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mark larkinPortada interviewed Mark Larkin, SVP and General Manager of CNET at CBS Interactive, as part of the #PortadaLat interview series.

Below, Mark Larkin discusses his vision on online video, how they create and use video at CNET, his own history regarding video and CNET TV, as well as his opinion about where will be video ten years from now:

Portada: What is your experience in your long career in online video?

Mark Larkin: I have always been a champion of video. People love to read, but they also love to watch. Here at CNET and CNET en Español, we create video because there is enormous appetite for content that entertains, informs and engages all at once – and nothing does all three like video. Back when broadband was just coming into focus, I launched CNET TV,which gave rise to all of the video you see on CNET and CNET en Español today. In fact,I led the team that made sure CNET was one of the first online publishers to embrace video on the web. In my 18-year career with the company, I’ve directed other video-centric brands within our portfolio, including CBS MoneyWatch and CBSNews.com, where I launched a slate of successful web shows including @KatieCouric, 60 MINUTES OVERTIME and WASHINGTON UPLUGGED. Today, CNET and CNET en Español have more than 500,000 pieces of premium-content video in our combined archives. And every year, we rapidly expand our palette of programming.

Portada: How is online video in text content integrated if at all at CNET?

Mark Larkin: Video is at the heart of everything we do here at CNET. It’s where we started and it’s where we’re headed. We have a robust in-house video production team that produces tens of thousands of pieces of video content every year – and that content sits alongside the written content we produce. Together, CNET and CNET en Español offer live video coverage of news events, such as press conferences at which the latest and greatest consumer products are revealed. Our reviews of newly released products are accompanied by videos explaining the pros and cons of each device to our audience. We offer a full slate of ‘How To’ videos, in which our editors show consumers how to make the most of their products. And we have a number of recurring series in English and in Spanish that help viewers keep abreast of the rapidly occurring changes in consumer tech. What’s more, all of our videos are available across all platforms, whether desktop and mobile (Android, iOS, Windows 8) or on “Smart TVs” or distributed through our partners like YouTube, Roku, Xbox and more.

Video is at the heart of everything we do here at CNET.
 

Portada: Where will video be 10 years from now?

Mark Larkin: I envision we will see more video content than ever as screens proliferate across platforms that we may never have initially imagined. Any platform that can stream video will have video on it – and we’ll be there. With advancements in wireless technology speeds, and with new ways for consumers to access content, we expect to reach consumers not just in the home or office, but in unexpected places like cars (where video has already made considerable inroads), through wearable technologies, and on devices that one might not normally expect to encounter a screen (such as refrigerators with built-in streaming technologies) and more. What it really boils down to is this: More ways for us – and our marketing partners – to reach consumers at nearly all points along the marketing funnel to help them make smart purchasing decisions.

Portada:  How do you integrate video with your social media platforms?

Mark Larkin: Video is critically important to our success on all social media platforms. We highlight individual pieces of content regularly across our Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest accounts. Video is critically important to our social strategy – and video is also critically important to the success of Facebook, Twitter and all of the social platforms. Which is why you see them consistently modify their algorithms to prioritize premium content/video higher within their users’ news feeds and streams.

Video is critically important to our success on all social media platforms.
 

Portada: What is the most striking feature for you at CNET en español?

Mark Larkin: The fact that we’ve grown so quickly in such a short amount of time. We knew there was a market to deliver premium content – and, specifically, premium video – to Spanish speakers here in the United States. Seven months after the launch, we’ve seen page views and engagement increase with ad inventory remaining scarce. We are thrilled with the response but we continue to learn along the way and we invite our readers to give us continuing feedback about the content they see – and want to see – across all of our platforms.

Mark joined CNET in 1996 and over the course of his career with the company has directed other brands within the CBS Interactive portfolio, including CBS MoneyWatch, BNET and CBSNews.com, where he served as vice president and general manager and tripled traffic during his tenure. During that time, Mark and his team launched a slate of successful web shows including @KatieCouric, 60 MINUTES OVERTIME, WASHINGTON UPLUGGED and successful blogs like Crimesider and Political Hotsheet.

