After a long period of instability, consumers and brands in Latin American are regaining confidence in the economy. As a result, the marketing and advertising landscape in the region is becoming more fast paced and complex. To grow in this environment, companies must meet consumer demand for convenience and personalization and leverage digital strategies and innovation.
These were just a few of the takeaways from this year’s IAB Conecta in Mexico City. The conference gathered experts from across the digital marketing industry to dive into the challenges and opportunities facing companies in the region.
As Nielsen’s VP, Global Solutions Consulting, I attended the conference as a speaker. Here are my key findings from this year’s event.
Increasing Optimism After a Recession
Greater political and economic uncertainty have made way for cautious optimism in LatAm. After years of economic challenges, 83% of consumers still believe their country is in a recession.
Consumers continue to keep an eye on savings, seeking greater value for their dollars and making increased purchases at discount stores and less-expensive formats. FMCG sales are flat (2017 volume sales average growth +0.2%), and brands have had to adapt their offerings to accommodate buyers’ tight budgets.
Despite rising consumer prices, economies are beginning to recover, and that, coupled with newly elected presidents, have shored up consumer confidence. 31% consider it a good time to buy things that they want or need. Retail sales will grow 5.1% to $1.988 trillion this year, making the region the world’s fourth largest retail market.
Marketing Effectiveness In LatAm
Digital switchovers, a rising middle class and growing smartphone adoption are all expected to impact marketing activity and ad spending. According to Nielsen’s “Quarter By Numbers: Q1 2018” and “What’s Next in Innovation - Latin America” reports, brands have several reasons to be optimistic.
1. LatAm Consumers Are Going Digital
Continued investment in digital infrastructure, improved mobile internet access, less-expensive data plans and rapid smartphone adoption have been key drivers for continued growth.
- Latin America has almost 250 million smartphone users, with Brazil having the largest share (84.5 million).
- Latin America is home to 284.1 million digital video viewers, the second largest base after Asia-Pacific.
- This year, for the first time, mobile will make up more than one-quarter (27.5%) of all retail ecommerce sales in Latin America, totaling $14.62 billion.
2. Digital Ad Spend is Significant in LatAm
- Digital ad spend in LatAm will increase by 20% to $10 billion this year, over 26% of total media spend.
- Latin America is the fourth largest ad market in the world and will account for 6.1% of worldwide media ad spending this year.
- Paid media ad spending in LatAm will increase 8.7% this year as economies continue to stabilize.
- Traditional media (TV especially) will receive the largest share of overall ad spending in LatAm (73.7%) this year.
- Mobile’s share of total media spend in LatAm will reach 13.9% this year and climb to 25.8% by 2022.
3. Innovation is Imperative for Brands
Consumers need new incentives to purchase. They’re more demanding and cautious than ever. Brand Innovation is a key factor for making businesses more resilient in this slower-growth environment. On the bright side, Latin Americans are among the most willing globally to switch to a new brand. They also are willing to pay premium prices for innovative products.
- 52% are willing to pay premium prices for innovative products
- 54% are generally willing to switch to a new brand
- 60% wish there were more new products on the market
LatAm’s Marketing Measurement Challenges
The rapid pace of change and growing complexity in Latin America have made marketing effectiveness increasingly difficult. Brands and agencies are reinventing themselves and trying to find new ways of measuring their results. The challenge is how to understand the effectiveness of each media channel and overall campaign performance to continuously improve ROI.
IAB CONECTA, the largest digital advertising and interactive marketing conference in Mexico, was launched to help Latin American marketers navigate this complicated terrain. It’s a key meeting point for advertisers, agencies, media and technology platforms.
Over 800 director and senior management executives from the Mexican marketing industry and a total of 2,000 attendees from throughout Latin American, the United States, and Europe gathered on August 30 at Centro Citibanamex, a world-class convention and exhibition center in Mexico City.
This year’s event offered content, a trade show, and networking activities for attendees as well as keynotes, product showcases, hands-on training sessions, and digital sessions led by industry experts on content, data, marketing technologies, and creativity.
Previous world-class speakers have included leaders from J. Walter Thompson, Aeromexico, Google, Twitter, Microsoft, Getty Images, AKQA Sao Paulo, YouTube and Nielsen.
Gabriel Richaud, General Director of IAB Mexico, welcomed attendees and described how the marketing ecosystem is evolving and how brands can use technology, data and integrated content to build new relationships with consumers.
Marketing in the Digital Era
The digital era has changed many things for marketers. Perhaps the most significant is how it has revolutionized the way we interact with, connect to, learn from, cater to and measure the audiences for our marketing efforts.
My IAB Conecta session, “ROI and Content in a Digital World,” focused on the opportunities offered by new ways to reach consumers and new methods needed to measure performance in the digital era.
I explained the current challenges shared by many brands: use of accurate metrics;, understanding how offline and online channels interact; tracking and de-duplicating individuals across channels and devices; and understanding consumer attributes and preferences.
Consumers today leave digital footprints behind that enable marketers to understand their behaviors and preferences. With that information, we are able to more effectively reach consumers with messaging that resonates with them as individuals. Using multi-touch attribution, we can also determine how effective those targeted marketing efforts were across our audiences.
The marketing landscape in Latin America -- and around the world -- is more complex than ever before: more channels, more choices, and consumers who get savvier every day. This year’s IAB Conecta helped prepare brands to maximize their marketing effectiveness in a challenging era to drive the best outcomes for their businesses.
Download our ebook to learn how you can be a better marketer in the digital era: Crossing the New Digital Divide: Your Guide to Marketing Effectiveness
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