What: Marketing disruptors and innovators shared insights on the advance of marketing technology in Latin Markets at Portada Miami on April 12. Here are some of the takeaways that you missed.
Why it matters: In its twelfth annual edition, Portada Miami gathered over 100 decision-makers involved with major brands across all sectors, and provided a space for top quality networking and knowledge-sharing.



Rappi’s Carlos Leal and The Shipyard’s Kate Canel

This fragmented, hyper-connected world forces us to adapt to the new trends as soon as they appear. And even though data, the blueprint of this ship we’re all on, is there to guide us through the process, the fact is there’s too much of it available to even comprehend.

Technology is an enabler, but it demands early adoption. As demonstrated throughout the Portada Miami series of talks and panels last Friday, tools like AI are here to help, but there are barriers that have kept certain markets behind. However, both brands and service providers are getting ahead, and it is precisely spaces like Portada Miami that allow collective knowledge to grow.

Ana Laura Acevedo and Latam Airlines’ Pablo Chiozza at the Travel Marketing Board private meeting

During the private activities of the Portada Council System on Thursday, three of the council units, the Travel Marketing Board, the Americas Board, and the Brand Star Committee Latam discussed relevant topics like social media’s evolving role, knowing your customer in a multi-channel world, digital organization, brand differentiation, and strategic video use. Right after the meeting, Travel Marketing Board Ana Laura Acevedo, SVP, Marketing & Business Development at RCI Latin America, sent an email to her team to put in practice an idea that had come to her while talking to her peers.

Portada Meet-Up

Attendees could network with members of the Portada Council System the day after, and listen to the brilliant speakers on the Portada Miami agenda, who also discussed the role of the city and its future as a marketing hub. At the Portada Meet-Up session, ticket holders held one-on-one meetings with brand and agency executives of their choice. Here are some of the key takeaways of the #PortadaMIA panels.




“Contextual relevance is what earns you the right to engage with the multicultural consumer. We use data to vet that environment or content.”

(Ana Crandell, Group Account Director, OMD Multicultural)



“Have very clear goals and objectives, stick to your strategy and plan, and know it takes time to reach your objectives.”

(Christine Esteve, VP E-Commerce, Carnival Cruise Lines)



“Performance is something that has a very clear outcome. Make sure to understand your consumer, don’t do content for content’s sake.”

(Andrés Amezquita, VP Digital and Commercial Excellence, StanleyBlack&Decker Latin America)



“As marketers we need to understand consumers and identify what the barriers and frictions are, and only then look at how technology can help.”

(Andres Polo, Global Head of Innovation & Strategic Partnerships Marketing, Visa Inc.)



“The online consumer today is not determined by demographics but by their interaction with digital. “

(Carlos Leal, Marketing Director, Rappi)



“We started from the premise that especially in Latin America, when you really love something, you live it.”

(Carlo Espinoza, Senior Marketing Manager, Latin America Beverages




“The diverse Miami workforce reflects what the United States will look like in years to come.”

(Joseph Roisman, EVP, Perry Ellis International & Jaap Donath, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Research & Strategic Planning, The Miami-Dade Beacon Council)



What: Leonor Palao (Assistant VP of Brand Marketing and Advertising, Oppenheimer Funds) and Annie Granatstein (Head of the Washington Post’s BrandStudio) had a conversation about branded content partnerships and data-driven content at the Portada Data & Content Marketing Forum in NYC. 
Why it matters: According to a study by McKenzie, data-driven organizations are more likely to acquire and retain customers.

By Dane C. Rogers

Leonor Palao (left) and Annie Granatstein (right)

Leonor Palao, Assistant VP of Brand Marketing and Advertising at Oppenheimer Funds sat down with Annie Granatstein, head of the Washington Post’s BrandStudio, to discuss the branded content partnership that exists between the organizations and how data is used to drive content creation.

A research study by McKenzie showed that data-driven organizations are 23 times more likely to acquire customers, 6 times as likely to retain customers and 19 times as likely to be profitable. Leonor’s team at Oppenheimer Funds took note of this report, and in an effort to reach the niche financial advisor audience, partnered with the Washington Post.

Being an asset management company, certain data hurdles exist for Oppenheimer that caused it to lean heavily on its partners to drive growth. Fortunately, the Washington Post has the AI and data capabilities that can help Oppenheimer reach new potential customers.

Armed with the knowledge that 58% of marketers say that original written content is their most important digital asset, above video. Being viewed as a “thought leader” on relevant topics is at the core of their digital strategy.

