Analysis: At What Stage is Mobile Marketing in Latin America?

In Latin America, as in most of the world, phones have stopped being devices to exclusively make phone calls to become “everyday problems solvers.”  We talked to Juan Carlos Göldy, who leads the Argentinian Education Program at the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA),  Gaston Fonzo, Co-Founder & CSO of StartMeApp and Fernando Acinapura of KickAds, who provided their views on the evolution of the Latin American mobile marketing landscape in 2015.

celulares.ministerio.TIC_.colombia1Mobile phones have become “everyday problems solvers” and hardly anybody is willing to leave home without carrying theirs.In addition to their original functionality, which is basically to facilitate communications with others, these devices have become an essential tool to perform various activities we do every day. Smartphones not only allow us to consume content and information, but also make our purchasing decisions easier and allow us to carry out an infinite number of operations (such as bookings, transactions, payments, etc.)

Considering that the penetration of smartphones in Latin America continues to grow, it is not surprising that brands are interested in reaching users particularly through these devices.

YYeRMprU_400x400-250x250To shed light on the current state of mobile marketing in Latin America, we talked to Juan Carlos Goldy, from the Argentinian  Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), Gaston Fonzo, Co-Founder & CSO of StartMeApp and Fernando Acinapura of KickAds.

Portada: How do you perceive the current state of mobile marketing in Latin America?

Juan Carlos Göldy: “Since 2012, mobile marketing in Latin America is constantly growing and changing. The first advertisers who began to use mobile marketing tools were those of performance (content aggregators and application developers) which boosted investment greatly. Then in 2013, branding advertisers joined this trend experimenting with tight budgets. Thanks to the results achieved, mobile marketing turned into a “must” in digital media strategy.

This shift was made after advertisers realized that:

  1.  Consumers changed their pattern of media consumption. According to the latest study by Millward Brown,  the average time spent per user of smartphones in Argentina exceeds the time spent watching television with 166 minutes vs. 104 minutes respectively.
  2. Consumers are “multiscreen” and the main screen that is being consumed simultaneously with the rest is that of mobile devices.”

Portada: How do you perceive the current state of mobile marketing in Argentina?
Juan Carlos Göldy: “The situation in Argentina is not different from what we are experiencing in the region. At this stage of the evolution of advertisers it is no longer about evangelizing the market, there is no need to convince anyone that mobile is one of the main channels to reach customers, everybody knows that. Towards the end of 2014, there were more than 12 million smartphones in Argentina , which account for almost 36% of the population.”

Key Mobile Media Decision Makers and global Brand Marketers will provide actionable insights and the latest intelligence on Mobile Marketing in Latin America at Portada’s upcoming #Portadalat: The Latin American Advertising and Media Summit and the Latin Online Video Forum on June 3-4 in Miami. Tickets are going fast. Early Bird Tickets expire tomorrow Tuesday April 21 COB.

Portada: How do you think mobile marketing will evolve in Argentina particularly and Latin America in general in 2015?
Juan Carlos Göldy: “Brands are moving and expecting a year of exponential growth in mobile advertising investment and consolidation in the region.

Regionally, there is no company that does not have digital marketing as one of its top priorities for this year. Also to build a multiplatform strategy maximizing opportunities to reach consumers with advertising on multiple channels simultaneously, amplifying their message and improving disclosure, and in this way increasing their return on investment in relation to advertising spending.

motorola.mobileNever before have marketing professionals been in the presence of such a powerful communication tool, as is mobile phone, allowing them to personally influence the behavior of their current or potential consumers.”

Gaston Fonzo, Co-Founder & CSO of StartMeApp, considers that: “Latin America is one of the regions with the greatest growth potential regarding mobile marketing; in fact, it is already beginning to have its own metrics and ceasing to be an emerging region within the industry. Latin America has evolved in terms of market and global presence within the mobile ecosystem; specifically, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina are leading countries in this regard.”

Regarding 2015 landscape, Fernando Acinapura of KickAds, predicts that “in Latin America, m-commerce (making payments via mobile phone) will have greater relevance, while mobile applications will remain in the spotlight. Mobile Video will continue to be one of the best engagement strategies. We are facing a wide range of options for mobile advertising to keep on growing and create lasting bonds with audiences.”

It seems that advertisers should start putting forward their mobile strategies from the very beginning, instead of simply adapting ideas originally intended for other media or devices. As they suggest from the MMA, is not about being “mobile friendly”, but to be “mobile first.”