Category Archives: Mobile

online trends latam

A Quick Roundup of the Latest Latam Online News

We run into tons of data as we plan campaigns for online media and programmatic. But since sharing all of it will glaze your eyes, below we break down some key recent developments in the Latin American online world with some links if you want to read further.

Latin Americans spend more time online than anyone else, use PCs to go online much more than mobile, are big on connected devices and are booking travel online in record amounts.

Argentines are making tons of online purchases, huge amounts of them check social networks from their phones and use Facebook way more than Twitter.

Brazilians are also buying online in massive amounts, respond well to video ads, book loads of online travel and their social network users are predominantly 18-34 years old.

Chileans lead Latin America in Internet penetration, mostly go online with smartphones, prefer Facebook hugely over Twitter, love news sites and are adopting Instagram in a big way.

Colombians love digital video, spend more time online than other Latin Americans, mostly all look for health information online and are adopting video on demand services in a big way.

Mexican millennials dominate Internet use, social media use and smartphone use, while Mexicans in general are shopping online in greater numbers while watching a ton of digital videos.

A significant amount of Peruvians are multiscreen users, they consume more web pages per person than the rest of Latin Americans, are growing hugely as fans of brands on Facebook and are visiting travel sites in droves.

Uruguay’s online audience spiked strongly in 2014, they lead Latin American in monthly online visits, they are predominantly under 35, spend more time on social media sites than other Latin Americans, and also overindex in their use of car sites, online gaming sites, business sites and news sites while shifting significantly towards going online via mobile devices.

Venezuelans consume more pages per visit than the rest of Spanish-speaking Latin America, the amount of Internet users in Venezuela went up by 19% in the past year and they spend significant amounts of time on retail sites, sports sites and tech sites.

Okay, now you’re caught up. Please contact us if you need help reaching Latin Americans in general or in specific markets with an online display campaign or a programmatic buying campaign.


Cartoon phone man king

Latin America Leads the World in Smartphone Growth

Market research firm GfK recently released its figures for smartphone growth and it looks like Latin America is leading the world in this area.

Smartphone sales in Latin America totaled 68.7 million in 2013 and went up by 59% in 2014 to total nearly 110 million units. In terms of sales value, Latin America is again the leader when it comes to smartphones: US$31 billion in 2014 versus US$20.6 billion in 2013—a 52% increase.

Here’s a graphic to illustrate the numbers and show the numbers in different markets:

Latam leads in smartphone sales

For advertisers and agencies, these numbers clearly point to the advantages of investing more in mobile campaigns and may explain the powerful growth in mobile advertising in Latin America that was recently projected by eMarketer. One challenge is determining exactly how to invest in mobile marketing in Latam: apps vs. mobile internet, for example. We have some advice on that here.

Please contact us to find out more how we can increase efficiencies for Latin American advertisers and agencies through media services like planning or buying or via advertising technology solutions like programmatic buying.

Man With Smart Phone

The Data Every Latin American Digital Marketer Needs

With oceans of data floating around, all from different sources and sometimes conflicting, it’s key to be able to drill down to the essentials. So in this post we do exactly that with the Latin American online market. A quick scroll down will show you some key numbers you can use for background in preparing proposals or memos or for sharing with colleagues.

Market Size
Emarketer estimates there are 309 million Internet users in Latin America and that by the end of 2015 there will be more than 331 million. Here’s a look at eMarketer’s projections of Latin American Internet users with certain larger markets broken out (click to enlarge):

Internet users in Latam 2013 to 2018

Average CTR for Online Ads in Latin America
Even though comScore and other sources rightfully point out that CTR is not really the best measure for the effectiveness of online ads, just for reference, Sizmek reported the following:

  • Average CTR for a banner ad in Latin America: .12%
  • Average CTR for rich media ads in Latin America: .29%
  • Average CTR for rich media polite video formats: .48%
  • Average CTR for polite banners in Latin America: .15%
  • Average CTR for expandable banners in Latin America: .19%

Email Marketing
While we don’t have recent numbers for all of Latin America, in late 2012 Return Path—an email intelligence company—reported that Latin America had the lowest inbox placement rate of all regions studied: 69%. In September 2014 Return Path noted that Brazil had 60% inbox placement rate for emails, compared to rates of more than 80% in the U.S., Canada, U.K., France, Germany and Italy.