With a talented in-house team of content creators that is capable of producing industry-leading pieces on finance and asset management, Oppenheimer had a goal to cut back on the quantity of articles (from 37 in 2017 to 7 in 2018) and focus its marketing strategy on understanding the types of articles that were most engaging and focused on creating great content and getting it on the proper platform.

Leonor mentioned the partnership Oppenheimer has with Nudge Analytics, an analytics company dedicated to standardizing the engagement metrics across the different media publication sites. Thanks to Nudge, Oppenheimer’s marketing team was able to overcome the rampant inconsistency of engagement metrics to determine the true “winners” of the 37 articles written in 2017.

With this more targeted approach, Oppenheimer has determined that year over year, custom content has had the biggest increase in effectiveness (over audio, display, social, videos, indicated content, and dedicated emails).

Oppenheimer’s branded content sees the Washington Post as the gold-standard in using data to drive content decisions. Annie runs the WP BrandStudio, which created branded content for advertisers. The content studio is a completely separate branch of the Post that has no overlap of personnel or reporting with the editorial staff.

Why is working with WP’s BrandStudio more effective than partnering with a standalone content creation agency? Because they are so much closer to the audience than any agency could hope to be. The level of interaction that a publisher has with its active users allows for a deeper understanding of their preferences.

The BrandStudio has segmented its audience into three subgroups: individual consumers, B2B (financial advisers like Oppenheimer) and thought leaders/influencers. Each segment has a separate list of the most engaging topics that they spend time on.

For example, the business client segment engages most with content related to cybersecurity, AI, and business transformation. They prefer to consume content on mobile and tablets and spend the most time on content with dynamic visuals and infographics. (Influencers, on the other hand, gravitate towards the environment, healthcare and smart cities, and visit websites on their computer browsers.)

The BrandStudio uses its internal “Clavis-targeting” algorithms (similar to Amazon’s search recommendations) to push its consumers to the content that each particular client is most likely to engage with. It does this through on-site, in-app, and external (paid social media and Apple News) recommendations.

Oppenheimer’s usage of partners like Nudge and the WP’s BrandStudio has helped it determine the most effective marketing to help it formulate a successful strategy that has show its best-recorded growth this past year.

What: A recap of the most important trends in the marketing industry in 2018, including digital content marketing. As seen through the eyes of Portada: What went right? What did we learn?
Why it matters: With one foot in the next year, it’s time to evaluate the paths we took in 2018. We need to see what knowledge and best practices can help us ride the trends in 2019.

Back in 2017, we thought about how to prepare for the new trends the new year would bring us. Last December, experts in marketing and digital content marketing made their predictions public. We started the new year with our hopes high, ready to face the future. Marketing leaders dealt with disruption and emerging technologies. They promised to mature beyond their initial hype. As the year unfolded, we saw those predictions become true. As a result, marketers found different ways to manage the new opportunities each trend brings.

In this recapitulatory article, we take a look at some of the paths marketing and digital content marketing took us in 2018. So far, one thing is certain: the more we evolve, the more we learn. It is time to take a glance over our shoulder. We need to be ready to welcome 2019 with the best possible tools.

1. Artificial Intelligence and Digital Content Marketing

We’ve been hearing for a while about how AI is getting more sophisticated. Brands are adopting AI-powered solutions. They have found it to increase user engagement. However, “Integrating AI with a site’s chat box or Facebook messenger will require perhaps even more creativity and understanding of the brand’s target market,” predicted in February Amanda Hinski, CMO at YMCA, for Forbes. “AI still has to address customer needs and problems just as aptly as a human agent. It helps if the AI experience delights customers in a fun and lighthearted manner.”

In 2018, the ways intelligent machines can help marketers and advertisers multiplied. Through AI technology companies, several brands are already using smart systems and devices. They deploy them for things such as accurate customer segmentation. They also use them for improved customer interactions. “We can’t even imagine where technology will be taking us,” said to us earlier this year Bruno Lambertini, CEO at Circus Marketing. “Data combined with AI and Robotics, with a boost from 5G connectivity, is an explosive combo that opens a thousand opportunities in the world of marketing and communications.”

We can’t even imagine where technology will be taking us.

AI helps numerous brands to enhance their marketing. Actually, most of us interact with AI every day and marketers are increasingly betting on it. Entertainment platforms such as Netflix and Spotify use AI to provide unique, personalized recommendations to its consumers; in fact, about 80% of the content viewed on Netflix is chosen through the algorithm recommendations. Another brand that has pioneered in the use of AI and AR is Sephora. It has its virtual assistant that gives makeup recommendations to its users. BMW, Campbell’s, Hilton, Dior, Lowe’s, Nordstrom, Skype, Levi’s, Taco Bell, Apple, Under Armour… Chatbots are everywhere; according to an infographic by 16 Best, they will power 85% of sales interactions by 2020.

