The Latin American online market space has evolved a lot and is increasing in sophistication. This is one of the conclusions of two experts, Francis Petty, Online Marketing Manager at Argentinean newspaper La Nacion and Javier Mary, of Yell Argentina that were interviewed by Portada. (Yell is a international directories business operating in the classified advertising market in the United Kingdom, the United States, Spain and Latin America.)
P: How does the current phase of Latin American online media compare with the late nineties? Are we now on solid ground?
Francis Petty: “Yes, we are now on solid ground. Media sites in the region are now world class. Sites have evolved, and so have the users, allowing the success of lots of cutting edge features that we never dreamt in the late nineties. Web expertise is globalized and web developments in latin America back that statement.”
Javier Mary: “I believe Latin American online media is beginning to lift off and to gain a space in the strategic media mix. By the end of the nineties main investment came from online companies that invested to increase their traffic and in many cases they tried to attract capitals to finance its projects. I believe that the present investment is much more genuine and it will increase exponentially in the next years.
P: What are you doing in order to attract business from U.S. based advertisers who want to buy Latin American online media to target Latin American online audiences and or U.S. Hispanic online audiences (geotargeting)?
Francis Petty: “LaNacion.com is part of a regional group called GDA (Grupo de Diarios de America). GDA is a unique combination of 11 leading newspapers in 11 Latin American countries, including printed and online versions. Advertisers from the US are already finding it a perfect doorway to Latin american and US Hispanic Audiences.”
Javier Mary: ““For the time being we are mainly servicing international companies with local presence that are already part of our portfolio. We have not still initiated additional actions to break into that market although we are evaluating to do it as part of our future strategy. We are trying to reach those advertisers through specialized agencies. This situation could change in the future depending on the volume of the market.”
P: Going into Q3 2007 and into 2008 what categories do you see most demand in?
Francis Petty: “My un-ordered list: Video, Classifieds, P2P, Jobs, Cars, Auctions and I see a huge hunger for editorial and/or community driven content.”
Javier Mary: “We expect to grow in demands in the financial sector, in communications, and real estates among all. Also tourism is one of the more demanded categories connected with the development of that industry in Latam and particularly in Argentina.”
P: Are Latin American Yellow Page publishers providing attractive solutions for local search?
Francis Petty: “I don´t think they are getting the job done. I see auction sites like DeRemate filling this gap and taking good advantage from it; they have been doing this for some years. Even new classified ads sites have more traffic and better solutions for local search, than the yellow pages. Focus on their online product could wake up the sleeping lion.”
Javier Mary: “Yes, they are. And they continue improving all the time. They geotargeting database is enriched with valuable information such as payment method, timetables, location and access, and together with useful services like “CLICK TO CALL FREE” which helps the contact between the users and the announcers. Powerful search capability supported by sophisticated thesaurus and idiomatic tools are becoming more and more intelligent to interpret the users real needs and optimize better results according to their geographical position.”
P:What type of online advertising (display, search, rich media) do you see growing the most and why?
Francis Petty: “Search will be hot. Google has just launched it´s office in Buenos Aires; they are aming high and are stuffed with great staff. The big players are training for the PPC game; some of them have already shown they know what they are dealing with.”
Javier Mary: Following the world tendency I believe that in the next few years search engine marketing will go on growing based on pay per performance, followed by rich media and display.
P:What is your favorite metrics for the Latin American and U.S.Hispanic online advertising space (CPM, Cost per action, Cost per click) and why?
Francis Petty: “Cost per action strips you of all guilt (if advertising buyers have any…). A cost per action campaign is bound to be ROI positive. Anyway I wouldn’t guarantee that more than 10% of the online companies have a well established cost per transaction, adquisition or whatever the name of the goal in there site is. Players in the region have an incredible opportunity in conversion analysis and only after taking this step they will find amazing metrics to follow.”
Javier Mary: “I reckon that cost per action and cost per click are the most attractive metrics to obtain fast commercial results. Anyway for the branding needs CPM is still a useful method.”
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