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


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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
Director of Business Development.

 

 

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Case Study: Promoting Trade in a Foreign Market

Promoting Trade in a Foreign Market

A business organization hired the Sinclair and Ruiz team to develop a communication strategy directed to potential trade partners for their members. S&R prepared the speech and presentation for the client’s event in New York.

The goal was to present  business opportunities and competitive advantages in an effective manner.

Shortly after the communication strategy launch, the client received inquiries from buyers looking to be connected to

the members of the organization who could fulfill their demand for products. Thus, the persuasive communication strategy generated concrete results.

Contact us info@sinclairandruiz.com to discuss how we can assist with the design and execution of effective strategies to open new markets and strengthen relationships with existing clients.


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Case Study: Fly and Buy Discovery Week Campaign

Fly and Buy

Sinclair and Ruiz promoted and coordinated a Discovery Week trip for a developer client who was seeking to promote awareness of their new rental and property management service; along with the remaining units available for sale in their latest condominium project.  The campaign was designed to convert leads obtained through different marketing efforts into clients.

Our team assisted with the design and implementation of the Discovery Week invitation and travel logistics. In order to engage with the leads, we designed a communications strategy to speak to the needs and emotional wishes of the prospective clients. We delivered this communication strategy via inbound marketing efforts, and providing easy contact with our branded representatives for interested parties. Upon reaching the desired level of engagement we maintained frequent communication with the prospective clients to answer questions, assist with travel arrangements, collect any required fees, and increase excitement about the Discovery Week.

To support our developer client, assisted in the design of the Discovery Week Schedule, in order to optimize the possibility of obtaining successful fly and buy sales results.

At the campaign conclusion, our client obtained a 52% conversion rate of prospective clients that paid their own flight and a discounted condominium rental rate to spend a week at the units available for rent. In addition to earning new rental clients, our client sold condominium units by the end of the Discovery Week, thus generating a short term return on their investment.

 

Contact Sinclair and Ruiz today at info@sinclairandruiz.com to learn how we can design and manage your successful Fly and Buy campaign. www.sinclairandruiz.com


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Points to Consider for Successful Press Trips

  • Objective. Determine what you want to achieve and the line of communication that you want to transmit. Target the media you want to invite accordingly and the numbers you can successfully host. Quantity of journalists should not be the objective.

 

  • Plan ahead.  Often press trips are planned with only a few weeks advance notice. The more time there is to plan and provide journalists with detailed information, the better.

 

  • Collaborate. The team in charge of logistics on the ground should work closely with the agency or persons coordinating with the media.

 

  • Individual media visits vs. group press trips.  Many journalists participate on group trips on a regular basis, and prefer group activities. Yet many others will not participate in group trips, period. Depending on the industry and size of the company/organization launching a PR strategy it is important to decide if individual media visits will be accommodated. If you host a group, make sure your itinerary is relevant to their interests. If you host an individual visit, get to know the journalist before he or she visits.

 

  • Downtime/ free time. Press trip hosts understandably want to show their media guests as much as possible.  However, in a recent survey conducted by S&R we found free time was a “must have” for all respondents.  This includes sufficient time between tours and meals for your guests to change and rest.

 

  • Internet access. Press trips are work trips. This means media reps need to work on stories and stay in touch with their office. It is imperative that guests have easy access to internet at all hours.  Hotel room internet access is preferred, but as some hotels begin to focus internet usage in common areas it is important that the setting is comfortable, and provides privacy if needed.

 

  •  Flexibility. Group visits should allow flexibility within reason. It is especially important to accommodate certain requests that are in reference to assigned story topics.

 

  • Hour by hour itineraries.  Everyone is different. Often journalists who have never visited a destination prefer more detailed itineraries, whereas journalists who are familiar prefer less structure. It is important to assign reasonable start and end times so the days are not too long.

There will always be imperfections during press trips, but when they are well organized they can generate great benefits. A couple of weeks ago we received a note from a  journalist for whom we arranged a media visit. He wrote “[the] trip was one of the best media trips I’ve been on, and I’ve been on quite a few! My hat is off to you… and everyone who helped. I was very pleased with all the arrangements, schedule, etc. Outstanding  trip.”  Our client benefited from two months of premium national exposure through the print and online circulation of this journalists article. The article’s message was consistent with the client’s communication strategy, and that is what defines a successful press trip.


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Elements of Successful Marketing Campaigns

I’d like to share some elements that have made marketing campaigns successful in our experience:

  • Effective communication and promotions that are attractive to the target audience. In addition to a new audience, the communication strategy should motivate contacts who have known about the company for over a year – but had not done business with the company – to finally respond to the call to action.
  • The strategy should take into account past strategies that worked as well as strategies that  may been good ideas originally – but weren’t implemented properly. They should be modified to fit into the objectives of the current campaign if it is thought they can meet the needs of the target market.
  • The campaign execution should include plenty of follow-up with  prospects along the way.
  • The strategy design and execution phases need to run their course without being rushed. Each phase should be implemented without cutting corners. Once the campaign ends, it is importante for the client’s staff to continue to engage the segments of brand new audiences who were not ready to act right away.


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Marketing Strategy vs. Execution: Ending the Blame Game for the Sake of Success

Blame is often distributed generously when companies don’t obtain the expected return on investment. Most often, the “execution” phase becomes the accused party. As noted in a recent article in the Harvard Business Journal, it is common for businesses to follow the mantra that “a mediocre strategy well executed is better than a great strategy poorly executed.”[1] The article argues that the metaphor is misguided, and that having a good strategy is important. Therefore, a poor strategy won’t cut it even with a spectacular execution.

We agree. Success depends to a great extent on a sound strategy – because even great execution simply follows a blue print. A key element to designing a good strategy is considering the realities and needs of the business from the perspective of the staff that will execute strategy, as well as management’s expectations.  Communication across the board is important if you want to start on the right foot.

Having said that, once you have a sound strategy  it is not wise to underestimate the importance of the execution phase. Follow-up, guidance and communication will continue to be necessary throughout the execution phase.  This way management can determine if processes are flowing effectively and  if there are any areas for improvement.

Strategy and execution go hand-in hand. Although it is essential to stick to the strategy’s framework, it is also important to allow it a measure of flexibility. Thus, the strategy can be modified or improved according to the needs of the company’s day to day operations. Companies and – especially- organizations that depend on external funding are subject to ebbs and flows, and do not always operate under ideal circumstances.  The strategy must be able to adapt to changes.

In conclusion, strategies should not be abstract concepts designed from the top-down. Their design requires communication with all levels of the company to become truly effective. Execution must be properly monitored to ensure the strategy is implemented correctly. Both phases are important and fulfill specific needs. Both must be approached seriously if your goal is success rather than reaching a state of “good enough”.

CIS

Carolina@sinclairandruiz.com

www.sinclairandruiz.com/marketing


[1] Roger L. Martin, “Drawing a line between strategy and execution almost guarantees failure,” Harvard Business Review, July – August 2010, 66.