Our discussion with Mark Larkin joins those with LatAm Summit speakers Annika Blockstrand and  Caio del Manto, both of Mondelez, Fernando Calderón of OCCMundial and  César Salazar of 500 Startups.

mark larkinPortada interviewed Mark Larkin, SVP and General Manager of CNET at CBS Interactive, as part of the #PortadaLat interview series.

Below, Mark Larkin discusses his vision on online video, how they create and use video at CNET, his own history regarding video and CNET TV, as well as his opinion about where will be video ten years from now:

Portada: What is your experience in your long career in online video?

Mark Larkin: I have always been a champion of video. People love to read, but they also love to watch. Here at CNET and CNET en Español, we create video because there is enormous appetite for content that entertains, informs and engages all at once – and nothing does all three like video. Back when broadband was just coming into focus, I launched CNET TV,which gave rise to all of the video you see on CNET and CNET en Español today. In fact,I led the team that made sure CNET was one of the first online publishers to embrace video on the web. In my 18-year career with the company, I’ve directed other video-centric brands within our portfolio, including CBS MoneyWatch and CBSNews.com, where I launched a slate of successful web shows including @KatieCouric, 60 MINUTES OVERTIME and WASHINGTON UPLUGGED. Today, CNET and CNET en Español have more than 500,000 pieces of premium-content video in our combined archives. And every year, we rapidly expand our palette of programming.

Portada: How is online video in text content integrated if at all at CNET?

Mark Larkin: Video is at the heart of everything we do here at CNET. It’s where we started and it’s where we’re headed. We have a robust in-house video production team that produces tens of thousands of pieces of video content every year – and that content sits alongside the written content we produce. Together, CNET and CNET en Español offer live video coverage of news events, such as press conferences at which the latest and greatest consumer products are revealed. Our reviews of newly released products are accompanied by videos explaining the pros and cons of each device to our audience. We offer a full slate of ‘How To’ videos, in which our editors show consumers how to make the most of their products. And we have a number of recurring series in English and in Spanish that help viewers keep abreast of the rapidly occurring changes in consumer tech. What’s more, all of our videos are available across all platforms, whether desktop and mobile (Android, iOS, Windows 8) or on “Smart TVs” or distributed through our partners like YouTube, Roku, Xbox and more.

Video is at the heart of everything we do here at CNET.
 

Portada: Where will video be 10 years from now?

Mark Larkin: I envision we will see more video content than ever as screens proliferate across platforms that we may never have initially imagined. Any platform that can stream video will have video on it – and we’ll be there. With advancements in wireless technology speeds, and with new ways for consumers to access content, we expect to reach consumers not just in the home or office, but in unexpected places like cars (where video has already made considerable inroads), through wearable technologies, and on devices that one might not normally expect to encounter a screen (such as refrigerators with built-in streaming technologies) and more. What it really boils down to is this: More ways for us – and our marketing partners – to reach consumers at nearly all points along the marketing funnel to help them make smart purchasing decisions.

Portada:  How do you integrate video with your social media platforms?

Mark Larkin: Video is critically important to our success on all social media platforms. We highlight individual pieces of content regularly across our Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest accounts. Video is critically important to our social strategy – and video is also critically important to the success of Facebook, Twitter and all of the social platforms. Which is why you see them consistently modify their algorithms to prioritize premium content/video higher within their users’ news feeds and streams.

Video is critically important to our success on all social media platforms.
 

Portada: What is the most striking feature for you at CNET en español?

Mark Larkin: The fact that we’ve grown so quickly in such a short amount of time. We knew there was a market to deliver premium content – and, specifically, premium video – to Spanish speakers here in the United States. Seven months after the launch, we’ve seen page views and engagement increase with ad inventory remaining scarce. We are thrilled with the response but we continue to learn along the way and we invite our readers to give us continuing feedback about the content they see – and want to see – across all of our platforms.

Mark joined CNET in 1996 and over the course of his career with the company has directed other brands within the CBS Interactive portfolio, including CBS MoneyWatch, BNET and CBSNews.com, where he served as vice president and general manager and tripled traffic during his tenure. During that time, Mark and his team launched a slate of successful web shows including @KatieCouric, 60 MINUTES OVERTIME, WASHINGTON UPLUGGED and successful blogs like Crimesider and Political Hotsheet.

