While revamping our corporate website, I am always looking for relevant research to include that supports the U.S. Hispanic and Latin American marketing efforts of our clients. Companies such as Forrester Research, ComScore and eMarketer are frequently cited in articles about the growth of digital markets. Though they are best used as a look at future trends, there are also some concerns about the accuracy of their always unbelievably rosy forecasts.
In a recent article in Digiday.com called “Lies, Damn Lies, Ad Industry Growth Forecasts“, which is definitely worth a read, there are some interesting examples of forecasting gone awry. One such example: In March 2008, for example, eMarketer predicted U.S. mobile ad spend would reach $5.2 billion by 2011. By October 2011, however, the company had downgraded those estimates by a whopping $4 billion and, instead, suggested total spend would reach just $1.2 billion that year.
Since most companies are not up for spending thousands of dollars to create independent research reports, we rely on compilations of statistics and opinions by the organizations willing to share them. Forecasting is difficult, whether it be for a growth industry with new products and services being released every day or one’s own personal budget.
Whether a blessing or a curse, we are addicted to statistics as marketers, so in the interest of continuing the addiction let me share an interesting resource: European Travel Commission New Media TrendWatch. There is some very interesting information about Latin American internet use (including online, mobile, video, social marketing and search engine marketing), usage patterns and demographics, which at least will be useful in supporting your arguments for marketing to this region.