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14 September
Digital Advertising
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Where have you been that you do not believe in digital?

It’s surprising and actually very sad that even today I keep hearing from advertisers comments such as “my CEO/Board/Marketing VP does not believe in Digital”.  What does it mean?   I am not sure but this is one of the main reasons some advertisers spend less than 10% of their marketing budgets in digital.

I have been working now for almost two decades in digital media in Latin America and one could understand these comments 10 or even 5 years ago, and frankly in the larger markets you seldom hear this anymore.   In the last year, as we have opened offices in smaller countries in Latin America I began  hearing these comments once again.

One of the best counter-arguments for this comes courtesy of Hernan Burak, Head of Resellers for Facebook.  In Bolivia he asked a Marketing Director how she spent her day in relation to her media consumption.   Her answer was typical of most professionals anywhere in the world: “I wake up, glance at my phone, check some news and get ready to go to work.   On my drive to work, I listen to music via Spotify, and during work when I have time, I check the news on my computer or phone, or watch or read something that friends have sent me via Facebook or Whatsapp.   On my way home, I talk over the phone or listen to some more music.   At home, I may watch some local news on TV, but after putting the kids to sleep, I watch a series on Netflix”.   After this, Hernan asked her what percentage of her advertising budget is spent on digital and her answer was less than 15%.   At this point, Hernan asked her if she as a consumer is not a target audience for her products, and how can she reach someone like her if most of her media consumption is on digital platforms.    I’ve seen Hernan repeat this question many times and it always works – as soon as you “personalize” the issue, it becomes clear that media consumption has changed but their marketing mix has not.

Another argument which I have used is to tell non-digital believers that the five most valuable companies in the world are digital.   As of August 31st 2017, here’s the ranking and their market cap:

Market Capitalization of the 5 most Valuable Companies Plus selected Media Leaders

(billions of USD, August 31st, 2017)


Clearly digital has changed how we consume media, how we buy our products, and frankly how we live our lives.    The market cap of Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook reflects how these tech giants have helped transform entire industries and how digital and technology are transforming all industries.  In regards to media and digital advertising, well Google and Facebook are several times more valuable than any of the other media giants (Disney, Time Warner, News Corp., Viacom, CBS, etc).

Do you still not believe in Digital?   Just live a day without your smartphone and laptop and tell me how it went.

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