Our discussion with Mark Larkin joins those with LatAm Summit speakers Annika Blockstrand and  Caio del Manto, both of Mondelez, Fernando Calderón of OCCMundial and  César Salazar of 500 Startups.

cesar salazarPortada interviewed Mexican entrepreneur César Salazar, Venture Partner of 500 Startups, as part of the #PortadaLat interview series. Our discussion with César Salazar joins those with LatAm Summit speakers Annika Blockstrand and  Caio del Manto, both of Mondelez, and Fernando Calderón of OCCMundial.

Translated by Candice Carmel

César Salazar’s emergence as one of Latin America’s outstanding entrepreneurs has meant a long journey and considerable effort, “after trying everything,” in his own words. This is an entrepreneur who “wanted to be a designer (or maybe an architect) when I was a kid – and I became both,” he tells Portada, and who hopes to be able to “transform pre-school education” in the long-term future, as well as helping “create several public companies that transform entire industries.” Below, César Salazar discusses his vision on startups in Latin America, his own history as an entrepreneur, as well as some challenging advice for businesses and entrepreneurs in Latin America:

Portada: How did you come to do what you do?

César Salazar: I became an investor after trying everything, but mainly through being an entrepreneur. For a little less than 10 years I was a technology entrepreneur; then I jumped to the other side of the fence when I saw that in my country, despite enormous opportunities, there was little access to capital.

I was born and raised in a suburb of Mexico City, but in recent years I have done a lot of traveling, so I’ve had the chance to see everything. I wanted to be a designer (or maybe an architect) when I was a kid – and I became both. During my years as an entrepreneur I specialized in product design, and graphic interfaces and experience.

Portada: What was the process involved in creating Mexican.VC? 

César Salazar: It was a spontaneous process. David Weekly, one of the founding partners, had the idea during a visit to Mexico. His observation was that there were very talented entrepreneurs, products that solved some big, genuine problems – but very little capital. A few weeks later we took on the task of bringing together a little capital in Silicon Valley, and we started to look for companies to invest in.

In reality we didn’t know what we were doing. I think that if we had known how hard venture capital is, we wouldn’t have tried it.

Portada: What was the process for acquiring Mexican.VC? What was the decision that led to the move to sell the company?

César Salazar: When we created Mexican.VC, one of the first people to find out about it was Dave McClure. We knew that if anyone would trust our vision of bringing venture capital to a little-understood market, it would be him. So that’s how we got 500 Startups to be an investor in that first fund. A year later we sat down to talk, and two things became clear:

  • The first was that Mexico (and Latin America) had even more potential than we originally thought, and was therefore strategic for 500.
  • The second conclusion was that our team did not have enough expertise, and it would be good for us to work closely with others who had been doing this for some time.

The final touch was that we shared the same entrepreneur-friendly culture and are all hands-on people. I think 500 is the best place to learn how to do venture capital.

Portada: Do you enjoy your work? What are the things you like the most, and the least?

César Salazar: I love it. I see myself doing this for at least 10 or 15 more years. What I like the most is learning about different industries every day, through the entrepreneurs we work with; it’s the best business school there could ever be. What I like the least, or let’s say what wears me down the most, is dealing with most people’s pessimism. Every day I find myself talking with people who avoid opportunities because they’re unwilling to risk their time, money or reputation.

Portada: How would you define what a Latin American company needs to have in order to invest in it?

César Salazar: For me, it’s important that they are solving a real problem, and that it’s a problem faced by a large number of people or businesses. I love working with entrepreneurs who have goals going beyond 10 years, although it’s hard to find them. I also believe the most important thing is that they be able to attract talent and capital; that is, the resources needed to grow the business.

For me, it’s important that they are solving a real problem, and that it’s a problem faced by a large number of people or businesses

Portada: What would be your main advice for global investors setting their sights on Latin startups?

César Salazar: I think they have to look for high-growth areas, leave prejudices at home, and bet on the long run.

