pandemic operations and revamp them to create that shift that will make your business/industry meet your customer’s new necessities. Focus on strengths that project the adaptability of your business, and pay special attention where you see weaknesses in your operations. At the same time, as noted in a recent Forbes article, do not lose track of small changes that, when strung together, represent an important part of the whole picture.

Implementation

Tourism is an example of a hard-hit industry that continues to respond and adapt amid closed borders and great uncertainty. Rather than focusing energy on trying to prevent existing reservations from being canceled, many destinations and companies have done their best to make sure that reservations were rescheduled for later dates. The message to travelers is that not everything is lost and they will able to take those well-deserved holidays at a later date. The goal is to minimize the loss of revenue and expenses that they have already incurred. At the same time, they are reaching out to their local communities and encouraging people to spend their next holidays, traveling within, to help local economies bounce back.

The events industry has been forced to pivot/experiment with virtual events, to keep educating customers/students/stakeholders with important topics in their field. This does not mean that events, as we know them, will not happen again, but in the meantime, demand for events remains and it needs to be fulfilled.

Communicating

Clients will be searching for businesses they trust and are clear on their practices/values. Communicate empathy to clients and potential clients to show that your company is there to support them and the community. The tone should be relatable and communicate that we are all in this together. Inform clients about any changes that the company has made and any measures taken to support them during a difficult time.

Communication is key in these times and a wide variety of methods should be used. Remember that customers and potential clients/people, in general, are spending more time online, due to social distancing. Be there to connect and support with any information that could be essential to make their buying decisions seem effortless.

 


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Canadian Travel to Mexico Positioned to Break Record.

We recently had the opportunity to interview Cesar Mendoza, Regional Director for Canada for the Mexican Tourism Board, about growth in the number of Canadians traveling to Mexico. Mendoza said that numbers have been steadily increasing this year, and by the end of the year they expect a record-breaking volume of travelers. That underscores the confidence Canadian travelers have in Mexico as a tourist destination. Cesar also noted the challenges that Mexico faces and the way to overcome them; as well as expected tendencies such as focusing on the segments of culture and traditions of Mexico, to give  Canadian travelers unique experiences that will inspire them. To conclude the interview, he told us what the Mexican Tourism Board expects for 2019.
Santo-Domingo

As background information, it is worth noting that Canada is an important source of visitors to Mexico (datatur), second only to the United States since 2006. Canadians not only travel to beach destinations but flock to cultural festivals, because of the ancestral abundance and their values. Therefore, according to Cesar “Mexico will keep creating/developing experiences to traditional and non-traditional destinations, tailor-made for new generations of travelers such as millennials”.

What are the results for 2018 in terms of numbers, and what do you expect for the end of the season?

According to the latest report from the Mexican Tourism Board, between January-August 2018, Mexico received  12.6 million international visitors by air. That represents a 5% increase over the same period in  2017. During that same period, 1.5 million Canadian visitors traveled to Mexico by air, which is a 15% increase over to 2017. By the end of 2018, for the first time ever, Mexico expects to welcome the arrival of over  2 million Canadian visitors, expecting a final number of 2.2 million, that would represent an increase of almost 12% compared to 2017.

Challenges that Mexico faces for 2019?

There are different factors (negative and positive) that affect the flow of tourists to our country. Among the positive factors that benefit an increase in the flow of Canadians to México is the exchange rate (CAD vs USD), making it more attractive to travel to Mexico than any other destination in the United States. The economic factor of a possible recession causes Canadians to react in advance and postpone or change travel plans.

On the other hand, the immigration rhetoric in the USA has fostered a change in Canadian travel plans for many who now decide to visit Mexico instead. Another factor that affects the tourism industry, are natural disasters like the hurricanes that unfortunately affected some Caribbean islands. That creates a positive flow of travelers to Mexico from Canada and other countries.

The biggest challenge that our country must face for the 2018-2019 season, is the perception of insecurity. Mexico makes very important and significant efforts, to fight groups that negatively affect the country’s image; and at the same time, we work to communicate events and news in the right context. For example, sensationalist notes that do not specify the exact location of negative events, immediately impact reservations to tourist destinations in Mexico.  Canadian travelers are very objective in comparison to US travelers at the moment of making travel decisions. However, negative news affects the image and in most cases, the final destination choice.

What are the predictions and tendencies for travel to Mexico in 2019?

