Although economic forecasts are predicting a less than spectacular year for Cuba, its potential is expected to grow briskly as early as 2017-18. Much relies on what the American president-elect decides to do. In spite of this uncertainty, many foreign businesses and entrepreneurs are planning to either invest or set up base in Cuba. This is evidenced by the increase of U.S. companies registering their trademarks with the Cuban Industrial Property Office (OCPI). It is clearly an indicator of the “quiet optimism” in the American business community. Most definitely, any business looking to break into the Cuban market will need to advertise its goods and services to consumers. For these businesses, there’s a well established company in Havana to help corporations launch and promote their business successfully. That company is EBM Marketing Solutions, Cuba’s top advertising and marketing firm.
After 12 years of operation in Cuba, EBM knows the territory well. EBM is a Spanish media agency that has maintained an office in Cuba since 2004. As a result of this length of time and “on the ground experience in Cuba,” EBM employees are highly knowledgeable in guiding foreign companies through local marketing regulations, policies and business ethic codes surrounding their brand promotion in Cuba.
To date, EBM has helped numerous businesses and government bodies in Cuba fulfill their advertising goals. It is worth noting that EBM is the only foreign company that has acquired license No. 241 from Cuba’s Chamber of Commerce. This is significant because the company is not subject to operational restrictions that may hinder other non-compliant media agencies. EBM has sponsored events including the 9th Havana Biennial held in 2006 and the 10th Havana biennial held in 2009. The company has also provided logistical support for the Havana International Book Fair. EBM is also the founding member of Local Planet, a network which brings together the world’s top independent local media agencies. They recently organized the global inauguration convention of Local Planet in Havana.
EBM Marketing offers a wide range of creative services including idea conceptualization, development of marketing content, audiovisual recording, content production, and post-production activities. To ensure that it consistently offers topnotch services, EBM maintains a large team of experts in script writing, video production, audio recording, social media communication, and content production. With these capabilities, EBM produces corporate videos, product trailers, electronic media ads, web video, and audiovisual recordings related to advertising in Cuba.
Since technology has also made inroads into Cuba, EBM has employed social media, mobile messaging, and mobile content experts to ensure that it can offer clients all the services they need. In fact, EBM estimates that it has distributed more 100,000 promotional materials since it opened its doors more than a decade ago. EBM is also backed by an extensive network of international suppliers. This essentially means EBM is well equipped to handle logistical issues such optimizing purchasing cycles. This aspect alone can help businesses, especially large corporations, save thousands to millions of dollars. EBM also provides prospective investors with business intelligence (BI), which is crucial in developing the right investing strategy.
EBM told us that their business is flourishing at the moment. They’ve struggled hard to achieve this success in the fast-changing market. Their staff, both local and foreign marketing experts have been the driving force of this success. Raúl Tápanes, EBM’s Deputy General Manager told us, “We have many projects “in the pipe” right now, increasing our clients and investment portfolios.”
EBM’s claim to be the first specialized foreign marketing and advertising company in Cuba is based on more than a decade of experience on the Island. With this type of history and expertise, they are in a prime position to execute successful brand introduction and marketing strategy aimed at the Cuban market.
Author: Zoe Veraz
Zoe Veraz is a freelance journalist and regular contributor to the Cuba Business Report.