Portada: What do you think makes 500 Startups different from existing sources of financing in Latin America?

César Salazar: I think the first thing that makes us different is the speed at which we’re moving. Over the past 20 months we’ve made more than 70 investments in Latin American companies. The second is our focus on forming an entrepreneurial community; we think our job is to bring the best together and help them form their own global support network. The third, I suppose, would be our focus on marketing and distribution for transactional businesses. Our accelerator program tends to be more useful the more traction a company has in terms of clients and sales.

Our speed makes us different

César Salazar: Do you think Latin America’s startup market is going to grow? What should people be betting on specifically?

César Salazar: Of course. In countries like Mexico activity has doubled each year for the past four years, and I think that trend will continue for several more years. The up and coming generation has a lot more disposable resources to invest, while less and less intend to work as part of a corporation.

Portada: What are your hopes for this year? And for the long-term future?

César Salazar: I hope we’ll finish the year with at least 20 well-capitalized companies that are clearly growing, and that we begin to grasp their true impact and return potential.
Over the long term I hope to have helped create several public companies that transform entire industries. After that, I would like to return to the role of founder, and what I would most like to transform is pre-school education for the masses.

César Salazar is a Venture Partner at 500 Startups’. He is in charge of investments in Latin America (Spanish-speaking companies), and helped consolidate Hackspedition, Startup Dojo and SuperHappyDevHouse in Mexico.

cesar salazarPortada interviewed Mexican entrepreneur César Salazar, Venture Partner of 500 Startups, as part of the #PortadaLat interview series. Our discussion with César Salazar joins those with LatAm Summit speakers Annika Blockstrand and  Caio del Manto, both of Mondelez, and Fernando Calderón of OCCMundial.

Translated by Candice Carmel

César Salazar’s emergence as one of Latin America’s outstanding entrepreneurs has meant a long journey and considerable effort, “after trying everything,” in his own words. This is an entrepreneur who “wanted to be a designer (or maybe an architect) when I was a kid – and I became both,” he tells Portada, and who hopes to be able to “transform pre-school education” in the long-term future, as well as helping “create several public companies that transform entire industries.” Below, César Salazar discusses his vision on startups in Latin America, his own history as an entrepreneur, as well as some challenging advice for businesses and entrepreneurs in Latin America:

Portada: How did you come to do what you do?

César Salazar: I became an investor after trying everything, but mainly through being an entrepreneur. For a little less than 10 years I was a technology entrepreneur; then I jumped to the other side of the fence when I saw that in my country, despite enormous opportunities, there was little access to capital.

I was born and raised in a suburb of Mexico City, but in recent years I have done a lot of traveling, so I’ve had the chance to see everything. I wanted to be a designer (or maybe an architect) when I was a kid – and I became both. During my years as an entrepreneur I specialized in product design, and graphic interfaces and experience.

Portada: What was the process involved in creating Mexican.VC? 

César Salazar: It was a spontaneous process. David Weekly, one of the founding partners, had the idea during a visit to Mexico. His observation was that there were very talented entrepreneurs, products that solved some big, genuine problems – but very little capital. A few weeks later we took on the task of bringing together a little capital in Silicon Valley, and we started to look for companies to invest in.

In reality we didn’t know what we were doing. I think that if we had known how hard venture capital is, we wouldn’t have tried it.

Portada: What was the process for acquiring Mexican.VC? What was the decision that led to the move to sell the company?

César Salazar: When we created Mexican.VC, one of the first people to find out about it was Dave McClure. We knew that if anyone would trust our vision of bringing venture capital to a little-understood market, it would be him. So that’s how we got 500 Startups to be an investor in that first fund. A year later we sat down to talk, and two things became clear:

  • The first was that Mexico (and Latin America) had even more potential than we originally thought, and was therefore strategic for 500.
  • The second conclusion was that our team did not have enough expertise, and it would be good for us to work closely with others who had been doing this for some time.

The final touch was that we shared the same entrepreneur-friendly culture and are all hands-on people. I think 500 is the best place to learn how to do venture capital.

Portada: Do you enjoy your work? What are the things you like the most, and the least?