AI Continues to Grow

Recently, Samsung announced it will invest US $22 billion in AI, 5G, and AutoTch, and just last week, Honda launched its new virtual sales-assistant on Facebook Messenger. If these examples weren’t enough, let’s remember how in November Lexus launched the first ever ad commercial written by an AI machine.

Jivox, a marketing technology company, recently announced the launch of two new AI capabilities. They offer brands a first-ever fully personalized customer experience across all paid and owned digital channels. That includes social media, native, display, video, and mobile advertising, and the brand’s email and website. We’ve been interacting with AI for some time, but as most marketers know, we are just starting to discover how much it can really do. And in spite of how we could be afraid of machines, the truth is they help us do better marketing. In the words of Rishad Tobaccowala, Chief Growth Officer at Publicis Groupe, “Because of AI, certain things that machines can do better will be done by machines. But but people plus machines have been found to be better than machines in most cases. The human touch is the difference.”

2. Multicultural Marketing

After marketing crises such as Pepsi and Kendall Jenner‘s failed ad last year, voices all over had a lot to say about diversity. They talked about the correct way to address multicultural audiences. As obvious as it may sound, not every brand knows that ethnic groups should be talked to in ways tailored according to their cultural nuances. As a result, we reached throughout the year to several experts in multicultural marketing in order to find out what is obvious and what is not.

The first thing they all agreed on was that, since the US population is increasingly multicultural, everyone should be doing multicultural marketing. “Looking at the US population current data, as well as the projections, I’d be hard-pressed to believe there are many businesses that wouldn’t benefit from multicultural marketing,” observed Marissa Fernandez, Marketing VP at the NFL, a couple of months ago.

“Multicultural marketing is no longer an afterthought or checked box. It has become a key strategy for business growth,” explained along these lines John Sandoval, Senior Brand and Latino Marketing Manager at Intuit. “It’s time for brands to acknowledge this diversity as well. As long as you have customers purchasing your products, you should be considering multicultural marketing.”

 You have to know you’re being scrutinized or evaluated as to whether you make sense to that person… specifically, they would ask themselves, ‘Do you make sense to spend my heart and money against?

Difficult Path

However, it’s not that easy. Some businesses limit themselves to translating a general market campaign into another language. Or they have an influencer that doesn’t really fit talking about a product. In order for multicultural marketing to work, you need to know who you’re targeting. And as a result, you also need to make sure the connection is real. In the words of Albert Thompson, Digital Strategist at Walton Isaacson, “Consumers are very smart, they can look at a brand and they can tell immediately if it’s for them or not. They may not know if it’s exactly the best for them, but they do know when it is not for them. You have to know you’re being scrutinized or evaluated as to whether you make sense to that person… specifically, they would ask themselves, ‘Do you make sense to spend my heart and money against?”

As the diversity of the consumer market keeps increasing, more and more brands realize that establishing real connections with multicultural consumers is no longer an option, but a must. Everyone has seen the numbers: minority buying power in the U.S. is growing more quickly than the white consumer market, to the extent that the white population in America will constitute only 44% of the total population by 2060, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. 29% will be Hispanics.

On September 25, members of the Agency Star Committee got together in a panel to discuss how multicultural insights make general market initiatives more effective. Their answer is simple: “The buyer out there is multicultural, there’s no way around it,” declared David Queamante,SVP, Client Business Partner, UM Worldwide. “If you’re going to focus on the non-ethnic half of the population, you’re going to miss the mark, period. If you’re not incorporating a multicultural media mix, you’re trying to move the needle but you’re only pushing on half of the audience.”

3. Direct-to-Consumer Brands

Direct-to-consumer brands formed an important trend that grew in 2018. It pretty much exploded in the last years. Big companies like P&G aren’t growing so much as they used to because of these brands that don’t need any intermediaries to reach the consumers. This helps the interaction and engagement a great deal, since consumers feel like the brand actually listens to them.

survey by Diffusion and YouGov has revealed that 81% of US internet users said they would buy at least one item from a D2C brand in the next five years. More specifically, 36% said they would make 1% to 19% of their purchases from D2C brands in the next five years. Convenience was the leading motivator; 27% perceived buying D2C brands as easier than going to a traditional store.

