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Content marketing, mobile marketing, multi-screen and programmatic buying were the biggest highlights of 2015. Here, we share the reflections of Denisse Guerra, Diego Reck, Martín Frontini, Eugenia Denari, Jeremy Piotraut, John Mafoutsis, Martin Jones, Carlos Espindola and Borja Beneyto.

Content Marketing: Integration with Social

According to Denisse Guerra, Regional Marketing Director for Latin America at The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., “banners are a thing of the past, and now brands are looking for ways to engage, which makes much more sense in today’s consumer environment. For that reason, it has been very imDenisse Guerraportant for brands to develop native ads, editorial integration and that kind of communication since ad blocking is more and more of a danger to them. It’s also an opportunity to be much more creative with our content.”
Diego Reck
Diego Reck, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer at FOX International Channels Latin America, has a similar opinion, indicating that “one of the most noticeable trends in the marketing and advertising industry in 2015 was a more organic integration of  brands into agnostic content for each platform.”

The same trend was observed with respect to audiovisual content. Martin FrontinniAccording to Martín Frontini, Managing Director Latam & US Hispanics at MCN Zoomin.TV, “native advertising like ad-hoc web series for advertisers, product placement and branded content are formats that have begun to win a significant share of any advertising budget.”

Finally, as much as social networks are an entity in themselves, what is true is that they tend to be included in content marketing strategies. As Denisse Guerra indicated, “there is no doubt that companies’ social network and CRM campaigns have been the most relevant in 2015. The development of advertising campaigns that are 100% focused on social networks and brands’ e-commerce traffic are what have grown the most in the advertising industry this year.”

Native advertising like ad-hoc web series for advertisers, product placement and branded content are formats that have begun to win a significant share of any advertising budget.

Mobile Marketing: Geolocation and Transactional Advantages

Eugenia Denari, Director of Marketing at Google in Argentina, Chile and Perú, stated that “without a doubt, mobile was a huge protagonist this year.”

Jeremy PiotroutAnd  Jeremy Piotraut, Managing Director at Teads.tv Cono Sur, expressed that “today, users spend more and more time on mobile than in front of the television or other devices.”

Everything indicates that mobile marketing, as much as it was one of 2015’s trends, is here to stay.

In the words of Martín Jones, Multibrand Digital Manager at L’Oréal: “Today, everything is about staMartin Jonesrting with mobile: geolocalization and transactional experiences are the motor for a deepening presence in the mobile world.”

Multi-Screen: PC and Smartphones Media Consumption Jump

As Jeremy Piotraut reminded us, “while television is still an important media outlet, laptops and smartphones now surpass them in consumption time.”

John MafoutsisJohn Mafoutsis, SVP for Advertising Sales and Brand Solutions at Viacom International Media Networks Américas noticed a similar trend, stating: “In 2015 we saw the way that the consumer finds his or her favorite content  not just on linear television, but on multiple platforms. thanks to this evolution, advertisers have seen the benefit of offering a combination of paid TV with digital, mobile and live media as a part of a media ‘mix’.”

Martín Jones also sustains that “the video ad forms part of the agenda of any advertiser as an extension of his or her TV campaign, but more than anything for productions that are designed for the digital world (at a lower cost than that of generating a larger volume of content).”

According to Martín Frontini, “without a doubt, there has been an explosion of new formats and advertising channels with the rise of Youtubers, influencers and talents that reach the millennial cluster that is so coveted by brands. In this sense, there is an infinite amount of companies trying to group personalities and channels together with a captive audience that permits the brand to complement its traditional presence in the media, offline as much as online.”

Finally, Eugenia Denari commented, “In 2015, our most important project was to work on speaking to the multi-screen consumer that is constantly interacting with different devices. Our focus was on helping to generate even more integral and effective marketing strategies for new forms of consumption.”

According to Carlos Espíndola, Head of Latin America Digital Center  at 3M, “the most noteworthy aspect of 2015 was espindolathe adoption of programmatic buying for many advertisers, which continues to be an under-used practice, but which still helped to impact the right audiences and also prioritize the issue of where advertising money is invested. There is still much work to be done, but it is important for us to continue to communicate, evangelize and train technical market teams to understand the impact that this can have on not only audiences but also the efficiency of investments, not only digitally, but also on TV.”

