Category Archives: Colombia


The 7 Hottest Trends Among Latin American Internet Users

To deliver the best possible results for clients that seek to reach Latin American consumers via online and offline campaigns, we constantly review the latest research. In doing so, we noticed a number of trends in different Latin American markets.

#1 Internet Use Spikes Dramatically
As brands score strong responses to their campaigns in Latam, it can be easy to overlook how far the market has progressed in Internet use—and how it keeps growing every day. For example, according to Pew Research Center, in 2007 35% of Argentines reported using the Internet but in 2013 more than 6 in 10 (65%) of Argentines reported using the Internet. In 2007 33% of Chileans used the Internet. But in 2013 62% of Chileans reported using the Internet. Mexico also showed a significant surge in Internet use, going from 31% in 2007 to 43%. In 2010 around 4 in 10 Brazilians (43%) reported going online but by 2013 nearly half (47%) of Brazilians reported that they were Internet users.  Of course, given that IBOPE has reported that Brazil has 105 million Internet users out of a population of 202 million, it’s possible that Pew’s numbers are a bit low. The same can be said for Mexico’s numbers given that World Internet Project recently reported that there are 59 million Internet users in Mexico (out of a population of 118 million). Projections from several organizations suggest that massive growth is on the way in many of Latin America’s markets:

  • Brazil should have 168 million Internet users by the end of 2014*
  • Chile should have 16.4 million Internet users by 2015**
  • Ecuador should have 7.5 million Internet users by 2015***
  • Mexico should have 65 million Internet users by 2015***

Sources: *Comite Gestor da Internet, **Pyramid Group, ***Latin America & Caribbean Network Information Centre

#2 Chile Leads Latam in Smartphone Penetration
According to the Pew Research Center, in 2013 more than 91% of Chileans reported owning a mobile phone and 39% have a smartphone. This means that smartphone penetration in Chile is at 39%. That seems quite huge until you consider that more than 6.6 million smartphones were sold in Chile in 2013 and that the population is at around 17.5 million. So just in 2013, 37% of the population bought smartphones in Chile.

#3 Colombia Leads Latin America in Internet Penetration
This data comes from the 2013 IBOPE Media Book. According to IBOPE, Internet penetration in Colombia is at 72% and is the highest in Latin America. IBOPE further reports that more than 80% of Colombian Internet users connect from home. Chile is #2 in Internet penetration in Latin America with 68% of the population going online.

#4 Costa Rica Is the Fastest-Growing Internet Market in Latin America
According to IBOPE, Internet penetration in Costa Rica jumped from 50% in 2012 to 67% in 2013, the biggest leap in all of Latin American markets.

#5 Accessing Social Networks Via Smartphones Increases
Nearly 4 out of 10 Chileans (37%) access social networks through cell phones and the same amount (37%) of Venezuelans also access social media via cell phones. Nearly one-third of Argentines (32%) and Mexicans 30% use mobile phones to access social networks. Significantly lower percentages of Brazilians (19%), Salvadorans (18%) and Bolivians (17%) report using their phones to check social media.

#6 90% of Argentines are on Facebook
Recently Alejandro Zuzenberg and Alberto Arébalos of Facebook Argentina released some figures about the social network’s reach in the country. While overall 90% of Argentines have an account on Facebook, there are 23 million active Facebook users in Argentina and 15 million of them connect to Facebook using mobile phones. Other important facts:

  • Slightly more women (52%) than men (48%) are Facebook users in Argentina
  • Facebook users in Argentina tend to be younger: 72% are between 13 and 34 years old,  with 22% aged 35-54 and 5% over 55
  • In March 2014 Facebook users in Argentina notched 2.4 billion likes, 1.1 billion comments, 615 million messages, 360 million photo uploads, 168 million status updates and 265 million publications on user walls

#7 LinkedIn Surges in Latam
Currently LinkedIn reports that it has more than 40 million Internet users in Latin America. LinkedIn has its deepest penetration in Chile in which more than 13% of the population (2.2 million people) use the social network. Overall, Brazil has the largest amount of LinkedIn users in Latin America (more than 15 million). Brazil is actually the #3 market in the world for LinkedIn, surpassed only by the United States (more than 100 million users) and India (more than 24 million users).
Mexico is the #2 market in Latin America for LinkedIn and has more than 5 million users. The majority (58%) of Mexican LinkedIn users are women and 57% are under 35 years of age
There are 3.3 million LinkedIn users in Argentina, 3 million LinkedIn users in Colombia and nearly 2 million LinkedIn users in Peru. In the case of Peru, LinkedIn users are mostly under age 35 (79%) and men make up 59% of the user base.

