Latin Interactive World: Pedro Labarta – Brand Networks: “The Time to Invest in Better Technologies for E-commerce is Now”
Pedro Labarta is Managing Director Mexico and LATAM at Brand Networks. Brand Networks is a platform that helps brands to plan, optimize and automate paid and owned content through thousands of social points daily.Last May, Brand Networks acquired Social Adverting company Shift. Latin American and U.S Hispanic expansion is one of the major growth strategies in the coming years for Brand Networks. Portada interviewed Pedro Labarta, a veteran of Latin American Internet, to understand how he sees the digital evolution in the region and prospects for Brand Networks.
Portada: What are Brand Networks' plans to expand in the region?
PL: "BN plans to expand aggresively in the region by first entering through Mexico, as it is one of the countries with highest penetration of social networks. We will then continue expanding in other markets such as Chile, Colombia, Argentina, Panama and Costa Rica."
We will first establish a presence in Mexico and then continue expanding in other markets such as Chile, Colombia, Argentina, Panama and Costa Rica
Portada: What about the product range?
PL: "BN has a single product as it is a platform for managing your social networks (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), being the only platform that handles these three social networks in LatAm for management and operation. For the time being, the whole operation will be managed from Mexico to the rest of Latam, where we are building a team that gives 24/7 support to customers in their language."
Portada: Do you see ad-blocking as a positive trend for social media advertising?
PL: We see ad-blocking as a way of getting stronger, working with social network leaders, knowing that we can work organically to avoid ad blocking and continue working with FB, TW, Instagram and Pinterest in creating direct ads to the right audiences from each of our customers.
We do not buy inventory but offer a platform where the users can manage their inventories in a more organic and easy way
Portada: Is social media (Social Paid) buying a data-driven science or an art? or, is it mixture and why?
PL: We do not buy inventory but offer a platform where the users can manage their inventories in a more organic and easy way, which in turn, optimizes their budgets and reaches the right audience. Now, Paid Social is based on data; without the data social networks offer and our Open signals software, our algorithm would not work properly and manage to get the best information in order to achieve the best results for our clients' campaigns.
Portada: Being a veteran in the Latin American Internet: At what stage do you think the sector is at? Do you think that a bubble like last decade's may happen again?
PL: "I think in LatAm, we are again in the right position to tap e-commerce in different countries, with big players in each market (here, we still need to educate final users more so that they are confident in paying with their credit cards or other online payment method.) Advertising is growing in double digits YOY, but mobile advertising is what I see growing the most, from APP to APP retargeting to advertising targeted to users in social networks. I do not think we will have another bubble as that of early 2000s. However, the time to invest in advertising campaigns and better technologies for e-commerce is now. The boom should happen in 2016."