Our 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.

Brands are flocking to Amazon to advertise according to the giant online marketer’s third quarter financial report. Amazon is expected to double its advertising revenues by the end of this year, according to reporting by ClickZ. Revenue from advertising topped $2.5 billion in the quarter, 123% greater than the same period a year ago.

Marriott is facing criticism from cyber experts and a class action suit after revealing that hackers stole data from 500 million of it guests, including passport numbers. Cyber experts told USA Today the hack could have been avoided if a smaller data breach in 2015 had been properly handled.

Facebook is facing more problems after a cache of its executives’ emails were released by lawmakers in the United Kingdom. According to reporting by The New York Times, the emails reveal Facebook executives gave some brands, including Airbnb and Netflix, favored access to users’ data, while shutting out others. Facebook responded saying it has never sold its users’ data.

Cyber Monday sales reached $7.9 billion breaking all records this year in the US, (a 19.3 percent increase over 2017), making it the biggest online shopping day in US history, according to reporting by ClickZ and Adobe. Mobile commerce shattered records on Cyber Weekend, with smart phones and tablets making up more than 65% of retail site visits, a 32.1% increase over the previous year. Direct website traffic showed a slight decline.

The season is looking very merry for online holiday shopping in the US this year, according to a survey by Splitit. The survey showed 40% of consumers planning to do the majority of their shopping online. Local stores ranked second at 25%. Brick and mortar stores offering payments with monthly installments could find a significant advantage over online sites without that option, the survey showed.

Instagram has announced it will use AI tools to go after and eliminate paid-for likes and followers. The social media site plans to aggressively seek to identify users that are paying third-party providers to increase their numbers of likes and followers. “Recently, we’ve seen accounts use third-party apps to artificially grow their audience,” Instagram said in a release reported by Netimperative.

The US government may be under-reporting the number of Americans without access to high-speed broadband internet. A Microsoft study found that 162.8 million lacked the access compared to the 24.7 million reported by the FCC. According to reporting by Endgadget, the fault lies with FCC’s data gathering which over-reports actual access to broadband services.

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.

Hotels are discovering the power of voice-activated digital assistants to build customer loyalty. Marriott is trying out the Amazon Echo in rooms at select properties allowing guests to access information and hotel services as well as their favorite music.

Video ad spends by brands doubled in 2017 compared to 2016 according to a new report from InMobi. In-app video advertising surged by 136 percent in 2017 worldwide and has grown by 500 percent in China so far this year.

Most consumers don’t trust how brands are using their personal data and would like to see improved personalization of offers, according to a new study from Jebbit. The study found consumers would even be willing to relinquish some of their privacy to get access to better deals.

Viewers of streaming video say they are watching more online (47 percent report more live online video streaming) and less offline (regular TV) as a result (44 percent), according to a May survey by the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

E-Commerce communities continue to force brands to go digital with 46 percent of brand marketers telling Ingenuity that they are revamping their go-to-market strategies as a result, including moving faster to make sure they are covered on all channels. A little over 25 percent said they are making changes to how much they spend online.

Try it on—on Facebook? The social media giant has announced it will test augmented reality ads with users in the United States, with products including makeup and furniture. Michael Kors will be among the first brands to use the technology to advertise its sunglasses.

Facebook New Customer Tracking Tool for Brands, called Journeys, is no ‘Magic Bullet’
Andrea Lopez, head of the social media agency Socialyse in Miami tells Portada.

MediaMath has won $225 million in new financing for its demand side and data management platforms powered by artificial intelligence aimed at making connecting brands with consumers more efficient and effective.

Door-to-door on-demand delivery service Rappi, with operations in Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Argentina, has caught the attention of Headway, the Buenos Aires, Argentina based mobile marketing company. Headway will serve as Rappi’s exclusive partner for promoting the Rappi app.

Know your customer has taken on new urgency, according to a recent study published by the Harvard Business Review. A majority of companies (58 percent) said customer analytics have improved customer retention, but even more (60 percent) said real-time analytics is “extremely important.” Nearly three-quarters said they have increased spending on real-time analytics over the past year.