To find out more about how we can help you reach Latin American Internet users with a targeted campaign, please contact us.

60 Key Facts about South America’s Internet Market

Recently comScore and other sources have published data about the online markets of several South American countries, including Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Uruguay and Venezuela. We went through the results and distilled the essential facts for each market so that professionals in media, advertising and marketing can optimize their digital ad campaigns in these countries.

Common Ground
Before going into detail with data for specific countries, it’s important to note certain similarities found in South America’s online market.

#1 Most South American Internet users are young. On average, nearly 80% of South American Internet users are between 15 and 44 years old. In all the countries, Internet users between 15 and 24 are the largest subgroup and represent between 29% and 39% of the total.

#2 Social media rules. Social media takes up the majority of the time online spent by Internet users in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela.

#3 Most traffic goes to 5 key site categories. Aside from social media, the website categories that take up the most time of South American Internet users are entertainment, services, portals and multimedia.

#4 Facebook dominates the social scene. While it’s no surprise that Facebook is hugely popular in these markets, one striking data point is that South American Internet users spend more or less 90% of their time on social sites on Facebook. This suggests that campaigns on other social sites—which in total take up around 10% of the total time that South Americans spend on social media—are much less likely to reach the average Internet user, although they may deliver some good results with specific segments.

#5 New social sites are coming up. A number of new social sites are growing powerfully in South America, such as, MeetMe and Vostu. That said, it’s important to note that none of them have the traffic to seriously challenge the established giants like Facebook, at least not in the foreseeable future.

#6 Online banking and shopping are gaining ground. South American online markets are showing significant growth in terms of the use of both banking sites and also retail sites. Users in South America also seem to favor similar types of retail sites, including those for furniture, food, fragrances/cosmetics, movies and clothes.


  • There’s an even split in gender among Argentine Internet users: 50% are men, 50% are women
  • Each Argentine Internet users spends an average of 22 hours per month online: Brazilians are the only South Americans to spend more time online than Argentines, with 33 hours per user per month
  • 95% of Argentine Internet users visit news sites compared to the global rate of 79%
  • Argentina is #3 in the world in terms of the amount of hours each of its internautas spends on social media: 9 hours per month, with Italy at #2 (9.5 hours/month) and Brazil at #1 (13 hours per month)
  • 50% of Argentines visit sports sites, a higher percentage than that of Latin America (44%) and the global average (39%)
  • In terms of targeting, it’s helpful to note that the 3 segments that spend the highest average amount of minutes per month on sports sites in Argentina are men between 25 and 34 (95 min), men aged 35-44 (77 min) and women between 25 and 34 (62 min)
  • was the leading sports site in Argentina between 2012 and 2013, followed by Fútbol Sites, Yahoo Sports, ESPN and
  • Nearly 96% of Argentine Internet users visit online video sites, the highest percentage of all of Latin America
  • Nearly 8% of the online traffic in Argentina is from mobile devices and Android is the leading OS, with 62% of the market

Source: comScore


  • Women make up a little more of Chile’s online population than men: 50.1% vs. 49.9%
  • Education sites have 47% reach in Chile, larger than the global average of 38% and about the same as all of Latam (49%)
  • The segment that spends the most time on education sites in Chile are men between 25 and 34 (20 minutes per person per month) and women between 25 and 34 (19 minutes per person)
  • Nearly 92% of Chilean Internet users watch online videos and watch an average of 119 videos per person per month, more than Internet users in Argentina or Mexico
  • Google leads the online video market in Chile, followed by Vevo, Viacom and Facebook
  • Nearly 13% of the online traffic in Chile is from mobile devices and only México (with 14% of its online traffic coming from mobile devices) surpasses Chile in this regard
  • Android has a market share of 70% of Chile’s mobile market, while iOS is a distant second at 22%

