U.S. business owners have historically targeted India and China for trade opportunities as those countries have large populations, but Latin America is the new frontier in mobile marketing trends.

“Latin America is more open than ever to doing business with the U.S. For the U.S., Latam represents the best opportunity to increase trade,” said Alberto “Banano” Pardo during his #BizHackLive webinar “Mobile Marketing in Latin America & U.S. Hispanics.” “For the many small businesses in the U.S., Latin America must be a target.”

Adsmovil Founder and CEO Alberto “Banano” Pardo is an Ad-Tech, tech digital advertising, digital transformation, and E-commerce entrepreneur who develops win-win partnerships in Latin America and the U.S. Hispanic market. He capitalized on his 20 years of experience in the digital industry by founding Adsmovil in 2010, a globally recognized company known for providing mobile tech advertising solutions for brands, publishers, and agencies.

For Pardo’s insights into mobile marketing trends and Hispanic advertising, keep reading.

Tip 1: A Growing Audience

Tip 2: Mobile Marketing Takeover

Tip 3: Mobile Payments

Tip 4: All About Brazil

Tip 5: Tech Investment & Advertising

Tip 6: Inequality Threatens Growth

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A Growing Audience

In 2019, Latin America’s population of 600 million was twice the equivalent of the U.S. population and half of China and India, which makes it a key audience for mobile marketing and advertising targeting Hispanics.

“Its population is very young compared to other countries, such as Europe and the U.S. This represents a huge opportunity for economic growth,” Pardo said.

Here are a few key takeaways about Latin America’s population:

  • By 2058, Latam is expected to reach its maximum population.
  • Internet users in Latam (414.3 million) surpass those in the U.S. (289.9 million) and are projected to increase due to Covid-19.
  • In the next 10 years, Latin America will become one of the world’s largest internet economies or population. Latam, including the Caribbean Islands, has a population of 720M. 

Officially, Latin America includes 32 countries, which is equivalent to 32 realities and 32 languages as every country uses a different dialect of Spanish. Each country needs to be targeted differently because they nuanced consumption behaviors. 

“Many companies choose not to expand to Latam because of this, but the reality is it is even harder to market to India than it is to Brazil,” Pardo said.

Mobile Marketing Takeover

Smartphones have had a huge impact on the number of internet users in Chile, Argentina, Peru, and Colombia, which has enormous implications for mobile marketing. However, the internet penetration in Latam is relatively small, and there is a great deal of room for growth, Pardo said. 

By the numbers

  • Latam saw a 22% increase in internet usage from 2014-18.
  • Latam has more smartphone users (385 million) than the U.S. population (323 million), representing an excellent opportunity for e-commerce businesses to leverage digital strategies.
  • Mobile internet users have been steadily increasing since 2015 in Latam with 395.4 million users, which is higher than the number of U.S. mobile internet users (234.9 million).
  • Facebook has 343 million Latam users, which is greater than the U.S. population. 
  • Mobile payment subscribers in Latam (189.5 million) surpass those in India (133.1 million).
  • Latam has increased its B2C e-commerce sales 16.5x in the past 10 years, reaching $366.9 billion in 2020 compared with Western Europe at $382.7 billion in 2020.

Mobile Payments

Mobile commerce has become extremely relevant because younger consumers are more likely to use their mobile devices to make purchases using m-payments (mobile payments).

“Smartphones are driving strong growth in m-payments at 14% CAGR (compound annual growth rate),” Pardo said. “M-payments are becoming the preferred banking and payment channel.”

A smartphone’s advantages for driving the m-payments mobile marketing trend are convenience and flexibility, better control over spending, low financial inclusion and high mobile usage, and the lower chances of getting mugged, Pardo said.

All About Brazil

Latam has a very young internet audience, and Brazil is the largest and most advanced market in the region, which makes it a key target for Hispanic advertising and mobile marketing.

“Sixty percent of Brazil’s internet audience is under 35, which is promising for small businesses who are looking to grow and expand in the next five to 10 years,” Pardo said. “Latam is huge.. e-Commerce in Brazil and Mexico is growing at a similar rate compared to India and China, while growth in the U.S. and Germany has steadily slowed down.”

Notably, Apple products are not as popular in Latin America as in the U.S. Android is the dominant operating system, with 88-90% of mobile users owning an Android.

By the numbers

  • WhatsApp is the most popular app in Brazil, surpassing Facebook, Instagram, and Netflix: 99% of smartphones in Brazil use WhatsApp.
  • 69% of users say WhatsApp is their primary source of information.
  • 76% of users communicate with businesses through WhatsApp.
  • 72% percent of small businesses use WhatsApp to communicate with clients.
  • 60% of mobile consumers use WhatsApp for work (only 20% of people use email).

Tech Investment & Advertising

There is a minimal investment in technology for mobile marketing and advertising in Latin America—only 2.2% of GDP, compared with 39% in the U.S., 27% in China, and 13% in India.

“Any type of technology that you can think of can probably still be applied to Latam,” Pardo said. “Because of this great technological opportunity, it is predicted that digital advertisement should continue to advance.”

Currently, media advertising spending targeting Hispanics is much less than the time spent by users, with 70% of the time is spent on digital devices but only 37-45% of advertising allocated to digital. Most advertising budgets are spent on traditional media, accounting for only 30% of the time spent. 

“The pandemic has accelerated growth in digital media usage in Latam, further eroding traditional channels’ position,” Pardo said. “Streaming services saw a 49% increase in usage while social video apps, such as Tik Tok, saw a 95% increase in downloads in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Argentina.”

Inequality Threatens Growth

Latin America is the most unequal region in the world, Pardo said. Although the governments have been working to reverse this trend and improvements were made in 2020, it is estimated that the pandemic will set Latam back 10 years due to highly restrictive pandemic lockdowns.

“Analysts predict that Latin America will receive the hardest shock after COVID-19 in terms of the economic slowdown, but they also predict it will recover faster than other countries,” he said.Want more tips? On Wednesdays, join BizHack Academy for our FREE#BizHackLive Webinars and hear experts discuss the latest and best small business marketing strategies. For a list of upcoming events, click here.