Insights

AE Quarterly

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What We’ve Learned After Years of Customer Experience Research

We’ve been researching customer experience on our own and for clients for a number of years now. We’ve done customer satisfactions surveys, probing interviews with customers and prospects, intercept surveys with Joe Public and all types of focus groups. We’ve read dozens of articles, blog posts and research from other researchers. We’ve even conducted our own independent research on the topic. And we’ve noticed a pattern. There are four areas that companies need to pay attention to if they’re going to improve experiences along their customers’ journeys.

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Antilles Economics: 2019

Permit me to steal some space in AE Quarterly to reintroduce you to Antilles Economics. At Antilles Economics we want to see the Caribbean reach its potential output. To achieve this we believe that the private sector must be equipped to lead, and they need insights to do so. For us at AE, we see information as an investment into insights, and insights are assets to an organisation that can be leveraged like any other. In 2019, for our clients in Barbados we are introducing a new service called AE Insider. AE Insider is an independent source of research, data and other insights developed specifically for decision-makers in the private sector. 

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Barbados Tourism: Changing Seasonal Patterns

In Barbados, the so-called ‘winter’ season that falls between December
and March is considered to be the peak time of the year for tourist
arrivals. Businesses and policymakers structure their policies and
operations to capitalise on the expected surge in arrivals during that
period. But what if the long-held views on Barbados’ tourists seasons
were wrong? What if seasonality trends had changed? Our research
suggests that seasonal trends in tourist arrivals have been evolving and these traditional notions of the tourist season in Barbados may need to be revised

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Nowcasting with Google

Nowcasting has become widely popular in economics. In its most basic form, nowcasting can be summarised as ‘predicting the present and sometimes recent past’. Economists ‘nowcast’ because of the significant time lag in statistical releases. We often want to know what is going on in the economy in real time. So economists began looking for high frequency indicators which tend to be highly correlated with the ‘late release’ data. The problem is, even the leading indicators have a lag…until Google!

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Strategy

Barbados Tourism: Changing Seasonal Patterns

In Barbados, the so-called ‘winter’ season that falls between December
and March is considered to be the peak time of the year for tourist
arrivals. Businesses and policymakers structure their policies and
operations to capitalise on the expected surge in arrivals during that
period. But what if the long-held views on Barbados’ tourists seasons
were wrong? What if seasonality trends had changed? Our research
suggests that seasonal trends in tourist arrivals have been evolving and
these traditional notions of the tourist season in Barbados may need to
be revised.

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How Companies Use Available Information

In Part 3 of our 4-part series on the results of our 2014 Survey of Use of Data in Barbadian Organisations, we investigate the extent to which corporations use the data available to them to inform decision making.

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The Relationship Between Data Practices and Financial Performance

In our first of four articles summarising the results of our Use of Data in Barbadian Organisations Survey, we discuss the Relationship Between Data Practices and Financial Performance. We have been taught that our products and services should be designed to meet consumer demands, and that our analysis of our environment should consider all of the external factors impacting our business. But we often fall short of this ideal.

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A Preliminary Look at the Mass Market, Mass Affluent and Wealthy in Barbados

This article is a first attempt at understanding the size and spending potential of the three main consumer markets in Barbados – the mass market, the mass affluent and the wealthy. Historically, companies seem to have defined their market somewhat intuitively. While approaching segmentation this way has some advantages, the main disadvantage is that it limits the ability to plan ahead. Without an understanding of how target markets are changing, companies will find themselves planning with the inherent assumption that the future will be similar to the present.

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The Social, Economic and Demographic Characteristics of Barbadian Young Adults

The next population census for Barbados is due in two years in 2020. By this time, the oldest Millennials will be 40 years old, comfortably in the middle of adulthood. This article considers how young adulthood has changed between the 2000 and 2010 Population census in Barbados, focusing on differences in timing and degree. The main finding is that Young Adults in 2010 were delaying starting a family and getting married, possibly due to longer stints of formal education and higher probabilities of unemployment.

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The Barbados Mortgage Market After Nine Years of Economic Strain

The mortgage market has proven to be one of the more resilient consumer financial markets in Barbados, growing at elevated rates long after the economic downturn began. But from 2013, growth has been subdued. This article investigates key indicators that may explain the resilience of the mortgage market and shed some light on what will be required to spark a revival in mortgage growth.

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Exploring the Green Economy in Barbados

The Barbados Green Economy Scoping Study provides an assessment of the potential of greening various industries in Barbados (tourism, agriculture, fisheries, housing and transport) as well as outlines a roadmap for promoting the spread of this idea throughout other areas of the economy and society. Through a stakeholder consultation process, the study outlines opportunities for greening each of the above areas within the context of the key cross-cutting issues of water, land, energy and waste.

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Marketing, Branding and Customer Experience

A Preliminary Look at the Mass Market, Mass Affluent and Wealthy in Barbados

This article is a first attempt at understanding the size and spending potential of the three main consumer markets in Barbados – the mass market, the mass affluent and the wealthy. Historically, companies seem to have defined their market somewhat intuitively. While approaching segmentation this way has some advantages, the main disadvantage is that it limits the ability to plan ahead. Without an understanding of how target markets are changing, companies will find themselves planning with the inherent assumption that the future will be similar to the present.

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Understanding the Customer Experience Reactions of Millennials

In 2015, Antilles Economics and Blueprint Creative embarked on a study to understand how Barbadian customers reacted to positive and negative customer experiences as well as generally what they looked for when choosing the companies and brands they transacted with. We discovered that Millennials looked for the same basic attributes in the companies and brands they did business with as older generations, and they are no more or less sensitive to a brand’s reputation. Where they differ is that they complain less, are more willing to pay extra for excellent service, switch brands faster and are more likely to share their experiences, both good and bad, with others.

