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Latin Interactive World: “Digital Power Houses” Smowtion

Marcelo Garcia Cisneros, VP of Sales for Smowtion, talks to us about how the company handles advertising, his thoughts on the digital advertising market and the recent opening of the company’s Miami office as a tool to reach the U.S. Hispanic market.


Today in our “Pan-Regional Advertising” series we take a look at Smowtion, a technology company specialized in the Ad-Network business.

Marcelo Garcia Cisneros, VP of Sales for Smowtion, talks to us about how the company handles advertising, his thoughts on the digital advertising market and the recent opening of the company’s Miami office as a tool to reach the U.S. Hispanic market.

At a Glance

Name: Smowtion

Country: Argentina.

Offices: Buenos Aires (Argentina), Mexico and Miami (USA).

Employees: 29

Site Features: Company specialized in the online advertising network business

Portada: How many offices does the company have? 

Marcelo Garcia Cisneros: “We currently have 3— in Argentina, Mexico and the U.S. (Miami).”

Portada: How many employees are there in each office?

Marcelo Garcia Cisneros: “Our HQ in Argentina has a staff of 25, our Mexico office has two people, and we have another two in Miami. We have a total of 29 employees.”

Portada: Is the opening of your Miami office part of a larger strategy to reach the U.S. Hispanic market?

Marcelo Garcia Cisneros: "We just launched our office in Miami. Miami is a strategic market for the U.S. Hispanic market and the pan-regional Latin American market. It also serves as a platform to give us a presence in the U.S. General Market."

Portada: In what country markets do you presently operate?

Marcelo Garcia Cisneros: "Many— we manage inventories for our Publishers and handle their multi-brand campaigns in more than 80 countries. Our main markets are the U.S., France, Germany, Russia, Spain, Brazil, and Argentina."

Portada: Do you plan to expand to other Latin American countries?

Marcelo Garcia Cisneros: "Yes, that’s the next step on our roadmap. 2011 will be a busy year for Smowtion, as we grow both in the region and in Europe."

Portada: How big is the 2.0 Ad Market?

Marcelo Garcia Cisneros: "It's huge, but very difficult to estimate. It is also very difficult to define what 2.0 is and in fact, there are articles today that talk about the death of the web as we know it. Hits are beginning to separate video advertising from the web environment."

Portada: Who are your biggest advertisers?What are their formats of choice?

Marcelo Garcia Cisneros: "We work with many top brands such as Unilever, Fiat, Ford, American Airlines, L’Oreal, Interjet, Grupo Clarin, Mastercard, LAN, Grupo Telefonica, Nextel, Pepsico Group/Quilmes, Telcel, and Grupo Carso. We work with the Big 4 Media Buyers: WPP, Omnicom Group, Publicis Groupe, and Interpublic Group."

Portada: What is the breakdown by market sector of your advertisers (i.e.: industry, retail, electronics, food, etc.)?

Marcelo Garcia Cisneros: "Our leading sectors are mass marketing, cars, airlines, telecommunications, electronics, beverages and cosmetics."

Portada: How are the company’s advertising strategies handled?

Marcelo Garcia Cisneros: "We create them in-house and also hire consultants for media strategy and production support.  It’s a team effort and very dynamic, because our industry reinvents itself every day.  We have long, medium and short-term objectives that we review on a regular basis. The strategies put in place are being capitalized— from brand building to differentiating ourselves as a company focused on technology development."

Portada: Have you increased blog advertising in the last year in comparison to previous years?

Marcelo Garcia Cisneros: "Yes, to a great degree.  Brands are approaching UGC (user generated content).  Users are increasingly browsing more blogs and are interested in knowing what their peers think, and blogs are a medium where barriers of distrust can be demolished with a peer’s recommendation.  Blogs users are usually more advanced users, early adopters and opinion makers."

Portada: How do you expect this market to unfold?

Marcelo Garcia Cisneros: "I think LatAm will begin to behave more like the U.S. or Europe.  In more developed countries, advertisers are more mature and are beginning to ask for more sophisticated services and capitalizing better on their investments.  In terms of absolute online investment and its distribution among the various categories that comprise the Internet ecosystem, LatAm is slowly beginning to behave in the same way as brands, users, and media do in developed countries.  There is more focus on ROI, user experience compared to advertising messages (engagement, etc.), better segmentation tools, and post-click analysis."

Portada: What are the benefits of digital advertising over traditional advertising?

Marcelo Garcia Cisneros: "I think there was a very important shift when users began participating in media.  Social networks, Twitter, blogs and traditional online media are all interacting with people, and I think that's very rewarding.  Today, the old concept of word of mouth is more effective and amplified than ever before.  The ability to know what people think and say about a product or service is now at arm’s reach, and with this information companies can make better decisions.  It’s a great opportunity for brands that do their job well."

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