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“Tropicalize”, or in Spanish “tropicalizar,” is perhaps the word that best describes the “Content Marketing in Latin America and the U.S. Hispanic Market” event, which was presented on March 17 by Taboola and Portada in Miami’s Viceroy Hotel. “Tropicalize” refers to the need both marketers and publishers have to adapt and produce relevant content targeting Latin audiences in the U.S. and Latin America. “What works in the U.S. does not necessarily work in Latin America,” said Hallie Davison, MD Latin America at Colloquial. Davison, based in Mexico City, referred to “tropicalizar” as a word she hears a lot in Mexican (Content) Marketing circles.
Davison, who was interviewed by Juan Carlos Valdes, Sr. Manager Media Sales Latin America at Taboola, stressed that content really adds value there were audiences need a deeper level of engagement. “Social can’t take you there,” she said.
Taboola’s VP of Media Sales, Zev Gollender noted that the key mission of his company is to personalize the content discovery process. Gollender also mentioned that over the past 18 months approximately 80% of digital display advertising has shifted into programmatic advertising, of which the majority is native.
80% of digital display advertising has shifted into programmatic advertising, of which the majority is native.

Gollender moderated the panel “Engaging Latin Audiences with Content Marketing” with John Santiago, CEO & Founder, M8, Felipe Rey, Director, Digital Business Development, Univision and Tiago Lee, Business Leader Regional Digital Marketing at Mastercard. M8’s Santiago highlighted that to a large extent Content Marketing is a science as it is key to gain market intelligence through the thorough analysis of user interaction data. To Santiago, “content is native to whatever is happening to the consumer at the moment as well as the device he is using.”

Taboola’s CEO Adam Singolda is going to be one of the key speakers at PortadaLat in Miami’s Hyatt Regency on June 8-9, 2016. Major brands including Best Western, Nestle, Fallabella, Melia, Avon, Brown Forman and many others will provide intelligence on Latin American and U.S. Hispanic marketing and digital innovation.

SEO Value of Content

M8s Santiago also emphasized that the content production investment M8 does for its clients who include General Mills and Starwood Hotels, have a high Search Engine Optimization Value (SEO). “Producing vast amounts of content allows us to lower our paid media investments,” he concluded.
Mastercard’s Tiago Lee characterized content marketing as bringing emotional value to the e-commerce equation. He added that “a challenge for content marketers lies in to how to measure content marketing success.
Univision’s Felipe Rey, emphasized the importance of producing video at scale to meet the needs of Hispanic audiences. “You need to produce a lot of collateral content,” Rey concluded.

Miami Headquartered Agency Media 8 is rebranding as M8. The rebranding reflects the fact that in today’s world advertising and media are a component of the marketing discipline but do not represent its entirety.  “We’re much more than media; we’re multicultural, multiscreen, marketers headquartered in Miami,” John Santiago, CEO of M8, tells Portada. The rebranding happens after Santiago bought out his former busines partner Paul Suskey. A new executive leadership has been appointed and new personnel is being added in NYC, Los Angeles and Mexico City.

John Santiago, CEO of M8
John Santiago, CEO of M8

“Today, with everyone now living a life on screens, we continue to focus on understanding users, the technologies and platforms that enhance their lives, and looking to find creative ways to open a dialogue with them and introduce them to the brands we love. We’re much more than media; we’re multicultural, multiscreen, marketers headquartered in Miami. We are now M8,” M8’s CEO John Santiago tells Portada.

M8 has a headcount of 80 employees. It also has offices in  Buenos Aires & Córdoba Argentina and is reopening its Mexico office in November. “We also just hired account personnel in NYC and Los Angeles to begin expansion and coverage for clients in those cities,” Santiago adds. M8 has also strengthened its senior management team, adding Sergio Barrientos, formerly SVP and Managing Creative Director at Havas Media, as Chief Strategy Officerand Joaquin Lira, formerly Digital Creative Director at Lopez Negrete, as Chief Creative. M8 clients include General Mills (Que Rica Vida CRM Program), Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Hertz and SONY.

Our team monitors and addresses the most trending and relevant subjects that fit our clients’ culture with on-brand, on-the-fly, snackable creative pieces.

According to Santiago, Facebook’s new Atlas cross-device tracking technology, released earlier this month, included M8 as its launch success story which demonstrates M8’s commitment to leading with technology and insights to build successful initiatives for its clients.

Content Studio “The Beat”

When asked what has been the most remarkable change in the marketing and media sector in the 13 years since Media 8 was founded, Santiago notes that “Advertising can no longer be an interruption; it must be woven into the consumer experience. The drastic change is that consumers are now in control and truly involved and participate in the brand experience. This is why the art of storytelling is so important to our business and our industry now and journalists understand this instinctively. It’s why we named our content studio ‘The Beat’. The Beat is housed in M8’s new office headquarters and aims to create in-the-moment, responsive content. Our team monitors and addresses the most trending and relevant subjects that fit our clients’ culture with on-brand, on-the-fly, snackable creative pieces that resonate with their audiences, ” says Santiago.

M8 hired Zain Deane more than 2 years ago to develop and lead the agency’s Content Department. Deane is the Director of Content and previously worked as Senior Editor for HCP/Aboard, a division of the Miami Herald. Santiago adds that Deane  leads a team of writers and creatives that develop unique, compelling content to support our client’s platform, social and distribution initiatives.”