Borja BeneytoSimilarly, Borja Beneyto, VP & Digital Regional Director in Latin America for Starcom MediaVest Group, commented that 2015 “was the year in which disciplines like programmatic buying were implemented, and in which we saw the appearance of new commercial data models oriented towards performance marketing.”

These were the most important trends of 2015 according to those we interviewed. Soon, we will be previewing 2016 with a look at everything those in the advertising industry should keep in mind in the new year.

 

imagesSouth by Southwest 2015 (SXSW) recently took place in Austin, Texas. The SXSW Interactive portion of the program is a bit like spring break for technologists, interactive content producers, and digital marketers. The technology, creative campaigns and startups who receive attention at SXSW are usually good indicators of the important trends to watch in the coming year. Julie Diaz-Asper, Founding Partner & CEO at Social Lens Research, spotted two of those key trends for 2015.

Here are two key trends for marketers to watch carefully:

  • The Ongoing Evolution of Social

Social messaging had a big year in 2014 with SnapChat becoming a hit and WhatsApp selling to Facebook for $19 billion. But the Meerkat app, a simple live streaming app, proved there is still space for innovation in social media, especially when it involves video and mobile. The Washington Post offers one of the best overviews of what exactly is Meerkat here.

The app gained more than 120 million users, was closed down by Twitter and raised 12 million all within three weeks of launch. The Meerkat app quickly became a must- use tool among SXSW influencers. Pete Cashmore, the founder of Mashable, helped fuel the craze by live streaming with the app at SXSW.

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Is Meerkat an early winner in social live streaming or a short-term fad? Time will only tell. But given users’ large appetite for both live sharing experiences and video, it stands to reason that apps that combine the two will be a safe bet.

  • Brand-funded content raises the bar:

SXSW 2015 experienced an infiltration of branded interactive content Shark Tank-like competitions such Vitamin Water’s Project Hustle and Mastercard’s Priceless Elevator Pitch offered startups opportunities to pitch concepts, win prizes and crowdfund projects.222

Cisco premiered Detected, a documentary about a connected bra that offers early cancer detection. Pepsico, the official SXSW soft drink, offered a Mountain Dew skateboarding virtual reality experience with top skateboarders. One of my favorites brand activations was Mophie‘s use of Saint Bernard rescue dogs to rescue attendees with low batteries via tweets.

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Media Post presented OMMA SXSW, a conference within a conference for digital marketers, extending their event to two days in 2015.

These are just a few of the wonderful examples of immersive brand experiences at SXSW. Expect to see more brands take their content to the next level with immersive experiences, creative partnerships, and high-tech components.

Want to learn more about SXSW 2015?

Mashable did a great round-up on top tech trends. Sprinklr highlights top insights. And OMMA SXSW has made all their talks available online.

Julie Diaz-Asper is the founder of Social Lens Research. Social Lens has a proven track record of using a mix of social marketing techniques and sound research methodologies to better engage and gain deeper insights (mobile optimized research exercises, focus groups, social contests).Julie has over two decades of experience helping large organizations to innovate and pursue new market opportunities including American Express, AARP, Google Multicultural, Univision, Consumer Reports en Español, Cabot Cheese, Mobile Future, CX Act, HITN, Immersive Youth Marketing and Inspire Agency.

 

What: Real estate advertising has reached a digital saturation point at almost 75% of real estate ad budgets, according to a new report by Borrell Associates. The researcher now expects a 2% decline (US $200 million) of digital ad spend in 2015. Streaming video and streaming audio are more likely to see their ad spend increases by 2019 (to US $4.9 billion and  US$778.5 m respectively). Display, email and paid search will all decline.
Why it matters:  Real estate classifieds and advertising were an important engine of the early Internet economy taking away dollars from off-line vehicles. Mostly from newspapers. Now they seem to have reached a saturation point, Borrell Associates suggests. Digital display dollars will shift to online video and audio ads.

2298394906_6c4426d611_zReal estate advertising has reached a digital saturation point, according agents and broker community. The real estate advertising business reached US $31.8 billion in ad spend last year, but now digital ad spend among agents and brokers is expected to decline by 2%  or US$200 million in 2015. This is the first decrease in 20 years, says research firm Borrell Associates.