Attraction of DTC Brands

DTC brands are so attractive and successful that Unilever purchased the Dollar Shaving Club, a brand that allowed male consumers to receive economical, stylish razors at home without having to pay for a pricey Gillette razor. After Gillette’s market share fell from 70% to 54% from 2016 to 2017, it decided to launch its own on-demand, direct-to-consumer products. Another example is Covergirl, another brand that has decided to face its DTC competitors full on. After 57 years of selling through retailers, there is now a 10,000 square-feet “makeup playground.” It is equipped with a host of state-of-the-art technology where consumers can test and try products, no intermediaries involved.

4. Voice Search

Voice-based devices are another technology that has been evolving in digital content marketing in the last years. According to Mark Browne, MarTech editor at Portada, Voice search increased by 35-fold between 2008 and 2016, but brands don’t have to re-invent the wheel to make sure they’re on top of consumers’ search results.

  • The smart speaker market spend is ballooning. It will grow from $4.3 billion last year to $23.3 billion in 2025, according to Allied Market Research.
  • Amazon’s Alexa led in revenues in 2017 but Apple’s Siri is expected to grow the fastest. More will be spent in North America on smart speakers than anywhere else in the world.
  • The biggest adopters of smart speaker technology are affluent educated millenials as well as young gen X and children, according to Global Market Insights.
  • More than 40-percent of adults “used voice search on a daily basis in 2016,” Forbes Magazine reports, noting that comScore predicts that “50 percent of searches will be voice-based by 2020.”
  • Most voice searches according to Forbes are also local. They put an emphasis on the ability of the search engine to deliver up local results.

Voice search poses the natural next step. But we see little direct advertising through voice assistants so far. When users make a voice search, smart speakers usually present only the first organic result. Smartphones may present more results, but still not as many as a manual search. Therefore, brands need to concentrate on SEO to identify the real keywords for digital content marketing in order to produce content that puts them among organic results.

5. Influencers and Digital Content Marketing

The panel had the presence of Yamile Elias, Leonardo Vargas, Giustina Trevisi, and José Camargo

During the last years, the trend of using influencers as a tool to amplify a campaign or digital content marketing message grew to a great extent. Vivian Baron, Founder and Creative Chairwoman of Band of Insiders explained at the Band of Insiders Breakfast at Portada Mexico. “It is no longer about the relationship with the media. It is about how we amplify our client’s message correctly. There’s great interest placed on influencer marketing. There’s also a great lack of knowledge around it.”

In spite of this lack of knowledge, many brands have tried to take advantage of the opportunity that influencer marketing represents. Unfortunately, not everyone succeeds. “Digital platforms are so strong today that influencer marketing can have a hugely negative effect,” Baron said. “It should be taken very seriously.”

Getting it Right

However, it’s very easy to get influencer marketing wrong. After surveying more than 4,000 European respondents about influencer marketing, a report by Bazaarvoice shows consumers are tired of the repetitive nature of the content. They don’t like the decreasing quality of posts. According to the study, 63% of online audiences feel that influencer content has become “too materialistic.” They say it is “misrepresenting real life.” Forty-nine-percent of consumers believe there’s a need for effective regulation. It’s needed to define stricter rules as well as best practices for content.

“When used superficially, the influencer marketing tool can lead to crises as the ones we’ve seen recently,” commented Vivian Baron. “Sometimes there’s a great potential but it doesn’t hold up. It’s very important to design a long-term strategy. It allows you to create a critical mass of loyal followers. This in an industry where loyalty is virtually non-existent.”



6. The Soccer Opportunity

The year 2018 was great for sports. Not only did we have the Winter Olympics in South Korea at the beginning of the year. We saw the most important media opportunity that a sports event can bring: the FIFA World Cup in Russia. No brand in its right mind would miss the digital content marketing opportunities in the tournament. Just after it started, the Chair of Portada’s Sports Marketing Board Joe Favorito prepared an analysis of certain brands using the World Cup to activate their products, such as Kellog’s, SleepScore, and Vivo were his cited examples of brands working closely together with soccer in order to achieve results.

As Jason Howarth, VP of Marketing at Panini, explained in a panel at Portada Los Angeles on May 10, the relevance of the Hispanic market was undeniable from the start. When they found out at Panini that team USA had been disqualified, he “realized we needed to seize all the other opportunities we knew would exist in the U.S.,” he said. “When you go around the country you see all the Messi and Ronaldo jerseys. You quickly realize the U.S. team is probably not the focus of most fans anyway.” He and other marketers knew that the biggest opportunity lay on the Hispanic consumer, who would be rooting for their origin country’s team.

