Performance Marketing

Why Global Marketers Need to Pay Attention to Brazil

Becky Doles


With a population of more than 200 million people and an increasing surge in mobile users, Brazil is commanding the attention of global marketers, and rightfully so. Though the country is experiencing a recent economic downturn after a decade of prosperous growth, more and more of Brazil’s inhabitants continue to use mobile devices—a number that is expected to grow over the next few years and a common theme in many emerging markets.

By 2017 mobile ad spend in Brazil will reach 731 million USD, and will account for more than 60% of mobile ad spending in Latin and South America.

In fact, Brazil will boast the third-fastest-growing mobile internet ad market in the world this year, behind only Argentina and Indonesia and tied with India and Russia.

The following data supports a growing market for mobile products and services:

  • 137.3 million: the number of mobile users in Brazil in 2014
  • 84: the number of minutes Brazilians spend on their smartphones every day (10 minutes more than the global average)
  • 50 percent: the percentage of Brazilian households that use cellphones as their primary means of communication

Brazil is an Untapped Market for Advertisers and App Developers

A large section of Brazil’s population does not have a desktop PC, but everyone has a cell phone, according to Carlos Estigarribia, CEO of Mobilize Network, a Brazilian performance agency.

“[The] smartphone and tablet market share is growing very fast in Brazil, and people are using their mobile devices for everything,” he says. “Middle class buying power has increased over the last five years and this was reflected in advertisers doing more campaigns.”

For advertisers and app developers there’s an untapped market, as new people purchase smartphones every day and look for interesting apps to install.

The categories presenting the most opportunity in Brazil? “Entertainment, social, and games,” says Estigarribia.

Brazil’s Economic Pain Presents Major Opportunities for Performance Marketers

“All reports from comScore, IAB Brasil, and IDC show that Brazil will increase the ad spend amount on digital faster than established markets like the U.S. and the U.K.,” says Estigarribia. “The right time to start investing and testing new formats and channels is now, before the competition notices.”

Estigarribia suggests that although Brazil’s economy is predicted to undergo a painful contraction over the next couple of years, there will actually be more opportunities for performance marketers.

“This year we are facing a recession, but performance marketing is getting the budget not spent on branding, so performance-based agencies and networks are still growing,” he explains.

Total media ad spending is set to rise 10 percent this year in Brazil and is projected to rise to nearly 30 billion USD by 2019. This growth presents plenty of opportunities for performance marketers as advertisers seek to make every dollar they spend count.

Brazilians Stay Connected Around the Clock

In terms of internet traffic, Brazil is among the top five contenders for most connected countries on Earth, says KeepMedia‘s CMO/CCO, Gustavo Guima. “People in Brazil need to be connected around the clock apparently. It’s part of our nature. Popular texting apps such as WhatsApp contribute heavily to data traffic and mobile usage in general.”

Guima says the Brazilian love affair with mobile devices presents opportunities for savvy performance marketers, even during tough economic times.

“Brazilians have no fear of trying out e-commerce platforms they may never have heard of, just to find the product they’re looking for,” says Guima. “Add to that easier mobile payment services and I see a growing market despite the general economic pessimism we are currently experiencing in Brazil.”

Brazilians Love to Interact With Digital Campaigns

Brazilians are open to new experiences, products, and services, Guima continues. “If Brazilian mobile users really like something, they not only purchase, but also become brand lovers, engaging again and again with similar campaigns,” he says.

While Brazilians may spend a lot of time online just socializing or just “window shopping,” this also presents opportunities for marketers. “Companies that want to expand their business in Brazil should deliver campaigns intended to encourage high levels of engagement. And in order to be successful, campaigns need to speak directly to consumers, and address their desires and problems … [Brazilians] want to engage with brands, but [they] also want to be recognized as unique clients.”

Estigarribia agrees, “In Brazil a lot of business is done face to face, so it’s vital to have a local presence.” It’s also critical to build relationships with major content channels and work with them to understand the differences between desktop to mobile behavior, and where the possibilities are for mobile marketers in Brazil. “We know that TV still gets the bigger part of the ad budget, but digital, and especially programmatic buying and performance are the trends. Specifically on mobile, we believe that geolocated and smart push notifications will increase, probably by the end of 2016, but we are already seeing some advertisers testing these kind of campaigns.”

5 Tips for Launching a Campaign in Brazil

Despite Brazil’s current economic downturn, ad networks should keep these five critical points in mind to ensure a successful marketing campaign for this growing market:

  1. Interact with your audience—Brazilian mobile users quickly establish loyalty to brands they like.
  2. Speak directly to consumers and present solutions to problems—Consumers prefer direct engagement.
  3. Work with a local partner with established roots—Business is commonly done in person.
  4. Focus on entertainment, social, and games—These are the top three most popular app categories.
  5. Launch your campaign sooner than later—Digital ad spending in Brazil is expected to grow faster than in other markets like the U.S. and the U.K.

Take advantage of this growing market before your competition does.

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Becky Doles

Becky is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at TUNE. Before TUNE, she led a variety of marketing and communications projects at San Francisco startups. Becky received her bachelor's degree in English from Wake Forest University. After living nearly a decade in San Francisco and Seattle, she has returned to her home of Charleston, SC, where you can find her enjoying the sun and salt water with her family.

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