Today in Marketing to Latin America, Portada interviews Gerardo Costes, Director of Marketing for HP's Imaging and Printing Group (IPG) in Latin America.
Gerardo tells us about HP’s expansion and consolidation plans for Latin America, explaining that IPG’s challenge will be to find ways of getting its message to every LatAm market, despite differences in each country’s technological innovation and mobile phone penetration, among other factors.
Portada: How does Imaging & Printing Group structure its marketing strategies for Latin America?
Gerardo Costes: "Latin America is part of the Americas region, which also includes the United States and Canada. The marketing teams are split by business unit and are supported by our advertising, digital, media and public relations agencies, who work with us both at the regional level and with our local sales and marketing teams in the different countries."
Portada: Do you perform pan-regional campaigns in the region? If so, what is the main feature these campaigns should have?
Gerardo Costes: "HP develops global campaigns that we tailor to the region, so they can be applied to our Latin American audience. These campaigns should always clearly communicate our value offer and what sets us apart. All the technological innovations HP offers are designed to help people communicate and express their ideas and feelings, both personal and professional, in a relevant way."
Portada: Could you provide details about any pan-regional campaigns you’ve executed?
Gerardo Costes: "This year we’ve executed regional campaigns for HP OfficeJet Pro (50% savings in printing costs vs. laser); HP Original Supplies (benefits of using Original HP inks and toners); and HP Laser Jet (how to recover your investment), among others."
Portada: Do you have a presence in all Latin American markets? If not, are you planning to expand it?
Gerardo Costes: "HP IPG has offices in the main Latin American countries: Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and the Caribbean. However, HP products are available in all countries of the region. This model allows us to serve the entire Latin American region.
On the other hand, we do have a presence in all markets through our integrated communications and marketing campaigns, which include advertising (on-line and off-line), public relations and social media activities."
Portada: What are the characteristics of the Latin American markets in which you work?
Gerardo Costes: "Our Latin American markets are very similar, although we do have differences in each country: the level of technology adoption, smartphone usage and penetration, availability of broadband internet, etc., varies by market. And this is where the challenge lies—we need to find ways to get our message across to each of the country markets in the most relevant way."
Portada: Do you plan to increase the relevance of your businesses in the region, given the economic growth being experienced in almost the entire Latin American region?
Gerardo Costes: "Latin America is a very important region for HP at the corporate level. Because of the region’s potential growth, we are focusing our efforts on growing our business there. In recent years, we have worked hard to expand our distribution in the region, not only within the major cities, but also within smaller provinces in order to bring our technology to a wider range of consumers.
The strategy remains the same, to provide innovative technology for consumers and businesses, both SMEs and multinational companies. We want to focus on increasing our presence in the region and maintaining leadership."
Portada: What media agency do you work with? Or is media buying handled in-house?
Gerardo Costes: "OMG is HP IPG’s media agency. OMG is owned by Omnicom Group, parent company to several advertising, marketing and communications agencies worldwide. BBDO is our advertising agency at the regional level in Latin America."
Portada: What are IPG’s new launches and initiatives in the region?
Gerardo Costes: "As leaders, we have the responsibility to continually develop technological innovations for both consumers and businesses. One of the most recent examples is our HP ePrint technology. Users can send a print command to an HP ePrint printer from any mobile device (smartphone, notebook, etc.) connected to the Internet. HP ePrint was the first platform of its kind in the printing industry and is an example of our commitment to innovation."