Mexico’s commercial allies, especially airlines and tour operators, continue growing business ties with Mexico.  Our forecast for 2019 shows an increase in the number of seats per plane to Mexico by 10% versus 2018. Recently the Mexican airline Interjet started operations in the Canadian market with flights to Cancun and Mexico City from the main airports in Canada. This has resulted in an increase of an additional 184,000 seats for 2018. The low-cost airline Swoop just announced flights from YHM airport in Hamilton, Ontario to Cancun and Puerto Vallarta starting in January 2019; and on January the 12th they will start operating a flight from YXX in Abbotsford to Puerto Vallarta and on January the 20th to Mazatlán.

In 2019, the Mexican Tourism Board will continue with their strategy of distinguishing beach and sun destinations from others, and highlighting their competitive advantages and emphasizing the value that they offer through the segments such as culture, gastronomy among other. Equally, Mexico will continue developing new experiences in our traditional and non-traditional destinations, to tailor to the needs of new generations, specifically “millennials.” We are not only looking to increase the number of travelers, as we would love to see every traveler venture out of their hotels and enjoy the wonderful attractions and delightful  Mexican food.

What is Cesar Mendoza’s opinion?

Canada is our second largest source of international travelers to Mexico after the U.S. In 2017, 1.9 million plus Canadians arrived in Mexico, that translates in an increase of 9% more than the previous year, as I mentioned we expect to close 2018 with a 12% increase. Air Canada, Aeromexico, Air Transat, Interjet, Sunwing and Westjet are some of our main commercial allies that operate between Canada and Mexico on a regular basis from 23 airports in Canada and 13 Mexican destinations.

Due to the geographic characteristics of Canada (the second largest country in the world), the cultural characteristics of each region and the French language in the Province of Quebec, Mexico’s Tourism Board features three offices in Canada which are based in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. We work very closely with the local tourism industry and analyze aspects and tendencies that affect the flow of tourism.

Having a presence in the three main regions of Canada allows us to take the correct actions in conjunction with our head office in Mexico.

Wrapping up…

We would like to thank Cesar for taking the time to answer our questions and sharing this valuable and interesting information.

The responses outlined above support the premise that market intelligence is crucial for decision-making around defining and developing the best marketing strategy. By doing this we can determine with precision how to best fit into the market to meet the needs of consumers, identify areas of opportunity for market penetration and for market development, among others. All of that will help to increase and retain customers, generate revenue, and generate leads. Furthermore interpreting market intelligence is key for long-term results.

Mauricio Ruiz Arnaut
Business Development.

 

 


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What are the biggest challenges to entering new markets and how do you overcome them?

There is no single way to overcome the challenges to new market entry. Conversely, those challenges/obstacles should be determined before products or strategies are developed, to prevent substantial expenditures in the midst of entry. Once you understand which obstacles/challenges must be tackled, you determine how to overcome them. In a rush to move things along, many organizations fail to recognize the importance of carefully evaluating challenges before jumping all in.

overcoming obstacles

 

Carlos Escobosa commercial and administrative director of The Residences at Solaz says that in Mexico, where an important percentage of sales are directed to foreign buyers north of the border “the biggest external challenge is the negative perception that North Americans have of Mexico.  The best way to overcome negative perceptions is through  PR campaigns focused on the value, security of investments, and levels of capital being invested. In addition, there is often an internal lack of knowledge of what a consumer wants or needs in our industry (Travel & Leisure and recreational Real Estate)”. Cindy Collins founder of Mining Technology Partners told us that  “the approach for us would be the same as it was in coming into a new territory in our market of mining & metals. Except now  we have greater access to online resources such as advertising, SEO marketing and so on.  We are working to take advantage of this … with a new website, podcast and other content.  This is in addition to face to face meetings…it is more than about effective marketing, it comes to relationships”.

Rahul Samant CEO of Rehabtronics stated that “…the biggest challenges include regulatory, sales, distribution, and marketing. Typically to overcome these we enter markets where we have first established a strong sales and distribution partner that understands the local issues in this context”. Alejandro Godoy founder of Seafood Business Solutions adds that “entering new markets is all about understanding the demand. But on the other hand, explaining and demonstrating your product and its benefits in comparison to others” is key.

The research and development phases of a project often seem protracted, but it is essential to prepare and take your time to do it right. As noted above, the key issues to keep in mind for overcoming barriers are marketing, a clear understanding of demand, and relationship building.