Source: comScore


  • Colombia’s online population is Split nearly evenly down the middle between women (50.1%) and men (49,9%)
  • 63% of Colombian Internet users recall the online ads they see: the formats they recall the most are videos and posts from brands, as well as app ads, games and expandable banners
  • 70% of Colombian Internet users have gone on line in the past 3 months and 78% go online every day
  • The large majority of Colombian Internet users go online from their homes (89%) but 26% go online from public transportation, 19% while walking in the street and 13% while driving
  • Colombian Internet users combine using the Internet with various activities, including watching TV, listening to the radio and talking on the phone
  • Among the site categories with strong growth in Colombia between 2012 and 2013 are car sites (48%), telecommunications sites (35%), airline sites (19%) and banks (32%)

Sources: comScore, IAB Colombia


  • Peru’s Internet audience grew by 15% between 2012 and 2013, higher than Latin America in general (13%), North America (2%), Europe (5%) and Asia (6%)
  • Peruvians spend an average of nearly 21 hours per month per person online, a comparable figure to the Latin American average (24 hours) and close to the global average (22.8 hours)
  • There are more male Peruvian Internet users (55.6%) than female (44.4%)
  • Peru is among the top 5 countries in the world in terms of its social media use
  • Among the site categories with the most growth in Peru between 2012 and 2013 were banking (46%), car sites (14%) telecommunications sites (5%) y airline sites (4%)

Source: comScore


  • Nearly 4 out of 5 Uruguayans live in a home with at least 1 computer
  • Internet penetration in Uruguay is at 71%
  • Among Uruguayans between 12 and 17, Internet penetration is at 97%, while it’s at 89% for those 20-29, 86% for those 30-39 and 70% for those 40-49
  • 33% of Uruguayan Internet users go online with mobile phones or tablets, an increase of 13% compared to 2012
  • 16% of Uruguayan Internet users are online for 11 to 20 hours per week and 10% are online for more than 30 hours per week
  • 65% of Uruguayan Internet users go online between 1 and 20 hours per week
  • The main online activities for Uruguayan Internet users are searching for information (82%), social media (78%), downloading music (63%), email (63%), reading news (63%) and looking for information about brands or products (60%)
  • The amount of blogs in Uruguay dropped by 40,000 between 2012 and 2013
  • Only 2% of Uruguayan Internet users regularly comment about brands online and 85 read online comments about brands
  • 53% of Uruguayan Internet users like the advertising on social media
  • 49% of Uruguayan Internet users can’t go online with their mobile phones compared to the 31% that can and do so
  • 25% of Uruguayan Internet users have purchased a product over the Internet in the past year
  • The most popular products among Uruguayans who engage in e-commerce are PC accessories, appliances, clothes and furniture

Source: Grupo Radar


  • 53% of Venezuelan Internet users are men and 47% are women
  • The amount of Venezuelans who use social media went up by 8% between 2012 and 2013
  • Facebook is the most popular social site in Venezuela (7 million unique visitors), followed by Twitter (2.5 million) and LinkedIn (1.3 million)
  • The social sites with the most growth in Venezuela during the past year are MeetMe (495%), Vostu (396%), (137%), FSBX (122%) and (106%)
  • Facebook takes up nearly 88% of the time that Venezuelans spend on social media sites, followed by (6%) and Tumblr (3%)
  • Among the web site categories that have grown the most in terms of visitors are retail sites (61%), banking (73%) and government (41%)

Source: comScore

To reach South American Internet users with an online ad campaign customized to your target, please contact us.

media buying

7 Common Media Buying Mistakes in Latin America

As we work to plan and implement more than 2,000 campaigns a year in Latin America, we often see certain strategic stumbling blocks pop up on a regular basis. To help media and marketing professionals avoid these media buying mistakes in Latin America, we decided to highlight the most common ones.

#1 One Size Fits All

Often campaigns aimed at Latin America tend to treat it as a monolithic area. However, despite the broad commonalities, adjustments for certain markets are crucial. First, media consumption is different in different countries, so the budgets need to be weighted accordingly.

