We all know the 4P’s of marketing: place, price, product, and promotion. But what strategic marketing models exist for the era of social/mobile media? And for Latin America or the U.S. Hispanic market?
We are excited to have Joe Kutchera, a digital marketing advisor to companies expanding in Latin America, today in an interview about the 5-step marketing process from his new book E-X-I-T-O: Su estrategia de marketing digital en 5 pasos.
For those of you who speak Spanish and want to learn more about digital marketing’s best practices in Mexico, Latin America, and the U.S. Hispanic market, we will give away 2 copies of the book to the first people to email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 5-step E-X-I-T-O strategic marketing and innovation acronym spells the word “success” in Spanish and provides marketers with a “Latinized” framework for developing marketing plans as well as content and social media strategies that engage audiences on digital platforms.
What major differences exist between a successful digital marketing strategy in the US as opposed to Latin America?
First of all, I would like to say thank you to the team at Alcance Media Group and Reach Hispanic for inviting me to do this Q&A.
There are far more similarities than differences when developing a successful digital marketing strategy for the U.S. Hispanic or Latin American markets. All successful strategies start with listening and understanding your audience. This is the first step in our 5-part strategic process from our new book (in Spanish) – E-X-I-T-O: Su estrategia de marketing digital en 5 pasos.
The five steps include:
- E – Escuche a su audiencia (Listen to your audience)
- X – eXperimente como usuario, a través de “perfiles” (Put yourself in the shoes of the user and write your marketing plan using “personas”
- I – Integrate your communication channels
- T – Transform your audience into a community
- O – Optimize
You can watch an overview of the 5-step process (in Spanish) in this video:
Demographically speaking, the fewest differences exist between upper income audiences in the U.S. and Latin America. This demographic has the most in common with one another, no matter where they live around the world. They most likely own an iPhone and utilize the latest technology or web services. They know about or own luxury brands, speak multiple languages, and travel internationally. So, when you develop global digital marketing plans for upper-income consumers, it may be easier for marketers. Why? Because it will require the fewest number of changes between countries. You may even be able to run a campaign in English across markets.
In contrast, low-income audiences have the most differences between markets. They understand digital platforms the least, they oftentimes don’t own a computer, they rarely travel, and usually only speak one or two languages. They may not even read.
That being said, mobile phones provide us with a great equalizer. Many U.S. Hispanics come from Latin American countries where they earned far less than they do here. They historically did not own a computer. There was a great pent up demand for the information available online.
Today, the digital divide has turned into the great digital leap forward. Low-income audiences have quickly embraced mobile devices and smart phones, making them their single device to access the Internet. So, digital marketing has now become essential to the Latin American and U.S. Hispanic marketing playbook. Nevertheless, many companies have remained flat-footed to this change. They never prepared for the rapid adoption of mobile phones.
A great example in our book of one company that did adapt its digital research and marketing to reach low-income audiences is Banamex (Citibank’s division in Mexico). The company created a mobile banking product – called Tran$fer – that made sending and receiving money much easier. Customers did not need to come to the bank to sign up. The developers “put themselves in the shoes of the user,” as we discuss in the “X” step of our marketing and innovation process. (It’s important to remember that approximately 70% of Mexicans do not have a bank account, so the concept behind Banamex Transfer – to enable everyone to open a bank account through a mobile – was an amazing concept.)
In addition, the bank effectively capitalized on the social nature of the mobile phone, since it contains users’ contacts, to create a word-of-mouth campaign. Banamex incentivized users to invite friends to sign up for the service by paying them $20 in Pesos for every new member that signed up.
You can read an overview of this campaign on Euromonitor International’s website:
Beyond language (and being bi-lingual), what cultural traits distinguish U.S. Hispanic digital audiences from their counterparts in Latin America?
We have a lot more in common than it sometimes appears. We all have human desires, needs, and wants. We love to laugh.
This funny video showcases how young men in Argentina have to answer their girlfriends’ phone calls in a bar and come up with an excuse about where they are. Watch the video to see how Andes Beer in Argentina developed a special “room” for them to answer their phones. It’s a great example of how mobile fits into a 360° strategy.
We think markets are so different. And yes, sometimes they are. But actually, we can adapt campaigns like this one for the U.S. Hispanic market. Or vice versa.
What can the general market learn from Hispanic consumers?
We can learn a lot about the importance and usage of mobile phones from Latino audiences, as in the Banamex case study.
“A picture is worth a thousand words,” is a common refrain we all know. On the mobile screen, this couldn’t be more true. Real estate (or pixels) on smartphones is more valuable than ever. With this in mind, the role of the designer, photographer, editor, and mobile developer for marketers has grown in importance. The lesson here is: lead with images (or video) first, then text, which we discuss in the last chapter of our marketing process in “O for optimize.”
Recently, I have had the opportunity to work with Flipboard on its expansion into Spanish-speaking markets. Flipboard is a mobile phone application and news aggregator used by over 100 million people. It brings together RSS news feeds from around the world and is embedded on the home screens of the new Samsung smartphones. Shortly after launching our content guide in Spanish, we discovered that the average number of “flips” or headlines viewed by a user were highest in Latin American countries. When you use the application, you will see that Flipboard perfectly exemplifies the “less is more” design philosophy required to engage users via the mobile screen.
What does the general market look like in 2020 (in the US and Latam), and what about the US Hispanic market?
We will live in a world where mobile devices and the “Internet of things,” (devices like Jawbone, Fitbit, or Google Glasses) will surround us. We will be able to keep in touch with family and friends from far away more than ever. We will be able to learn about new flavors, recipes, and travel experiences from Latin America…perhaps from our web-connected refrigerators. 3D printers will transform e-commerce, enabling us to “print” things, maybe even food, thus eliminating the shipping hurdles in Latin America today. Digital tools and services, like Quick Books, will become cheaper and more accessible, thus enabling entrepreneurs to grow their business and manage finances better than ever. Most importantly, the transparency of information, via social media, will have had a growing impact on the concept of democracy, especially on governments like Venezuela or Syria. Let’s hope that the challenges of consumer privacy and “information leaks” don’t threaten the upside.
Sample audio and PDF chapters from the book E-X-I-T-O are available on the author’s website at: http://joekutchera.com/e-x-i-t-o/
The authors have donated 100% of the proceeds of the book to the non-profit One Laptop Per Child, which offers laptops and educational software to children from low-income communities in the U.S., Latin America, and across the world. Learn more at: http://one.Laptop.org
This post is also available in: Spanish
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