5 Steps to Keeping Your Marketing Local, Even When Headquarters Is Not

Hitting corporate numbers while keeping products and services authentic for Hawai‘i customers can be an art form.
03 22 Eddie Galdones Wetnwild Hawaii
Eddie Galdones, marketing director at Wet’n’Wild Hawai‘i, offers practical advice on pleasing both local customers and the head office on the Mainland. | Photo: courtesy of Eddie Galdones

What if your company’s leaders are based on the mainland and don’t always understand the uniqueness of Hawai‘i? For some Island-based managers and employees, hitting corporate numbers while keeping products and services authentic for local customers can be an art form.

Wet’n’Wild Hawai‘i has been the state’s only water park for 23 years. Marketing Director Eddie Galdones has been with the company for 22 of those years and navigates a unique role: keeping a mostly local clientele happy while working under corporate ownership.

Kahuna Vista Wetnwild Hawaii

Family enjoying a day of fun at Wet’n’Wild Hawaiʻi. | Photo: courtesy of Wet’n’Wild Hawaiʻi

Related: Water Slide Tester | Interview with Jerry Pupillo, GM, Wet’n’Wild Hawaii

Here are his 5 Steps to make that situation work for all stakeholders.
  1. Keep an open mind to a corporate takeover.
    Embracing change is a recipe for success when you communicate regularly about the unique culture you serve and, in return, can harness national industry experts.
  2. Use data.
    The more corporate can understand your target audience, the easier it is to hit goals because they will be realistic. For example, we like to know where our customers come from. Collecting ZIP codes during each transaction and compiling data from online sales are key and don’t cost any money. From there we can research areas with potential growth while maintaining areas that drive results.
  3. Be conservative when projecting numbers.
    Analyzing weekly and monthly visitation trends is key to projecting our numbers – and this can work for anyone in hospitality. Go as far back as four years when compiling historical data and factoring in weather statistics, state of the economy, travel trends and any other factors that impact your niche. This way corporate sees how you can hold your own in any market.
  4. Utilize grassroots marketing.
    For businesses that don’t have deep ad budgets, the best free advertising is word of mouth. For example, during the pandemic, we made many adjustments to make people feel extra safe and taken care of. The experience was the key message people walked away with and word spread.
  5. Harness digital tools.
    Well-done social media and email blasts are free and powerful tools that provide positive results, get news to clients quickly and become the mouthpiece of your brand. Consumers voice their opinions online so it’s the new “word of mouth.”



Categories: Biz Expert Advice, Business & Industry, Marketing