According to eMarketer, 194 million Latin Americans access the Internet with mobile phones and of these 126 million do so via smartphones. By the end of 2015 there will be more than 152 million smartphone users in Latin America and Chile will lead the region in smartphone penetration with 55.5%.
While in 2015 Mexico will have the highest tablet penetration in Latin America at 35%, Brazil will have nearly 35 million tablet users in 2015 compared to just under 23 million in Mexico. Overall, by the end of 2015 more than 92 million Latin Americans will own tablets. Given that the Population Reference Bureau reports that the region has a population of 618 million, this means that there will be nearly 15% tablet penetration in Latin America by the end of 2015. Below are some data tables from eMarketer on smartphone penetration and tablet penetration in Latam (click to enlarge):

smartphone penetration latam

tablet penetration Latam
Smartphone Shopping
According to a 2014 study from ING Global Solutions, 54% of Latin Americans have bought a product with their smartphones (click to enlarge):

Smartphone shopping

Online Videos
A couple of sources offer guidance in this regard. The Digilats study from JWT surveyed more than 9,000 Latin American Internet users from 9 countries and found that 67% said they watched online videos (click to enlarge):

Latam study streaming and other online activities
ComScore has a different set of numbers (click to enlarge):

Online video viewers Latam

Now, it’s important to note that comScore lists a smaller amount of Internet users for countries than other sources. For example, if we extrapolate out the numbers above, it would seem that comScore is reporting a total of 75 million Internet users in Brazil, while both IBOPE and eMarketer indicate that their more than 100 million Brazilian Internet users.

In addition, data from Google and TNS indicates that Internet users in Brazil watch online video ads more frequently than those in Argentina or Mexico. In fact, 36% of Brazilian Internet users say they watch online video ads every day. Brazilians are also more likely than other Latin Americans to watch mobile video: 35% of Brazilian smartphone users watch mobile online videos at least daily, compared to 25% of Mexican smartphone users and 19% of Argentine smartphone users.

Online Reviews
The Digilats study of Latin American Internet users by JWT indicated that significant percentages of Latin Americans are reading online reviews of products (click to enlarge):

Digilats product review

Online Research Before Purchase
A recent eCMetrics study of Christmas shoppers in Latin America showed that a majority of Latin Americans tend to research products online before purchasing, including reading product reviews. This dovetails with results from other studies. For example, the Consumer Barometer study from TNS and Google showed that 47% of Argentines researched their last purchase online and offline while 53% of Brazilians AND 53% of Mexicans reported doing the same thing.  In addition, the JWT Digilats study showed the products that Latin American Internet users were most likely to search online (click to enlarge):

Products researched online latam

Social Media
It’s fairly obvious that this is a huge area with Latin American Internet users. Some of the key takeaways with this would be:

>>>Latin Americans spend more time on social media than people from any other region (click to enlarge):

social media engagement latam


>>>The overwhelming majority of the time that Latin Americans spend on social media is spent on Facebook (click to enlarge):

Facebook dominance Latam

>>>Mobile is increasingly becoming an important way for Latin Americans to access social media (click to enlarge):

mobile social media users in latam

Contact us to find out more how we can help you reach Latin American Internet users with digital media buying or via MediaDesk, Latin America’s premier programmatic buying platform.

Human hand with a bag of US Dollars, coming out from computer sc

Digital to Dominate Surging Ad Spend in Latin America

A recent report from ZenithOptimedia and eMarketer offers encouraging projections for Latin America and suggest a much larger role for digital, especially in certain markets.

Overall Ad Spend
While Zenith Optimedia predicts 4.9% global growth in ad spend in 2015, eMarketer has a rosier forecast of 6.8%. Both organizations predict increased ad spend growth around the globe in the coming years, between 5 and 6% per year in 2016 and 2017.

