Category Archives: Panama

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.

Growth Arrow on Laptop Computer

The Latest on the Emerging Internet Markets in Latin America

While data is abundant for some of the larger online markets in Latin America, for certain smaller markets it’s difficult to find data to drive decisions. Fortunately, comScore and other organizations have conducted some recent studies that will be helpful in understanding Internet users in Latam’s emerging online markets. As such, below we detail key findings for each market.

Central America

  • 62% of Central American internet users say the Internet advertising offers the most information and 51% say it’s more creative and innovative than advertising on other media
  • 74% of Central American Internet users research products online before making a purchase offline
  • 68% are motivated by online advertising to visit the advertised store and 67% say that online advertising motivates them to visit a brand’s website
  • 87% of Central American Internet users go on social media sites
  • 87% of Central American Internet users view online videos
  • 57% accept seeing a preroll advertisement as “payment” for viewing content and 54% have no problem
  • 95% of Central American Internet users go on Facebook, compared to 60% who visit Twitter and much lower percentages that visit other sites, such as LinkedIn (29%), Sonico (20%), Instagram 19%), Pinterest (7%), FourSquare (4%) and Tumblr (3%)
  • 98% of Central American Internet users go online with PCs or laptops, but 62% use smartphones and 58% use feature phones, with only 29% using tablets
  • Among Central American mobile phone users, Android has 43% share, followed by Blackberry with 37% and the iPhone with 25%
  • 2 out of 3 Central American mobile users visit social media sites with their phones
  • 7 of 10 smartphone users in Central America use their phones frequently while watching TV

Source: comScore


  • 26% of Chilean online consumers are “extreme users,” meaning that they have an intensive use of technology in their purchase process; Chile is tied with the United States for second place in this area, surpassed only by China*
  • 41% of Chileans use 3 screens in their daily lives, suggesting strong potential for Social TV solutions**
  • The average amount of Facebook fans on the top pages in Chile went up by 126% between 2013 and 2014***
  • Actions on social media in Chile went up by 100% between Q2 2013 and Q2 2014, with 96% of social media actions taking place on Facebook***
  • Instagram actions went up by 677% in Chile between 2013 and 2014 but only account for 1.9% of the total amount of social media actions taken in Chile in this period***
  • As with other markets, photos make up the majority (71%) of social media posts in Chile and they account for nearly 80% of the engagement***
  • News sites have a reach of nearly 85% in Chile, higher than any other Latam country***
  • Nearly 19% of the web pages viewed in Chile are seen on a mobile phone or tablet and in this regard Chile is only surpassed by Mexico***
  • Android devices account for 80% of the mobile traffic in Chile***

Sources: *GfK, **Movistar, ***comScore

Peru Flag

  • There are more than 11 million Internet users in Peru*
  • Peruvians from socioeconomic classes AB are the heaviest users and tend to go online with mobile devices, while those from class C use a PC or laptop and usually connect from home*
  • Like other Latin American internautas, Peruvians spend lots of time on social media sites: nearly 7 hours per month per user**
  • Search, services, social media, portals and entertainment are the top site categories in Peru in terms of visits**
  • Repeating a common pattern worldwide, Facebook is the #1 social media site in Peru, with nearly double the amount of uniques as LinkedIn, the #2 social site in the country**
  • The travel category has a deeper reach in Peru (25%) than in all of Latin America (22.8%)**
  • Page views from mobile devices now make up more than 12% of total page views in Peru, up 11% compared to 2013**

Sources: *Ipsos Peru, **comScore


  • Internet penetration in Puerto Rico is at 58%
  • There are more than 1.8 million Internet users in Puerto Rico aged 12 or older, with 60% penetration proyected for 2015
  • The majority (nearly 77%) of Puerto Rican Internet users go online with a cell phone, nearly 54% use a PC and nearly 15% use a tablet
  • Overall, nearly 87% of Puerto Rican Internet users have a profile on social media
  • Nearly 80% of Puerto Ricans on social media have a Facebook profile, while 41% are on YouTube and 34% are on Instagram

