Saturday, December 15, 2012

Delivery of MarkStra Solutions

Our solutions are delivered in a variety of ways, convenient for our clients whatever their needs or ROI constraints or wherever their geographical location.

  • Outsourced Chief Business Development or Chief Marketing Officer
  • In-person consultations
  • Teleconsulting
  • Tailored consultation and professional services
  • Industry reports
  • Articles
  • Training and Keynote speeches

Outsourced Chief Marketing or Chief Business Development Officer

Many businesses or not-for-profit organizations in small Caribbean states cannot afford or do not have the need for a full-time C-level Chief Business Development or Marketing Officer. Yet, they need a C-level expert to help them develop and guide implementation of marketing. Tamira La Cruz can be your part-time Chief Business Development or Marketing Officer.
Includes weekly calls to monitor progress on business development targets and activities. Typically Tamira La Cruz would work with you before in a tailored consultation engagement to research, analyze or establish growth opportunities, locally, regionally or globally.  

In-person consultations
Whether for yourself or your management team, MarkStra Caribbean can facilitate in-person consultations on general business, business development, market research, corporate strategy, marketing, innovation, growth or competitiveness.

CEO’s of organizations in small states sometimes do not have a trusted and experienced person to share and discuss business development, growth, strategy or marketing ideas with or to get fresh ideas from. Tamira La Cruz, CEO of MarkStra Caribbean can be that person for you. Please use the contact form to let MarkStra know the topics you would like to discuss.

Tailored consultation and professional services

Themes typically include market research and strategy development in the areas of revenue, profit, sales, market share, market opportunity, market potential, sales forecasts, core values, brand positioning, competitors, innovation, new product, product testing, product portfolio, business planning, online (affiliate) marketing.

Industry reports
MarkStra Caribbean is the publisher of the bi-annual ‘Reaching Curacao’ market research report on demographics, lifestyle, spending, media and lifestyles, bought by over 30 local and global companies and used in their advertising and marketing planning.
MarkStra Caribbean can also produce reports for your industry or professional group to help it to more effectively serve the local or international market.

MarkStra Caribbean’s Blog Caribbean Research and Strategy covers the basics of market research, strategy, marketing, competitiveness, growth and business development, as well as articles and presentations on economic growth.

Training and Keynote speeches

Speaking to marketers on Return on Marketing Investment

About MarkStra


Over the past 17 years MarkStra Caribbean, based in Curacao, has helped more than 150 global and local organizations to establish maintain or grow their revenue, market share, profit or following, particularly those operating in small Caribbean states  like Curacao.
Our practical market research and strategy solutions and implementations are:

  • tailored to the challenges of Caribbean small states: small scale, limited resources and close relationships
  • based in market research, strong analysis, strategy and implementation
  • return-oriented
  • conceived by multicultural teams with an international outlook

Companies come to MarkStra Caribbean for:

  • the business development expertise they cannot find in general management consulting firms
  • the strategic approach they cannot find from advertising agencies and like agencies
  • when  a thorough understanding of the Caribbean and the nuances within the region is required.

MarkStra works with business partners across the region and elsewhere, depending on the market being served and specific expertise required.

Solutions are delivered as an outsourced or interim Chief Marketing or Chief Business Development Officer, through in-person consultations, tele-consulting, tailored consulting engagements, industry reports, workshops and speeches, and articles.

MarkStra Research Strategy Implementation and Evaluation

Getting a feel for fieldwork in Haiti (before the 2010 earthquake)

Our areas of expertise are:

Research and Analysis
MarkStra Caribbean’s expertise is desk research, moderating focus groups and other qualitative research, and B2B market research. However, MarkStra does all kinds of market research.
Tamira La Cruz, CEO of MarkStra Caribbean’s strength lays in practical but thorough analysis, keeping in mind the broader organizational and ROI objectives.

MarkStra’s added value lies in adapting common strategy and growth models to the situation of Caribbean small states. MarkStra Caribbean can help you with feasibility studies, as well as business, growth, innovation, export and marketing strategy and plans.

Many businesses and not-for-profit organizations in small states cannot afford or do not have the need for a full-time C-level Chief Business Development or Marketing Officer. Yet, they need a C-Level expert to compete effectively against global competitors. Tamira La Cruz can be the part-time outsourced Chief Business Development or Marketing Officer for your organization.