2015 digital ad spend share

Out of a total Real Estate Vertical Ad spend of US$ 31.8 billion (offline and online), Borrell Associates expects:

  • Agents and brokers to spend US $13.9 billion of which 75% will be in digital
  • Mortgage lenders will spend an estimated US $12.3 billion in 2015 ( 44% in digital)
  • Rental unit managers will spend US$3.3 billion ( 52% in digital)
  • Developers will spend US $2.3 billion (69% in digital.)

The digital saturation point for agents and brokers is 75% of real estate ad budgets as they were early buyers in the online ad economy.

The digital saturation point for agents and brokers is 75% of real estate ad budgets as they were early buyers in the online ad economy.

Agents and brokers overall ad spend rose 2.2% in 2014. (Rental unit managers saw the biggest overall ad spend increase in 2014 – 13.8% – followed by developers at 9.5% and mortgage lenders at 6%.)

Digital drop

  • Online display. Investments in online run-of-site (ROS) display from the agent and broker community have decreased 15.9% since 2014, with estimated 2015 spend at US$511.9 million. A 92.2% decrease to US$47.2 million is expected between 2014-2019.
  • Agents and brokers have increased targeted display spend 2.1% to US $4.9 billion between 2014-2015. However, a 22.9% decrease to US$3.7 billion is expected between 2014-2019.

Video/Audio

  • Streaming video investments among agents and brokers was US$862.7 million. By 2019, it is expected to grow to US $4.9 billion.
  • Streaming audio spend has decreased by 40.2% to US $19.4 million from 2014 to 2015. By 2019 a 2,300.2% increase is expected, with streaming audio spend totaling US$778.5 million.

Streaming video and streaming audio are more likely to see their ad spend increases by 2019. Display, email and paid search will all decline.

Mobile

Mobile investments are increasing as well, driven by millennials’ tendencies to rent and use mobile devices and online realty hubs like Zillow or Realtor.com to seek out listings.

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What: Macy’s is making adjustments to its business model and marketing organization  to evolve with customers who are increasingly changing the way they shop across stores, desktops, tablets and smartphones. As part of the realignment of the organization, Maria Cristina Rios, Director of Multicultural Media Strategy will shift to the role of Director, Consumer Segments – Multicultural.The responsibility of multicultural media strategy will shift to Linda Tran, Director of Magazine & Multicultural Media Strategy.
Why it matters: These changes include merchandising and marketing restructuring to reflect a single omnichannel view of the business. As well as  in-store and field organization adjustments supporting M.O.M. strategies.Workforce will be increased in some functions and locations.Oversall, the adjustments are expected  to generate savings of approximately US$140 million per year, beginning in 2015.

5c17fc87efe78e79be51dbbdbc71976a_400x400Macy’s, Inc. has announced a series of initiatives to evolve its business model and invest in continued growth opportunities as consumers change the way they shop.
Actions include a restructuring of merchandising and marketing functions at Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s consistent with the company’s omnichannel approach to retailing, as well as a series of adjustments to its field and store operations to increase productivity and efficiency. As part of the realignment of the organization, Maria Cristina Rios, Director of Multicultural Media Strategy will shift to the role of  Director, Consumer Segments – Multicultural. Her role will solely focus on creating strategies to retain and attract new multicultural customers and will report into Customer Analytics.The responsibility of multicultural media strategy will shift to Linda Tran, Director of Magazine & Multicultural Media Strategy. Tamara Weston, National Multicultural Marketing Manager, will stay in media in her current role and will now report to Linda Tran as a part of the new structure effective as of February 9.

Restructuring in Merchandising/Marketing

Both Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s are restructuring their respective central merchandising and marketing functions so each brand can develop and present its assortments seamlessly across channels and provide a single omnichannel view in all product categories. Going forward, one unified merchandising and marketing organization – a hybrid of store and online buying – will support the entire Macy’s business to encourage both store and digital growth. The same is true at Bloomingdale’s.

These changes support continued growth and an enhanced shopping experience online and via mobile, as well as in stores.

Simultaneously, Macy’s will make selected changes to its merchandising-related functions in local districts (administrative grouping of Macy’s stores) around the country. The company will discontinue district planner positions and reinvest in new regional teams devoted to specific themes of merchandise localization. These changes in merchandising and marketing are expected to affect approximately 115 associates in Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s central offices in New York City, as well as about 150 associates in local markets nationwide.

Adjustments in Stores/Field

An average of two to three associates will be affected in each of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s approximately 830 stores (out of an average workforce of approximately 150 associates in each store), for a total of about 2,200 affected associates nationwide. The company is working to place as many affected associates as possible in other open positions.

