Author Archives: Juan Pablo Suarez

About Juan Pablo Suarez

Juan Pablo Suárez is Sales Director for US Media Consulting.

Truth Vs Myth Bowling Facts Investigating Busting Untruth

5 Major Myths about Programmatic Buying in Latin America

Programmatic has made a major splash in the advertising industries of the world and Latin America is no exception to this. But with all the coverage, hype and usage, certain notions have come up that are affecting people’s perceptions about the tactic. And lots of times, these notions come from people with scant experience in the area. Having worked with MediaDesk DSP since we started developing the product in 2012, I’ve developed a pretty solid idea of what’s fact and fiction about programmatic—all based on the hundreds of campaigns we’ve run for clients. As such, below I tackle a few of the erroneous perceptions about programmatic and explain the realities.

#1 Programmatic Inventory Is All Remnant
This is actually not true. Lots of quality inventory on high-trafficked sites is available for advertisers who wish to reach Latin American Internet users. Remnant inventory is a part of what’s out there, but it is far from the only option.  For example, MediaDesk’s recent certification by Google opens up some great YouTube inventory for brands and agencies that understand how wildly popular online videos have become among Latin American Internet users. In the end, what matters is the ability to bid for inventory that is relevant to a campaign’s objectives.

#2 Programmatic and RTB Are the Same Thing
Programmatic simply refers to buying online advertising impressions via a platform as opposed to buying them manually from a selection of Web sites. However, RTB (real time bidding) refers to the buying and selling of online ad impressions through real-time auctions that occur in the time it takes a webpage to load. The price of impressions is determined in real time based on what buyers are willing to pay, hence the name “real-time bidding.” Regardless, the goal is to maximize efficiency and better allocate the ad spend for a given campaign.

#3 Programmatic Is Cheap
DSPs like MediaDesk can help lower costs with online media buying by removing humans from part of the process. However, the true boost in ROI from programmatic comes from using a more strategic and efficient way to buy media rather than saving in fees or intermediary costs. This efficiency leads to less waste in target clients and thus can impact ROI. MediaDesk can help with this process through its vast array of data on Latin American Internet users that allows you to buy by audience.
Now, even with this increased efficiency, clients may find that they need to make higher bids to ensure a better performance with campaigns. That’s the nature of RTB—users are bidding for impressions and certain customer targets have a higher demand—and a subsequent higher price for the impressions to reach them.

#4 Programmatic Is Just for Performance
Because of its superior targeting capabilities and the fact that you can by audiences leads some brands and agencies to think of programmatic strictly as a performance tactic: leads, conversions, etc., nothing more.
However, programmatic is also a strong branding tool. You can occupy high-visibility positions where the data shows your audience goes, thus increasing awareness. In addition, programmatic buying tools allow you to see how the audience interacts with the brand and the results when you vary different messages to gauge engagement.

#5 Publishers Lose Money with Programmatic Inventory
Publishers seem to think that the real-time bidding system can drive down the prices for their inventory. However, publishers can take a look at their ad positions, determine the audience that will be reached via those positions and set a price that corresponds to their value with the supply side platforms (SSP). As such, programmatic can actually help publishers drive revenue as opposed to losing it.

Contact us to get a free demo of MediaDesk—the leading programmatic platform in Latin America—and get a direct sense of the reality of programmatic buying and how you can leverage it for your brand or clients.

mobile ad buy

4 Keys for Mobile Media Buying in Latin America

Study after study indicates that there’s a major mobile migration happening in Latin America, with a big projected growth in device adoption, mobile Internet use and m-commerce. But mobile media buying in the region still offers some challenges. That’s why we put together this basic guide about the key factors to factor in when buying mobile media in Latam.

1 apps
#1: Mobile Web Versus Applications
Mobile ads run in two basic areas: mobile internet and apps. Mobile internet means the mobile versions of Web sites that people go to by using their mobile phones or tablets. And mobile ads are also sold on apps like Facebook, Deezer and Preguntados. It’s a matter of context, i.e. seeing an ad on the mobile version of a Web site like you would when you go to the site with a PC or laptop or seeing an ad while using an app, maybe an interstitial video or banner that comes up before you start a new game of Candy Crush, for example. You also have to factor in different metrics. With mobile Internet the metrics are similar to those of a regular online campaign but with apps you have to look at average daily users, how much time people spend using the app, their demographic group, etc.
Although apps have gained a lot of ground in Latin America, there are some disadvantages for media buyers and planners. First, not all of these apps run ads. For instance, WhatsApp doesn’t run ads, even though it’s used by 61% of mobile users in Latin America, according to GlobalWebIndex.
Second, apps don’t seem to have ultra-heavy penetration (90% or more) among Latam mobile users. We just saw that WhatsApp, though very popular, only reaches 61% of mobile users in the region. And if we look at a specific market like Argentina, we see that the Facebook app is the country’s most popular app—yet it’s only been downloaded by 76% of mobile users. So you have to factor in that penetration issue when buying in-app ads.
Third, if you buy in-app ads from an ad exchange just to get at the most inventory you can, since you’re not buying directly, the spend may not be as cost-efficient as you—or the client—would like.

