Portada interviewed Gaston Bercún, founder of Hunt Mobile Ads, a mobile advertising network that operates in 22 countries in Latin America.
The company has offices in Mexico, Brazil, and headquarters in Argentina, with 30 employees in Buenos Aires and representatives throughout the region.
Hunt plans to open new offices in the region and “countries such as Colombia, Chile and Peru are in our sights," said Gastón.
Mobile advertising in Latin America
Portada: What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing mobile advertising in Latin America?
Gastón Bercún: The benefits of mobile advertising are many. Today, people carry their mobile phones 24 hours a day, they use them to while away their free time, and they accompany other media like television. As such, the great advantage of mobile advertising is that it is massive, instant, direct, segmented, measurable and accessible, generates greater brand awareness and can take into account the person’s location.
Portada: And in the U.S. Hispanic market?
Gastón Bercún: In the U.S. Hispanic market, all the advantages offered by mobile advertising are enhanced by the characteristics inherent in the Hispanic market. Year after year, it has been the fastest-growing ethnic group in the mobile world. U.S. Hispanic consumers are the biggest users of smartphones, online video, social networks, mobile downloads and other types of media and mobile entertainment. And compared to the average American consumer, they are the ones with the least Internet access at home. Another relevant fact is that Hispanics are 25% more likely to follow a brand.
Portada: Who are your most important customers? What percentage of your advertising budget is allocated to mobile advertising?
Gastón Bercún: There are many industries that have secured a firm foothold in mobile advertising. Obviously, the first and foremost are those who already have cell-based businesses, such as mobile content and application delivery. However, brands are investing in mobile advertising more and more every year, currently allocating between 6%-10% of their advertising budget to digital phones and increasing it annually. Statistics indicate that by 2014 there will be more mobile Internet users than Internet desktop users, so we estimate that by that time mobile advertising budgets will also make up most of the digital budget.
Portada: Do you do pan-regional mobile campaigns? Why do your customers choose doing them (or not)?
Gastón Bercún: Yes. Pan-regional campaigns have the advantage of being able to do a single campaign that can impact more people in different territories. In our case, it is very common to execute pan-regional strategies for different products. Nokia is a company that has invested very strongly with us on a pan-regional strategy through their agency, Carat. The results have been excellent and month after month they increase our allocated budget.
Portada: Do you see a future for pan-regional mobile campaigns?
Gastón Bercún: Yes, without a doubt. The Latin American and U.S. Hispanic markets offer the unique feature of being able to communicate with more than 20 countries in a single language. This is an opportunity that brands understand very well and mobile advertising offers brands the opportunity to achieve their objectives with high quality and brand recall.
Portada: What does the future hold for the development of mobile advertising in the region? What are your expectations for the Hispanic market?
Gastón Bercún: Both in the region and in the Hispanic market, there is exceptional demand for smartphones and mobile devices. Mobile advertising is becoming increasingly attractive and smart. That's why, in most cases, rich media will be the most successful mobile advertising format. The volume of online video content is growing by leaps and bounds, and has reached the mobile advertising industry. And the level of consumer interaction in this type of mobile advertising will become ever greater. As a result, monetizing possibilities will grow exponentially.
Social activity will have a strong influence (even more than now) in making ads more specific, allowing users to comment, share and give their opinion.
Gastón Bercún is the founder of Hunt Mobile Ads and was previously Director and founder of Geelbe, the private online shopping club with operations in Argentina, Mexico and Colombia. He is a former partner of Estudio Bercún and a business angel for Likexo, as well as an angel investor in VU Security. He was also the founder and CEO of DerechoGratis.com, the first legal portal in Argentina. Bercún studied law at the University of Buenos Aires and got his Master in Law and Economics, with a concentration in finance, at UTDT.