@Latam Summit: Online, Mobile Ad Spend Still Low in Latin America

Microsoft, Burger King, Grupo Copesa and Starcom MediaVest Group converged Wednesday morning in Miami to discuss how advertisers and brand marketers in Latin America are using -or not- technologies to purchase media more efficiently.

The discussion kicked off with moderator Marcelo Montefiore, owner of Global Mind, asking panelist to discuss whether they employ advertising technologies, including programmatic buying, as part of their media buying efforts.

"Programatic buying is still slow, because advertisers and agencies are not sharing a lot of information," said Diego Fernandez, director of media and digital North America, Burger King Corporation. "But I think the next couple of years are going to be very important and we'll see more of it."

But for a marketer like Microsoft, even programmatic buying and other such technologies are not to be treated as a priority. In fact, said Microsoft's Axel Steinman, new technologies don't solve the bigger, more structural problem in the industry: The lack of consensus to use data and metrics smartly. "Many of us are just trying to acquire the wrong impressions doing the wrong things and that's a bigger problem," said Steinman. Microsoft, which spends 50% of its advertising money in digital, is still in a learning process. The key, he said, is to agree on the metrics. "It would be wonderful if as an industry we can sit down and agree on something."

Speaking about digital media, panelists agreed that while digital advertising has the advantage of delivering great metrics, it also becomes a liability, when advertisers then demand other media (TV or radio) to provide the same type of ROI.

With Latin America growing at an average 4%, panelists were asked to discuss the impact of such a growth in mobile marketing and advertising. Yet, the consensus was the region still lags behind. "Forget mobile. We're still weak in online advertising," acknowledged Max Sichel, CEO of Chile's Grupo Copesa. "I think it's going to take 4 or 5 years for [online advertising] to be a bit higher."


Laura Martinez (@miblogestublog)

Laura has lived and worked as a journalist in Mexico, Chile, Argentina and the U.S. She was the founder and editor in chief of Marketing y Medios magazine, an English- language trade publication devoted to explaining the Hispanic market to a non-Spanish speaking audience of executives and marketers. Prior to that, she was responsible for creating and launching the Spanish-language edition of the Wall Street Journal. She was also the creator and founding editor of Entrepreneur magazine´s Spanish-language Web site www.SoyEntrepreneur.com. She is fluent in Spanish, English and French and works as a freelance writer and editor in New York City.

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