My Market Experience at the „Feria“ in David, Panama

customer first. digital. sustainable.

Foto von Graphic Node auf Unsplash

Back to the Roots – Marketing at it’s best – my real market experience at the “Feria in David, Panama”

When I was in David, Panama, in mid-March, an international market “Feria de David 2024” was taking place at the same time. I love markets, which is why I took the opportunity. During this visit, I was able to gain many impressions that I will incorporate into my work as a marketer.

1. The Offer:
Wow, what a range – from odds and ends and chichi, to clothes, food, cars, trucks, seeds, cows and horses, real estate, everything is on offer. I’ve never seen a market like this before.
I was and be 100% impressed!

Which market did you visit “live”? How long ago was it?

2. The Service:

What a difference in service – from highly engaged to demotivated and hidden behind the mobile phone. The service ranged from unfriendly, busy with cell phones, to friendly and informative. After having to deal with rather unfriendly salespeople who were absent due to their cell phones, I noticed the active ones all the more.

It was interesting to hear about the innovations and possibilities around the offer, etc. I ended up with a very good espresso liqueur, delicious dried tomatoes and a pesto like in southern Italy. I stopped myself, not to call a new Mitsubishi ASX my own 😉 The saleslady was very knowledgeable about the products, gave me small samples & made me a great offer. The saleslady at Mitsubishi was very friendly, showed me all the great features of the car and had a sense of humor and when I told her, that I do not need a new car. Nevertheless, she said goodbye to me in an extremely friendly manner and gave me a business card so that I could come back to her whenever I need a new car.

My impression:
Friendly and active sellers: this is exactly how I imagine service/sales at a market. If the deal doesn’t work now, offer alternative purchase options. Everything done right – 100 points!
Unfriendly and otherwise busy sellers: save yourself the appearance at the market. You won’t make a deal that way. You get nothing else but costs.

How was your experience at the market? Rather positive or negative?

3. The Sens:
My biggest aha moment was all the impressions that hit my senses. Sales is so much about the senses. The market in David had a lot of them on offer.
I was freezing in the under cooled A/C halls, sweating on the overheated food stands with an intensive smell of grilled food. There was also a variety of smells, and not just at the food stands. I was also able seeing, touching and tasting products at the “good” booths.

One of my highlights was the stand with Italian products made in Costa Rica. An espresso liquor, who smells like in a coffee bar in Rome. The dried tomatoes and olive oil switched me to my vacation in Sicily, an anti-pasti plate in the streets of Palermo. The saleslady paid attention to hygiene; she served in small cups organic plastic. The tasting sticks for the dried tomatoes were made of wood. Her voice was calm, easy to understand and pleasant voice.
She gave me a fantastic sense of experience, seeing, tasting and feeling. That makes me willing to buy all these great products.

The cars also appealed to my senses. I was immediately allowed to sit in the car (comfort). The car smelled new (smell) and was polished to a high gloss (see). The saleswoman immediately drew my attention to the panoramic roof. I had a view of the starry sky – great (see & feel good). Then she drew my attention to the technical advantages of the reversing camera, Bluetooth connection, airbags and chassis (safety & comfort).

It’s been a long time since I’ve been out and about in such a meaningful way. I love presence markets. They are exhausting because I am bombarded with so many impressions and have to be careful not to buy too much unnecessary stuff. After my visit, I felt pleasantly tired.

How do you feel? How meaningful do you find the markets? How do you feel after a visit to the market?

Another impression that is important but often forgotten: The good vendors were clean and freshly dressed, had subtle make-up (if any) and well-groomed hands and fingernails without colorful polish (not obtrusive and distracting – neutral look).

Have you ever had a negative impression of a sales clerk? Unironed shirt, dirty fingernails, bad breath or similar?

For me as a marketer, this market visit was a great experience, it made me aware of the essential areas of marketing again. These points are also important in digital marketing. Some senses cannot be served (smell, touch), but the presence – whether in advertisements, the website, newsletter, etc. – should be sensitive. And that goes beyond a pretty layout. The senses also want to be served in the digital world

Hearing: pleasant and not too loud
Seeing: appealing layout, pleasant colors
Feeling good: clear structure, simple operation, concise but detailed description, appropriate communication of values
Safety: reviews, test labels, experience reports
Hygiene: similar to well-being, clear structure, matching colors
Sustainability: label of quality, activities for nature conservation and renaturalization

What else can you think of that is missing from my list of “meaningful digital market presence”? Feel free to let me know and I’ll add it 😊

The visit to the market confirmed to me how important cooperation between marketing and sales is for a market presence to be successful and effective. How important a shared strategy and execution is, from the planning to the last minute of the market.

I wish you lots of fun at your next live market!