Source: SME, Asociación de Ejecutivos de Ventas y Mercadeo de Puerto Rico

  • 41% of Venezuelans have access to the Internet and 90% of Venezuelan Internet users go online every day*
  • 61% of Venezuelan Internet users access the Internet via a mobile device*
  • 91% of Venezuelan Internet users are on Facebook*
  • Venezuelan Internet users spend an average of 16 hours a week online*
  • The top daily online activities for Venezuelans include social networking (73%), email (82%), getting info on news, sports and weather (59%), going to education sites (48%) and listening to music (44%)*
  • 90% of Venezuelan Internet users are on social media, a higher percentage than American Internet users (83%) or the global percentage (80.9%)**
  • 46.5% of Facebook users in Venezuela are ages 13 to 24, while nearly 34% are ages 18 to 24 and nearly 27% are ages 25 to 34, with people 35 to 44 accounting for 14.6% and those 55 and over accounting for 4.7%***
  • Only 14% of Venezuelan Internet users are active on Twitter****

Sources: *JWT, Digilats study 2014, **comScore, April 2014, ***Socialbakers, ****PeerReach

Contact us to find out more how we can help your agency increase its efficiencies via online ad campaigns or new ad technology developed for the Latin American market.

Earth boy - South America

US Media Consulting Releases 2014 Latin American Media Market Report

US Media Consulting, a leading media services and technology firm, has released its 2014 Latin American Media Market Report. The report offers the latest data in a wide range of areas, including:

  • Media penetration in Latin America for all major forms of media
  • Media consumption in major Latam markets
  • Ad spend projections for Latin America
  • Breakdowns of ad spend by medium in key markets
  • Data on the growth of newspaper circulation in Latin America in 2013
  • Social media usage and fastest-growing social sites in Latin America
  • The pay TV market in Latin America
  • Latest data on Latin America’s mobile market and e-commerce

And much more.

Click here to download the study.

To find out more about how we can help your agency increase its efficiencies with media services or the latest in media technology, please contact us.


The Top Advertisers in Latin America

IBOPE has published the latest edition of its MediaBook and one of the key data points is the companies that invested the most in advertising in 2013.

While IBOPE did not publish data for Mexico, the top online advertisers in Mexico in 2013 can be found here.

Below we list the top advertisers for key markets in Latin America, ranking them in descending order and including the amounts in dollars.


  1. Unilever: $708 million
  2. Genomma Lab: $637 million
  3. Presidency of Argentina: $469 million
  4. Procter & Gamble: $426 million
  5. Coca Cola: $324 million
  6. Danone: $244 million
  7. Telecom: $228 million
  8. Grupo Telefónica: $224 million
  9. Quilmes: $216 million
  10. SC Johnson: $211 million


  1. Unilever Brasil: $2.1 billion
  2. Casa Bahia: $1.5 billion
  3. Genomma: $1.1 billion
  4. Ambev: $804 million
  5. Caixa (GFC): $771 million
  6. Petrobras: $655 million
  7. Hypermarcas: $566 million
  8. Volkswagen: $555 million
  9. Reckitt Benckiser: $519 million
  10. Fiat: $503 million


  1. Procter and Gamble Chile: $209 million
  2. Falabella: $205 million
  3. Unilever: $191 million
  4. Nestle Chile: $99.6 million
  5. Ecusa: $93 million
  6. Entel PCS: $92 million
  7. Sodimac: $90 million
  8. Movistar: $81.4 million
  9. Sociedad Productores de Leche: $81.3 million
  10. Loreal: $77.4 million


  1. Postobon: $94.4 million
  2. Procter &Gamble: $88.2 million
  3. Unilever Andina: $69 million
  4. Claro: $67 million
  5. Claro Soluciones Fijas: $63 million
  6. Tecnoquimicas: $62.715 million
  7. Almacenes Éxito: $62.711 million
  8. Telefonica MoviStar: $58 million
  9. Genomma Lab Colombia: $57 million
  10. Coca Coca: $56.7 million


  1. Colgate Palmolive: $10.5 million
  2. Unilever: $10 million
  3. Banco Nacional Costa Rica: $9.6 million
  4. ICE: $8.8 million
  5. Procter and Gamble: $5.9 million
  6. Banco de Costa Rica: $5.884 million
  7. América Móvil: $5.833 million
  8. Genomma Laboratories: $5.828 million
  9. Gollo: $4.79 million
  10. Tica Panamco: $4.74 million


