Benjamin Jankowski, the head of global media of MasterCard Worldwide, knows a thing or two about the BRIC countries, having spent several months doing business in China, Brasil and Russia.
During a keynote speech at Portada’s 5th annual Hispanic Digital and Print Media Tuesday, Jankowski kicked off his speech with a provocative note, asking the audience to raise their hands if they thought their companies would grow 16% or more this year.
“Growth is in everybody’s mind!” acknowledged Jankowski, who went on to present some impressive economic and business data currently taking place in Brasil, Rusia, China, India and even Bangladesh, where digital lenders have helped incubate a growing numbers of entrepreneurs. “BRIC countries are growing not only in terms of population but in terms of economic growth.” And this only spells out one thing, he said, “opportunity.”
In order to understand the opportunity –and why emerging markets offer a huge possibility of growth- Jankowsky explained that Unilever was able to build a $2.4 billion business and gain an impressive 14% market share in India in barely two years. Meanwhile, Intel has been using Baidu, China’s largest search engine,
to promote its brand in the Chinese market, whose economy grew a whooping 16.5% in 2010. [Brasil grew 10% while Russia grew 15.9% in the same year.) “Large markets with huge poverty are turning into growth engines.”
But beyond the sheer numbers, the BRIC countries are breeding some of the most innovative marketing tools to reach consumers young and old, citing the widespread use of QR codes in China’s supermarkets to redeem coupons, for example. “There are a lot of wild things going on there… things that you don’t get to do elsewhere!”
But where are the parallels of all this and the U.S. Hispanic market? The answer, says Jankowsky, is growth. Again, as is the case among BRIC countries, the Hispanic market is not only growing in terms of population but in terms of income and purchasing power too.
Unfortunately, acknowledged Jankowsky, the market might be growing in leaps and bounds, but the top 10 marketers still commit very little to it, with most of the largest marketers allocating between 2 to 8% of their advertising budgets in Hispanic media; this even when Hispanics represent 16% of the nation’s total population.
MasterCard itself spends only 5% of its total advertising against Hispanic. Why? Part of the culprit is language. “Many marketers are looking at Hispanic media consumption numbers and concluding that they can reach Hispanics with their English media,” he said. And then, turning directly to the marketers in the audience, he sentenced: “You need to present tangible results that the opportunities are there, that Spanish language is more impactful than English.”