2 feature vs smart
#2: Feature Phones Versus Smartphones

When you run a mobile campaign in Latin America, you have to factor in the type of device. Feature phones are still used by quite a bit of people. According to eMarketer’s estimates, out of the 400 million mobile users in Latin America, there are 194 million mobile users in Latin America that use their mobile phones to go online…and these are obviously who can see mobile ads.  Of these 194 million, 126 million or so have smartphones, while about 68 million still use feature phones to access the Internet. Given this, you may want to consider putting around 30% of the spend towards ads served on feature phones. Without this, you may not see optimal reach or fulfillment.

3 tablets
#3: Tablets Are Far From Universal

Emarketer estimates that there is a 32% penetration rate for smartphones in Latin America. No surprise here, especially given that smartphone sales have been strong for years. And even if tablets have also sold well in Latam, their sales don’t stack up to those of smartphones. For example, in Q2 2014 tablet sales in Mexico went up by 107% to reach 1.8 million. Great, but in the same period Mexicans bought 6.7 million smartphones. In Q3 2014, Brazilians bought more than 2 million tablets and it’s projected that they will buy more than 10 million in all of 2014. Yet just in Q3 2014 more than 15 million smartphones were sold in Brazil—and it’s projected that 2014 smartphone sales in Brazil will top 55 million. As such, this factor of 4 or 5 in sales volume difference between smartphones and tablets should be considered when you buy mobile ads in Latin America. Unlike smartphones, tablets allow for the same type of display ads that can be viewed on a PC or laptop because tablet screens allow the same web page to be displayed with the same ad formats. This allows for additional segmentation without major modifications of the elements used in a digital campaign.

4 responsive
#4: Not All Sites Are Ready for Mobile

Before running a mobile ad campaign for a brand, it’s important for media agencies to find out the following about the site where the mobile ads will take users:

  • Does the site have a responsive design that allows it to be viewed well with a mobile device?
  • Does the site have short, easy to use forms for users to fill out?
  • How fast is conversion time for the site?

Without a responsive design for a site, a user will click on the mobile ad and find a site that’s difficult to navigate with their device and probably leave quickly. Or if a brand wants subscribers to a service but has a mobile online form with 10,000 fields or that’s difficult to fill out with a smartphone, the user will probably give up and leave. The same applies if a site doesn’t have a quick and easy purchase process for its product once the mobile ad drives the users there. All of these factors can kill mobile ad performance and believe it or not, lots of brands do not factor this in when deciding to run a mobile ad campaign. This makes a big difference with apps and sites, since ultimately what counts is the user experience and this in turn will have a direct relationship with a campaign’s performance.

THE PROGRAMMATIC ADVANTAGE
Ok, so clearly there are a number of factors to consider when running a mobile ad campaign that can quickly become obstacles.

Fortunately, there’s a way to cut through many of these complications. MediaDesk—the leading programmatic buying platform in Latin America—has put together a substantial mobile ad inventory, and there are several advantages with using MediaDesk’s platform to buy mobile ads:

  • A real time bidding (RTB) system that allows for a smarter, more transparent spend
  • The ability to buy ads and observe the real cost of impressions during campaigns and adjust pricing as need to deliver greater fulfillment as needed
  • Reaching mobile users in Latin America with any type of mobile device or operating system
  • Reaching consumers in all levels of their user experience of a brand and being able to compare and analyze in real time the way that consumers react to different messages in different devices (smartphones, feature phones, tablets or PCs)

Contact us to get a free demo of MediaDesk and get a direct sense of the power of mobile programmatic buying.

 

Wireless mouse with hand

By 2018 Latin America Will Have More Than 400 Million Internet Users

Recently, eMarketer—a research firm specialized in online data for markets around the world—published research about the amount of Internet users in Latin America. According to eMarketer, by the end of 2014 Latin America will have more than 330 million Internet users. Nearly 108 million of these Internet users will be in Brazil, 64 million in Mexico and 27 million in Argentina, with nearly 132 million in the rest of Latin America.