What: The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres will play three games in the “MLB Mexico Series” this weekend in Monterrey.
Why it matters: Much like the Puerto Rico Series in April, the Mexico games represent an embracing of the Latino influence on baseball and a signal to marketers that the sport is thriving across Latin America.

Fans of a certain age will remember a time, more than 35 years ago, when “Fernandomania” ruled the land. Like a comet out of Navojoa, Mexico, Fernando Valenzuela burst onto the Major League Baseball (@MLB) scene in 1981, a thousand or so miles north but a million miles away in the sports world, to Los Angeles, where he promptly won a World Series, the hearts of Dodgers (@Dodgers) fans, and a place in baseball lore forever.

It was, for some, the first taste of baseball, South of the Border style. But for legions of Mexicans and others of Hispanic heritage living in Southern California, Fernandomania was the entry point to really feeling like this team, transplanted just over two decades earlier from Brooklyn, was really theirs.

Partners like Toyota, Telcel, Claro, Marriott, Purina and others are on board, with the league hoping to match the atmosphere, excitement and success they experienced in San Juan.

Things move slowly in the baseball world, but MLB finally came around to hosting games in Mexico some years later (1996). And this weekend, for the first time in nearly two decades (the Padres hosted the Rockies there in 1999 in the only other series there), the Padres and Dodgers will head south to Monterrey for a three-game set in what the league has dubbed the “MLB Mexico Series,” Friday through Sunday at Estadio de Beisbol. The weekend will include Fan Fest in Macroplaza, a series of youth and community initiatives, special kids ‘Play Ball’ event and Little League games, in an effort to involve everyone. And Valenzuela will throw out the first pitch in Friday’s game.

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Fernando Valenzuela (image: Wikimedia Commons/Jim Accordino)

This, like the Puerto Rico Series last month, is an opportunity to highlight the strong Latino connection to the game. Partners like Toyota, Telcel, Claro, Marriott, Purina and others are on board, with the league hoping to match the atmosphere, excitement and success they experienced in San Juan, when Puerto Rican stars José Berríos of the Twins and Francisco Lindor of the Indians stole the show, each leading his team to a win in the two-game series.

While a second series outside the contiguous U.S. states and Canada in one season may not signal the dawn of full-time baseball in either market, it’s a clear recognition by MLB that embracing its Latino player and fan bases is good for business.

It’s something Fernando and his outsized Dodger fandom could have told you more than a generation ago.

People change positions, get promoted or move to other companies. Portada is here to tell you about it.

(Looking for your next Career move? Check out Portada’s Career Board!)

Publicis WW México has announced the arrival of Luis Sordo as new Head of Art.






Ranjiv Rangolam has been named Chief Strategy Officer at Ogilvy Latin America. In this newly-created role, he’ll be in charge of all operations related to strategy, consulting, social and business intelligence.





Orlando E. Castelblanco is now Director of Business Development at Media Response Group. His main responsibilities include media and strategic support, mobile-oriented solutions, and performance.





Antoinette van den Berg has been appointed as VP of Sales & Marketing for Latin America and the Caribbean at Marriott International Inc. In addition to heading the Area Directors of Sales & Marketing for the region, she will be the Luxury Lead for the Discipline as part of the Luxury Team.



Turner Latin America has named Pablo Zuccarino as new senior VP and general manager of Cartoon Network, Boomerang, and Tooncast in Latin America. In this role, he will oversee all aspects of Turner’s  brands for children, including programming, digital strategy, marketing, business, and operations.



Marriott International, Inc. based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, has nearly 6,000 properties in 120 countries and territories. The company recently completed its US $ 13 billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., creating the world’s largest hotel company and a unified brand which will be known as Marriott International. The Starwood name will, therefore, cease to exist. Let’s take a look at who the hospitality behemoth’s key brand marketers and  agency relationships are. (Based on information in Portada’s Interactive Databases of Marketers).