#2 Not Customizing Creative

As incredible as it may sound, some clients will run English-language creative in Latin American campaigns. Obviously, language is crucial for creative to connect. We also see clients running creative that doesn’t connect culturally. For example, Mexicans may not respond well to creative developed for the Southern Cone, and vice versa. Brands need to factor in the differences in both regional accents and terminology, because a radio spot that works well in Uruguay may not do well in Puerto Rico, for example. An additional investment in development will pay off in response, whereas not customizing creative can lead to low response or embarrassing copy. Finally, brands need to keep in mind that mistakes that ended up under the radar 20 years can get around a lot faster via social media.

#3 Low Investment in Internet Ad Spend

There is a tendency among some brands to think that TV is the medium with the best reach in Latin America and the highest consumption. While there’s no doubt that free TV has a penetration rate above 90% in many Latin American markets, there are now 300 million Internet users in Latin America, which is 50% penetration (the region’s total population is 598 million). By 2017 there will be nearly 400 million Internet users in Latin America.
In addition, the Internet is rivaling free TV in media consumption in several Latam markets. For example, more than half of Mexicans watch TV between 2 and 4 hours a day, 60 to 120 hours per month. But Mexican Internet users spend 5 hours a day online—150 hours per month. Peruvian Internet users spend 2 hours and 40 minutes a day online, while Peruvians in general watch 3 hours and 20 minutes of free TV every day. A study of Colombian TV consumption showed an average of 4 hours per day for those between 5 and 17, 120 hours per month, compared to a Google study that showed that Colombians spend 4 hours a day on the Internet—also 120 hours per month.

#4 Running a Social Media Campaign without a Clear Plan

While there’s no doubt that social media can deliver strong and tangible results, clients often request social media campaigns without clear objectives or even expectations. Or they set objectives that social media is not designed to deliver. This happens because brands are naturally looking for new ways to drive sales and social media certainly has that potential, especially when you consider that 5 of the top 10 countries in social media use are in Latin America. However, without establishing goals, having a clear expectation, and having a clear action plan, it’s likely that brands won’t get the results they’re after.
In addition, social media is a conversation, yet we sometimes see that brands are not prepared to handle the interaction between them and their clients. Before any social media effort, advertisers must truly understand the value of a like or a follower as an engaged consumer, or even a social advocate; this will change the way they perceive social media as a vehicle to drive brand loyalty —and consequently—sales. It is somewhat easy to generate likes or followers, but without a clear strategy on what to do with them, including using the right metrics to evaluate results, the benefits of social media are limited.

#5 Buying Cheap Instead of Buying Smart

Sometimes clients will choose a particular media vehicle because it’s cheaper, thinking it will be more efficient. While it’s always good to spend wisely, the cheapest medium isn’t always the most effective. As such, clients can end up saving money on the buy on a cost per unit basis, but still not achieving their goals, because they are not reaching the audience they want, or because the target’s consumption of that medium is low compared to other media types, or simply because that placement is simply not within the best context to generate interaction or engagement. Advertisers must always keep in mind that they are buying audiences and not media. It’s amazing that still to this day a lot of marketers remain obsessed with cost-based metrics (CPM, CPC, CTR, CPV). We need to start looking at metrics that help us understand where consumers are in the sales funnel. Cheap does not mean valuable.

#6 No Benchmarks or the Wrong Benchmarks
While it may be hard to believe, sometimes we are told that the goal of an online campaign is to “increase traffic”, but what’s not explained is what current traffic is and how much of an increase the client wants. In fact, we’ve even had instances in which even the client doesn’t know what their current traffic is. This same thing can also happen with “awareness”, where many clients set goals based on increasing awareness, however, sometimes they don’t even know what their current awareness is, or have a plan in place to measure it before and after the campaign.
So do your homework and establish real and measurable KPIs. That way, you won’t set yourself up for failure.




#7 Bigger is Not Always Better

For online campaigns, we’ve had instances in which clients look at comScore rankings in the area they want and tell us to buy the top 5, period. However, these big sites with the deep reach don’t always produce the best results. Why? It could be that the sites’ content doesn’t connect with enough of the target audience or that the ad space is crowded because of the sites’ size and popularity, meaning that the client’s ads get lost in the shuffle. Or maybe the target audience that visits the big sites aren’t necessarily all that engaged.
On the other hand, you could run ads on an aggregate of smaller sites with highly engaged users and deliver both the volume and response a client wants. Obviously, this varies, but the point is to consider the best solution to reach the target audience based on available data and not equate reach with response.