Evaluation, auditing, monitoring
Let MarkStra Caribbean help you measure your progress in achieving your projected revenue, sales, profit, business development or other marketing objective in the areas of: 
  • Strategy and marketing implementation
  • Customer service
  • Enterprise, Business and Economic Development programs funded by local or multilateral organizations  

Solutions: not-for-profit

Heritage, Culture and Sports
Higher education
Enterprise development
Business and professional associations

Is your organization functioning at the intersection of where private and public enterprise meet,
serving a public necessity, but with the need to be more business and market oriented?
If you need assistance, Tamira La Cruz, CEO of MarkStra can help.
MarkStra keeps in mind that both its solutions and their implementation should consider the limited resources, close relationships and ROI challenges in small states, certainly when it comes to heritage and culture organizations, business and professional associations and start-up enterprises. We all KNOW they are important to our communities. The challenge is to support them in a sustainable way.

MarkStra Caribbean has significant expertise in the following areas:

Enterprise development

Consulting projects have included:

  •      training for starting entrepreneurs on business planning, marketing, importing, exporting, franchising
  •     developing business plans for hotels, car rentals, restaurants, retail stores, and others
  •     developing and implementing innovation in emerging industries, recycling and renewable energy

Business and professional associations

As board member and president of organizations such as the Curacao Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the Curacao Knowledge Platform, the Curacao chapter of the international Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association Inernational (HSMAI), and others, Tamira La Cruz has led or been involved in developing and implementing strategy for business and professional associations in Curacao and the Caribbean. MarkStra Caribbean has  developed several proposals for trade/industry groups to promote their industry globally.

Presiding over HSMAI's 2011 Retreat in Christoffel National Park

Higher education 

Consulting projects have included:
  • developing vision and strategy for institution
  • developing marketing plan
  • self-evaluations
  • advisor to medical school

Heritage, Culture and Sports

Consulting projects have included:
  • sponsorship plan and marketing workshops for Netherlands Antilles Olympic Committee and sports federations
  •  developing innovative revenue streams for an art center
  • business and marketing workshops for artists 
  • marketing plans for national parks and monuments
  • being an amateur painter and outdoor enthusiast ourselves helps

    The first Xmas Market at Landhuis Bloemhof

Solutions: Industries

1,500 sailing yachts for charter in St. Maarten

Banking and Finance
Tourism and Real Estate
Pharmaceutics and Health Care
Alcoholic Beverages
Waste Management and Recycling

Are you a business looking to establish or expand its presence structurally in a Caribbean market, such as Curacao?
MarkStra can help with market research, growth strategy, implementation and evaluation that keep in mind that both our solutions and their implementation should consider the limited resources, close relationships and ROI challenges in small states.

Banking and finance
Expertise includes market research and strategy related to:
  • personal mortgages and loans
  • transactional services
  • micro-enterprise and small business
  • large business accounts
  • customer core values
  • branding, positioning, advertising, direct mail
  • growth strategies
  • customer care and satisfaction
  • new products
  • partnerships
  • in Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, St. Maarten and Suriname

Tamira La Cruz has also analyzed the Fund Services Administration Industry in the Caribbean and developed marketing strategy for the Dutch Caribbean SecuritiesExchange.

Tourism and real estate
Expertise includes:
  • developing business plans for hotels, residential and commercial real estate, as well as small businesses such as car rentals, restaurants, and attractions targeted to tourists
  • evaluation of the Curacao Marketing Plan of the Curacao Tourism Board
  • presiding over Curacao Chapter of Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI)

Pharmaceutics and health care
Expertise includes:
  • mapping Caribbean health care markets
  • feasibility studies for medical supplies and services
  • forecasting Caribbean pharmaceutics market potential
  • developing medical tourism concepts
  • pharmaceutics market research among Caribbean specialists, doctors and nurses
  • particularly in Aruba, Curacao, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago, but also in the Eastern Caribbean

One of the many brands we have enjoyed contributing to
with brand research and strategy
Alcoholic Beverages
Expertise includes:
  • brand market research and strategy development for global and local beer, stout, liqueur, and spirits brands
  • product portfolio analysis
  • advertising testing
  • new product concept research
  • in Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Bahamas, Bermuda, Trinidad & Tobago and St. Vincent

Waste management and recycling
Expertise includes:
  • interim marketing management waste management company
  • providing structure to the customer-contact departments of waste management company
  • guiding sales force
  • developing blue print for marketing plan
  • developing business plans for recycling companies in Curacao and other countries

Solutions: Economic Growth

Is it your job to achieve growth in your country’s economy or a particular industry, in an increasingly competitive world?
With the rise of the relatively low income large BRIC countries, our Caribbean small states can find ourselves in a squeeze. We must take an innovative approach to economic growth that is precise, defined and tailored to the resources of Caribbean small states.

