Spain’s Telefonica is one of the largest companies in the Latin World. With 270,000 employees, it’s marketing/advertising budget is measured  in billions of dollars. 62% of the telecommunications accesses it provides are in Latin America and so is 42% of its sales.

Belen Amatriain, Telefonica's Global Marketing Director, provided the following  recommendations to fellow marketers during our Latam Summit earlier this month. 

  • Centralization-Decentralization

On the topic of centralization and decentralization in managing marketing and advertising, Amatriain said that in the company’s experience, the key is to avoid swinging changes, which in her opinion are only a response to political interests within companies but do not lead to more efficient marketing policies. Amatriain favors aiming for a middle ground between centralization and decentralization, depending on each particular case.

  • Media

"You have to be in touch with the media directly to see what their reality is. She also recommended that media agencies hire the best talent to improve their human resources.

  • Media and Advertising Buys

"The stronger your media buying center is, the better terms you’ll get," she stated. In this sense, Amatriain said that since centralizing media buying functions at Starcom-Vivaki, media investment costs were reduced by 12%, from about $1 billion per year, and media space optimization was increased by 18%. This calculation was made in constant currency, which means that in real currency the savings are even greater.

  • Measure and Manage

"You have to measure everything," said Telefonica’s head of marketing and advertising policy. "If you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it," she stressed.

  • Message Saturation in the Mobile Market

Amatriain also said that there is a certain level of message saturation in the mobile phone market. Therefore, she advises betting on brand identity (such as Movistar’s blue sky). Telefonica issues or launches an average of 3,000 advertising items and promotional pieces every week.  To achieve consistency and preserve the identity of their brands, Telefonica has brand guardians who are in charge of overseeing a process to ensure brand consistency in several company "hubs" in Latin America, such as Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Bogota and Buenos Aires. The company has a staff of 35 working in these hubs, who analyze all ads and check to see if they keep or reinforce Telefonica’s brand identity and brand idea, as well as its values.
7 Global Initiatives
Amatriain said the company is implementing seven different global initiatives:

– Videos and Content
– Applications
– Cloud Services
– M2M (machine to machine automation)
– E-Health (telecommunications as a key driver to change the health experience, making it more efficient)
– Security (providing security in information technologies, as well as physical security based on information technologies)
– Financial Services (providing a wide variety of over-the-phone payment and financial services). Spain: launches specific section for Seville


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