To find out more about how we can help you avoid media buying mistakes in Latin America and optimize your results with a campaign in any form of media, please contact us.

Making money with your computer

Online Ad Spend Grows Strongly in Latam

Despite the strength of traditional media in Latin America, Internet advertising’s share of ad spend continues to grow impressively in the region. While we are still waiting for final 2012 figures to be released for markets like Chile and Mexico, we were able to obtain totals for other key markets in Latin America.

According to the Camara Argentina de Agencias de Medios (Argentina Chamber of Media Agencies or CAAM), online ad spend in Argentina grew by 28% in 2012 to reach 1.4 billion pesos (US$271 million). That said, it’s important to note that the physical volume of the Argentine ad market went down by 4.6% in 2012, so inflation could be responsible for at least some of this growth.

According to IAB Brasil, online ad spend in Brazil grew by 32% in 2012 to reach R$  4.5 billion (US$2.25 billion). This figure brings together search, social media, display and classifieds. IAB Brasil projects that online ad spend in Brazil will grow by another 31.8% in 2013 to reach more than R$ 6 billion (US$3 billion).

IAB Colombia recently reported that online ad spend in Colombia grew by 15% in 2012 to reach 145 billion pesos (US$78.5 million). When revenues from classified ads and directories are included, the total reach 162 billion pesos. IAB Colombia also indicates that online now takes up 7% of overall ad spend in Colombia, up from 5.6% in 2011.

Online ad spend in Peru in 2012 grew by 50% to reach 101 million nuevos soles (US$36 million), up from US$24 million in 2011. While display is quite dominant in other Latam markets, taking up 60% or more of Internet ad spend, in Peru display accounted for only 45% of the online ad spend, with classified/directories taking up 32% and search was responsible for 6%.

Overall, in 2013 Latin America should experience 10% growth in ad spend across all media to reach a total of US$38 billion, according to projections from eMarketer. In addition, eMarketer forecasts that ad spend in Latin America should reach US$51 billion by 2016, with mobile advertising growing by 87% between now and then.

To find out how we can help you reach Latin American consumers via online or any other type of media, please contact us.

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Latam Media Market cover Eng

US Media Consulting Shares New Report on Latin Media

On March 8, US Media Consulting presented the results of its new report on the Latin American media market in an exclusive event in Miami. Titled The 2013 Media Market Report for Brazil and Latin America, the report synthesizes data from more than 200 studies to offer insights into the latest trends in media use among Latin American consumers.

Representatives from a range of top media firms and consumer brands attended the event, including Havas, Initiative, Sony Pictures Television, Cartier, Mediacom, Yahoo,  Jardens and more. Highlights of the report were presented by Abel Delgado, Marketing and Public Relations Manager for US Media Consulting. After discussing the huge growth in the middle class in Latin America that is likely fueling the corresponding growth in ad spend and media in the region, Delgado covered key trends with different types of media for both specific Latam markets and for the region as whole. Topics included:

  • Revenue and circulation numbers that point to a robust print media industry in Latin America
  • The rise of pay TV in Latin America, including projections for 68% penetration by 2017
  • The rapid expansion of Latin America’s Internet audience—and the potential for the region boasting 359 million Internet users by 2015
  • Why mobile advertising may be the next important frontier in reaching Latin American consumers
  • The hottest new social media sites in the region and how social media influences purchase decisions in Latin America

Other topics included in the report are online video consumption in Latam’s major markets, trends in e-commerce and the spike in mobile Internet use.

The full report is available for download here.

In June 2013 the company will be presenting the results of a new report on the Latin American market, all with an eye towards helping professionals craft even more effective campaigns in all forms of media and consequently spiking their ROI.

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US Media Consulting Launches New Web Site

In early July the new US Media Consulting Web site debuted after many months of work. We created the new site for a number of reasons. First, we wanted to explain our capabilities more fully. Secondly, we wanted to showcase what we can offer to help companies reach Brazil, Latin America, U.S. Hispanics and other media markets, such as the United States and Europe. And finally, we  wanted to provide resources to help our colleagues and clients stay current with the latest trends in media and advertising plus benefit from the practical knowledge we gain from helping clients get the maximum ROI with their campaigns. Here’s a quick guide to some of the main portions of the new site.