As business strategists MarkStra’s job is to find avenues for growth mostly given the organization’s strengths and weaknesses, and to make those as concrete and simple as to implement as possible. Tamira La Cruz, CEO of MarkStra Caribbean, takes the same approach to recommending growth strategies for small economies and the industries within them. After all,   most Caribbean economies are smaller than a Fortune 500 company. We emphasize the micro- and meso-economic level, where money is made.

These articles best show our approach to economic development
  • Growing the Curacao economy by 1%, by bringing in 10 projects (including up-selling) that each add an additional USD 3 million in value
  • Living in Mud Huts, in which, following Michael Porter, Tamira La Cruz argues that competitiveness is not only related to cost-of-input
  • Remarks at the Curacao InnovationEvent 2012, in which Tamira La Cruz argues that since ‘clusters’ are important, countries must also promote the existing (locally owned) firms operating in those areas to attract FDI in medical tourism, and knowledge services, etc.
  • Take-aways from IMC USA’s Grow! Business Development Seminar, adapted for consultants in small states
  • Find your innovation and monetize it! Part 1   Because of limited resources and ROI challenges, small state firms are forced to find solutions that are more efficient than elsewhere. These are innovations. How do you capitalize on them?
  • Find your innovation and monetize it! Part 2 Attractive opportunities for Caribbean small state businesses and entrepreneurs also lie in finding innovative product or services that fit other markets that are similar your Caribbean market
  • Companies are looking for more thantechnology, they are looking for answers.

Favorite themes
Knowledge Innovations
Export of Professional Services
Global Competitiveness
Doing Business
Business and Professional Associations
Export Development
Online (Affiliate) Marketing
Foreign Direct Investment

MarkStra Qualifications

Blue Ocean

Tamira La Cruz, MBA, CEO, is an expert in helping organizations to establish, maintain or grow their revenue, market share, profit or following, particularly in small Caribbean states, like Curacao.

Key facts


Boston University, BSBA
Post-graduate: Certified Focus Group Moderator, Interim Management, Corporate Governance, Labor Law,  Income Tax Law, Branding, Online Branding, Affiliate (online) Marketing, and Return on Marketing Investment

Favorite thought leaders

Native Papiamentu, near-native English, Dutch and Spanish, good French, conversant Portuguese

 Aruba, Bahamas, Bermuda, Bonaire, Curacao, Haiti,  Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Vincent, Suriname, Belgium, Chile, Guatemala, Colombia

Boston, Philadelphia, Santiago de Chile, Barcelona, Brussels, Madrid, London, Curacao

Board member Curacao Chamber of commerce and Industry,
member the Curacao Knowledge Platform,  member Curacao Hotel and Tourism Association, Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association Inc.
continuing academic interest in small state innovations and growth and regular publications on these topics.


Roamed Europe, sailed the Caribbean, summitted the Kilimanjaro

With Rotary District Governor as Chair
of District Conference Organizing Committee

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Check out my article in the Jan2013 edition of Services Scoop

Services Scoop January 2013 is a publication of the Caribbean Network of Service Coalitions.

I was invited to submit an article on Capitalizing on Innovation. It's an excerpt of a paper I presented at the SALISES Conference in Trinidad in 2010. 

In that paper I argue that because small states always have a challenge in achieving an acceptable ROI, our solutions are inherently efficient. Efficiency is always a good thing. We can therefore sell our innovation to organizations in other small states or even larges states.

In addition, there are large markets with conditions similar to ours where our solutions are quite suitable. These include markets with tropical climates, important coastal areas, the same ethnicity and race, largely the same sources of income (tourism).

Check out my article on page 68. If nothing else,it has been very nicely laid out.