Now that Marriott’s takeover of Starwood is complete, the combined 30 brands, see below, operate more than 5,700 hotels and 1.1 million hotel rooms in 120 countries. Marriott International has completed its acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide creating a unified brand, The company’s 30 leading brands include: Bulgari®, The Ritz-Carlton® and The Ritz-Carlton Reserve®, St. Regis®, W®, EDITION®, JW Marriott®, The Luxury Collection®, Marriott Hotels®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Renaissance® Hotels, Sheraton®, Delta Hotels by MarriottSM, Marriott Executive Apartments®, Marriott Vacation Club®, Autograph Collection® Hotels, Tribute Portfolio™, Design Hotels™, Gaylord Hotels®, Courtyard®, Four Points® by Sheraton, SpringHill Suites®, Fairfield Inn & Suites®, Residence Inn®, TownePlace Suites®, AC Hotels by Marriott®, Aloft®, Element®, Moxy® Hotels, and Protea Hotels by Marriott®. The company also operates award-winning loyalty programs: Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest®

Who is in Charge?

Arne Sorenson remains President and Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International, and Marriott’s headquarters continues to be located in Bethesda, Maryland. Daphne Sipos is the Director in charge of Global & North America Marketing and Doreen Burse Vice President of Global Sales, North America is responsible for providing strategic leadership and management oversight to Marriott’s North American Global Sales Organization. Mara Hannula is Vice President Global Brand Marketing  and Brian King, Global Brand Officer.Brian Gilligan is Senior Vice President Sales, North America and  Michelle Ogle is Director, Global Paid Media.

To get detailed contact information of the above decision makers at Marriott AND ACCESS TO AN INTERACTIVE DATABASE OF MORE THAN 2,500 MARKETERS targeting U.S. consumers, please contact Research Sales Manager Silvina Poirier at silvina@portada-online.com to activate your subscription.

Sources at Group M’s Media:edge confirmed that the agency still handles Marriott’s U.S and LatAm media business (see below).



The Marketers for Marriott in Latin America 

Seventeen hotels were signed into the Marriott’s Caribbean and Latin America development pipeline in 2016, totaling nearly 2,500 hotel rooms. By 2022 the company is planning to open 38 additional properties, reinforcing Mexico’s status as Marriott’s top market within the region.

Based in Miami, Kimberly Boykan Lewin is Marriott International’s Account Manager – Brand, Marketing, & Digital Caribbean & Latin America Resorts. Ana Tomicevic is Director of Brand Marketing & Partnerships, Caribbean and Latin America and Patricia Lascano is Area Director of Sales & Marketing, Caribbean & Latin America. Alex Fiz Regional is the Regional VP of Sales & Marketing – Caribbean and Latin America Region.

To get detailed contact information of the above decision makers at Marriott AND ACCESS TO AN INTERACTIVE DATABASE OF MORE THAN 2,000 MARKETERS targeting Latin American consumers, please contact Research Sales Manager Silvina Poirier at Silvina@portada-online.com to activate your subscription.

Amanda Gill is Marriot’s Director Account Management, Brands – Marketing-Digital – Caribbean & Latin America and Diana Plazas Vice President, Brands, Marketing & Digital. Laura Alfonsin is the Associate Director of Online Marketing.

In 2011, Marriott International Inc. awarded its global business to MEC, following a pitch. The account covered both media planning and buying for all of Marriott’s brands, including Marriott Hotels and Resorts, the Ritz-Carlton, and Marriott Rewards. Stanlei Bellan is Head of Mec Miami office, where Tata Cortés is the new responsible for the Marriott account.

Kerstin Sachl, Director of Public Relations and Social Media for Marriott International, Caribbean and Latin America is in charge of all media relations for all Starwood brands in the region.