Media Solutions
This section of our site covers our core capabilities for clients. For clients who need to reach Brazil, Latin America or other markets, our media partners are one option. Over the years we’ve built relationships with more than 3,500 media outlets of all types, allowing us to obtain competitive pricing, quick launches and smooth execution for clients.

In addition, the media we represent offer strong value for clients trying to reach important segments, such as financial professionals, business executives, technology buffs, travelers, health-conscious women, music lovers, the Brazil online audience, gamers and more. To that end, we discuss those represented media brands, including Wall Street Journal, iG, Grupo Medios, Bloomberg,, Clickhoteles and more.

We also cover our proprietary media, including Jumba Display Network, Jumba Mobile Network and Jumba Video Network. These are ad networks we’ve created that allow for precise segmentation that reaches millions of Internet users in Latin America while also connecting brands with Latam’s growing mobile market and huge online video audience.

Finally, this section explains how our media outsourcing works to help public relations, interactive, creative and other types of agencies enhance the value they offer their clients by leveraging our expertise in implementing media campaigns.

Services/Media Channels
These particular sections highlight how we create powerful value for the three main types of clients we serve: agencies, advertisers and media owners. They also discuss the types of media our range of media specialists handle, including Web, print, TV, radio, out of home and mobile.

As part of our work here at US Media Consulting, we constantly review studies to stay on top of the latest trends. To help our clients and colleagues, we put together a vast array of the studies we find ourselves reviewing. Users will find that the Resources section, like the rest of the site, offers the information in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Here you will find summaries of the latest studies covering Latin America in terms of Internet, mobile, print, e-commerce, TV, social media, media penetration, consumer buying habits, smartphones and more, all organized by both topic and country. So if you’re interested in knowing about social media in Chile, pulling up Chile in the Categories window will bring up the studies we’ve collected. Whenever possible, we include links so you can download the studies in pdf form.  Our team will be constantly updating the site with new research in English, Spanish and Portuguese, so you may want to check back regularly as we add fresh content in existing areas and for new topics.

Beyond the research done in the industry, we’re also beginning to compile case studies, which reflect the work our team does every day. We’ll be expanding this section very soon and our goal is to share our experience in terms of what is working with clients and colleagues to benefit them.

We hope that the new Web site is useful for you and we encourage you to explore it and share any feedback you may have. And if you need help in reaching Brazil, Latin America or U.S. Hispanics via a strategic campaign across all media, please contact us.

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The 7 Hottest Products Among Latin American Shoppers

The new surge in purchasing power for Latin American consumers is being felt in all types of industries. To offer media, advertising and marketing professionals a quick reference guide, we put together a list of some of the hottest product categories among Latin American shoppers.

In 2011 car sales in Latin America went up by 7% to total 6.4 million units, which set a new record in the region: 12 vehicles for every 1,000 people. The most motorized company seems to be Argentina, with 20 vehicles for every 1,000 people, followed by Chile with 19.4 and Brazil with 17.7. In fact, 2011 was the best year ever for car sales in Argentina. Also, several carmakers had record-breaking sales in Latin America in 2011, including Audi, BMW, Nissan and Peugeot.


Latin Americans will buy nearly 40 million computers in 2012, according to market research firm IDC. This will be a 5% increase compared to 2011, during which Latin Americans bought 37.7 million computers. Growth will be marginal (0.3%) for desktop computers but laptop sales should go up by 8.7%. In addition, IDC forecasts that 2.1 million tablets will be sold in Latin America in 2012. Although it’s not a large percentage of the total, it could be an important trend with implications for mobile advertising.

According to Research firm Euromonitor International, the total value of beauty/cosmetic and personal care products sold in Latin America in 2010 was $65 billion. These strong sales made Latin America the #4 market in the world for cosmetics/beauty products. Between 2005 and 2010 the Latin American beauty market doubled in size and now experts think the region will surpass North America to soon become the #3 beauty products market in the world.