  1. National Government: $107 million
  2. Unilever Andina: $99.6 million
  3. Conecel: $76.6 million
  4. Genomma Lab: $59 million
  5. Lotería Nacional: $52.6 million
  6. Johnson & Johnson: $50 million
  7. Otecel: $48 million
  8. Colgate Palmolive del Ecuador: $45 million
  9. La Fabril: $39 million
  10. Quala: $37 million


  1. Interacel: $30.7 million
  2. TV Offer: $27.8 million
  3. Telepromos: $26.1 million
  4. Pepsi: $20 million
  5. Procter & Gamble: $18.88 million
  6. Genomma Lab: $18.87 million
  7. Colgate Palmolive: $17.7 million
  8. Ambev Centroamérica: $16.8 million
  9. Unilever: $15 million
  10. Sears: $14.3 million


  1. Genomma Lab: $24 million
  2. Tigo: $13.4 million
  3. Claro: $9.9 million
  4. Diunsa: $9.5 million
  5. FICOHSA: $8.1 million
  6. Banco AtlántidaL $7,2 million
  7. La Colonia: $6.5 million
  8. Unilever: $6.2 million
  9. Pepsi: $5.9 million
  10. BAC Honduras: $5.7 million


  1. Tova SA: $21.3 million
  2. Cable & Wireless: $19.6 million
  3. Claro Panama: $19.4 million
  4. Dist Comercial: $16.5 million
  5. Super Xtra: $11 million
  6. Importadora Ricamar: $10.7 million
  7. Digicel: $10.5 million
  8. Minipresidencia: $8.9 million
  9. Jose Domingo Arias: $8.4 million
  10. Bayer: $8 million


  1. Interacel: $23.6 million
  2. Telecel: $22.5 million
  3. Unilever: $18 million
  4. Chena Ventures: $13.8 million
  5. Nucleo: $13.2 million
  6. National Government: $12.5 billion
  7. Gambling: $11 million
  8. Paraguay Refrescos: $10.1 million
  9. Servicios Digitales: $9.3 million
  10. Talisman: 8.9 million


  1. Procter & Gamble: $243 million
  2. Alicorp: $155 million
  3. Telefónica Móviles: $75.9 million
  4. América Móvil Perú: $73.8 million
  5. Saga Falabella: $71 million
  6. Coca Cola: $66.4 million
  7. Unilever Andina Perú: $63 million
  8. Nestlé Perú: $62.8 million
  9.  Quality Products: $62.3 million
  10.  UCP Backus y Johnston: $60.3 million


  1. Unilever: $58 million
  2. Loreal: $42.3 million
  3. Antel: $28.9 million
  4. Fábricas Nacionales de Cerveza: $28.8 million
  5. SC Johnson: $28.7 million
  6. Conaprole: $23.3 million
  7. Coca Cola: $22.9 million
  8. Fucac: $22.4 million
  9. Motociclo: $19.6 million
  10. Chic Parisien: $18.3 million


To find out more how we can help your agency increase its efficiencies via media services and new technology developed for the Latam market, please contact us.



top 10

The Top 10 Growth Markets in Latin America

In pursuing new business in Latin America, it can be helpful for agencies to discover the sectors in the region that are notching more sales and expanding. We reviewed a combination of data, including industry reports and projections, to identify the top growth markets in Latam.


In January 2014 Nielsen reported that Latin American consumers have one of the highest purchase intents in the world for cars: 75% plan to buy a new or used car this year, 10% above the global average. This strong purchase intent reflects sales growth in different Latam markets:


While there haven’t been numbers reported for all of Latin America, a number of individual markets in the region have posted notable growth in the cosmetics sector:

Blue diamond

According to Erez Akerman, president of the Bolsa de Diamantes de Panama (Panama Diamond Exchange), the diamond market in Latin America is posting more than US$8 billion in annual sales and is projected to have 25% growth this year.