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The Social, Economic and Demographic Characteristics of Barbadian Young Adults

The next population census for Barbados is due in two years in 2020. By this time, the oldest Millennials will be 40 years old, comfortably in the middle of adulthood. This article considers how young adulthood has changed between the 2000 and 2010 Population census in Barbados, focusing on differences in timing and degree. The main finding is that Young Adults in 2010 were delaying starting a family and getting married, possibly due to longer stints of formal education and higher probabilities of unemployment.

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From the Minds of Marketers with Ron Johnson

In our third interview with influential marketers in the Caribbean, we speak with Ron Johnson, the Managing Director of Barbadian-based branding agency, Blueprint Creative. Blueprint Creative has a unique perspective on advertising, branding and marketing that Ron shares in this insightful interview.

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From the Minds of Marketers with Giselle Carr

In our second interview with influential marketers in the Caribbean, we speak with Giselle Carr, Partner with Abovegroup. Founded in 2001, Abovegroup has grown to become one of the most respected and forward-thinking design consultancies in the region, with a reputation for the consistent delivery of beautiful, memorable solutions. Giselle conducts research into brand trends, market and industry developments, in order to develop invaluable insights and deliver smart solutions.

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From the Minds of Marketers with Greg Hoyos

In this first of a series of articles to introduce you to thought leaders across the Caribbean business landscape, one of the most prolific and successful marketers in the region, Greg Hoyos, shares his thoughts on the state of marketing in the Caribbean.

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Information Gaps Limiting Investing

The Barbadian financial market has not always behaved as theory would suggest, especially when considering most investment products. One theory explaining the disconnect between investment theory and observed market trends in Barbados could be that insufficient information results in suboptimal wealth allocation. Our research uncovered four information gaps that influence potential investors’ demand for investment products.

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It’s Confirmed! Customer Service Vital For Business Survival in Barbados

Customer service is very important to Barbadian consumers – so much so, that they would consider paying more to benefit from an enhanced customer service experience. At the same time, however, many consumers feel trapped and unable to switch companies if they receive poor service. Despite these feelings, consumers are not always voicing their complaints to their service providers. Additionally, these consumers are not very vocal online. They are not keeping silent though. They are telling friends, family members and colleagues about their service experiences, and making decisions about which companies to do business with based on the experiences of others.

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Social Media Penetration in Barbados

The use of social media has become commonplace in Barbados. In a survey conducted by Antilles Economics in May 2018, we confirmed that 84.4% of Barbadians are active on at least one social media platform.

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Human Resources

Employing Metrics in HR Management

Human resources are considered vital to organisational strategy and a leading determinant of business success. However, finding organisations that measure and directly link their human resource investments to strategic goals is challenging. To overcome this challenge, talent management executives must speak the same language as other executives: numbers. In this brief article, Anna Kay Seaton offers a brief glimpse into the current state of metrics usage in talent management.

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Age and Employee Satisfaction in Barbados

It is reasonable to expect that employees at the beginning of their career will be less satisfied and engaged than those approaching the end of theirs. Or similarly, older employees would be more successful and thus more engaged than younger employees. Apart from success, there are other factors that could in theory influence engagement levels. However, research conducted by Gallup suggests that, while there is some merit to this hypothesis of improved job satisfaction with age, the improvement in satisfaction levels is marginal at best. Furthermore, research recently conducted by Antilles Economics and Blueprint Creative for Barbados confirms that, on aggregate, employee engagement does not appear to improve notably with age.

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Why Train Employees – An Argument for Training and Development

A company’s human resources is arguably its greatest asset. In order to get the most out of its physical assets, both in terms of output and longevity, a company will invest in maintenance and repair, on a regularly scheduled basis, of these assets. The benefits of training and development accrue ultimately to the organisation, contributing in no small measure to its success, and to the benefit of the customers it serves. This article develops the case for training and developing employees.

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Recruiting Millennials in Barbados

Results from the Employee View of the Employer Brand survey undertaken in 2017 by Antilles Economics and Blueprint Creative suggest that Millennials are more likely to be actively job hunting than their older counterparts. But does attracting Millennials require companies to adopt an entirely different approach? Our research suggests that Millennials are looking for the same things from an employer as their older counterparts, but they go about their search differently and they encounter different challenges

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The Power of Advanced Education in Barbados

While there is some level of enjoyment in furthering one’s education, schooling is generally viewed as an investment. By opting to undertake additional schooling, one incurs direct expenses (such as tuition, book costs etc.), as well as opportunity costs in the form of foregone wages and/or leisure time. In order to lure an individual to further their education, he/she must be convinced that the benefits of higher education outweigh the costs.

This raises the question, what are the benefits of education?

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Making the Invisible Visible, Presentation at HRMAB Conference 2018

HR professionals across the globe all face a similar challenge. While CEOs, CFOs and CMOs all know how to measure visible indicators such as ROI, sales and revenue, to be effective, HR professionals typically have to track ‘invisible assets’ such as employee engagement, job satisfaction and the impact of company culture. It’s hard to manage something you cannot see, cannot accurately measure and cannot purchase. But it’s not impossible. This workshop was designed to provide HR professionals with the tools and methodologies they need to unearth their company’s invisible assets and suggest practical tips for leveraging them.

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The Difference Between Contented and Engaged Employees

In an effort to improve their eNPS, many talent management professionals focus on improving the proportion of Promoters and/or decreasing the proportion of Detractors. Few target the Passives, or what we call the Contented, even though in many cases, the Contented make up the majority of their team. In analysing the differences between employees that were Promoters and those that were Passives, three reasons emerged from our study of the Employee View of the Employer Brand that underscored why companies should care that their employees are merely content.

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