César Salazar: I love it. I see myself doing this for at least 10 or 15 more years. What I like the most is learning about different industries every day, through the entrepreneurs we work with; it’s the best business school there could ever be. What I like the least, or let’s say what wears me down the most, is dealing with most people’s pessimism. Every day I find myself talking with people who avoid opportunities because they’re unwilling to risk their time, money or reputation.

Portada: How would you define what a Latin American company needs to have in order to invest in it?

César Salazar: For me, it’s important that they are solving a real problem, and that it’s a problem faced by a large number of people or businesses. I love working with entrepreneurs who have goals going beyond 10 years, although it’s hard to find them. I also believe the most important thing is that they be able to attract talent and capital; that is, the resources needed to grow the business.

For me, it’s important that they are solving a real problem, and that it’s a problem faced by a large number of people or businesses

Portada: What would be your main advice for global investors setting their sights on Latin startups?

César Salazar: I think they have to look for high-growth areas, leave prejudices at home, and bet on the long run.

Portada: What do you think makes 500 Startups different from existing sources of financing in Latin America?

César Salazar: I think the first thing that makes us different is the speed at which we’re moving. Over the past 20 months we’ve made more than 70 investments in Latin American companies. The second is our focus on forming an entrepreneurial community; we think our job is to bring the best together and help them form their own global support network. The third, I suppose, would be our focus on marketing and distribution for transactional businesses. Our accelerator program tends to be more useful the more traction a company has in terms of clients and sales.

Our speed makes us different

César Salazar: Do you think Latin America’s startup market is going to grow? What should people be betting on specifically?

César Salazar: Of course. In countries like Mexico activity has doubled each year for the past four years, and I think that trend will continue for several more years. The up and coming generation has a lot more disposable resources to invest, while less and less intend to work as part of a corporation.

Portada: What are your hopes for this year? And for the long-term future?

César Salazar: I hope we’ll finish the year with at least 20 well-capitalized companies that are clearly growing, and that we begin to grasp their true impact and return potential.
Over the long term I hope to have helped create several public companies that transform entire industries. After that, I would like to return to the role of founder, and what I would most like to transform is pre-school education for the masses.

César Salazar is a Venture Partner at 500 Startups’. He is in charge of investments in Latin America (Spanish-speaking companies), and helped consolidate Hackspedition, Startup Dojo and SuperHappyDevHouse in Mexico.

caio.del.mantoPortada spoke with Caio del Manto, Brand Planning Lead for Latin America at Mondelez, as part of its interviews series with featured speakers at the upcoming Portada 2014 LatAm Summit #PortadaLat. Mondelez brings together well-known brands in Latin America such as Tang, Clight, Oreo, Lacta in Brazil, Cadbury, Club Social crackers, Halls, Milka, Beldent, Pepitos, Cerealitas, and a long list of many others. Recently, we also spoke with Annika Blockstrand, Regional Media Director at Mondelez in Latin America, who will be another of the keynote speakers at #PortadaLat.

Translated by Candice Carmel
Del Manto is in charge of strategy, planning, and brand positioning of Mondelez International’s brands in Latin America, as well as globally for the Mondelez drinks division.

Mondelez brand planning and positioning process takes about two months, which is thereafter locked in for a long period. This branding takes into account not only sales and business figures and research results, but also involves “imagining the brand” – as del Manto explained to Portada – and planning the idea of a global brand that will connect emotionally with consumers. This overall idea of a brand is then adapted to the different Latin American countries where the product is sold.

“In this process of planning and positioning, we study the target, brand challenges, business challenges that may impact the brand, and the type of brand awareness we want to generate.”

mondelez.logo1“The brand positioning we do is very ambitious,” said del Manto, who added that the positioning is done based on the perception of the brand and not just in terms of its turnover.

We need to generate an emotional connection with consumers.

Del Manto is also in charge of leading the teams that translate these brand positionings into communication activities. In Latin America, Mondelez International works with Mediabrands, Starcom’s media planning and buying agency. As for creative agencies, it works with Draft on some biscuit brands; with Ogilvy on drink brands in LatAm; and with Saatchi & Saatchi and Wieden & Kennedy on its chocolate brands in Latin America. The digital agencies it works with vary according to the local market.