The firm projects that by 2018 there will be nearly 414 million Internet users in Latin America, an overall 25% increase in 4 years. The effects of this growth are visible in several areas, such as e-commerce:

  • Consulting firm Prince and Cooke projects a 40% increase in e-commerce in Argentina and total online sales of $4.2 million in 2014
  • The Brazilian Association of E-Commerce predicts that e-commerce will go up by 27% in Brazil in 2014 to reach a total of $17 billion in sales
  • According to the Santiago Chamber of Commerce, e-commerce sales in Chile went up by 25% in 2013 and will go up another 20% in 2014 to reach $2 billion
  • In Colombia e-commerce sales went up by 40% in 2013 to total $2.5 billion and according to the Latin American Institute of E-Commerce, e-commerce sales in Colombia will go up by another 45% in 2014
  • The Mexican Internet Association indicates that e-commerce sales in Mexico went up by nearly 42% in 2013 to reach more than $9 billion
  • According to the Latin American Institute of E-Commerce, e-commerce sales in Peru totaled $800 million in 2013 and should go up by another 20% in 2014

More Usage
Beyond online transactions, recent research also indicates that Latin American are going online with more frequency and spending more time online than ever:

Running the Numbers
All of this Internet use, whether it’s to surf, update social media statuses or make online purchases, increases the amount of available data for Latin American Internet users. Companies like Navegg—a partner of MediaDesk, a DSP (demand side platform) that is Latin America’s leading programmatic buying platform—are gathering this data. For advertisers and agencies, this data is crucial. It allows for the creation of complete profiles of Latin American Internet users that include their preferences, interests and purchase intents.

Currently MediaDesk DSP has more than 110 million Internet user profiles for Latin America. Once they combine this data with MediaDesk’s user-friendly system, today more than ever firms can reach Latin America’s 330 million Internet users with even more precisely targeted online ad campaigns.

To find out how to leverage programmatic buying with MediaDesk, the leading programmatic buying platform in Latin America, please contact us: sales@mediade.sk.

Bid

Nearly 100% of American Publishers Pursuing Programmatic Strategies

A new survey of 145 advertisers, publishers and tech leaders done by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) indicate that 98% of American publishers are using programmatic marketing strategies.

The publishers indicated that they’d like to expand their programmatic efforts to other markets and it looks like China and Brazil are the markets that should see the most investment in this regard.

According to the surveyed publishers, the most important factor for success with programmatic is “the availability of third party data.” In addition, the publishers indicated that the #1 obstacle to this programmatic expansion is “the lack of understanding about audience development.”

To download the whitepaper that details the survey findings, please click here.

To find out how to leverage programmatic buying with MediaDesk —the leading programmatic buying platform in Latin America— please contact us: sales@mediade.sk.

Team leader

Programmatic Buying Set to Explode in Latin America

Programmatic ad spending in Latin America will spike by 600% in 2015. This projection comes from a March 2014 report from International Data Corporation (IDC). The firm indicates that total programmatic display ad spending in Latin America will be US$600,000 in 2014 but then leap to nearly US$4 million in 2015.

But that’s just the beginning of the massive growth:

  • In 2016 programmatic buying in Latin America will grow by 198% and reach nearly US$12 million
  • In 2017 programmatic buying in Latin America will grow by 136% and reach US$27 million
  • In 2018 programmatic buying in Latin America will grow by 98% and reach US$54 million

So in 4 years (2014 to 2018) we will see programmatic spending in Latin America increase by 8,900%.

A Strategic Solution to a Tough Challenge
While these numbers are impressive, it’s still quite a challenge for agencies to take advantage of this surge in programmatic buying. First, building or adapting a platform for programmatic buying requires a huge time and money investment. It also takes major investment to build an in-house team of professionals specialized in programmatic buying, not to mention a team to manage accounts and keep everything on track.

This is why we created MediaDesk, which has now become the premier programmatic buying platform in Latin America. With MediaDesk, an agency doesn’t need to have a large team focused with members focused on data science and optimization: our platform handles that. We custom-built MediaDesk to the needs of agencies in Latin America so they’d have the intelligence they need to optimize campaigns and deliver the best results for their clients. Some of the reasons MediaDesk works so well for agencies include:

  • A proprietary real-time bidding (RTB) system created specifically for the Latin American online ad market (not licensed software from another firm)
  • The ability to buy with Mexican, Argentine and Colombian pesos, along with Brazilian reais and U.S. dollars, among other currencies
  • A new tool (about to debut) that lets agencies buy by audience:  we developed this through a partnership with Navegg, one of Latam’s leading online market research firms 

Of course, the best way for you to see how MediaDesk can allow your firm to spike your revenues from programmatic without major investments and training is to request a free demo.