Latin America’s Ad Spend Share to Grow
In 2014 eMarketer indicated that Latin America accounted for 7.3% of global spend, compared to 35.6% for North America, 27.9% for Asia-Pacific, 21% for Western Europe, 4.5% for Central and Eastern Euripe and 3.8% for Middle East and Africa. However, by 2018 eMarketer forecasts that Latin America’s share of global ad spend will rise to 8.4%.  (Click on the image below to enlarge.)

Ad spend 2018 Eng

In fact, eMarketer projects that between 2014 and 2017 Latin America’s ad spend will grow by 10% a year: only countries in a group called Fast-Track Asia (China, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam) will grow more, with 10.3% annual growth.

Digital Driving Growth
According to Zenith Optimedia, mobile advertising will account for 51% of total ad spend growth around the world between 2014 and 2017. Desktop digital will also be an important part of global ad spend growth: it will account for 25% of it between 2014 and 2017. In fact, by 2017 desktop advertising will account for nearly 20% of global ad spend while TV will remain #1 with 37.4%. Mobile advertising will be close behind newspapers, accounting for 11.5% of global ad spend compared to 12.2% for newspapers. (Click on the image below to enlarge.)

Ad spend 2017 by medium Eng

Digital to Play a Key Role in Latam Markets
Historically, it’s obvious that traditional media have dominated ad spend in Latin America, particularly television. But eMarketer’s projections suggest a significant shift will happen in certain markets this year. For example, eMarketer forecasts that digital will command as much as 50% of the ad spend in the United Kingdom in 2015, while accounting for anywhere from 42% to 45% in countries like China, Denmark, Australia and Norway.
While digital won’t be as dominant in Latam countries, it’s significant to note that eMarketer projects that digital will account for 24% of the total 2015 ad spend in Mexico, not far behind the percentage projected for digital in the United States (31%). In fact, Mexico’s projected digital ad spend percentage is the same as that of Germany, Finland and Japan. In Brazil in 2015 digital will account for 15% of total ad spend. In Argentina, digital will account for 9% of total ad spend in 2015. While neither Brazil nor Argentina will have digital dominance in their 2015 ad spend, those familiar with ad spend in these countries will note that these percentages represent a significant increase for digital compared to years past.

Massive Mobile and Digital Ad Spend Growth for Argentina, Brazil and Mexico
According to eMarketer’s projections, in 2015 digital ad spend will grow by 30% in Argentina. Digital ad spend in Mexico will grow by 28% in 2015. And in Brazil, digital ad spend will grow by 15% in 2015.

Here’s a quick look at 2015 ad spend in these countries as per eMarketer (click on the image below to enlarge):

Ad spend ARG BR MX 2015 eng

Mobile advertising is set to grow in all 3 countries, according to eMarketer. Here’s the breakdown:

  • In 2015 mobile advertising spend will grow by 201% in Argentina
  • In 2015 mobile advertising spend will grow by 120% in Brazil
  • In 2015 mobile advertising spend will grow by 81% in Mexico

Over the next few years, between 2015 and 2018, digital ad spend should grow strongly in these countries, as per eMarketer projections. For example, digital ad spend will grow by 49% in Brazil between 2015 and 2018 to reach nearly US$5 billion. Mexico will post 73% growth in digital ad spend between 2015 and 2018, with more than US$2 billion invested in digital advertising in 2018. However, Argentina will have the most dramatic growth: 114% growth in digital ad spend between 2015 and 2018 and a total of nearly US$1 billion invested that year.

Leveraging This Data
As the digital money flow gushes in the coming years, we’ll see a parallel growth in programmatic ad spend in Latin America: a 600% increase just in 2015 and a nearly 9,000% increase by 2018. See more on that here. These projections suggest that brands will be putting more of their digital spend into programmatic, which makes sense when you consider the improved targeting offered by programmatic and the ability to buy by audience. An additional factor in this could be the ability to buy mobile programmatic impressions, which allows brands to reach the 194 million Latin Americans who use mobile Internet.

Contact us to find out how you can use programmatic to reach Latam’s 307 million Internet users via desktop, mobile or video, or if you just need help with a digital desktop campaign.

return on investment

Driving More ROI from Online Campaigns in Brazil

While targets change with every campaign, having as much of a detailed handle as possible on Brazilian Internet users can help digital planners start optimizing even before they launch. With that in mind, we reviewed fresh data on Brazilian internautas to pick out details about behavior and habits that may help improve results with online ad campaigns.

