Marketing and Margaritas – What We Learned at Advertising Week LATAM

Lina Hagström

Marketing

LATAM

Hundreds of marketers and advertisers got together in the vibrant capital of Mexico for the first edition of Advertising Week LATAM. Aside from sunshine, beautiful architecture, and exquisite food, participants enjoyed inspiring and insightful talks and panel discussions covering everything from the future of video to how to stay relevant in our fast-paced world. We hope to see you all at the upcoming Advertising Weeks, but until then, we’ve compiled some of the highlights and learnings for all of you who could not make it to Mexico City.

Connecting With Video

It was only natural that video advertising took, yet again, the spotlight as it continues to grow explosively. During the panel discussion “The Future of Video,” moderated by Twitter’s Global Video Specialist, Ryan Moore, the guests shared their thoughts and approach to video and how to make the most of it.

Selman Careaga, Chief Marketing Officer at Coca-Cola México detailed two shifts taking place today: the external and internal. The external is the death of segmentation by demographic. Instead, we should segment based on behavior and context since that helps us attract people with the right intent. The internal change, on the other hand, is the pace at which content is created. Content needs to be produced faster than ever before, which requires new and more efficient video processes; we need to work differently and introduce automation to the process in order to remain afloat.

When asked to look into their crystal balls, the panelists presented thought-provoking predictions on the future of video. According to Ricardo Dias, VP Marketing Middle Americas at AB InBev, advertisers need to stop interrupting and start attracting people by creating better content. Dias finds the most common way of measuring engagement obsolete. Measure quality rather than quantity of engagement; impressions should be replaced by completion rates.

Claudia Contreras, Marketing Director IM, and CMO Samsung Electronics, predicts two vital shifts: firstly, we’ll start to focus on stories and formats that are more relevant and engaging to consumers. Secondly, the traditional four Ps (product, price, promotion, place) are being replaced by three new, more accurate ones: platform, performance, and partnerships.

Ads Are Not The Problem, Irrelevant Ads Are

Relevancy was undoubtedly the buzzword of the week. At the panel discussion “Marketer’s State of Mind,” the panelists shared their best practices in creating content that resonates. Leslie Green, Senior Marketing Director, Nike Mexico, explained how the brand prioritizes hyper-relevant content. It can be both localized and personalized to the user.

Today, information travels across time zones, geographic borders, and linguistic barriers. And, as people are receiving global information at a faster pace than ever before, Patricia Corsi, Senior Vice President & CMO from Heineken, admitted that creating local, good, authentic, and hyper-relevant content is challenging. According to Corsi, brands need to stay resilient and prioritize what to focus on, especially since today’s stories will be faded by tomorrow.

During the talk “Timing as the New Dimension of Branding,” Melissa Barnes, Head of Global Brands at Twitter, introduced timing as a crucial part of branding and staying relevant. And with timing, she means the conversation of the day, not the time of the day. Consumers are looking for brands that understand what’s going on in the world and that participate in these conversations. Brands are held to higher expectations today:

“As brand marketers, we need to be sensitive to the reality that our culture is changing and issues are more meaningful,” stressed Barnes.

The Funnel Is Changing: The Digital Ecosystem of Retail  

Retail has seen many shifts as new technologies are emerging. The newest, perhaps the most revolutionary change has been the shift from offline to online. Retailers need to find ways to connect offline and online discovery and purchase experiences. Our General Manager Americas, Amir Shub, participated in a panel that discussed the challenges and opportunities retail is facing today.

Adriana Peôn, North Cone Manager, Client Solutions Manager at Facebook explained that the rise of digital and mobile has also had its impact on the funnel. Brands need to raise awareness at the top of the funnel, and as video ads have become the new digital storefront, they are great for doing just that.

Personalization (fueled by data) plays a key role in mid-funnel marketing. Peôn shared that retailers in the US are using the Lead Ad format to fill their CRMs and acquire more information about their customers which then, in turn, can be leveraged in-store.

Moving down the funnel, it’s all about conversion and how to get the consumer to buy. Facebook offers a variety of ads that invite consumers to take action. Offline is a little trickier as you need to get people in-store and even then, the emergence of smartphone poses new challenges as the users are still half-online.

How can retailers combine technology and mobile behaviors to enhance the in-store experience?

Amir Shub, General Manager at Smartly.io, advised the audience to think how to leverage mobile, storytelling, and video to craft a narrative. The content should be contextual and personalized to align with whatever the consumer purchased or is considering to purchase.

On the other hand, Shub sees the funnel collapsing as the borders separating branding and driving purchase are blurring. He says that video, dynamic video, and automated video present the opportunity to marry the two together. Furthermore, once offline and online are connected, brands can use an additional layer of data to run hyper-personalized content.

Don’t Be Just Marketers, Be Something Else

The professional environment needs to evolve and change shape alongside the society. New types of education are emerging, people seek and find information on their own, and digital nomadism has become a way of life.

Leslie Green of Nike finds that companies need to acknowledge and accept that those who traditionally would have been a perfect marketing fit might choose other career paths. At the same time, people who don't come from a marketing background can bring new skills to the team.

Green dubbed today’s generation the slash generation: they identify with more than one profession or role. He encouraged everyone to embrace the development rather than fear it:

“If you consider yourself a writer, publish something. Follow your passions and do things outside marketing.”

Corsi added that the current mantra is all about the speed of learning. She considered this generation the most purpose-driven one and urged companies to figure out how to organize teams so that everyone learns faster. When asked for a piece of advice for aspiring marketers (and for anyone else for that matter), she emphasized the power of enthusiasm:

“Nothing is more attractive than people who are really enthusiastic about something. The enthusiasm is going to spread like a virus, and then you’ll have the right people surrounding you.”