My job is to ensure that the positioning we create is expressed in the best way possible in our brand communications.

As for how the company specifically handles communication actions for each brand and its relationship with media platforms, del Manto told Portada: “We create our communication processes around the idea of integrating more solutions.”

We think of the whole consumer experience rather than thinking in terms of campaigns.

According to del Manto, “the whole consumer experience involves advertising that is simpler and has more reach through various integrated media channels; we think of it as a consumer journey.”

“What do we have to do to think in this way from the very beginning of a brand communication project, and not only when viewing media channels? This is what we are thinking about now.”

Del Manto will be one of the main speakers at the 2014 Portada Media and Advertising Summit in Miami, and he has anticipated to Portada that he will be presenting specific cases using this mode of thinking about brand communication as a “whole consumer experience.”

Local or pan-regional?

Latinna Pluss. CC.
Latinna Pluss. CC.

“Our communication campaigns mainly depend on which markets the product is stronger and has a greater presence in, but we are increasingly trying to create regional strategies for Latin America because this generates brand consistency,” said del Manto.

“If the brand strategy is the same globally or regionally, it does not make sense to communicate different ideas in each country, but to look for local executions that add value to a regional or global idea,” he added.

We are increasingly aiming to generate expressions of the same brand idea for all of Latin America, with local executions and local insights.

Digital media

Man finger pushing interface use of innovative technologiesDigital media are highly dependent on the local insight Mondelez provides. Del Manto told Portada that beyond the increase in digital media spending, the company is using digital media to create conversations with their consumers.

At Mondelez, we want to generate conversations in the popular culture, and digital media is very interesting in this regard, especially in Latin America.

Social networks and mobile are strong in Latin America, and Mondelez is leveraging them to create partnerships with Google, Facebook, and Twitter, as well as digital and interactive solutions to generate these conversations.

It’s very important that people create the history of the brand alongside the company.

Special programs

Mondelez has special programs for executing its brand positioning in media channels. For digital media, it has a program called “Mobile Future” through which it delivers its brand briefs to different startups, in order for them to propose different ideas for mobile solutions that create new brand experiences.

Another of Mondelez’s special programs is its Innovation Garage in Buenos Aires, where the company addresses specific brand problems from a multidisciplinary perspective—alongside executives in marketing, business, innovation, research, etc.

These programs are putting innovation at the core of the company

Please nominate by this Friday May 9th! Choose your candidates for the 2014 Portada Latin American Advertising and Media Awards!

Nominate for the best Latin Online Video Campaign!

premios.portada-001

The 10 Categories!

  • Top Latin Online Video Marketing Campaign presented by Scoopshot.
  • Top Latin American Print Advertising Campaign, presented by Latpal
  • Top Latin Content Marketing Campaign
  • Top Content Provider to Latin Audiences
  • Top Latin American Digital Media Agency
  • Top Digital Media Innovator in the Latin World
  • Top Panregional Advertising Campaign
  • Top Panregional Digital Advertising Campaign
  • Top Panregional Integrated Campaign
  • Top Panregional Advertising and Media professional of the year

 Please nominate by Friday May 9th!

Nominate to Portada Latin American Advertising and Media Awards!

Please nominate by this Friday May 9th! Choose your candidates for the 2014 Portada Latin American Advertising and Media Awards!

Nominate for the best Latin American Advertising and Media has to offer in 10 different Award Categories!

premios.portada-001

The 10 Categories!

  • Top Latin Online Video Marketing Campaign presented by Scoopshot.
  • Top Latin American Print Advertising Campaign, presented by Latpal
  • Top Latin Content Marketing Campaign
  • Top Content Provider to Latin Audiences
  • Top Latin American Digital Media Agency
  • Top Digital Media Innovator in the Latin World
  • Top Panregional Advertising Campaign
  • Top Panregional Digital Advertising Campaign
  • Top Panregional Integrated Campaign
  • Top Panregional Advertising and Media professional of the year

 Please nominate by Friday May 9th!

Nominate to Portada Latin American Advertising and Media Awards!

 

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