To arrange one, contact us here: sales@mediade.sk

(Note: some email programs will automatically add a .com at the end of the address. Please remove that and send to the address as spelled above so that the message reaches us.)

e-commerce2

Nearly 80 Percent of Latin Americans Shop Online

According to a new study done by ESET Latin America, 76.5% of Latin Americans say they have made an online purchase in 2013. The most popular device for buying online in Latam is the PC, with 66% saying they use it. Nearly half (47%) used a notebook, around 32% used a smartphone and 24% used a tablet. The large majority (76%) of Latin Americans did their online shopping from their homes, while nearly 12% shopped online from their workplaces. Other places where Latin Americans shopped include the homes of family and friends (7.5%) and cybercafés (4.3%).

Continual Growth
Of course, this is just one study, so naturally you have to consider whether it’s just an isolated result. However, the strong growth of e-commerce in Latin America during 2013 suggests that this survey reflects the reality in the region. Here’s why:

  • According to the Instituto Latinoamericano de Comercio Electrónico (Latin American Institute of E-Commerce or ILCE), 2013 e-commerce sales in Latin America will total nearly US$70 billion, a 28% increase compared to 2012
  • According to Google Hispanoamérica, e-commerce in Argentina will grow by 44% in 2013
  • According to la Asociación Mexicana de Internet (The Mexican Internet Association or AMIPCI), e-commerce in Mexico will grow by 42% in 2013
  • According to the Colombian Chamber of E-Commerce, e-commerce in Colombia will grow by 25% in 2013
  • According to e-commerce research firm e-bit, e-commerce in Brazil will grow by 24% in 2013
  • According to the Peruvian Chamber of E-Commerce, e-commerce in Peru will grow by 20% in 2013
  • Según la Cámara de Comercio de Chile, e-commerce in Chile will grow by 30% in 2013
  • According to ILCE, e-commerce in Ecuador has grown by 50% since 2010
  • According to la Confederación Latinoamericana de Empresas Courier (Latin American Confederation of Courier Firms), e-commerce in Guatemala will grow by 23% in 2013

Factors Behind the Growth
The explosion in Internet-connected mobile devices in Latin America is helping to pump up the number of users in the region and in fact, e-Marketer projects there will be around 300 million Internet users in Latam this year. Beyond online connections is another practical factor: ease of purchase. In more mature e-commerce markets, it’s common for shoppers to use credit cards to buy online. And in several markets in Latin America, the use of these cards is increasing:

  • 80% of Argentines use either credit or debit cards
  • 76% of Brazilians have a credit or debit card
  • Every employed worker in Chile has an average of 4.4 credit cards
  • According to AMIPCI, 6 of every 10 people who shop online in Mexico do so with a credit card

38% of Latin Americans Will Buy Christmas Gifts Online This Year
Not surprisingly, this wave of e-commerce in Latin America has extended to Christmas, the busiest shopping season of the year. A recent survey from Deloitte surveyed 3,250 people from Brazil, Peru, Argentina, Colombia and Chile. Although department stories (61%) and malls (50%) are still the main options for Christmas shoppers in Latam, 38% of those surveyed said that they would buy Christmas gifts online. This is a 46% increase compared to 2012, in which 26% of Latin Americans said that they would buy Christmas gifts online.

Another interesting fact is that social media are playing a role during Christmas shopping in Latin America. According to the results, 47% of Peruvians said they plan to use social media as part of their Christmas shopping process, compared to 45% of Mexicans, 37% of Colombians, 36% of Argentines and 28% of Brazilians.

What This All Means

#1 Invest more online. This increased shopping online is driven by increased time spent online and wider access to the Internet among all Latin Americans. While offline media are still powerful in Latin America, it’s clear that these days, brands need to invest more in digital advertising to take advantage of the quick, direct revenues that come from online ads driving e-commerce.

#2 Try a platform. Besides display advertising and search, new online ad buying platforms like MediaDesk allow advertisers to buy impressions in real time at market prices and thus reach exactly who they want. Adding this to the digital mix can also help brands take advantage of Latam’s e-commerce surge.

#3 Mix in mobile. Since Latin Americans are rapidly increasing their mobile device use and using them to access the Internet much more, part of that digital investment needs to be directed towards a mobile campaign.