4 drink
Energy Drinks

Growth in this sector dates back to 2007. Food and drink consultant firm Zenith International reported that the average annual growth in the energy drink market in Latin America was 25% between 2007 and 2012. The value of the energy drink market in Latin America went up by an average of 22% per year between 2007 and 2012. The top-consuming energy drink markets include Brazil (with 56% of the overall market), Argentina (nearly 18%), Mexico (15%), Colombia (4.5%) and Chile (4%).
The firm Research and Markets recently release a report in which it indicated that the energy drink market in Latin America will grow at a current adjusted growth rate (CAGR) of 21% in revenue between now and 2018.

5 hotels

A recent study from Jones Lang LaSalle projects that the Latin American hotel industry will increase its room supply by 65% over the next 10 years. In March 2014 Brazil had nearly 13,000 hotel rooms under construction, while in the same month Mexico had 162 hotels in the planning/construction phase. According to the STR Construction report, other Latam countries have significant amounts of hotel rooms under construction, including Colombia (2,805), Panama (1,919), Argentina (1,719), Chile (985) and Costa Rica (899).

6 luxury

According to Euromonitor, in 2013 Latin America led the world in luxury market growth. The firm noted that in 2013 Latin America posted 24% growth in the amount of luxury outlets and 22% growth in luxury outlets sales growth. The #2 region in luxury growth was the Middle East, with nearly 14% growth in the number of luxury outlets and 22% growth in sales at luxury outlets.
Among the top luxury growth markets in Latin America:

7 otc
Over-the-Counter Pharmaceuticals

According to TechNavio, the over-the-counter (OTC) pharmaceuticals market in Latin America will have a CAGR of more than 14% between 2013 and 2018.

8 pets

Although no recent pet market data for all of Latam is available for 2013, Euromonitor noted a 44% increase in spending on pet products in Latin America between 2006 and 2011. In addition, it was recently reported that pet supermarkets Petco and Gigante will invest US$50 million in the opening of 50 new stores in Mexico and Latin America. Individual Latam markets are also showing good growth in the pet product sector:

9 tv
TV sets

With the World Cup, it’s projected that TV sales will increase in a variety of Latin American markets:

10 toys

The year 2012 marked the first time that sales of traditional toys and games in Latin America surpassed US$10 billion, according to Euromonitor. The firm forecasts a 7% CAGR for the Brazilian toy market between 2012 and 2017, with spending per child increasing from US$81 in 2012 to US$125 in 2017. Euromonitor also projects that the Mexican toy market will be worth more than US$300 million by 2017. Other relevant numbers to take into account include:

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

Mexican Pesos

6 Mega-Trends Among Latin American Consumers in 2014

Recently, the Peruvian firm Consumer Truth published a new report that identifies what it calls mega insights, six major trends in consumer behavior in Latin America that are driven by lifestyle changes and cultural shifts.  Here’s a breakdown of the six and the opportunities they may offer for Latin America’s advertising, marketing and media industries in 2014:

Real Women

Consumer Truth predicts that we’ll see a new take on what it means to be a woman in Latin America, with older, idealized images giving way to more authentic, real images that admit flaws. The firm notes that “The princess fantasy will fade away. Today’s princesses are flesh and blood, have their feet on the ground and live in a kingdom they created.” Consumer Truth cites several modern politicians as examples of these types of princesses, including Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, Argentine president Cristina Kirchner and Michelle Bachelet, former president of Chile.
>>>The Impact: Brands will have the opportunity to communicate values of strength and attitude to Latam’s female consumers, as well as the importance of authenticity and admitting imperfections. Consumer Truth cites several recent campaigns, including Dove’s Real Beauty (Campaña de Dove por la Belleza Real), Belcorp’s “Quién quieres ser hoy?” (“Who do you want to be today?) and Falabella’s “Atrévete, cambia” (“Dare to change”) as examples of this trend being reflected in advertising.



Consumer Truth believes that the fast pace of life of cities, lack of public spaces and other factors are causing a demand in Latin America for people to have their own space and unplug. At the same time, Internet and mobile use are expanding. In combination, this seems to be spurring a new mantra in Latam: “Disconnect to Connect.” As such, there’s more emphasis on personal health and well-being, as well as societal well-being.
>>>The Impact: Streets and public spaces will become places in which brands will connect more people from an experiential standpoint, so street marketing and below-the-line (BTL) promotions will try to engage consumers outside of their homes.