Each organization has its own way of navigating areas of opportunity. Some companies are well versed in entering new markets, have strong processes and count on the necessary resources to do so effectively. For many others, hiring a consultant the most effective way to define specific challenges and design a strategy for tackling them. The avenue offers a way to overcome a lack of initial internal capacity within an organization, and support capacity building in an effective way; while continuing to move forward with the due diligence required for new market entry.  In addition, consultants can assist in overcoming sensitive subjects, as they can bring an impartial opinion and an unbiased eye, as is mentioned in an article by Alex Nuth  titled “Why Companies Really Hire Consultants” .

In a nutshell, taking the necessary time and doing your homework will minimize risks and maximize results.

This article is part 3 of 3.

In case you missed Part 1: Top 4 Challenges to Business Development. 

In case you missed Part 2: How important is it to develop strategic relationships and contacts inside target markets?


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How important is it to develop strategic relationships and contacts inside target markets?

The importance of making strategic contacts is fundamental to success – particularly when expanding into new territory. Relationships facilitate market penetration, assist in identifying new audiences, and measuring product performance. Partnerships can be formal or informal and require different levels of commitment in order to keep the relationship beneficial.

strategic relationships

 

Rahul Samant CEO of Rehabtronics told us that… “it’s very critical to establish strong sales and distribution channels as well as relationships with key opinion leaders”. Cindy Collins founder of Mining Technology Partners noted relationships are …”  huge and the focus of [her] company. [They] put providers together with contacts in Mexico and help them with distribution or [creating a] sales network.  Not only this, but to find references and the who’s who of using your products… this industry [mining] is very dependent on the usual early adopters.  We are often asked for who is using our customers’ products, especially for the more innovative or game changing products” . Alejandro Godoy founder of  Seafood Business Solutions highlighted “…it is very important to develop relationships with key decision makers, specialty seafood buyers in new markets.” Carlos Escobosa Commercial and Administrative Director of  The Residences at Solaz observed that “contacts in target markets offer a direct line to what consumers in those markets want, and most importantly, how to reach them in a cost-efficient way”.

This article is part 2 of 3.
In case you missed Part 1: Top 4 Challenges to Business Development.


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Top 4 Challenges to Business Development.

challenge

There will always be a variety of challenges to face in order to achieve successful business development. In pursuit of fresh perspectives, we interviewed business people from different industries including Fisheries, Med-Tech, Mining and Travel & Leisure.  In the first of a series of posts on the subject, we explore the answers to our initial question: What is the biggest challenge faced by your industry today?

The top 4 responses – in no particular order- were the following:

  •     Innovation
  •      Sustainability
  •      Regulatory Barriers
  •      Security/Image

What is interesting is that the challenges identified by each respondent are not mutually exclusive to the sectors. In fact, each of the industries represented faces more than one at any given time. Cindy Collins founder of Mining Technology Partners, identified innovation as the primary challenge to the mining industry. She noted that “…the need for innovation is great due to minerals being more difficult to find and financing being in other industries such as tech…  This is great for innovative providers of technology and services and the combination of the two”. Alejandro Godoy founder of Seafood Business Solutions, identified sustainability as “…the current low captures of wild seafood has increased all seafood prices… and aquaculture needs fish-meal to farm species. Seafood needs better sustainable standards to help future industry growth”. Rahul Samant, CEO of Rehabtronics said that “…in the medical device industry there are many challenges: Regulatory, Export barriers, R&D costs, health care procurement and adoption… Its very difficult to say one challenge that is the biggest, but if I had to I would say the pace of Health Care adoption which is slow in-part due to regulatory barriers”.  Carlos Escobosa Commercial and Administrative Director of The Residences at Solaz identified overall security and image issues that affect Mexico as a whole”.

The first step to overcoming such issues is identifying them. That also allows companies to seize on any areas of opportunity that present themselves by dealing with them in an effective way. Some barriers are more complex and systemic such as threats to environmental sustainability. Failing to address challenges early on risks creating unnecessary obstacles or complications in the future.

This article is part 1 of 3. Continue reading


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Case Study: Tennis Sponsorship Campaign

Tennis Sponsorship CampaignSinclair and Ruiz designed and implemented a sports marketing sponsorship campaign to reach a niche market for a resort client. The client’s infrastructure encompasses 4 hotels, a marina, golf and country club, and a gated residential community. The multi-dimensional campaign included advertising, PR and event participation, which secured leads as desired.