The Latin Marketing and Tech sector from Patagonia to Alaska does not stand still and neither do we at Portada. That is why we are readying a new PortadaLat experience on June 7 and 8 in Miami with one day focused on learning (Learning Day) and another one with a very strong input of brand marketers (Brand Marketer Day). More than 100 speakers will participate in different sessions, workshops as well as an award program. Networking opportunities allowing an even greater number of participants will also be prominent. Take advantage of the Super Early Bird with the special rate of US$ 349!

We just announced the first round of speakers:

Gary Milner, Director, Global Digital Marketing, Lenovo
Ricardo Perez Baez, Global Marketing Communications Director, Grupo Bimbo
Mariana Vázquez, Digital Mkt CRM, Nestlé
Luis Perillo, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Caribbean & Latin America, Hilton
Diana Plazas, Vice Presidente de Brand, Marketing y Digital, Marriott
Claudio Zboznovits, VP of Global Sales & Business Development, Am Resorts

Our ninth annual edition of PortadaLat on June 7 and 8 in Miami will provide inspiration, fresh thinking and practical focus on the topics that matter to marketing and tech executives targeting Latin consumers worldwide.

Register at the Super Early Bird Rate!  

Check out 2016 Edition Highlights VIDEO!

A summary for Corporate Marketers, Media Sales Executives and Advertising Agencies to see what clients are moving into the Latin American market and/or targeting Latin American consumers right now.

GET YOUR FREE TRIAL to PORTADA’s Interactive Database! 15 NEW LEADS HAVE JUST BEEN UPLOADED. If you have questions, please  e-mail Research Sales Manager Silvina Poirier at silvina@portada-online.com.

Click here for previous Latam Sales Leads editions

  • Marriott

descarga-3Marriott International, Inc. is planning the debut of its independent hotels and resorts brand, Tribute Portfolio, in Latin America. By December, the brand will add two independent hotels to its portfolio in Argentinean regions. Arelauquen Lodge, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel, will debut in Patagonia, while Auberge du Vin, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel, will be located in the heart of Argentina’s wine country.The signing of these properties is a significant step in Marriott’s expansion, not only reflecting the growing global traveler demand for independent travel experiences around the world, but also serving as a direct response to its loyalty reward members’ desires for more hotel options in both adventure travel and wine country destinations, according to the brand.

  • MediaMonks

descarga-4Global production powerhouse MediaMonks opens its tenth international office in Buenos Aires. The office launches with a team of 60 and is led by industry veterans Sebastian Caramés, Alejandro Lazos, and Richard Nieuwenhuis. MediaMonks Buenos Aires operates from a transformed warehouse in the heart of Palermo. MediaMonks Buenos Aires is the company’s second office in South America after opening MediaMonks São Paulo in April. Latin America is the world’s fastest-growing advertising market in terms of ad spend and media investment. MediaMonks Buenos Aires was set up under direction of MediaMonks veteran and Director of Operations, Richard Nieuwenhuis. Together with managing partners Alejandro Lazos and Sebastian Caramés, MediaMonks spent close to a year building its BA team and operations. The office has assembled an international team of the top digital talent in Latin America and a group of long-time Monks from MediaMonks’ Amsterdam HQ.

Find out who the brand and agency executives behind these campaigns/moves are. Plus detailed contact information on more than 2,000 Corporate Marketers and Agency Executives targeting LatAm consumers. GET YOUR FREE TRIAL to PORTADA’s Interactive Database! Contact Sales Research Manager Silvina Poirier if you have questions: silvina@portada-online.com.

  • Sabre

igackidy_400x400Sabre announced plans for a new regional headquarter in Montevideo, Uruguay, which will be “fully established in early 2017” and expands on Sabre’s global customer service center there. The global facility will unify and standardize Sabre’s support and software implementation consulting in the region.Sabre also operates regional offices in Mexico City; São Paulo; Bogota, Colombia; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Lima, Peru; and Santiago, Chile.