Power of the World Cup

IKarina Dobarro spoke to us just before the tournament started. She is VP, Managing Director, Multicultural Brand Strategy at Horizon Media. “World Cup not only delivers reach and engagement of Hispanic fans. It delivers a level of cultural connection unparalleled to any other sports property. It will be key for brands to determine how to stand out from the crowd. They need to find an authentic way and be creative in finding touchpoints to capture Hispanic fans across devices and time zones.” And with everybody trying to stand out, creativity is really important.

“The lessons learned from World Cup activation and engagement continue to grow,” wrote Favorito after it was over. “The effective implementation of social campaigns tied to the games were in record numbers. Spanish language broadcasts in the U.S. drew solid audiences. That in spite of the fact that the U.S. did not qualify for the event. Many of the elite Spanish language countries exited a little earlier than expected. Still the drama and life displayed by first-timers like Peru and the continued growth and engagement of Mexico led to an even bigger bounce. It was bigger than what was expected. It made World Cup in Russia an overall global success, and not just in soccer, but in sports business.”


What: Honda partnered with Carlabs.ai to create an AI-powered sales assistant on Facebook messenger.
Why it matters: Honda’s move will surely pave the way for brands in this and other industries to create bots that emulate a human experience.

Honda now has an AI-powered assistant on Facebook messenger. The bot aims to emulate a conversation with a human automotive expert, and it guides consumers through their shopping experience.

Honda and its agency, RPA, partnered with Carlabs.ai to build the smart sales assistant. Consumers can ask the virtual representative any questions about products, pricing, payments, and offers, as well as view multimedia content and find the nearest dealer.

“Honda’s development objective was to see if a chat interaction on social would serve as a better converter to qualified shopping actions versus sending in-market shoppers from Facebook placements to the mobile site,” told Jessica Fini, social media manager at American Honda, to Marketing Daily. “Our theory is that targeted shoppers on social may be more likely to engage with the brand via a conversation within Messenger vs. clicking through to the website.”

According to Fini, the goal is to improve advertising conversion rates and guide shoppers more quickly through the shopping process. “Honda aims to drive qualified shopping via the custom web views that live within the bot itself, as well as measuring those who click out to build and price,” she said.

The goal is to improve advertising conversion rates, guide shoppers more quickly and painlessly through the shopping process and secure more qualified sales leads.

Carlabs.ai has built similar solutions for Kia Motors America, Kia Motors Mexico and others.


What: Social Lens Research teamed with MocoSpace and response:AI to conduct an in-depth study on voice command usage across devices, locations, age groups, and ethnicities.
Why it matters: Even though voice command is not yet mainstream, it is expected to become one of the leading technologies of the near future.


Julie Diaz-Asper (right), Founding Partner, and Denisse Icaza (left), Head of Community, at Social Lens Research, co-authored the below report on the importance of voice first experiences for reaching multicultural audiences. Denisse Icaza  is the founder and editor of the award-winning blog AhorrosparaMama.com, that offers Spanish-speaking moms new ways to save time and money without sacrificing quality or their favorite brands.


While voice command has not yet become mainstream, multicultural women are leading the way in the early adoption of this new technology. According to the Social Lens Research Voice Command Study: current state, diverse moms who are constantly online and own multiple devices are the current power users of voice. Reaching and engaging multicultural moms with voice command will be a smart strategic move this holiday season and into 2019.

Multicultural moms are more likely to use voice commands across more devices, locations, and for more reasons. Important is building voice experiences that meet their unique needs (simply translating an App into Spanish won’t be enough). High voice use cases that are important for brands to focus on include:

  • 45% use voice to find a store. Local businesses would benefit from optimizing for local voice search that is culturally relevant and useful (e.g., best Rosca de Reyes bakery near me).
  • 42% use voice to find a movie. Entertainment companies could help users find/recommend content to watch (e.g., most educational cartoons in Spanish for a 6-year-old).
  • 83% use voice in a car. What important tasks can you help your customers finish on their daily commute (e.g., create a shopping list for Chilaquiles and find me some deals).

A comprehensive voice strategy will need to prioritize building a useful voice first experience (help me find what I want, complete a task faster). Depending on the use case, it will need to work across the devices the user wants to use such as smart TVs, smart speakers, smartwatches, and smart home devices. Important will be tapping into voice first functionality already built by device manufacturers (Alexa Skills or Ok Google commands) and app providers (GrubHub voice first ordering).

