The gathering of Latin American newspaper executives belonging to Grupo Diarios America (GDA) last week in Miami evolved around the discussion of opportunities and challenges facing major Latin American newspapers and how to improve the efficiency of their advertising sales organizations.
A major objective of participants centered on how to better position Latin American newspapers and their multimedia offerings. As opposed, to what is going on in the U.S., Latin American print media is not loosing audience share. More importantly, there has been a substantial increase in circulation of low priced and free newspapers. These print media products now reach out to the C and D demographic (traditionally newspapers in Latin America cater to A and B demos).
Examples of these free/low-priced newspapers are Mexico’s El Grafico (put out by El Universal) and Trome in Peru (owned by Peru’s El Comercio). Another issue Latin American print media may be able to “sell” better is the high recall value of print advertising, as shown by different statistics, vs. the very low recall value of online ads.
Online continues to be a relatively, albeit growing, revenue source. It averages between 2-3% of overall Latin American newspaper revenues, but can reach up to 6% in countries with high Internet penetration like Argentina and Chile.
Another interesting ratio is the amount of foreign website users Latin American websites attract. This audience can be sold through geotargeting efforts to advertisers who want to reach these “foreign” visitors, many of them living in the U.S. Foreign website visitors can reach up to 40% of total users in smaller countries like Costa Rica’s Nacion newspaper website (www.nacion.com), to almost 20% in Argentina’s La Nacion and Clarin newspaper websites. O Globo, a major newspaper and media company in Brazil has only 1 to 2% of foreign visitors. This is due to the very large Brazilian domestic online market and also to the fact that Portuguese is only spoken in one other country outside Brazil (Portugal).
In addition, to the weeklong gathering Grupo Diarios America (GDA) held a Conference under the theme “Connecting with Latin America” last Thursday, February 25th in Miami. The event drew executives from GDA newspapers all over Latin America as well as clients and agency professionals.
Sandra Quintero, Online Advertising Sales Director of Colombia’s Casa Editorial El Tiempo, talked about recent trends in Latin American online advertising from a publisher’s perspective. She noted that recently El Tiempo newspaper put together an ad network together with other Colombian publishers for key word advertising (similar to Google Ad words). These words ads were offered to some of its premium advertisers (including Dell). Through a combination of display and ad word advertising these advertisers got a significant increase in response.
Another aspect, Quintero talked about was the use of rich online media advertising. She pointed to the example of a recent DirecTV campaign which had a substantial response. An interesting statistics that Quintero provided is that averages click through rates on online display advertising are close to 1% in Latin America, while in Europe that ratio only amounts to 0.02%.
Jimena Urquijo, VP Business Development at TGI Latin America, gave an interesting presentation on how different media are adapting to the new consumer. Urquijo highlighted the important differences existing between the three main generations of consumers (Generation Y 12-29 years old), Generation X (30-45 years old) and Baby Boomers (45+). The main one being that Generation Y members are mostly consumers of non-traditional media (Social Networking sites in their different forms). Regarding the use of traditional media Urquijo noted that newspaper consumption has been mostly stable in Latin America, while magazine readership has gone down. Both Internet and multichannel TV has increased during the last years.
Tom Collinger, Associate Dean at the IMC Department Chair at The Medill School Northwestern University, held a presentation about “What Does it Mean to be in the Connecting with Audience Business””. The main question for media professionals is whether they are providing their audience lots of ways to engage. In addition, Collinger noted, that media brands have to have an integrated approach (multiple touch points) to reach out to consumers.