>>>Consider Price-Sensitive Components for Campaigns
Here’s why:

  • Checking product prices is the #1 reason Brazilians say they use the Internet*
  • 80% of Brazilian consumers say they research product prices before buying them**

>>>Buy More Video Ad Inventory
Here’s why:

>>>Propose Adding an Online Component to TV Campaigns
Here’s why:

  • 40 million Brazilians are multiscreen users, up from 30 million in 2013**
  • Another survey from IAB Brasil indicates that 75% of Brazilians use at least one of their devices (computer, smartphone or tablet) while watching TV

>>>Develop More Landing Pages that Combine Product Information with the Offer
Here’s why:

  • Nearly 6 in 10 Brazilians—58%—look for information online before buying a product: 84% of Classe A does this, 70% of Classe B and 52% of Classe C*

>>>Put Most of Your Mobile Ad Spend toward Mobile Internet Ads (rather than in-app ads)
Here’s why:

  • Nearly 7 of 10 Brazilians (67%) access the Internet with a mobile device—a total of 62 million who are surfing mobile versions of Web sites and be reached with banners*
  • While 42% of Brazilian Internet users go online with computers when at home, more of them (52%) use cell phones*
  • Among the most popular apps among Brazilians (as ranked by App Annie), several don’t allow advertising, including WhatsApp and Instagram

Sources: *FNazca, **Google

Please contact us to find out more how we can increase efficiencies for Latin American agencies through media services like planning or buying or via advertising technology solutions like programmatic buying.

future media buying

The Future of Media Buying in Latin America

While tech disruptions in the Latam media world may not move as fast as they do in other markets, there’s no question that changes are underway that will eventually impact our work in media buying and planning. To that end, below we highlight some developments that advertisers, marketers and media professionals in Latin America need to track.

#1: OTT Streaming
While over-the-top (OTT) streaming is far from huge in Latin America, in fall 2014 Netflix reported that it had 5 million subscribers in Latin America. HBO will launch an OTT service in the U.S. this year, and it’s possible that a Latin American launch of that service is not far behind. There are several challenges with OTT, such as measurement of viewership of shows and movies that are streamed, and as of yet Netflix does not sell ads. But with the rise in tablet sales in Latin America, the popularity of online videos in the region and the steady increase in smart TV sales, within the next few years media professionals may have to work OTT inventory onTV shows and movies into their planning.

#2: Programmatic TV Ad Buying
This is still in its infancy in large markets like the United States, but there is growth potential. The idea behind TV programmatic buying is not to buy the highest rated shows that reach your target audience, but to buy the target audience and have the ads run on shows watched by that audience. At this point, unlike with digital programmatic buying, advertisers cannot buy programmatic TV ads in real time. There’s also not a ton of inventory available as most networks have not embraced this approach. There is speculation that there could be an increase in 2015 in which 3% to 5% of TV ad inventory is bought programmatically—up from the 1% in 2014. That said, programmatic TV is another potential media buying disrupter that professionals need to be aware of.

#3 In-App Ads
It’s difficult to find data on app usage in Latin America, though we do know that Brazilian mobile users have an average of 7 apps on their phones and that 61% of mobile users in Latin American have downloaded WhatsApp. We also know that mobile adoption keeps steamrolling forward in Latin America, along with mobile Internet use.   On the advertising side, a recent study from MediaLets showed that in-app ads perform two times better than ads on the mobile web. Another study from InMobi showed that in-app ads performed nearly 2.8 times better than ads on the mobile web.  Given this, we could see more ad spend in Latin America move towards apps as opposed to the mobile web.

Please contact us to find out more how we can increase efficiencies for Latin American agencies through media services like planning or buying or via advertising technology solutions like programmatic buying.

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.

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.



Quick Insights into Brazilian Internet Users

Google Think Insights recently published an interesting infographic on Brazilian Internet users, all based on recent research.