To avoid multicultural audiences having usability issues, voice-activated products and services need to take accents (international and regional), unique, culturally relevant requests (e.g., best healthy meriendas for hungry teens, find the nearest mercado) and word phrasing into account.

Google Home’s adoption of Spanish commands

Google’s smart speakers can now understand and respond in Spanish. Furthermore, Google recently announced that its Assistant has become bilingual, meaning that it now can understand two languages simultaneously, making it a very user-friendly smart assistant for a multicultural market.

Comcast’s X1 Voice Remote Commands can now be set to Spanish

Smart TV is leading the way for first experiences with voice usage for Hispanics. Hispanics over-index (+19%) on smart TV voice command usage, according to the  study. Comcast has improved artificial intelligence in its X1 Voice remote for commands in Spanish. In addition to using the language of your choice (the X1 interface has to be set to the preferred language) to change channels, search for shows, get recommendations and more, the smart remote control also has a whole new range of commands for connected homes.

Marketers and developers are still in the early days of building robust voice first experiences that are truly designed to meet multicultural consumers’ needs.

Important considerations:

  • Build unique experiences that meet the interests and needs of your multicultural customers. Understand the context of when, where, and how your target customer might be completing a task across the devices they use (starting a grocery list in the kitchen, adding items/comparing prices in the car, and checking off items at the grocery).
  • Include Spanish/bilingual language options. Adapt to how your users actually talk and what words they use in both languages.
  • Make it an end-to-end experience. Don’t start with voice first and then lead to an experience that requires you to access a computer or punch in a number.
  • Assume that customer will contact you hands-free and build customer service user paths that work well with voice commands.




We are introducing a bi-weekly summary of the most exciting recent news in marketing technology and trends. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

Phrasee’s AI-powered Copywriting Tool Attracts $4M in New Funding

Investors will pour U.S. $4 million into the digital marketing software company Phrasee to power the expansion of its Artificial Intelligence tools that help brands like Domino’s and Virgin write better subject lines for emails. Brands also use Phrasee’s tools to write more effective Facebook and Instagram ads. The new funding will help Phrasee, based in London, to open offices in San Francisco.

Facebook is reportedly building a stand alone shopping app for Instagram, sources tell the media outlet The Verge. The app will allow Instagram users to use the app to buy goods from merchants they follow. Instagram is keeping mum about the new shopping platform. According to Facebook, there are 25 million businesses with accounts on Instagram.

Artificial Intelligence is rapidly changing how brands create content. The Tel Aviv firm Bidalgo has a new AI-powered tool that measures KPIs for the different elements of creative content, including words (messaging) and images (including video). MediaPost also reports that McCann Erikson Japan has launched the world’s first robotic creative director that analyzes key elements of past award-winning ads to then develop new ones.

The retail customer analytics firm Custora has won $13.75M in new financing for its software that uses Artificial Intelligence to help retailers segment and better understand their customers and as a result provide more personalized offers. Retailers also use Custora’s machine learning to analyze the impact of discounts and price points and forecast the lifetime value of each customer.

Investments in mobile advertising increased by 25% in the second quarter of this year compared to last, and more and more brands are choosing to place their ads within mobile apps, according to PubMatic’s Quarterly Mobile Index for 2018. In just the last year, spending on mobile video ads has increased by 239 percent, with a 688-percent year-over-year increase in advertising within mobile apps, the PubMatic release said.

The online flower delivery company Telaflora is using Artificial Intelligence to match offers to individual customers’ desires and preferences. Using AI tools from Bluecore and Custora, Teleflora succeeded in matching customer data with products to increase year-to-year sales by 50%, according to ClickZ.

What: Samsung has announced plans to invest $22 billion in artificial intelligence, automotive technology, and 5G development.
Why it matters: Innovations powered by AI technology will drive the industry’s transformation and the next-generation 5G telecommunications technology will create opportunities in autonomous vehicles, the IoT and robotics.

The Samsung conglomerate said in a statement it will invest more than US $22 billion over the next three years to target four new technology areas: artificial intelligence, auto-technology components, 5G, and biopharmaceuticals. The tech company said it will hire 1,000 AI researchers around the world and seek to become a major player in next-generation 5G networks. It said both technologies are crucial for the development of autonomous vehicles.

Even though Samsung is South Korea’s biggest conglomerate and the world’s biggest smartphone maker, its profits have suffered from disappointing sales and slowing demand for some memory chips, which is why the company is going after growth drivers beyond smartphones. Moreover, it is facing increasing competition from Chinese rivals Huawei and Xiaomi.