Following the initial campaign and implementation of the subsequent inbound marketing strategy, leads purchased all-inclusive packages at our client’s resort to participate in a 4-day tennis tournament.

The tournament was incorporated into the sports marketing campaign in order to generate an immediate return on investment. In addition to the tournament participants, those leads provided referrals to spouses and other family members who also traveled to the resort on dates within the 4 months following the conclusion of the campaign. Therefore the encouragement of referrals as part of the campaign increased the client’s short-term return on investment.  Within the first 4 months following the conclusion of the campaign, our client registered a lead conversion rate of 11%, concluding the 12 month cycle with a conversion rate of 33%.

Contact info@sinclairandruiz.com to discuss how sponsorship campaigns and sports marketing can increase your organization’s brand awareness and sales. You may also visit www.sinclairandruiz.com.

 

 


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Mexico Engages International Stakeholders at Tourism Convention

Mexican President Felipe Calderon Declares 2011 the year of Mexican tourism; while Mexico’s Tourism Secretary praised national and international stakeholders at National Tourism Convention.

 Vancouver, B.C. – January 25th, 2011- Mexico’s third annual National Tourism Convention kicked-off yesterday in Mexico City. The convention is organized by the Confederation of Mexican Chambers of Commerce (CONCANACO SERVYTUR), presided by Jorge E. Dávila Flores. This year’s event is the first to bring together national and international stakeholders in Mexico’s tourism industry, as well as government, and academia. Special guests include Mexican President Felipe Calderon, Mexico’s Secretary of Tourism Gloria Guevara Manzo and Joint Director for the Mexico Tourism Board Rodolfo Lopez Negrete.  Industry speakers include Royal Caribbean Cruises Vice President of Government Relations for Caribbean, Latin America and Asia Michael Ronan; and Softec Mexico’s Associate Director Gene Towle.

President Calderon declared 2011 the year of Tourism at the convention’s inauguration. The President also announced he would sign a National Tourism Accord in February. These are among several actions that will promote international tourism and investment. The Tourism Secretary noted that Mexico has remained one of the top ten tourist destinations in the world for several years, thanks to all national and international stakeholders. “But we have the potential for further growth…and we recognize it is essential that government, legislators, private sector and academia align efforts towards common actions,” She said.  

 The magnitude of the 2011 convention is the brainchild of Mr. Davila Flores, who as president of CONCANACO SERVYTUR has encouraged positive engagement of tourism-related issues. Mr. Davila Flores promotes the “Let’s speak and act positively for Mexico” slogan. The phrase aims to motivate the nation’s private sector to focus and build on the country’s positive attributes. “We recognize the need to show tourists we can provide safe and certain conditions when they travel to our country,” noted Mr. Davila Flores. Secretary Guevara acknowledged Mr. Davila Flores’ commitment to concrete actions.

The President noted that the Mexican tourism industry grew by 10% in 2010 and that 99.9% of tourists are not affected by violence, but assured the country is working to improve Mexico’s situation. Mr. Davila Flores noted that tourism directly generates 2.5 million Mexican jobs and 5 million indirectly. Canada and the United States represent the largest source of international tourists for Mexico.

 For further information, please contact:

Carolina Ibarra

carolina@sinclairandruiz.com

1-866-836-8797


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S&R to cover Mexico’s National Tourism Convention

The Convention is organized by the National Confederation of Mexican Chambers of Commerce and will take place on January 25th and 26th at the Hilton Hotel in Mexico City.  Featured guests and keynote speakers include, Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Mexico’s Secretary of Tourism Gloria Guevara.

 Vancouver, B.C. – January 24th, 2011-  Sinclair and Ruiz Consulting will provide international public relations services  for Mexico’s the third annual National Tourism Convention. The Confederation of Mexican Chambers of Commerce (CONCANACO SERVYTUR), presided by Jorge E. Dávila Flores,  will host the convention on January 25th and 26th, 2011 in Mexico City.