Even though it’s in Portuguese, most of the data is easy to figure out. Some of the highlights are:

  • 48% of Brazilians are connected to the Internet
  • 74% of Brazilians aged 15 to 49 are online
  • Smartphone penetration in Brazil went from 26% in 2013 to 29% in 2014
  • Tablet penetration in Brazil is at 9%
  • 80% of Brazilians compare products online before buying them.

And more. Click on the link below to view the infographic:

Google Think Insights Brasil 2014

Please contact us to find out more how we can increase efficiencies for Latin American agencies through media services like planning or buying or via advertising technology solutions like programmatic buying.


7 Top Trends among Colombian Internet Users

A quick review of some key studies reveal key shifts among Internet users in Colombia:

#1 Smartphone Use Spikes
Colombia has surpassed Argentina to become one of the top 3 smartphone markets in Latin America. In 2014 there were 14.4 million smartphone users in Colombia and in 2015 there will be more than 16 million Colombian smartphone users. In comparison, in 2015 there will be 12.6 million smartphone users in Argentina.
The top smartphone markets remain Brazil (nearly 49 million smartphone users in 2015) and Mexico (34 million). Overall, 45% of consumers with a mobile phone in Colombia own a smartphone.
Source: eMarketer

#2 More Time Online
Colombian Internet users average 1,404 minutes a month online, higher than the average for Latin America (1,298 per month) and not far below the monthly Internet usage of Europeans (1,659). Per visit, Colombians consume 37 pages of Internet content, #2 in Latin America after Brazil, with 40 pages per visit.
Source: comScore, 2014 Futuro Digital Colombia

#3 Mobile Internet Use Surges
Nearly 24 million Colombians are now using the mobile Internet. This represents a 58% increase compared to 2013.
Source: Asómovil (an association of top mobile providers in Colombia that includes Claro, Movistar and Tigo-UNE)

#4 E-Commerce Grows
In 2013 e-commerce transactions in Colombia totaled more than US$2.5 billion and it’s projected that in 2014 e-commerce growth in Colombia will be 25% to 30%. In 2014 52% of Colombian Internet users made an online purchase of a good or service.
Source: Cámara Colombiana de Informática y Telecomunicaciones

#5 Social Remains Strong
Colombians spend at least 13 minutes a day on Facebook and total up more than 54 million likes a day on this social network. Colombian Internet users spend 6 minutes a day on YouTube and 68% use Twitter at least every couple of days. More than 93% of the total time that Colombians spend on social media is spent on Facebook.
Sources: Ericcson Consumer Lab, Ipsos Tech Tracker, comScore

#6 Enthusiastic about Entertainment
Per online visit, Colombian Internet users consumer more than 10 pages of entertainment content, more than any other country in Latin America. YouTube is the leader in the entertainment category in Colombia in terms of unique users. The reach of online video is highest in Colombia: 88% of Internet users watch online video, slightly ahead of Brazil (with 87.8%) and ahead of Argentina (85.5%), Chile (84%) and Mexico (81%). Each month, there are 24.6  million unique viewers of online videos in Colombia who spend 216 million hours watching a total of more than 3.1 billion videos. This means that each Colombian Internet user watches 126 online videos per month, on average. Although YouTube is the #1 video site in Colombia and draws more than 21 million unique viewers a month, Facebook is closing the distance and draws more than 16 million unique viewers a month, followed by VEVO with 15.6 million.
Source: comScore, 2014 Futuro Digital Colombia

#7 Top CTR for Banners in Latam
With an average CTR of .12% for banner ads, Colombia is tied with Brazil and is ahead of other countries in Latin America.
Source: comScore, 2014 Futuro Digital Colombia

Please contact us to find out more how we can increase efficiencies for Latin American agencies through media services like planning or buying or via advertising technology solutions like programmatic buying.


Flying dollars banknotes isolated on white

Where Ad Investment in Latin America Should Go in 2015

The challenge that every marketer faces is how to develop a media budget that delivers the best results. Making changes to your approach is hard, not only because of the risk but also because of the need to sell other people in the company on those changes. But as the media landscape changes, it’s actually a bigger risk to make no changes, since you can easily fall out of step with your customers. In reviewing the data, here are some areas that both brands and media agencies need to look more closely at in executing their 2015 campaigns.

