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Marketing in Latin America: Word of Mouth

Marketing in Latin America: Word of Mouth

Discover the power of word-of-mouth advertising in Latin America and why asking clients how they're doing is crucial for success. We provide essential strategies and cultural insights to enhance your marketing efforts and build authentic client relationships in the region.

I haven't been here for a long time. I was busy moving to Barcelona, gaining experience working with international clients, and creating cool case studies with the agency. Finally, we are resuming the series of articles about foreign clients. Today, let's talk about the Latin American market a vast region with a population of over 650 million and 33 countries speaking different languages. Each of these countries has their characteristics and culture, making marketing in Latin America both unique and complex. But nothing is impossible.

Language Considerations

When working with clients from Latin America, it is necessary to consider many factors. For example, one of the main ones is the language. Remember that Spanish and Portuguese are the most common languages in the region. But besides them, there are many dialects. Content localization is an important part of marketing here. Otherwise, an unpleasant situation may arise, as it did with the American airline Braniff Airlines in the mid-90s. They wanted to enter the Latin American market with a new offer. The advantage of their business class was leather seats, so the company's slogan in English sounded like "Fly in Leather." But when translated literally into Spanish, it turned out to be "Fly Naked" or "Vuela en Cueros." As you can already guess, the company's reputation suffered.

Social Media Impact

Contrary to what one might think, social networks are very significant in the Latin American market. According to the Data Reportal report for 2022-2023, social media users in Latin America reached 467 million, making up 60% of the region's population. Facebook is the most popular social network, although preferences vary by country. For instance, Facebook is predominant in Ecuador (12 million users), while YouTube is more popular in Argentina and Brazil (31.8 million users and 142 million users, respectively).

Digital Marketing and Usage

Digital marketing in Latin America heavily relies on mobile devices. According to eMarketer research, the number of mobile users in the region reached 415 million people, which represents about 63% of the total population. Therefore, mobile marketing should become an integral part of the marketing strategy. If we delve a bit deeper into analytics, we can notice that all campaigns need to be adjusted for owners of Android devices (early versions).

Word-of-Mouth Marketing

One of the key marketing practices in Latin America is "word-of-mouth" marketing, often called "word-of-mouth advertising". People highly value recommendations from friends and family. Therefore, marketers must focus on fostering positive opinions and recommendations among local residents.

Why reviews matter

In Brazil, consumer decisions are significantly influenced by social media reviews. Negative reviews can drastically reduce the likelihood of purchases, as Brazilians tend to leave either very positive or very negative feedback. Effective Online Reputation Management (ORM) is crucial. For instance, increasing positive reviews for a Brazilian client resulted in a 3.5 times sales increase in electronics.

Local Search Engines & Resources

In Latin America, local search engines and resources are often preferred, similar to the trend in China. For content distribution, platforms like taringa.net, a popular Latin American aggregator, are effective. Websites should be optimized for local search engines like Aike in Argentina and Aonde in Brazil.

Visual Ads

Visual advertising is particularly effective in Latin America. Banner ads, reminiscent of carnival styles, are highly trusted and popular. Bright, flashy banners featuring colorful imagery capture attention. Effective visual ads often do not rely on calls to action or slogans but on their expressive appeal.

TV Popularity

Television remains a dominant medium in Latin America. According to IBOPE Media research, over 60% of video viewing time was spent on television in 2020, and 53% of advertising campaigns were on TV. This trend has continued, making video advertising a worthwhile investment for those with larger budgets.

Importance of Local Events and Holidays

Local events and holidays hold great importance in Latin America. Many countries have unique traditions and national holidays that play a crucial role in daily life. Marketing campaigns must reflect these cultural values to resonate with the audience.

Consumer Traits in Latin America

Finally, here are some key characteristics to consider when working with Latin American clients:

1. Language Adaptation: Communicate in Spanish and Portuguese. While English may be used, understanding local dialects is beneficial.

2. Personal Engagement: Latin Americans are emotional and communicative. Engage in conversations beyond business matters, asking about their day or weekend plans.

3. Cultural Awareness: Be aware of regional traditions and holidays. Failing to acknowledge important national holidays or disturbing clients on these days can harm business relationships.

In conclusion, what do we have? Attention to detail, reviews, emotional connection, brightness and colorfulness, content localization, support of traditions, and on-site services - these are the main principles that will help your brand succeed in Latin America.

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