New Men

The traditional idea of what it is to be a man—the strong alpha male—is giving way to new notions, including sensitivity. Consumer Truth posits an interesting view: that as women now compete with men for professional success in Latin America, men have begun to compete with them in more traditionally female areas such as cosmetics and fashion. In addition, male models of strength as exemplified by tough guy action stars give way to strategy, original style and persuasion as identifiers of masculinity.
>>>The Impact: Brands will connect by emphasizing male individuality and originality, as well as values involving personal care and being more sensitive.


The You Generation

With the advent of social media, Consumer Truth observes that online communities or teen tribes have formed around causes and that these look to bring in new members. Some say, “I don’t have friends, I have followers,” with a consumer emerging that wants to show themselves off and be shown off. Social media like Instagram and Twitter allow users to brand their own identities and make them public. Now anybody with talent and digital culture can be famous.
>>>The Impact: This can translate into the personalization of consumption and reaching new customers that want alternative products that are different from conventional ones. Consumer Truth cites the “Crea Tus Bembos” (Make Your Own Bembos Hamburger) in Peru. Programs that allow co-creation between brands and consumers may become a potential alternative to generate innovative ideas. Given the desire that younger consumers have to be active protagonists in brand stories, companies can now shift from offering attributes and benefits to offering an opportunity to become part of a cause.


Cultural Crossover

Consumer Truth believes that cultural hybridization has emerged as a solution to the conflict involved in the saying”, “think globally, act locally.” The new values that are part of this process involve fusion and blends, producing fusion cuisine, fusion art, etc. As such, modern consumers in Latam look to incorporate foreign cultures and flavors while conserving local cultural essences.
>>>The Impact: This trend highlights the importance of linking brands to a culture of origin, beliefs and customs that are socially shared. Products can have foreign capital but need to have local flavor. Latin America brands need to look inward to find cultural insights and inspire consumers through their own genuine values.

Fast & Easy vs. Nice and Slow

The emergence of the Internet and other tech tools have highlighted the values of efficiency, practicality and speed. These values are now confronting equally relevant values such as complexity and profundity, especially as technological facility leads to ease of consumption and greater availability of credit.
>>>The Impact: Consumer Truth observes that in terms of consumption, there’s the same dialectic struggle that you see with fast food vs. comfort food, Red Bull vs. Slow Cow. Brands will realize that modern life’s fast pace can be tiring and that it’s best to go back to basics: the beauty of simplicity and enjoying each moment. This offers an opportunity to re-connect consumers with a sense of profundity and transcendence to complement technological efficiency.

To find out more about Consumer Truth’s report, please click here.

To find out how we can help your brand connect with Latin American consumers with a strategic campaign in any form of media, please contact us.

Valla Emprende-t - EnterBio

The Secret of the Success of Advertising in Latin America

Recently Nielsen published its 2013 Global Trust in Advertising report, which measures consumer attitudes towards all types of advertising. Nielsen surveyed 29,000 consumers in 58 countries. And for the second straight year, Latin Americans were shown to have the most confidence in advertising of all the consumers in the world.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the key figures in the report:

  • 75% of Latin Americans trust TV advertising compared to 62% of the rest of the world
  • 74% of Latin Americans trust radio advertising compared to 57% of the rest of the world
  • 72% of Latin Americans trust magazine advertising compared to 60% of the rest of the world
  • 74% of Latin Americans trust newspaper advertising compared to 57% of the rest of the world
  • 65% of Latin Americans trust out-of-home (OOH) advertising compared to 57% of the rest of the world
  • 61% of Latin Americans trust online search advertising compared to 48% of the rest of the world
  • 50% of Latin Americans trust online ad banners compared to 42% of the rest of the world
  • 54% of Latin Americans trust online video advertising compared to 48% of the rest of the world
  • 60% of Latin Americans trust social media advertising compared to 48% of the rest of the world
  • 54% of Latin Americans trust mobile phone display advertising compared to 45% of the rest of the world

Ads Spark Action in Latin America
Beyond trust, what obviously is key is the action that someone take after being exposed to advertising. Well, Latin America also leads the world in this category. According to Nielsen’s results, Latin Americans are much more likely to take action after being exposed to advertising than the consumers in the rest of the world.


