By Lakhram Bhagirat
Guyana’s business landscape is a unique one and many businesses, whether big or small, do not set aside marketing budgets. They rely on the traditional “word of mouth” strategy to get their business out there. However, the business landscape is evolving and so are the marketing strategies.
Big businesses are aggressively upping their marketing game and small businesses, as much as they try, are being drowned out. However, all hope is not lost and that is where Ulex Smith and Signature Move Marketing Agency comes in.
Ulex, a Linden native, has had the opportunity to live in different Caribbean territories where she unknowingly observed various marketing trends. When she was 15, her mother died and then she moved to Trinidad where she lived until 2010 and then to St Lucia for two years.
She returned to Guyana in 2012 where she took up employment with one of Guyana’s cell phone companies as a call centre agent. She worked her way up the ranks and would eventually become a Marketing Executive. There she studied and learned marketing trends and what the Guyanese market demands.
In 2017, she left the post as Marketing Executive after the company was downsizing and decided to venture into the realm of business on her own.
“I left Digicel in 2017 because they had to downsize at that time and that is where I gained the passion of marketing itself and after being home for about two months, I realised that there isn’t a lot of marketing agencies that assist small businesses at affordable costs. So, I decided that I wanted to do something, make a difference and to be able to share the knowledge that I would have gotten by being at Digicel,” she said.
It was then that she created Signature Move Marketing Agencies with the aim providing marketing assistance for small businesses, helping them to understand the importance of brand awareness, and create a presence for the business. In doing all of that, she wanted to ensure that the cost for those services remain affordable since small businesses do bring in a lot of revenue on a monthly basis.
“How I came up with the name is very funny because at the same time Cardi B song about money moves was out and I decided to use the word move and then I added signature. I used signature because I wanted to really create that standard, you know like you make your signature which is very important. So basically, it is for businesses to create a standard when they’re using us in terms of customer service and making entire experience must be memorable,” she said.
Ulex is the holder of a diploma in marketing and would have done several short courses with various institutions including Harvard University. She also received digital marketing training in California.
“We at Signature Move Marketing Agency provide marketing strategies to grow the business. There are some people that we work with from the market entry in terms of building the social media presence, creating the pages on social media platforms – Instagram, Facebook – monitoring and managing those pages. I do outsource sometimes and currently have just one staff but apart from that I do everything myself.”
In addition to digital marketing, Ulex provides traditional marketing options to her clients. With most of her clients being small businesses operating within the traditional context, she considers it a challenge to be able to assist them to evolve. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the job somewhat easier since a lot of those small business have realised the need for an online presence.
“Signature Move was built, or was created to assist small businesses. There isn’t a lot of marketing companies that provide services to small businesses that give them that attention that they need. They can’t walk into any agency unless they have 1000s of dollars so I assist in terms of providing affordable costs and working with them,” Ulex said.
Ulex is back to a traditional 9-5 job as Digital Marketing Officer for Unicomer Guyana but still ensures that each one of her clients is attended to.
“Time for us to get more knowledgeable of marketing, understand the reason for marketing, and to basically don’t create a business, create a presence and let persons see the value of your business,” she advised.