A June 1 article in the Harvard Business Review hails Latin America as “a modern marketer’s dream.” If your organization has observed the region in recent years – especially for online expansion opportunities – you’d be hard-pressed to disagree.
Indeed, countries such as Mexico and Colombia – two markets we recently covered as appealing international markets, ripe for online expansion – were cited as vanguard countries in what a February Fortune article nicknamed “the New BRIC.”
The statistics are impossible to ignore. According to data presented by Americas Market Intelligence (AMI), a consultancy specializing in Latin American markets, the region is increasingly ideal for expansion and marketing efforts. Within five years, Latin America will have a combined GDP of $10.7 billion, or nearly 10% of the global GDP, AMI said. With a market of 640 million consumers at that time, the region will also represent about 10% of the world’s total population.
Economic and social growth, and cultural trends, will quickly lead to a larger, more diverse and more affluent workforce by 2020, the report said. In five years, the region's middle class will have broadened considerably, leading to more consumption - and more discerning tastes in products, brands and services.
This will lead to increased reliance on internet-connected devices (particularly smartphones) and social media & networks, research suggests.
When it comes to being connected online, especially via mobile, the region is already well on its way. Data from the GSM Association (GSMA), an interest group of mobile operators, states that Latin America is currently the world’s fourth-largest mobile market, with nearly 326 million unique subscribers and 718 million connections. More than half of the population now uses a mobile device, the data says.
A recent comScore report says nearly 60% of Latin America’s current smartphone users are on Twitter, a statistic that’s much higher than the social network’s 23% penetration rate in the U.S. (according to 2014 Pew Research data). To be clear, the U.S. has a higher quantity of smartphone users at this time, but even that will change in upcoming years.
"The region is forecast to have a total of 605 million smartphone connections in 2020, equivalent to almost 70% of the total connections base," the GSMA report says. "Latin America will then have the second-highest installed base of smartphones in the world."
But back to that June 1 Harvard Business Review story, the one that hailed Latin America as a modern marketer’s dream. The article was written by Nataly Kelly, the VP of Marketing (Localization) at HubSpot, a leading inbound marketing and sales platform. The article shares insights from a recent HubSpot survey conducted among 2,700 Latin American marketers. Some highlights:
Inbound marketing is rising in Latin America: Inbound marketing leverages resonant content, linked through social media and organic search, to drive traffic & engagement to company websites. This marketing ethos is widely regarded as an efficient way to generate sales leads. 86% of surveyed respondents were familiar with inbound marketing, and more than half of them have incorporated inbound marketing into their outreach efforts. “It’s more measurable, targeted, and effective than traditional advertising,” on survey respondent said.
Acquiring inbound leads is less costly in Latin America: Traditional marketing methods may reach a wide audience, but they’re often poorly targeted – or not targeted at all. In contrast, inbound marketing techniques reach interested audiences when their attention is at its highest: “(A)t the time they are already searching for something,” the article said.
HubSpot's survey revealed that Latin American organizations spend 63% less to acquire new leads using inbound techniques than through traditional marketing efforts. It costs less, and can generate more revenue than conventional approaches, especially when…
Other marketing methods are increasing in cost: Other online-based techniques for reaching Latin American customers – such as paid search – are becoming more expensive as competitors outbid each other for prime placement, HubSpot’s data revealed. These increases aren’t yet at a point that will break a company’s bank, but smart companies are mitigating costs with clever inbound methods.
“As pay-per-click grows in Latin America, we have found that our clients do significantly better when we complement it with content, social media, and other tactics,” one respondent said.
Some content is more important to the market than others: Online video content in Latin America seems to be a more compelling medium than in North America. According to the survey, nearly 20% of respondents are “prioritizing visual and video content,” significantly more than the 11% in North America. HubSpot reasons this content is more engaging to Latin Americans due to the “higher adoption of mobile and social in this region.”
The MotionPoint Perspective
The Harvard Business Review article does a terrific job of identifying the region’s inbound marketing opportunities – opportunities that absolutely and compellingly showcase the market’s appeal for organizations moving to engage new international markets.
We've recently reported on this phenomenon, and have shown how U.S. companies in particular can engage many Latin American companies with a single website - a Spanish-language site designed to primarily engage the large, and highly-connected, U.S. Hispanic market. These sites in fact quickly become "gateways" to Latin America for U.S. companies: traffic, engagement and sales often hail far from U.S. borders.
Time and again, our research and robust data easily dispels myths that each Latin American market requires its own highly-targeted country-specific website. In fact, with the proper accommodations for international payment types and international shipping, companies can easily fulfill orders from the United States.
Online expansion to Latin America with a single site makes great business sense. (Costs are wildly reduced, for starters.) However, a great website translation partner like MotionPoint can easily accommodate the presentation of highly-localized content for specific international markets. Colombian visitors see relevant promotions for Colombia, Mexicans see their own market-specific messaging, and so forth.
In fact, this highly-focused localization technology is one in a large "toolbox" of MotionPoint's Global Growth technologies that optimize international website performance and engagement. Another such tool empowers companies to easily leverage translations for use on localized social channels, mobile efforts, and far more.
When combining a translated Spanish site with such tools, the "modern marketer's dream" for Latin America really does come true. Effective and resonant inbound marketing for international markets will save organizations money, and generate leads among their most connected and interested new customers.
Would you like to learn how MotionPoint’s technologies and teams help companies leverage the power of inbound marketing to generate significant & sustained business results in Latin America? Contact us for information.