  • JetBlue

descarga-18JetBlue expanded its service to Cuba, operating the airline’s first flight to Camagüey’s Ignacio Agramonte Airport (CMW). With daily nonstop flights from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), Camagüey becomes the second city served by JetBlue on the island nation since operating the first commercial flights in more than 50 years between the US and Cuba in August. Camagüey expands JetBlue’s Caribbean presence and the airline’s overall reach to 98 cities in 22 countries across the US, Caribbean and Latin America.


  • Hyatt

vmc1vbc2_400x400Hyatt Hotels Corp. has announced the opening of Hyatt Place São José do Rio Preto, marking the brand’s debut in Brazil. Hyatt intends to develop several more destinations in Brazil through a joint venture with Elandis. Recently, the corporation’s global portfolio extended with openings in Australia and Croatia. Luciano Julio is the regional director of Latin American operations for Hyatt Place and Hyatt House.Hyatt Place has more than 255 Hyatt Place locations in the United States, Armenia, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Honduras, India, Mexico, Morocco, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Thailand, The Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, and United Kingdom.


We have incorporated new features to the interactive database of corporate marketers and agency executives targeting Latin American consumers:
New Sales Leads: Weekly more than 20 new leads uploaded to the Database by the Portada Team as well as the contacts related to the above weekly Sales Leads column written by our editorial team.
Download the Database: Download the full Database in Excel Format.
Search Database: You can search through a user-friendly interactive Interface: Search Fields include: Name, Company/Agency, Job – Title, Address, Zip, E-mail, Accounts (Agency), Phone, Related News.
For a short period of time we are offering the database for an introductory annual subscription of US$ 899!
Read the Frequently Answered Questions. (click on link “the most commonly asked questions…” and/or contact Research/Databases Sales Manager Silvina Poirier at silvina@portada-online.com.

With Marriott‘s acquisition of Starwood, the largest hotel chain in the world is born. And what implications will
this have for both of their expansion strategies for Latin America?

By Gretchen Gardner

Tourism has been growing in the region, with a general increase in foreign direct investment and a strong middle class that can afford to travel for the first time. The region has seen resilience in the face of remarriottcession and both chains were positioning themselves to dominate it.

While the northern part of LatAm, like Mexico, showed stronger growth than the southern due to a fall in commodity prices and devaluation in countries like Argentina, in a sense it remains uncharted territory with a strong potential for branding. As assets, land and construction are affordable, there is no reason not to take a risk and hope for the best in the long term. Let’s take a look at both chain’s strategies in Latin America until now:


Prior to the merge, on top of its focus on the mid-market and luxury hotel sectors, with a particular focus on Mexico and Brazil, Starwood made a big announcement with the release of the Tribute Portfolio in October at the South American Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference. Starwood Senior Vice President and Chief of Latin American Operations Jorge Gianattasio explained that almost 65% of hotels in Latin America are unbranded (as opposed to 40% in the United States. “And, while not all independent hotels are in the upper-upscale category required to be affiliated with Starwood, there are many exciting independent hotels in unique and non-traditional destinations which in fact are a perfect fit, and that’s where we want to focus.”

Starwood’s goal is not to get rid of these hotels’ unique identities and re-brand them, but to incentivize independent hotels to sign on with Starwood to take advantage of the global sales network and booking channels as well as the 20 million Starwood Preferred Guests members.

Starwood has been operating 94 hotels and resorts across the region, a list that incorporated eight of the company’s nine different brands like The Luxury Collection, St. Regis, Sheraton, Westin, W Hotels and Le Méridien, as well as the Four Points by Sheraton and Aloft, which form part of Starwood’s “Specialty Select Brands,” that markets to young, cultured and tech-savvy business travelers.

Starwood has long focused on “world-class” hotels through brands like the Sheraton (with a branding focus on “bringing people together through communal experiences”) and Four Points lines, and is the largest five-star hotel operator in Brazil, with nine properties. These hotels were branded as offering personalized service to refined and well-traveled guests.

