More innovation and education needed for strong mobile ad growth in LatAm

According to research by The Festival f Media LatAm 2013, 70% of  industry representatives expect mobile budgets to increase next year, yet 53% don’t feel education is sufficient

Thursday September 12, 2013

An exclusive survey run by The Festival of Media LatAm and Telefonica highlights how the mobile advertising industry in Latin America needs a greater emphasis on education, innovation and talent to maintain strong growth rates and meet its full potential.

The survey obtained the views of industry representatives from across the region, comprising advertisers, media agencies, media owners, and others.

Mobile advertising budgets on the up

The survey reveals that mobile advertising is steadily growing across LatAm – 76% of respondents say that their focus on this type of marketing has been elevated in the past year and 70% predict their budget for mobile will increase in the next 12 months.

Most are expecting incremental growth in mobile budgets of anywhere between 1% and 10%,while 8% of respondents predict up to 20% budget increase. 7% of respondents are even expecting up to 50% mobile budget growth.

Key challenges around innovation and education

There is a mixed picture around innovation in the market with 40% agreeing that there are many industry players innovating in the LatAm mobile ad market, and 36% disagreeing. Respondents did however select the top five markets in Latin America for innovation in mobile advertising as Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and Chile.

Responses to key questions in the survey highlight the need for a new industry wide focus on education. Although 70% of respondents say they are aware of how to use mobile as a marketing tool, there are 53% who don’t feel there is sufficient education on offer within the industry.

Shaun Gregory, Director of Telefonica Digital Global Advertising, says: “The accelerated growth of the mobile advertising in Latin America is making it the world’s most exciting region in which to operate in right now. “I genuinely believe that with the right components, it has the potential to be the highest growth region for mobile advertising in the world. LatAm is in a unique position to avoid the mistakes made in more mature markets and leverage significant future opportunities, such as next year’s World Cup.”

The survey results also offer mixed views regarding the individual mobile solutions currently on offer. 31% say there is a decent amount of creative format choice available on mobile, yet 40% disagree. While 38% think audience  targeting options are comprehensive, 30% do not. This also underlines the need for greater support and education for industry professionals.

Results also indicate that there is a greater need to develop quality talent to propel the LatAm mobile industry forward. Only 36% agree that the LatAm mobile advertising market contains the right talent, yet there are 30% who do not. However, the growth of the market will provide exciting career opportunities for young people, according to 31%. Another 31% say they think the growth of mobile advertising will increase job opportunities in general – in act, 23% believe the increasing popularity of mobile advertising will help boost the economies of individual countries.

Overall, 63% confirm that mobile is important to their and their clients’ marketing strategies – in fact 35% say it’s ‘very important’. And 79% think mobile is as effective as other types of advertising, with 52% believing it delivers strong results.

Shaun Gregory adds: “Whilst I’m delighted that marketers throughout LatAm cite mobile as a strong marketing channel, the results of this survey also expose some key issues that we as an industry need to address. “At Telefonica, we have heard the message loud and clear that there must be a bigger focus on education, innovation and talent development to sustain this rapidly growing market. These three points will be an integral part of our 2014 mobile advertising strategy. We look forward to collaborating with advertisers to equip them with the knowledge to take advantage of all mobile has to offer.”

Festival of Media founder and C Squared chief executive Charlie Crowe notes: “The Latin American media and marketing industry is growing rapidly, and mobile is increasingly becoming an essential part of how we interact with consumers in a more intimate, quick response way. I hope the views of the industry, as revealed in this survey, offer suggestions for how mobile advertising can continue to grow effectively in Latin America.”

Shaun Gregory will be speaking at The Festival of Media LatAm 2013 in a session titled ‘Getting Mobile right – the myths, the facts and the future’. The Festival of Media LatAm 2013 is taking place from September 25 to 27 in Miami.




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