This year’s event is the first to bring together national and international stakeholders in Mexico’s tourism industry, as well as government representatives, and academia. Special guests include Mexican President Felipe Calderon, Mexico’s Secretary of Tourism Gloria Guevara Manzo and Joint Director for the Mexico Tourism Board Rodolfo Lopez Negrete Coppel.   Industry speakers include Royal Caribbean Cruises Vice President of Government Relations for Caribbean, Latin America and Asia Michael Ronan; and Softec Mexico’s Associate Director Gene Towle; among others.  The Tourism Industry has great expectations for President Calderon’s address  as well as the presentation by the Secretary of Tourism and  Mr. Davila Flores’ address on behalf of the private sector.

The magnitude of the 2011 convention is the brainchild of Mr. Davila Flores, who as president of the National Confederation of Chambers of commerce, has encouraged positive engagement of all tourism-related issues. Among other initiatives, Mr. Davila Flores promotes the “Let’s speak positively about Mexico, because we are all Mexico” slogan among the organization’s members. The slogan aims to motivate the nation’s private sector to focus and build on the country’s positive attributes. Through support for the National Tourism Convention the Confederation of Mexican Chambers shows its commitment to developing concrete actions to back-up the slogan.

S&R is thrilled to collaborate with the Confederation of Mexican Chambers on this high profile event that will influence the international tourism industry.


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Selling a Destination in Less Than Ideal Conditions

Many travel and tourism destinations face challenges because of  the ongoing economic downturn. Others additionally face negative press regarding environmental issues, violence, and civil unrest; as well as misinformation.  Therefore destinations must  constantly evaluate their situations and take the necessary measures required to survive and thrive at any given time. The following are a few points that should be considered:

 New Markets – When a traditional market does not respond, destinations must adapt and reach-out to new markets. While traditional markets should not be ignored or forgotten, destinations need to expand their reach.

 Focus Budgets– It is important to target limited funds on very specific areas. Destinations and private organizations must resist diluting their investments by trying to cover as much market as possible. It is amazing what can be achieved with limited budgets if they are applied effectively and consistently.

 A Balanced Approach – Marketing efforts should be directed to the consumer. Tourism and recreational real estate marketing strategies often rely heavily on third parties such as tour operators, travel agents, and brokers to connect with consumers. Though third parties continue to be essential players, consumers increasingly make purchasing decisions based on their own research and peer reviews. Therefore communicating directly with existing and potential clients is a key element in any successful campaign, as are great customer service and ongoing client care.

Education – Destinations should reach out to consumers and educate them about the competitive advantages of their brand. Inform consumers what the destination offers and clarify misinformation.  In addition, communicate what the destination is doing to correct issues that displease consumers.

Speak the Consumers’ Language – Take into account language and cultural nuances to make sure the message being heard by the market is the one you are trying to transmit.


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Your Mazatlan Brings Events to Regina, Saskatoon and Edmonton

El Cid Real Estate and Walfre Real Estate will bring a taste of Mazatlan to Regina, Saskatoon and Edmonton on October 14, 15 and 16, respectively.

El Cid Real Estate and Walfre Real Estate will kick-off the  “YourMazatlan” campaign in Saskatchewan and Alberta this October. The campaign – which is also sponsored by the Mexico Tourism Board and the State Tourism Board – will provide a platform for Americans and Canadians who travel to Mazatlan to share their experiences. Thus, travelers who are new to the resort can learn about it through their peers; and Snow Birds will have the opportunity to share their thoughts.

The cocktail receptions, organized by Sinclair and Ruiz, will be a social medium for guests to meet new people and learn about wintering in Mazatlan. A brief presentation will discuss cost of living, healthcare and investment in the city. Several prizes will be raffled  – including accommodation at El Cid Resorts. For further information and to register for the events, please visit www.yourmazatlan.com.

If you don’t live in one of the city’s where the cocktail receptions are taking place, check the website after October 18th for promotions open to residents across North America and your opportunity to share your experiences.

About the Hosts:

El Cid was one of the first master- planned resorts in Mexico and now boasts 4 hotels, a gated community, 27-hole golf course, Marina and Country Club in Mazatlan; and hotel resorts in Cancun and Cozumel. El Cid is home to the largest community of Americans and Canadians in Mazatlan and continues to be the most exclusive area in Mazatlan.

Walfre Real Estate is the most respected real estate service in Mazatlan with over 30 years of experience serving Americans and Canadians.  Professional services include: sales and leasing, legal and fiscal consulting, property management and rental referrals, translations and interpreter assistance.

El Cid and Walfre, the two most recognized names for Mazatlan’s luxury real estate, have come together to share Mazatlan with North America. There is no better time to experience Mazatlan.