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Latam mobile trends

8 New Trends in Latin America’s Mobile Market for 2013

Due to our work in constantly implementing mobile campaigns for a variety of clients, here at US Media Consulting we’re very focused on monitoring trends in Latin America’s mobile markets. And since our story last year, new trends have emerged. To help marketers, advertisers and media professionals make better-informed decisions when it comes to their mobile ad campaigns in Latin America, we’ve decided to share a few of the trends we have observed.

According to IDC, smartphone sales in all of Latin America during the first quarter of 2013 reached 16.6 million units, an increase of 53% compared to the same period in 2012. In the second quarter of 2013, research firm Gartner reported that smartphone sales in Latin America increased by 55%. Only the Asia-Pacific region had a bigger increase in smartphone sales. Several markets in Latin America are reporting impressive gains in smartphone sales thus far, including:

And while smartphone sales only went up 2% in Argentina in the first quarter of 2013, smartphones now account for 47% of the cell phone sales in the country. In Colombia, smartphones represent 30% of the cell phones imported into the country, compared to just 10% in 2011.

According to IDC, tablet sales in Latin America totaled more than 3.5 million units in the first quarter of 2013, compared to 1 million in the first quarter of 2012, an overall increase of 234%.

This is according to StatsCounter, which recently reported mobile figures covering the period of April to June 2013 in Latin America. Here’s a breakdown by country:

  • Argentina: Android has a 63% market share, followed by Nokia (9%), Symbian (8%) and iOS (7%)
  • Bolivia: Android has 54% share, followed by iOS (13%)
  • Brazil: Android has 50% market share in Brazil in terms of mobile devices, trailed by Nokia (15%) and iOS (15%)
  • Chile: Android has a 63% share, followed  by iOS (25%)
  • Colombia: Android has a 43% share, followed by iOS (23%) and Blackberry (13%)
  • Ecuador: Android has a 40% share, followed by iOS (20%), Nokia (14%) and Blackberry (11%)
  • Paraguay: Android has a 40% share, followed by Nokia (29%) and Symbian (13%)
  • Peru: Android is at (58%) and iOS is at 13%
  • Uruguay: Android has a 48% share, followed by Nokia (16%) and iOS (12%)
  • Venezuela: Android has a 44% share, followed by iOS (19%) and Blackberry (18%)

While Statscounter did not report market share for Mexico in terms of mobile operating system, Kantar Worldpanel released figures in June 2013. According to these figures, Android has 62% share in Mexico, followed by Blackberry (11%), iOS (9%), Nokia (8%) and Windows (7%).

A study from Ipsos OTX and Ipsos Global @dvisor indicates that 48% of Mexican Internet users would prefer to make payments with smartphones or tablets rather than with their wallets. For their part, 47% of Argentine Internet users and 38% of Brazilian Internet users would prefer to use these mobile devices to make payments.

IBOPE recently reported that 52 million Brazilians use mobile Internet, while mobile broadband subscriptions grew by 42% in Chile, by 39% in Mexico and by 18% in Colombia in the first quarter of 2013. In March 2013 Brazil had 103 million active mobile broadband subscriptions, a 38% increase compared to March 2012. In addition, a recent report from Ericsson projects massive increase in mobile Internet subscriptions in Latin America by 2018, including:

This is the projection from eMarketer, a major increase compared to previous years. Brazil, not surprisingly, seems to have the most potential for growth: eMarketer predicts that it will surge from US$60 million in 2013 to US$132 million in 2014 and eventually reach US$731 million by 2017.

According to the Federación Latinoamericana de la Banca (Feleban), the amount of Latin Americans who access their banks via mobile terminals will increase by 65% per year in the coming years and total 140 million by 2015.