#4 Add social. Lots of new research has shown that Internet users in all key Latin American markets devote the majority of their time online to social media. Of all the time Latin Americans devote to social media, more than 90% of it is spent on Facebook. In other words, other social sites may deliver certain segments here and there but take take up less than 5% of the time that Latin American Internet users spend on social media.
Because of this, Facebook retargeting can make a big difference, especially for any e-commerce site looking to increase its share of Latin American customers. Learn more about this tactic here.

If you’d like to try any of these 4 routes to maximize the huge surge in e-commerce in Latin America, US Media Consulting can help through our online ad buying platform (Mediadesk), mobile ad network (Jumba Mobile Network), Facebook retargeting team and our specialized online media teams that handle digital media planning and buying for the whole region and for specific markets, including Argentina, Brazil, Central America, Chile, Colombia (where we represent Yahoo), Mexico, and more.

Please contact us to find out more.

oman pushing virtual button in web interface

Programmatic Buying: The Future of Digital Media Campaigns

Up to now, digital media buying has mostly been dominated by a custom approach in which you work to match up relevant ads with relevant sites to deliver relevant segments.

But what if you could spend your budget on trying to reach the customers you want to reach, not just a rough percentage of them based on your match-up?

What if you could use a system that automatically (and continually) optimizes your campaigns?

And what if you could reach many more sites than with a manual buy, aggregate highly responsive customer segments to reach a mass scale and measure clicks, shifts and conversions with your campaigns in real time?

These are all the advantages of programmatic buying, a new, paradigm-shifting way of buying digital ad space and implementing online ad campaigns.

What It Is
Programmatic buying basically involves using an automated platform to buy ad impressions. You enter in your customer data, budget and campaign objectives. The programmatic buying platform does the media buy for you based on an auction for available impressions, taking into account the data you entered. The platform also matches up the ads each user sees with the available customer data. The idea is that each Internet user will see an ad that fits their specific needs and interests. For buyers, this means that they only pay to reach the clients they want to reach.

How It Works
Programmatic buying is driven by data. For best results, buyers need to enter in as much data as they can about their target audience. Usually, brands have a wealth of data about their customers that they can provide. In addition, through the programmatic buying platform they choose to use, they can also purchase more data provided by third parties on a CPM basis. Third-party data types can be demographic (e.g. gender, age, income, etc.) psychographic (mindset, interests) and behavioral (recent searches, credit card usage, etc.) The programmatic buying platform takes these data points and uses them to run the campaign. The goal is not just to match the right ad with the customer, but also the right context, especially the context that leads to the campaign objective being fulfilled.
As happens with search marketing, there’s bidding. You bid for the impressions you want and the programmatic platform handles the buy with an auction system that decides who gets what in milliseconds—this is known as Real-Time Bidding (RTB). There are two main approaches to buying media programmatically. With Price-Based Trading, you try to buy the impressions for as low a price as you can and benefit your campaign by reducing the cost as much as possible. You can target and optimize with this approach, which in practice tends to be manual and not automated. The other approach with programmatic buying is value-based. With the value-based approach, you take advantage of the system’s ability to learn from customer responses to ads. The system then automatically gives a value to each ad impression so you know which impressions deliver the goal response you want from your customers—and which ones don’t.

How It Plays Out
Let’s say that you purchase your impressions and have the objective of getting women 35-44 to click on a banner for a jewelry product. And Elena, an Internet user that fits your target demographic, visits a smartphone Web site on a Monday and then a soccer blog on a Tuesday. Because of the data the programmatic buying system has about your campaign and your target, when she visits the soccer blog, she sees an ad for jewelry. This fits her behavior and is in the right context to reach her, specifically. Now contrast this with a custom buy for the soccer blog. Given that it’s a soccer blog, it’s likely that a custom buy would result in Elena seeing an ad for an energy drink or a men’s fitness product. So with programmatic buying, you’re not matching product category to publisher category, you’re matching product to customer profile and behavior, thus increasing the probability of response. And this increased probability isn’t a random supposition, it’s based on what has actually happened based on measurement of previous behavior by the Internet users.

What’s Next
According to eMarketer, spending on digital display ads via programmatic buying will grow by 73% in 2013, with double-digit increases every year through 2017. Given this trend and the clear value of this approach in terms of delivering greater ROI, US Media Consulting has created Media Desk, one of the first-ever programmatic buying platforms for Brazil and Latin America. A robust technology platform and user-friendly interface in 3 languages make Media Desk the ideal solution for any digital media planner who wants to deliver the power of programmatic buying for their clients.

To find out more, please visit mediade.sk or write directly to sales@mediade.sk to obtain a free demonstration of this innovative platform.

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