Under New Leadership, GDA Plots its Course

“My vision is to position the GDA brand as a one-stop shop for any brand in the US who wants to reach the high-end and more massive market in LatAm,” said GDA’s new managing director Guido Conterno in a recent interview with Portada. “Newspapers aren’t simply print operations anymore, but are really multimedia companies. On one side, you have the online portals that many are developing. On the other, we are seeing them develop more niche-oriented magazines for women, sports, health, etc. For example, almost all of our newspapers have a product targeting business managers, such as Portafolio in Columbia and Gestion in Peru. We want to bring this to the advertisers’ consciousnesses.”
 
Conterno says that to truly connect with the multi-ethnic U.S. Hispanic community, marketers need to be more targeted in their approach: “The biggest problem marketers face is the misconception that there is one US Hispanic market. In reality, U.S. Hispanics are a very diverse group with diverse and distinct interests,” says Conterno.
 
The tie that binds…
He mentions that the one thing all U.S. Hispanics have in common is that they want to stay in touch with their home countries, and do so primarily through their home country’s newspaper websites. “Fully 1/3 of the traffic to GDA portal sites is coming from the US,” says Conterno. “This makes for a tremendous opportunity for advertisers to connect with these users in an environment where they feel very comfortable. Immigrants are very loyal to their home-country papers.”
 
GDA is currently working through plans to promote their services more heavily to the U.S. Hispanic advertising community.
 
Niche Commercial Product Development…
Another initiative that it is pursuing is developing more niche commercial products to entice marketers. This includes a buy that targets Latin American mothers: “In one market it might be a magazine; in another, it might be a special section of a newspaper that targets this audience. The mediums may vary, but what matters is that we are developing targeted eyeballs to the marketers’ messaging,” says Conterno. He adds that they are also developing a product targeting executives.
While GDA is revamping their product offering, branding strategy and pricing, Publicitas continues to handle their sales efforts.
 
Sales Volume…
According to Conterno, US print advertising investment in the region is roughly $40-$50 million, though he cautions that this figure is anything but absolute. He estimates that GDA captures about 1/3 of this investment annually. Conterno adds that, in general, big companies will devote their panregional budgets to developing an “Umbrella Message” to assist in consistent branding across Latin American markets. “This is in addition to what the local branches of these companies are spending in their efforts to drive sales.”
 
Conterno says that companies such as Dell and Mercedes have been very active in developing a multi-market branding approach across Latin America through the GDA’s partner papers.
 
Currently, the GDA does not have any new content partnerships that it is pursuing. “Right now, we are focused on leveraging our existing assets,” says Conterno. “Once this is complete, we might be open to seeing what options are available, but for right now, we prefer to consolidate.”

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