On January 26, IAB Mexico appointed Gabriel Richaud (photo) as its new CEO, following the exit of Bianca Loew.

Richaud will continue IAB’s mission of supporting the growth of the Digital Marketing industry in Mexico.

Portada interviewed Richaud about the IAB’s expectations for 2012 and brand trends. The following is an edited version of our interview:

Portada: What is the state of digital marketing?

Gabriel Richaud: "We are at a critical point of transformation, not only in the digital industry, but the entire communications industry.  We are looking at a moment where technology will change not only traditional media, but also transform the concept of marketing as we now know it."

P: What changes can we expect at IAB under your leadership?

GR: "At IAB we have a lot of work ahead of us to continue promoting industry growth.  A key issue is to understand that the barrier between online and offline media is one we have placed ourselves, but in reality the consumer no longer distinguishes between what is done online and what is not. What matters is to have access to entertainment and news.  That's where IAB, in close collaboration with our partners ? along with the focus on education projects, research and events we’ve done, such as IAB Connect ? needs to strengthen and reinvent itself constantly and that's my purpose: to continue the process of reinvention, growth and consolidation of the industry from the IAB trenches."

P: How much does IAB estimate will be spent on digital advertising in Mexico in 2012?

GR: "In Mexico, 6%-7% of all advertising is invested in interactive media, but other countries are already at levels of 11% or more.  We are just now beginning a study that measures online ad spending and we’ll also be doing a study on mobile advertising.  We expect online ad spending to grow at a rate on par with the double digit figures of previous years, at close to over 30%."

P: What will be the dominant trend this year among brands and advertisers?

GR: "While brands have looked at the Internet as a medium that allows them to measure the results of what they are doing, today they are more interested in how interactive media is helping to build branding.  This goes beyond measuring the cost per click or display, and this is the great advantage that brands are increasingly looking for.  These are things that we already see in elements such as rich media, multimedia content, and the creativity of campaigns that are increasingly motivating the consumer to interact beyond TV spots.  Brands have already discovered this path and are starting to measure it not only in terms of traffic generated, but in how to build the brand and communicate the attributes and values they are looking for."

P: How do you view the growth of mobile marketing and where is it headed in Mexico?

GR:  "There are 96 million mobile devices in Mexico, according to COFETEL.  More and more of these devices have Internet access, leading to consumption of products, services, media and entertainment through mobile platforms.  If we close 2012 with 42 million Internet users as expected, then the potential for transformation in two or three years is great. (…) I think we will see a major push by agencies and advertisers in this regard.  At IAB, our purpose is to begin helping with the first indicators on mobile media ad spending, but also in terms of talking more and more in our committees and working groups about this great moment which will change the communications industry."

Gabriel Richaud has more than 16 years of experience in the music and entertainment industry.  He was Director of Digital and New Business at Sony Music Mexico for 7 years and is a professor and lecturer at the Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) on the subjects of "Technology and Marketing" and "Integrated Marketing Communication and Advertising" at the bachelor and master levels.


Portada Staff

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