On average, Latin America’s consumers are 16% more likely to take action after being exposed to an ad in 10 of the major media types.


Real Life=Real Impact
Nielsen also asked consumers about the messaging elements in ads that had the most impact for them. The ads that present real world situations were the ones that had the largest amount of resonance with Latin American consumers (57%). Globally, the ads that use humor had the most resonance with consumers (47%), but ads that show real-life situations were a close second (46%).

To find out more about how we can help you reach Latin American consumers with a campaign in any type of media, 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.

Expand- web brand

Expanding Your Web Brand into Latin America

Just Brazil alone has 102 million Internet users. Overall, Latin America will have nearly 300 million Internet users by the end of 2013 and nearly 400 million by 2017.

With these numbers, it should be pretty simple for a web brand to reap the revenues from such a large audience, right?


As one of the pioneers in Internet advertising in Latin America, we at US Media Consulting were considered to be, shall we say, a bit eccentric when we launched in 2003. No one believed that Internet would take off in the region any time soon, especially since the dotcom bubble had recently burst in more mature markets. But we saw the potential and have benefited from the growth. Along the way, we learned a few things—including the challenges that web brands face in trying to expand into Latin America. Some of these include:

Multiple Markets
More often that you would think, brands that are new to the Latin American market tend to see it as monolithic. It’s clearly not. Brazil, for example, not only has a different language but also a unique business climate that’s often quite protectionist. Setting up a local office to do business there can be quite a challenge, with issues ranging from tariffs and moving currency to how agencies operate. For example, in the United States you have creative agencies to produce ads and media agencies to handle the planning, buying and implementation of the campaign in media outlets. In Brazil, agencies do both, changing the operational dynamic and often complicating execution.
Market conditions are different in Argentina, and they’re also different in Peru, Mexico, Colombia and other markets. Each market has their own way of operating and distinct business climates that need to be navigated properly to avoid pitfalls that impede profits.

With Latin America there isn’t just a concern about the different currencies (reales vs. pesos vs. nuevos soles, for example), there’s also the IVA tax, the challenge of conversion and local laws regarding the movement of monies between countries. Tariffs, penalties and attorney fees can easily erase profits, thus sabotaging a nascent operation.

With the variety of markets and climates, a web brand may need to do some substantial hiring to find the right people to represent their brand in these markets. But it’s not easy for team members from outside the region to evaluate professionals in these markets and get a direct sense of their know-how and connections. And with multiple markets, multiple teams in different countries are needed, with a home office team also needed to ensure that things run smoothly. The costs for all of these team members can become quite significant, starting off operations with a loss on the books and what can be a substantial trial and error process as a brand learns each market, develops best practices and eventually (if all works out) turns a profit.

The rules for opening and operating subsidiaries in Latin America vary widely from country to country, as do tax laws and practices, not to mention human resources practices, the amount of holidays (did you know that Colombia has 18 national holidays every year?), employment terms and more. A web brand that’s flush with funding but is still growing may find itself hamstrung by all the steps needed to open a Latam office or office—plus all the fees to attorneys and other professionals just for navigating the basics.

Revenue Models
Another concern is determining whether the revenue model for your brand is applicable to Latin America. While a CPM campaign is pretty much the same here or there, obviously different sites have their own advertising models cued to user behavior. And without a clear understanding of the markets in the region, you could find yourself trying to make an unworkable model work.

The Strategic Solution
Rather than going it alone when expanding to Latin America, many web brands opt to find a partner. That’s where a firm like US Media Consulting can make a huge difference. Here’s how:

  • Extensive market knowledge going back more than 10 years
    Solves: multiple market concerns, revenue models
  • Local offices in 6 Latam markets
    Solves: logistics issues, currency concerns, billing, collections and moving monies
  • Local sales staff, all online specialists
    Solves: learning local markets, building contacts, hiring/employment problems
  • Company headquarters in Miami
    Solves: management in multiple markets, marketing


To find out more about how we can help web brands maximize Latin America’s 300-million audience of Internet users, please contact us.

Why Retargeting in Facebook Exchange Will Change Online Advertising in Latin America

Internet advertising is clearly successful in Latin America, but often it’s based on typical profiles of target audiences that visit certain sites. In other words, if your target is men aged 18-34 in Brazil, you buy impressions on web sites whose visitors fit this profile.