Samsung also announced a series of initiatives aimed at building the ecosystem of innovative businesses for the digital economy. Samsung plans to open its venture incubation program to both external and internal startup projects and provide software training.

“Samsung aims to become a leader in electronics components for future cars such as system-on-chips for autonomous driving, utilizing its leadership in semiconductors, telecommunications, and display technologies,” stated the Samsung investment announcement.

The investment includes capital expenditures and research and development. Samsung is expected to create 40,000 new jobs over the next three years. The company also will expand C-Lab, its internal venture incubation program, and work with the Korean government to establish and run software education centers across the country.

These investments are part of a larger plan to spend US $160 billion over the next three years on capital expenditures and research and development. Areas that will be targeted for investment include the company’s manufacturing hubs, as well as existing memory and display businesses.

What: We talked to Ana Hoyos, area director at Meltwater Latin America, about the recent acquisition of Sysomos and what it means for the analysis of social media.
Why it matters: The social media landscape is changing at an accelerated pace; artificial intelligence is acquiring a prominent role and companies have to adapt to survive.

Meltwater’s Ana Hoyos

When Meltwater CEO Jørn Lyseggen started the company with a 15-thousand-dollar grant from the Norwegian government, little did he know that 18 years later he would be able to acquire a company like insights-driven social platform Sysomos. Now, this is Meltwater’s seventh acquisition in 18 months; a month ago it bought London-based social media analyst DataSift, and eight months ago it bought real-time data analytics app Algo. Meltwater is making serious efforts to become the market leader of both Social Analytics and Media Intelligence, and at Portada we talked to Ana Hoyos, director of Meltwater Latin America, to find out more about the details behind the acquisition and what’s next for Latin American markets.

Portada: What are the motivations behind Meltwater’s recent acquisitions? 

Ana Hoyos: “We’ve been spending a lot of time trying to find the right partners and the right acquisitions to do, and it’s all very strategic in terms of finding only the best content and the best artificial intelligence for this concept of “Outside Insight”, which is about being able to structure unstructured data. We as a company have been monitoring online news for many years, since 2001, and then we started adding different sections to that.

The plan is for us to continue helping our clients make decisions based on that information. We’re expanding a lot of our content on social media to be able to provide insights to all of our clients. The concept of our Outside Insight is to find insight from the outside, information that a company doesn’t have internally, but is really valuable to understand what is happening in either the traditional landscape or the social landscape. This information can include the latest industry trends, competitive intelligence, or anything that might shape their company in a different way and then be able to make decisions based on that.”

Portada: Why has Meltwater decided to acquire Sysomos?

A.H.: “Sysomos is a company that has been around for many years. They’ve been very strong since the beginning and we’re very excited to acquire them because we know that they have a lot of great content. That’s the main focus. We want to use as much as we can in terms of their content, talents, etc. to continue driving this vision of Outside Insight. The most important thing is we’re excited for the contents they already have. We see a ton of potential into integrating that content into everything else that we do, and especially because we feel like we have really strong artificial intelligence tools, and matching that with the content they have can lead to powerful results.”

Portada: What are the challenges in store for social media-analytics firms in view of the latest fake news and privacy concerns?

A.H.: “With the social media landscape evolving, some of these changes have exploded and taken a lot of room in the news, like the situation with Facebook… All of these things, in the end, are natural to the industry; we can assume they are going to happen because of the nature of this content. Of course it’s a challenge, because it’s an area and an industry that’s always adapting. For example, as soon as this Facebook situation happened we had to respond and immediately adapt our processes and internal communications to make sure that we knew exactly how to address this with our clients, and how to make sure we can monitor information for them in different ways.

We need to be very agile in terms of responding to any changes, but it’s not necessarily a concern because it’s something that is happening to everybody.

I can see that could continue to be a challenge, but what it means is we have to continue to be very adaptable. We need to be very agile in terms of responding to any changes, but it’s not necessarily a concern because it’s something that is happening to everybody. No player’s going to be at a disadvantage, we’ll just all have to adapt to the situation and ultimately the companies that adapt the quickest are the ones that are going to have an advantage in the market.”

Portada: What are Meltwater’s plans for Latin America?

A.H.: “We have a pretty good presence in Latin America. We have operations in Buenos Aires and now our main office is in São Paulo, Brazil. We work with all countries within Latin America; we have a Spanish-speaking team and a Portuguese-speaking team. This is a really big area of focus for us because we see a lot of potential, not only because the market is somewhat untapped for us, for example, in comparison to the U.S. where we have offices in every major city. This is what we want to accomplish in Latin America, we want to continue to grow and develop in this region, we’re very excited about the potential it has, we work with a lot of clients in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, so we have a lot of presence in the area already. The main country that we have in our view next to establish operations in is Mexico because we have a lot of great clients there.”