Also, two existing Macy’s stores districts are being merged into nearby districts – thus reducing the ongoing number of stores districts to 58 from the current 60.

With the changes announced, Macy’s, Inc. will be increasing its workforce in some functions and locations while decreasing in others. In total, the Macy’s, Inc. workforce is expected to remain at a level of approximately 175,000 associates.

“Our business is rapidly evolving in response to changes in the way customers are shopping across stores, desktops, tablets and smartphones,” said Terry J. Lundgren, Macy’s chairman and chief executive officer.“Macy’s, Inc. has benefitted in recent years by having invested early and aggressively in our M.O.M. strategies (My Macy’s localization, Omnichannel integration and Magic Selling customer engagement). This has included talent, technology, omnichannel infrastructure and fulfillment capability.We remain committed to M.O.M. as our strategic roadmap.,” added Lundgren.

Our business is rapidly evolving in response to changes in the way customers are shopping across stores, desktops, tablets and smartphones

Growth Investments Planned for 2015

The company will reinvest savings from merchandising, marketing, store and field initiatives. Plans include:

  • Creating a team within the company to explore potential opportunities for a Macy’s off-price business. Continue progress in digital retailing, including further developing the technology, speed and customer experience of macys.com and bloomingdales.com as they are accessed via desktop, smartphones, tablets and apps.
  • Advancements in business systems and information technology.
  • Increasing direct-to-consumer fulfillment capacity in every Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s store and at the five existing dedicated fulfillment centers located in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Tennessee and West Virginia. In addition, as many as 1,500 new year-round and seasonal associates will be hired this year at a new 1.3 million-square-foot direct-to-consumer fulfillment center now being built in Tulsa County, OK.
  • New stores to be opened in fall 2015, including a Macy’s in Ponce, PR, which will employ about 275 associates, as well as a new Bloomingdale’s in Honolulu, with an expected workforce of 250 associates.

Store Closings/Openings

descargaMacy’s, Inc. also detailed a series of adjustments to its portfolio of stores across the country.

  • A three-story Bloomingdale’s of 150,000 square feet will be added in an expansion of Westfield Valley Fair Shopping Center in San Jose, CA. The store is expected to open in fall 2017 and employ an estimated 250 associates.
  • Macy’s will build a new 155,000-square-foot store on two levels to replace its existing 136,000-square-foot Westfield Century City location in Los Angeles, CA, expected to open in November 2016.
  • New Macy’s stores will be opening in: o Plaza Del Caribe, Ponce, PR (150,000 square feet; to open in fall 2015; approximately 275 associates); o Ka Makana Ali’i, Kapolei, HI (103,000 square feet; to open in fall 2016; approximately 180 associates).o Mall at Miami Worldcenter, Miami, FL (195,000 square feet; to open in fall 2017; approximately150 associates).
  • New Bloomingdale’s stores will be opening in: o Ala Moana, Honolulu, HI (167,000 square feet; to open in fall 2015; approximately 250 associates); o Mall at Miami Worldcenter, Miami, FL (120,000 square feet; to open in fall 2017; approximately 225 associates).
  • New Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores are planned to open in Al Maryah Central in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in 2018 under license agreements with Al Tayer Group.
  • The company is also closing almost 14 Macy’s stores , being closed account for approximately US $130 million in annual sales, some ofwhich is expected to be retained in nearby stores and with online/mobile sales.Associates displaced by store closings may be offered positions in nearby stores where possible.

“In 2014, about US$1 billion of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s directto-customer shipments originated from Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores. Moreover, our process for Buy Online Pickup in Store has established a new dimension in customer access and convenience,” Lundgren said. “We continue to maintain a very strong nationwide network of stores through an ongoing process of selectively adding new locations while also trimming those that no longer meet our performance requirements.”

Financial Impact

The changes announced are estimated to generate savings of approximately US$140 million per year, beginning in 2015. The company expects to reinvest savings into technology and growth initiatives, including those described above, as well as to offset higher expense expected in health care and retirement plans.

Macy’s, Inc., with corporate offices in Cincinnati and New York, is one of the nation’s premier retailers, with fiscal 2013 sales of US $27.931 billion. The company operates about 840 stores in 45 states, the District ofColumbia, Guam and Puerto Rico under the names of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, as well as the macys.com andbloomingdales.com websites.

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