There’s significant evidence that suggests that targeting Latam mobile users on social sites should deliver some strong results. For instance:
More than 77% of Argentine mobile users go to social media sites with their devices. Recently, E.Life reported identical results: 77% of Brazilians who go online with mobile phones go to social media sites. Nielsen reported similar results for Brazilian smartphone owners, indicating that 75% use their smartphones primarily to visit social media sites. An Ipsos survey of Colombian smartphone owners indicated that 81% use their phones to go to social media sites.
More specifically, Facebook recently reported that 74% of the 47 million Facebook users in Mexico access the site via mobile devices, compared to 57% of Brazilian Facebook users and 59% of Argentine Facebook users.
Overall, these figures aren’t a major surprise considering that as far back as October 2011, Pyramid Research predicted that Latin America would have 116 million mobile users of social media sites by 2015.

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


Mexican Internet Users and Their Views about Online Ads

Mexican Internet users are spending more time online, are connecting more through their mobile phones and most stop to look at web ads. These are among the compelling findings of a recent study conducted by research firm Millward Brown, Televisa Interactive and IAB Mexico. This is the fourth study they’ve done of Mexican internautas, and it’s based on surveys done in July and August of 1,129 Internet users. For marketing, media and advertising professionals, a number of findings should be of major interest.

>>>Most Look at Online Advertising
75% of Mexican Internet users reported stopping to look at online ads, with 8% saying they always look at online ads and 67% indicating that they sometimes look at them.

>>>What Makes Them Look at Online Ads
53% of Mexican Internet users say that information-providing ads capture their attention. The actual offer in the ads only make 19% stop to look at them, and only 12% stop because the ads offer something new.

>>>Why They Skip Online Ads
67% of Mexican Internet users who skip online ads do this because the ads waste time or are bothersome while navigating. More than half (53%) of those who skip ads do so because they don’t grab the users’ attention or because the products don’t interest them. Technical problems (31%) and a lack of trust in the ads (31%) also make Mexican Internet users ignore online ads. Nearly a quarter (24%) of the Mexican Internet users who ignore online ads do so because they don’t like online advertising, preferring advertising in print, TV and other media.

>>>Product Information Is Important
80% of Mexican Internet users go online to research products or services and 50% buy online, up from 38% who reported doing so in 2010. In fact, while in 2010 Mexican Internet users said the main reason they went online was to chat, in 2011 they say their main reason for going online is to find information.

>>>They’re Going Online with Diverse Devices
62% of Mexican Internet users go online with laptops, up from 57% in 2010. Nearly a quarter (23%) go online with smartphones, while more than a third (34%) use mobile phones. Combining the figures suggests that 57% of Mexicans are going online via mobile phones. Another 20% go online with videogame consoles and just 6% use tablet computers to do this.

>>>Like the Rest of Latam, They Love Social Media
Nearly 9 out of 10 (87%) Mexican Internet users are part of a social network and social media are one of the top 3 sources of information for them. Facebook and Twitter are among the most popular sites among Mexican Internet users. However, Hi 5, MySpace, Sónico and Metroflog all dropped in popularity in Mexico between 2010 and 2011.

>>>They Interact with Brands Online More Than Before
A significant number of Mexican Internet users (40%) are members of company fan pages, 27% have written online about brands and 83% saw ads on social media sites. Among the top reasons they become fans is to find out new information about brands (79%), learn about special promotions (59%) and obtain relevant information (50%). Brands who attract the most Mexican fans on social media sites include Nike, Coca-Cola, Adidas, Converse and Sony.

A number of key learnings emerge from the study results.

Give them good content. Mexican Internet users clearly go online for information, including product information. But they don’t like intrusive ads that interfere with the navigation. This suggests that content marketing could be a successful way to reach this audience. For example, a car company could prepare content about car maintenance and repair or other useful information and use banner ads about the content to drive users to a landing page with more content and banners for specific products. This aligns with what the users are looking for yet, prepared correctly, also promotes the brand. Click here to see a case study showing how to successfully use content marketing online.