[People] want to educate themselves and really understand what is happening, what is next, especially in terms of social media.

Portada: What would you like to see happening next in social media analytics?

A.H.: “There are still many companies and in general people out there that don’t fully understand the importance of all this data, and of monitoring information outside their company and how vital it is for them to stay on top of the industry and the market and just really understand everything that’s happening inside their company. That is the first thing: I would love for people to be more involved and learn more about the subject and the concept of big data and artificial intelligence and how companies like Meltwater can really help them understand more about their company and give them a competitive advantage.

I think it’s starting to happen, I definitely see a change where people are excited about these topics, they want to educate themselves and really understand what is happening, what is next, especially in terms of social media. I’ve seen a big push on that front from a lot of companies and a lot of the people that we speak to in the industry. I definitely think the shift is already happening, but it needs to happen more because as these companies and these clients get more involved and learn about this, it will help the industry grow and continue to develop in the right direction.”

Portada: What would you say to people who are afraid of the speed at which AI is being integrated into a space like social media, which they trust with their personal information and interactions?

A.H.: “There’s always a lot of fear around artificial intelligence. People think about AI like the Sci-Fi movies that they see from Hollywood and start assuming things. There’s no reason to be scared as long as we’re able to adapt to the changes. The companies that are not able to adapt are the ones that are going to be in trouble. We’ve already seen examples, like online retailers that are taking a lot of the market shares and spaces of the companies that never moved onto the online arena, for example, ToysRUs, who just lost a lot of market share to competitors like Amazon. I think that is the most important lesson we can take from this, there’s no reason to be scared as long as you stay on top of everything, be curious and passionate about it, and then learn how to adapt to the changes and what the future is bringing. There’s definitely a lot of potential for us to make our lives better with this technology, be able to access information faster, understand things quicker…, it could add a lot of value to everybody.”

[Vignettes by Meltwater]

A summary of the most exciting recent research in brand marketing in the U.S., U.S.-Hispanic and Latin American markets. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

According to a study by Survata, Instagram, with 22% of the vote, ranked No. 1 among 18- to 24-year-olds for the platform with the best natural ad experience, followed by Google with 21%, Facebook, 17%; Snapchat, 14%; YouTube, 11%; Pinterest, 8%; and Twitter, 7%.

Social Media Marketing Works: A study at University of Oxford, recently found that brands whose social marketing campaigns portrayed the brand as “more personable, emotional and less functional” – essentially more human – had a strong positive effect on brand awareness. There was, however, a difference of up to than 35 percentage points between the most and least effective campaigns, where content and style of the ad made a significant impact.

According to Tubular Intelligence, there are 181 videos from 91 brands that have more than 1 million engagements as well as 5 million views on YouTube. 

A new study conducted by IPG Mediabrands’ intelligence and investment unit Magna, the IPG Media Lab, analytics company Moat and programmatic software company The Trade Desk over the past year found that more viewable campaigns are also more likely to lead consumers to buy, click or register and that related standards achieve similar results.

Almost 80% of marketers said customer communications must include a two-way dialogue between brands and consumers that “more deeply engages customers, address[es] customer questions, resolves issues, influences purchase decisions, improves loyalty and increases transactions,” but that less than half (48%) of marketers thought current two-way communications platforms could meet those needs, including social media, messaging apps and chatbots, according to a study by LiveWorld.

A study by Kantar Millward Brown found no strong correlation between campaign success and factors such as industry category, region, or number of creative types used in a campaign, but that brands who communicate using human language, connecting with people’s emotions and “avoiding more functional words and phrases,” tend to perform better in advertising effectiveness.

A new study from Goldsmiths University and Adobe found that the majority of firms are not taking advantage of how AI can provide improved customer experiences. Almost two thirds (61%) of consumers said they were loyal to brands that tailor their experiences to them, yet less than a third of marketers are using AI to do so (32%).

The “Trust in News” study by Kantar found that traditional print and broadcast media brands are more resilient to accusations of “fake news” than social media platforms and digital news outlets and that news consumers are reading more widely and becoming more sophisticated in their engagement with news content, engaging in activities like “fact checking.”

 Smartling, a translation technology service, released findings of a new study that reveals content localization is a top priority for global brands, with 94 percent of marketers surveyed in the U.S. and Europe citing plans to increase spending on content localization in the coming year.