According to Boston Consulting Group, Latin America’s luxury market is growing by 15% every year. In Mexico, 5.2% of the population can buy luxury goods, according to consulting firm KPMG. Brazil’s luxury goods sales are expected to hit $12 billion this year, a 33% increase compared to 2011. Argentina is also a solid luxury market, moving 230 million euros in its luxury market in 2011. Given this, it’s no surprise that Sephora foresees opening 12 to 13 stores in the region and that Salvatore Ferragamo has announced expansion plans in the region.

During the second half of 2011, Latam smartphone sales went up by 25% to reach nearly 50 million units. Although the complete total of mobile phone units sold in Latin America in 2011 hasn’t yet been confirmed, it’s known that 31 million smartphones were sold in the region in 2011. In Argentina, 24% of the mobile phones sold in 2011 were smartphones. In Mexico, smartphone sales spiked up by 78% in 2011. In Brazil, 2011 smartphone sales jumped to over 100% higher than in 2010. And the smartphone surge continues: 40% of the mobile phones sold in Argentina during the first quarter of 2012 were smartphones. In addition, IDG predicts spectacular increases in smartphone sales in other countries this year, including a 43% upsurge in Chile and a 70% leap in Brazil.

According to new figures reported by the Association of Miami Realtors, Venezuelans were the largest group of foreign buyers in 2011. That said, Brazilians and Argentines were not far behind. Thanks to these Latin American buyers, Miami real estate has gotten a strong—and quite welcome—push: home sales went up 46% in 2011.

Trips to foreign destinations by Latin American tourists went up by 15% in 2011, according to Consulting firm IPK. According to IPK, the strongest markets for trips to foreign destinations from Latam are Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Chile.
The United States is one of the most popular destinations for Latin American tourists. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, 18% more Latin American tourists will visit the U.S. in 2012 than in 2011: 1.78 million. By 2016, the department estimates that 2.5 million Brazilians will visit the United States. In addition, Brazilians rank #3 in spending among foreign tourists that visit the U.S. They’re just behind Japanese and British tourists, spending $6.8 billion in 2011 during trips.

Florida is probably the most popular U.S. destinations for Latin Americans. In fact, 4 of the top 10 foreign countries who sent the most visitors to Florida in 2011 were Latin American: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Colombia. In addition, a survey by showed that Florida is the preferred foreign destination of both Argentine and Colombian tourists.

That said, Latin Americans don’t just travel to the U.S. Many enjoy traveling within their own region. For example, a recent survey showed that Argentine tourists rank 3 Mexican destinations—Mexico City, Riviera Maya and Cancun—among their top destination choices. And Brazilians are the foreigners that visit Argentina the most. More than 35% of the tourists that Argentina welcomed in 2011 were from Brazil, while Europe was in second place with 19.8%. For their part, when surveyed, Chileans say their favorite destinations are Argentina, Brazil and Peru.

According to Mandala Research, Mexicans seem to favor U.S. destinations, and one study showed they also outshop other tourists. On average, Mexicans spend 40% of their travel budgets at shopping malls, compared to Japanese tourists, who spend 25% of their travel budgets at malls, and British tourists, who spend 25%. The preferred U.S. destinations for Mexican tourists are Los Angeles, New York and Houston, although Miami and Orlando are also in the top 10.

To find out how we can help you reach Brazil, Latin America or U.S. Hispanics via a strategic campaign across all media, please contact us.


E-Commerce in Latin America Spikes by Nearly 43%

According to a recent study done by América Economía Intelligence and Visa, e-commerce in Latin America grew by 42.8% between 2010 and 2011 to reach $43 billion, double the amount in 2009, which was $22 billion.

The study indicates that Brazil is the leader in e-commerce in Latin America: in 2011, it accounted for 59% of e-commerce sales in the region. Mexico is #2 in Latin America in e-commerce, with 14.2% of sales. The Caribbean is in third place, with 6.4% of sales, closely followed by Argentina, with 6.2%.

Overall, the study projects that e-commerce in Latin America will increase by 26% in 2012 and then by 28% in 2013.