But you don’t know if that target knows and is interested in your product.

What if you did know this? What if you knew for a fact which Internet users in Brazil and the rest of Latin America had shown interest in your product? And what if you could reach just those Internet users with your ad? And if your ad could be optimized so that only the best-performing version would be shown to the Internet users you know are interested in your products?

This is all possible through retargeting on Facebook Exchange, a service that’s now available for advertisers targeting Latin America.

What is Facebook Exchange?
Launched in September 2012, Facebook Exchange is a platform that makes available part of Facebook’s social ad inventory. But Facebook Exchange is not open access for anyone like Google AdWords—less than 20 demand side platforms (DSPs) in the world have access to Facebook Exchange. Basically, the clients of these particular DSPs can purchase impressions on Facebook Exchange, and they do it via a real-time bidding (RTB) system, with the market setting the price of impressions of different target audiences.

Precision Targeting via Triggit
US Media Consulting has partnered with Triggit, one of the DSPs that has access to Facebook Exchange. What sets Triggit apart is its dynamic creative optimization technology. Dynamic creative optimization generates the ads in Facebook that the users see and also measures which of these ads deliver the best response. Based on this data, future users only see the ads which have performed the best.

How It Works
Triggit’s software is installed on an e-commerce or travel site and tracks the specific products that each user looks at—but doesn’t buy—when navigating the site. So let’s assume that Rolando from Argentina visits an e-commerce site and looks at a brand of sneaker without buying it. Then later that day he goes into Facebook to check status updates from friends. When he does, he’ll see an ad for that same sneaker brand. In fact, that ad may even offer a special discount for those sneakers. The result? Rolando is a lot more likely to click on that ad…and buy that product. How much more likely? Initial results indicate that CTRs for these types of ads are 8 times higher than a regular banner—and that conversion rates are 10 times higher.

Below we offer some screenshots that show how the process works.

#1 The user views the product on an e-commerce site without buying it.

#2 Later, upon entering Facebook, the user sees an ad for the same product he or she viewed earlier.

What This Means for Latin America
Retargeting via Facebook Exchange is a major development for Latin America for three major reasons.

First, e-commerce is growing spectacularly in the region. According to a study by América Economía and Visa, e-commerce sales in Latin America will grow by 28% in 2013. Key individual markets with powerful growth include Brazil (24% projected growth for 2013), México (30% projected growth for 2013), Peru (20% in 2013) and Argentina (45% in 2013).  Chile’s e-commerce growth in 2013 is projected to be around 15%, on top of 20% growth in 2012. While no 2013 e-commerce projections are available yet for Colombia, the country’s e-commerce sales grew from US$1.4 billion in 2011 to more than US$2 billion in 2012.

Second, Facebook rules social media in Latin America. Before discussing Facebook, it’s key to recognize social media’s immense popularity in Latin America: it’s the #2 most popular activity among Internet users (after search) and 5 of the top 10 countries in social media usage are from Latin America.
In other words, if you’re not including social in a campaign to reach Latin American Internet users, you are missing a gigantic opportunity. And if you do plan on including social, Facebook is by far the best choice. The numbers show why: in August 2013, Facebook reported that it had 200 million users in Latin America. More importantly, comScore indicated in its Futuro Digital report that Facebook takes up 94% of the time that Latin Americans spend on social media.

Third, online travel sales have taken off in Latin America. According to a recent study from Barclays Capital, Latin America will lead all world regions in online travel sales growth through 2016. Online travel sales in Latin America will grow by 30% in 2013, by 25% in 2014, by 20% in 2015 and by 18% in 2016. In addition, this year Latin America will surpass the Asia Pacific region in terms of online travel sales as a percentage of the total, 26.8% vs. 26.6%. By 2016, online will represent 39% of the total travel sales in Latin America, not far the 53.9% projected for the United States.

So overall, it’s clear that the surging e-commerce and e-travel firms in Latin America now have a unique, powerful tool to grow their sales even further via the strategic use of the region’s most popular social media site.

The next step? Contact us to see how we can help you leverage retargeting in Facebook Exchange to spike your sales.