Portada interviewed Ulises Vázquez, CEO of Matomy Mexico. Vázquez is the founder of Ergos Media, a company acquired last year by Matomy Media.
We talked with Vázquez about various issues of importance to the online advertising market in Latin America and the U.S. Hispanic segment; the merger between Ergos Media and Matomy; the company’s expansion plans for this year; its expectations regarding the mobile ad market and much more.
Portada: How is Matomy Latin America structured?
Ulises Vázquez: "At Matomy we have several vertical businesses, as well as a few others that are an important part of the company. One is Matomy Market, our affiliate network, and the other is Matomy Media, our eponymous media network. We also have a vertical business called Matomy Mobile, a payment platform called Matomy Money and a search solution called Matomy Search. With Matomy Media we are present in all of Latin America, marketing nearly 10 billion impressions per month across the region. We generate traffic from the U.S. Hispanic market to Patagonia, offering advertising space on all types of sites. The business we generate from Matomy Mobile is more or less the same as that of Matomy Media, with visitors from all Latin American countries.
Our main offices are located in Mexico City and Sao Paulo. We plan to open another office soon in Miami, and our next steps also include opening other branches in Colombia and Argentina."
Portada: When do you anticipate opening the new Miami branch, and what markets will you be focusing on from there?
Ulises Vázquez: "The branch will be operational by the end of the second quarter of 2012. Our goal is to be able to provide better service and be closer to clients who are currently running campaigns with us in the U.S. Hispanic market, and to the media who currently entrust their inventory to us from the U.S. We mainly plan to focus on two markets: agencies that have budgets for the entire Latin American region and the U.S. companies that want to offer their product to the Hispanic market.
There is great opportunity in these markets, since there is a need for a company that offers these markets a single point of contact for media buys for their branding and performance campaigns in Latin America, and Matomy offers a network of affiliates, display advertising, email, search marketing, videos, social media, alternative payment solutions, and mobile advertising."
Portada: What are your strategies for working in the Hispanic market?
Ulises Vázquez: "We want to continue with the strategies that have worked for us so far, since almost 20% of our billings come from the U.S. Hispanic market. Precisely for this reason, Matomy acquired Ergos in Mexico in late 2010, since Ergos already had a portfolio of U.S. Hispanic campaigns.
This year we also plan to focus on education, which is a key area for the U.S. Hispanic market."
Portada: How important is the pan-regional marketplace to Matomy’s strategy?
Ulises Vázquez: "The Latin American market is very important for our group in light of its high level of activity and growth rate, and not only in countries like Brazil or Mexico, but throughout the region. This is why the pan-regional market is extremely attractive and why we plan to have a person dedicated to helping Miami agencies with their regional purchases. With this move, Matomy Media Group will be better positioned to expand its pan-regional market activity and enhance our offering in the U.S. Hispanic market."
Portada: What is your overall view regarding the development of the advertising market in the region this year?
Ulises Vázquez: "We see very strong growth in Latin America among companies that are trying to enter the online arena and are coming in with new budgets. So what we try to do is offer them simple strategies that yield good results, so that they’ll continue betting on the online advertising industry. I see a lot of activity. However, many companies still need to advertise online and many of them also need to learn how to manage new technologies in order to enhance their brands."
Portada: What are your views about the region’s mobile advertising market?
Ulises Vázquez: "We launched our mobile division about a year and a half ago and the reality is that it’s a market that is growing tremendously. Today many users are starting to surf the web from their cellphones and there is high demand. And the market is ready for brands to attract high-income users who go online via their smartphones. In Mexico, for example, 9 million users used their cellphones to connect to the Internet last year.
I think there is already demand?users are already buying space in this medium, but advertisers are still not moving to reach them even though there are is a lot of cheap mobile ad space available. The point is that clients are still not sure about how to measure mobile advertising results and don’t know quite how to justify that investment. Last year, investment in mobile digital advertising for the region was between 2% and 3%.
However, I believe we’ll be seeing an impressive number of ads placed on cellphones this year. I think investment in mobile ads will grow a lot, but it won’t yet be a big part of the total digital media ad budget. Our bet is that in 3 or 4 years mobile advertising will be the gateway to reaching the millions of users who are not yet connected to the Internet.
For example, in Mexico we have almost 90 million cellphones and 36 million people connected to the Internet. If those 90 million cellphones users go online within the next 3 or 4 years, that’s almost 60 million additional users. And that's what we need to bet on."
Read the complete interview in Spanish here.