Why It’s Growing
The study’s authors cited a number of factors for the growth, including:

• Increase in credit card usage, as well as debit cards: both bring more purchasers into the e-commerce marketplace
• Social media and group shopping sites: discounts online attract more shoppers
• Increased online security for safer transactions: this inspires greater consumer confidence
• A larger amount of e-tailers: more Latam companies are innovating online purchase platforms to reach customers via their Web sites
• Advances in banking: lower socioeconomic classes are becoming more involved with online banking, which in turn allows them to shop online more easily

One factor not cited is an additional payment method. In Brazil, buyers can use boletos bancârios, which are vouchers they print from e-commerce sites. They take these boletos to their banks, pay for the product in person and then go back to the Web site to finish the transaction. A similar system was recently introduced in Mexico on a limited scale.

The study also noted another possible factor that could drive e-commerce growth in Latin America: mobile commerce or m-commerce. The study indicated that smartphone and tablet penetration could reach 50% in Latin America by 2015, making mobile a significant platform for e-commerce in the future. Some recent data suggest this could be true. In April e-commerce site Mercado Libre reported that in the past 9 months, it’s registered 2.5 million downloads of its mobile apps and that mobile now represents 3.5% of its traffic.

Growth in Major Markets
Argentina. According to the Cámara Argentina de Comercio Electrónico (Argentine Chamber of E-Commerce or CACE), total e-commerce sales in 2011 were 11.5 billion pesos (US $2.6 million), a 49.5% increase from 2010. In 2012, CACE estimates that e-commerce in Argentina will grow by another 41% to reach US$3.5 million.

Brazil. Research firm e-bit reported that e-commerce sales in Brazil reached US$10.1 billion in 2011. The firm also indicated that 53.7 million purchases were made over the Internet by Brazilians in 2011. In addition, in 2011 there were 9 million new e-commerce customers making a purchase for the first time online, and 61% of them were from the emerging Classe C middle class.

Mexico. In 2011, Mexico’s e-commerce sales totaled US$3.6 billion, according to AMIPCI (Asociación Mexicana del Internet or Mexican Internet Association). This represented 28% growth compared to 2010.

Colombia. There were nearly US$1.2 billion in e-commerce sales in Colombia in 2011, according to Alberto Pardo, president of the Cámara Colombiana de Comercio Electrónico (Colombian Chamber of E-Commerce). It’s projected that sales will grow by 100% in 2012 to reach US$2 billion.

Popular Products
Each market seems to favor different products when it comes to buying online. For Mexicans, for example, plane/bus tickets are the most popular group of products for  e-commerce purchases. Tickets to shows rank #2, while hotel reservations rank #3. Rounding out the top 5 are electronic equipment and clothes.

For Brazilians, appliances are the #1 product bought via e-commerce, followed by computers, electronics, health/beauty products and clothes/accessories.

For Argentines, top products to buy online include smartphones, women’s clothes, car accessories, men’s clothes and decorative items for the home.

For other Latin American markets, relatively little has been published about the top products purchased via e-commerce. However, a 2011 study done by Google and D’Alessio IROL that focused on other markets—including Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Panamá, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic—showed that top e-commerce products in those countries included mobile phones, clothes, CDs/DVDs, Internet connection services and computers.

To find out how we can help you reach Brazil, Latin America or U.S. Hispanics via a strategic campaign across all media, please contact us at

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Internet Ad Spend in Latam Grew Massively in 2011

Between 2010 and 2011, online ad spend grew by a whopping 117% in Argentina, according to the Cámara Argentina de Agencias de Medios (Argentine Chamber of Media Agencies). The sector posted spend of 528 million pesos (US$121 million) in 2010, then jumped to 1.1 billion pesos (US$250 million) in 2011. While this huge leap is due in part to inflation and lots of political advertising during an election year, it’s still quite impressive.

Other Surging Latin American Markets in Online Ad Spend
Argentina is far from the only Latin American country in which the Internet grew powerfully in ad spend in 2011. According to Projeto Inter-Meios, online ad spend grew by 19% in Brazil in 2011, while IAB Brasil indicates that the spend was split more or less evenly between display and search.

While figures for Mexico’s online ad spend for 2011 aren’t yet available, we were able to get figures for other key markets:

• Chile: 30% growth, US$82 million spent for online ads in 2011
• Colombia: 33% growth, US$70.5 million spent for online ads in 2011
• Peru: 37% growth, US$24 million spent for online ads in 2011
• Uruguay: 50% growth, US$7 million spent for online ads, 2011

To find out how we can help you reach Latin America via a strategic online campaign, please contact us at

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