Go mobile. It’s not surprising that Mexicans are going online with mobile devices more than before. The trend is taking place all over Latin America. For advertisers and marketers, this means defining your mobile marketing strategy and developing campaigns to test and discover what works best for your brand.

Review your social strategy. Mexicans see the ads on social networks, they become fans of brands and they use social media to learn more about brands. But taking advantage of this is not as simple as setting up a Facebook page. The Digital Life survey of Latin Americans shows the pitfalls of social media for brands. Reviewing case studies of social media successes in Latin America also offers ideas. Does your social media marketing offer value to the user? Are you the only one talking or do your customers have a say? How can customers interact with your brand via social media but also offline? These are all key questions to consider for reaching any market, not just Mexico.

To learn more about how we can help you reach Mexico with a customized campaign, contact us at info@usmediaconsulting.com.

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Keys to Understanding Mexico’s Online Market

Recent research from IAB Mexico, comScore, Microsoft Advertising and Asociación Mexicana de Internet (AMPCI), among other sources, offers insights into this growing market.


In 2010 there were 34.9 million Internet users in Mexico, with 40 million projected by the end of 2011 and 56.4 million by 2014—50% penetration. Mexico is currently the fastest-growing Internet market in Latin America, ahead of Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Chile.

Online Ad Spend

In 2010, it was 3.3 billion pesos ($273 million), 7% of the overall ad spend. However, online ad spend in Mexico in 2011 is projected to be 10% of the overall spend. It’s #2 in the region in online ad spend, second only to Brazil, whose online ad spend will also hit 10% of the overall spend this year.


User Profile

Mexican Internet users are split evenly by gender, 51% men and 48% women. They skew younger: 64% of the Mexican online population is under 35 but has significant purchasing power.
Mexicans spend 25.8 hours a month online, very close to major markets like Colombia (26.6 hours), Brazil (27 hours) and Argentina (28.7 hours). Another interesting fact about Mexican Internet users is that they spend double the amount of time online than they do watching TV, whether free TV or cable.
Desktop and laptops are the most common way for them to connect, but in 2010 30% of Mexican users went online via cellphones and 14% went online with smartphones.

What Mexicans Most Love to Do Online
Search (91% reach), social media (90%), multimedia (78%) and email (77%) are the top activities in terms of reach. Mexico ranks #6 in Facebook usage in the world and is among Twitter’s top 16 markets. Mexico is also one of LinkedIn’s fastest-growing markets.

Activities Growing in Popularity Among Mexican Internet Users

Online entertainment:
Among Mexican Internet users, this category has 86% penetration, bigger than that of all of Latam (84%). Mexicans spend 3.4 hours per visitor on entertainment sites, more than any group of Internet users in the world.

Reading about technology and news:
58% of Mexican Internet users go online for news or to technology sites. Not surprising, since computers and software are what Mexicans mostly buy online. In addition, 33% of Mexican Internet users visit a newspaper site every month.

Listening to music:
According to IAB Mexico’s 2010 study, 22% of Mexican Internet users listened to music online in 2010, up from 16% en 2009. Music is part of their multimedia consumption, which has 78% penetration in the market.

15% of Mexican Internet users shopped online in 2010, triple the amount in 2009. Mexico is #2 in e-commerce in Latin America and it’s growing by 50% a year. Forrester’s projects it will reach $3.4 billion by 2016.

Reaching the Mexican Online Market
A number of the media we represent may be helpful in targeting these important segments in the Mexican online market, including:

• Technophiles: CNET.com draws 1.4 million unique users a month in Mexico
• Music lovers: last.fm draws 1.3 million unique users a month in Mexico
• Gamers: Gamespot.com draws 560,000 unique users a month in Mexico
• Entertainment: TV.com reaches 200,000 female unique users a month in Mexico
• News: Our Jumba ad performance network includes 25 of the top newspapers in Mexico, including those with the biggest online reach 

To learn more about how we can help you reach Mexico via online or other media, contact us at info@usmediaconsulting.com.

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