#1: Mobile Programmatic
Mexico clearly leads Latin America when it comes to mobile ad investment and is set to reach US$287 million by next year, while Brazil mobile ad investment will reach US$245 million and Argentine mobile ad spend will be a surprisingly small US$14.5 million.

But this modest level of investment doesn’t seem to jibe with the mobile boom happening in Latam. For instance:

And if those numbers aren’t enough to get the point across, see how smartphone penetration, tablet ownership and mobile Internet user are growing in other Latam markets, including Chile, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela.

Now to programmatic. We know that programmatic ad spend is set to spike dramatically in Latin America, so definitely the industry knows this works. The advantages of the tight targeting of programmatic are becoming clearer, in addition to the fact that it may deliver a more efficient spend than manual online ad buying.

Given this, it seems logical that brands need to deepen their mobile spend. And if the concern is that mobile may be a risk, why not look at some trials with mobile programmatic? Sharper targeting could lead to even better results with mobile and allow brands to fully take advantage of an audience that’s using smartphones more and more in the purchase process.

As such, it seems clear that brands need to run programmatic mobile trials and increase their conventional mobile ad spend in 2015. We can help with this: find out more here.

#2: Social
The numbers on social make things pretty clear:

Ok, so we know we have a good audience. Then why is social network ad spending in all of Latin America only estimated to be US$481 million in 2014 and only to increase by 23% in 2015?

Per user, advertisers will spend US$2.52 on social network advertising in Latin America, compared to $46 per user spent in North America and $27 per user in Western Europe.

How does this make sense when comScore reports that the average social media user in Latam spends 8.67 hours a month on social media versus 8.07 hours spent by Europeans and 6 hours a month spent by North Americans?

>>>The Approach with Social
There are several ways brands should leverage this Latam love of social in 2015:

Facebook retargeting. On one hand, we have 200 million Facebook users. On the other, in 2014 we have e-commerce growing by 40% in Argentina, by 23% in Brazil, by 20% in Mexico and by 45% in Colombia. So obviously it makes sense to retarget people who visit e-commerce sites with ads on Facebook. You can find out more on how that works here or just contact us directly since we’re experts in this area and partners with Triggit, a leading company in Facebook Exchange retargeting around the world.

Native advertising and content marketing. Do any of you know how much Latin American marketers are spending on native advertising or content marketing? Many of us don’t know yet, and the reason is because no surveys that report tactical spend by Latam marketers has been released. But it doesn’t seem to be much, if at all.

And what a missed opportunity. Mobile Internet is expanding hugely in Latin America and part of that entails people checking social networks on their cell phones: 30% of Mexicans, 37% of Chileans, 32% of Argentines and 19% of Brazilians, according to one study. But other studies confirm this trend: see here, here and here.

This means that people are checking their Facebook feeds, scrolling down: this makes it the perfect place for you to include a sponsored post that’s part of your content marketing. A recent survey of American marketers showed that 23% are devoting more than half of their 2015 budget to content production. Why? Because posts on topics and videos, for example, are good ways to engage people and sell. A post can lead back to a mini-site where your content lives—along with banners to convert people. Or you can set up a content channel on a portal—something we helped a client do with iG a few years ago and which worked very well. And you can leverage content even further with mobile: 55% of Brazilians recently said that video was their preferred format for mobile ads.

Sponsored social. This trend has taken off in the U.S. and it makes sense: use social media users with strong followings to promote brands. A recent study showed that 52% of American marketers had used this tactic in 2014, nearly as many as those who used online display advertising (58%). This could be a trickier tactic to deploy but it definitely merits some trials considering the potential it has.

Bottom Line
As an industry, we’re skipping around the surface of the potential of digital in Latam with light investments. It’s not about jumping on the bandwagon to be cool. It’s about adjusting our business practices to our audience habits. And that’s just good business.

Contact us to learn more about how we can spike your response in 2015 via mobile, programmatic, mobile programmatic, Facebook retargeting, social and a deeper dive into digital campaigns.