Latin America marks a great opportunity for brand and media buyers that are looking to expand their reach in emerging markets. In Mexico alone, eMarketer estimates that total media advertising investment was $5.2 billion in 2012. However, an understanding of the cultural nuances of each country in Latin America is as important as the financial and operative complexities of the region.
On a very simple level, the understanding of cultural nuances and the way you need to communicate country-by-country is crucial. You can’t take a US campaign, translate it into Spanish, and implement it in Latin America. It’s also necessary to be aware of the differences among the countries. In some countries, the informal “Tú” form of address is used, and in other countries the formal address “Usted” is used.
Understanding the tone of voice is also very important. Mexico tends to be a more formal country, while Argentina is much more informal. Whatever the case, marketers must be aware of it. Each country has its own operational tints that brands have to keep in mind. With a few companies in Mexico, if you want to get a payment receipt, you have to go in person and present your bill at the time they tell you. That has its own logistical challenges.
Billing is another topic. This is getting away from digital advertising, but people might think, ‘Why can’t I bill from the United States?’ You have to be able to bill and receive payments in the national currency.
In Latin America media buying is still widespread through phone or email. More than a challenge, this trend presents opportunity. We’re talking about a market evolution which is making way in Latin America. Of course, it’s still not at the level of the United States.
We see great opportunities for streaming products and services that want to enter the region: Netflix got into Latin America not too many years ago and Spotify is making it in this year. Because of the population growth of the Internet and advances in infrastructure, bandwidth, and mobile infiltration, we’re expecting the transmission to be enormous.
In 2013, business magnate Carlos Slim of Grupo Carso invested in Shazam, and began to advertise in Latin America. Khan Academy, the online education company, also received an investment from Carlos Slim and is looking to get into Latin America.
We’re seeing a large amount of these platforms that have had success in the United States and that are now in search of their next market. They’re choosing Latin America because it has the trends and the demography that advertisers want.
This post is also available in: Spanish
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