But the hotel chain has introduced new concepts into its branding with the Aloft line, which has a particular focus on competing with apartment and room rental services like Airbnb. They are modern hotels whose guests who can use their smart phones to replace physical keys. There are currently operating Aloft hotels in Cancun and Guadalajara, Mexico, Asuncion, Paraguay and Montevideo, Uruguay. Starwood is planning to open eight more SSB hotels in LatAm, which will increase their presence in the region by 45%.

Additionally, Starwood has been developing four hotels in Mexico with GH Pegasus and Hoteles Real Chihuaha, opening Aloft Tijuana, Aloft Coatzacoalcos and Aloft Poza Rica by the end of 2017. On the luxury end, the Sheraton Chihuahua Soberano Hotel was opened this month. These hotels were part of the chains big efforts to expand the Aloft brand’s presence in Latin America and the Caribbean. An Aloft in Hermosillo, Mexico will also open in 2016.

Starwood has also increased its presence in Colombia over the recent years, where there are many secondary and tertiary cities hosting domestic business travel. The chain had announced plans to increase the number of Four Points hotels, opening in cities like Bogotá and Baranquilla. Just as business has demonstrated growth in the country, so has tourism. Starwood has already opened its luxury brand W Hotel in Bogotá, and also debuted its beachfront Sheraton hotel in the colonial beach city of Cartagena.


Marriott’s branding theme for 2015 was “crossing new borders,” which is appropriate given the significant expansion that the company made into the region, especially in developing countries like Guyana and Haiti, reflecting a growing interest in developing markets and their strong middle classes. The hotel chain has also expressed interest in increasing the awareness of the diversity of Marriott’s brands in LatAm. Laurent de Kousemeaker, Chief Development Officer for the Caribbean and Latin America Region,  stated at the South American Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference in October: “We will be introducing new brands in the region, to appeal to different markets, different economic levels, and to create new options for travelers – with our AC, Residence Inn, and Fairfield brands.”

Marriott has also invested heavily in expansion in the Caribbean and Latin America, with a focus on Mexico. The chain recently opened its 100th hotel in the region this month, the JW Marriott Puerto Los Cabos in Mexico.

In 2015 alone, Marriott opened eight hotels in LatAm and the Caribbean, and plans to open nine more by early 2016: the Marriott Port-Au-Prince in Haiti, the Renaissance Jaragua Santo Domingo hotel in the Dominican Republic, the Courtyard by Marriott Santiago, Chile, and the Fairfield Inn Queretaro in Mexico, to name a few.

But Marriott has also shifted its focus to Brazil, having recently announced plans to open 11 hotels across the country with an investment of $100 million. In the long term, the chain hopes to sell the hotels to locals while retaining management roles.
Marriott’s President of Caribbean and Latin America Tim Sheldon said: “Brazil’s economy, while it confronts structural and policy challenges, is still in the top eight largest economies in the world and has excellent long term prospects. The lack of reliable domestic hotel product and services represents a large opportunity for our moderate-tier brands, which we have adapted to the tastes of the Brazilian travelers — providing them both value and options.”

CHECK OUT: Best Western’s Latin American and U.S. Hispanic Marketing Strategy 

New York based UniWorld Group Inc has hired multicultural account service leader, Amy Gómez, as Senior Group Account Director for Marriott International, Inc.

Amy GomezAs Senior Group Account Director, Ms. Gómez will be responsible for partnering with Marriott International to develop strategic business plans for their multicultural marketing needs.  Additionally, she will manage and help grow Marriott’s business in traditional, digital, social, and mobile spaces.  Prior to joining UniWorld Group,   Ms. Gómez directed all branding and marketing initiatives for MyDreamcatcher/ MiCazadoreSueños, an online media start-up company targeting multicultural consumers.  As their director of marketing, she worked to develop strategic marketing programs and garner sponsorship of key multicultural events, along with other responsibilities. 

Last year, UniWorld Group became Marriott International’s Multicultural Agency of Record.  Tasked with creating advertising campaigns for the nine brands in Marriott’s portfolio, the UniWorld-Marriott partnership has already proved effective by launching two highly successful campaigns targeting the African-American, Hispanic and LGBT communities.  

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