HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST PAN-REGIONAL AGENCY FOR MEDIA BUYING IN LATAM
The digital marketing and advertising industry throughout Latin America is a diverse, unpredictable, growing, fragmented world that’s constantly changing, sometimes frustrating, but never dull. It’s no surprise, then, that media buying for the LATAM market is tricky business. Data can be scarce, audiences unpredictable, vendors allusive, and technology evolving at lightening speed.
Anne Marie Dono, Managing Partner and CEO of Multiplica US, is a seasoned expert in programmatic media buying throughout Latin America. Here are her top 5 tips for finding the right pan-regional LATAM agency when launching a media buying campaign:
- 1. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Although LATAM is often referred to as a singular region, any agency worth its salt should have a firm understanding of the nuances, diversity, complexities, and even language differences contained within each country and each sub-region. Consumers in Mexico are different than consumers in Argentina. Consumers in Argentina are different than consumers in Brazil. And so on and so forth.
Therefore, if you start to detect one-size-fits all approach in an agency you’re considering working with, it’s best to cut ties and find a team who knows the ins and outs of each country and market. A team who knows the differences in language (even slang usage), culture and pop culture, and audience behavior. And a team who knows that a banner ad in one LATAM country may not work (or even be understood in the same way) in another.
2. UNDERSTAND THE MEDIA LANDSCAPE
And it’s not just the audience or consumer who varies from country to country, but this diversity extends to media as well. Your agency should be fully aware of the unique media landscape for each region in LATAM, including what media is available, what type of media has the most impact or popularity with consumers, and have an awareness not just of traditional, established media (the big names) but also of up-and-coming publications, voices, or media outlets that are set to become key players in the market. If you work with an agency who only seems to mention a handful of well-known media outlets – while ignoring popular local blogs and newspapers, key local influencers, or trending websites – then it’s time to look elsewhere.
- 3. BUILD HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS WITH MEDIA
Likewise, a successful LATAM agency needs to have strong, productive relationships with their media vendors so that they can effectively negotiate on behalf of you, the client. Do what you can to be sure of these relationships. Ask agency leaders which vendors they work with most regularly, how long they’ve been working with them, and if the relationship is a positive one that works in your favor.
If you receive good answers to these questions, you’ll have a much greater change of getting the service that you need on time, within budget, optimized, and possibly even with added value. Agencies depend quite a lot on vendors to meet these goals, and if there’s not a productive back-and-forth and open line of communication between agency and vendor, the client (that's you again) will suffer the consequences.
- 4. BE FLEXIBLE AND AGILE
Launching a media-buy campaign across LATAM is a complex undertaking with lots of moving parts. A successful campaign cannot survive and thrive without Flexibility and Agility. I cannot stress this enough. Agencies work with large regions, countless vendors, and throughout multiple countries. Things like launch times, deadlines, outcomes, and strategies for campaign goals vary from market to market, from country to country, and whatever agency you choose needs to be able to handle this workload.
To do this, their team needs to be flexible and agile, able to respond to whatever comes up and handle the demands of several markets simultaneously. It may come as a surprise, but not every pan-regional LATAM agency is equipped or even adequately staffed to operate at this level.
5. PRIORITIZE DATA
Lastly, what’s the point of launching a media-buy campaign, of finding the right team to work with and the right vendors for each region, if it’s ultimately not going to be effective and show positive ROI for your company? The only way to measure this is by tracking results through metrics and data. The best agencies have the ability to collect data and metrics from different channels and house them in one place so that, first of all, you’re not inundated with a mountain of reports for each market but instead can view comprehensive reports and breakdowns of your campaign’s results (and, therefore, make strategic decisions based on those reports).
Agencies that offer this kind of statistical reporting are transparent with numbers and data and provide a very clear picture each step of the way of what’s working (and not working) in different regions and countries throughout LATAM. And, not only do these agencies need to be able to generate this data (and do it quickly), but it’s also important that they can easily dig into these numbers and use this data to optimize your media-buying strategies and outcomes.
This will enable you to make well-informed decisions about your campaign’s direction, to track and see positive results along the way, and to make better choices as to how and where to allocate funds as you move forward.