LATIN AMERICA ONLINE: WHAT A CONNECTED LATIN AMERICA MEANS FOR BUSINESSES

Sep 24, 15 LATIN AMERICA ONLINE: WHAT A CONNECTED LATIN AMERICA MEANS FOR BUSINESSES

Posted by in Latin America

By Cassandra Bremer, Content Manager and Developer at The San Jose Group Latin America is young, online and social, and that creates a huge potential for American companies to win a market share of the continent’s booming emerging middle class. As digital and social strategies are becoming more paramount for brands in the U.S. to establish themselves and reach consumers, digital strategies are emerging as a core messaging platform to reach target markets in Latin America, and here is why. Whereas the mobile industry in the U.S. accounts about 2% of the economy, according to eMarketer, it accounts for between 4% and 5% of the Latin American economy. And the industry is growing. Earlier this year, the Latin American regional operator America Móvil served almost 300 million subscribers in 18 countries, and by the end of this year, eMarketer estimates Latin American mobile phone users will pass the 396 million mark. Needless to say, with 400 million consumers using mobiles in Latin America (compared to the 258 million in the United States), mobile devises provide a huge arena for brands to target consumers. Mix the high mobile usage with the fact that Latin America is the fastest growing ecommerce market in the world next to China, and the market potential becomes obvious. While Latin America as a whole is a lucrative target for brands, Brazil is really leading the social/digital movement in the continent. This year, over three quarters of social network users in Brazil will visit social media sits via a mobile device, and in 2013, Brazil’s ecommerce industry reached $15 billion. In fact, Brazil houses 299 of the top 500 ecommerce sites in Latin America, and that statistic begins to make sense when considering the country’s young and thriving consumer base. With a massive population of 202 million people, 62% of Brazilians are under the age of 30. “Brazil is leading the Latin American market in online consumption, and with that the rest of the continent will soon follow.” said George L....

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Cuba: A Time Such as Now…

Sep 10, 15 Cuba: A Time Such as Now…

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By George L. San Jose   President & COO of The San Jose Network Ltd.     When I think of the U.S.-Cuban relationship I imagine two childhood best friends who once had a quarrel. They were neighbors, loved each other dearly, their lives where intertwined in the most intricate ways, and one could not imagine life without the other. They were always in each other’s homes and played in the same backyard. Then one day [about fifty-five years ago] they quarreled, pride got in the way, and they stopped talking with one another. They confiscated each other’s toys and each went to play in their own backyards with deep wounds in their hearts. Anyone who has children understands how these quarrels happen. And in the same way this very much happened to the United States and Cuba, although few of us are old enough to remember their happier times as “besties”. Let me state that I certainly would never want to simplify the layers of complexity of U.S.-Cuban relations as events in this troubled history resulted in thousands of innocent lives lost with much pain and suffering on both sides. It is, however, important that we, as business leaders, understand the depth of the past relationship only to draw from it the learning for what is to come. A historical step has been taken for a new relationship to emerge between these two great countries. Like Israel and Judah, East Germany and West Germany, reconciliation and full integration of its people as one family, and again as best friends, is irreversible and unstoppable—this time living in two houses. All that remains is to have in place a legal system of commerce between our two countries and in concurrence a commerce revolution within the Cuban government to set a transparent legal framework for commerce to emerge. This will be necessary not only for its own people but for the hundreds of small foreign businesses that want to invest in Cuba and are currently not able to do...

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Cuba and the U.S.: A Tale of Two Countries

Jul 21, 15 Cuba and the U.S.: A Tale of Two Countries

Posted by in Latin America

By George L. San Jose, president and chief operating officer of The San Jose Network. For the first time in over 50 years, the United States and Cuba are formally reestablishing diplomatic ties, leaving implications for American businesses seeking to expand their markets. The Cuban embassy in Washington, D.C. opened its doors on July 20, but what does that mean for companies looking to reach those 11 million consumers? The growing relationship between the U.S. and Cuba signals significant pending opportunities for American businesses. Beginning with the acceptance of American credit cards, cellular service, and now with embassies opening in both countries and the introduction of new travel regulations, we see only the first steps preempting the inevitable: the trade embargo will soon be lifted. The historical move could create 6,000 American jobs and add between $1.2 and $4.8 billion annually to the U.S. economy. As with any new opportunity, market knowledge, speed to market, and infrastructural/distribution understanding will decide success or failure in the pursuit of market share growth. Brands that start planning now will get the first chance to reach 11 million consumers. Before now, Cuba has never been targeted. In December, President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced that they were working together to lift the trade restrictions. Over the past eight months, The San Jose Network has utilized external and internal resources to explore the potential of the Cuban market, encouraged by the preliminary findings and developmental changes occurring weekly. There is no doubt that Cuba poses a great opportunity across many industries, sectors and categories. Yet, we have to proceed with caution and move in parallel fashion with the legalization in commerce between our two countries. Even with the economic embargo still in place, the U.S. and Cuba have found their way around some trade restrictions. In fact, after the U.S. exported food to Cuba after a 2001 hurricane, the U.S. continued to export some food supplies to the island, and now the U.S. is Cuba’s second-largest food supplier. In 2008, annual food sales...

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Olympic Sized Branding Opportunity

By Jestelle Irizarry The countdown to the 2016 Olympic Games is on, and Rio de Janeiro is preparing to welcome millions of people from around the world. The Olympics are a global property, reaching over 180 markets through TV and digital broadcasts, making the games not only the ultimate competition for athletes but for brands, too. Given the obstacles to overcome, getting in front of consumers can be as tough as walking away from the Games with a medal. Although no advertisements are allowed in the stadium, nor may any logos be embellished on the athletes’ clothing, the Olympics are a huge branding opportunity. While the Olympic Partner Programme represents globally recognized brands, TOPs are not the only brands that have the chance to receive attention during the games. With the right creative strategy, any brand can take advantage of the opportunity the Olympics provides. Bulova reached out to the San Jose Network (SJN), the largest independent network serving Latin America, for such a strategy. FIFA, like the IOC, has strict regulations while broadcasting the World Cup. SJN developed an advertising program that purposely omitted media placement at the stadiums (as they were not official sponsors), but rather leveraged high event attendee traffic flows at locations such as international airport terminals and airport access roads during the duration of games. Bulova was therefore able effectively target affluent men and women traveling to Brazil for the event. As the official timekeepers of the British Premier League’s Manchester United, Bulova—with the help of SJN—was also able to leverage its sponsorship in strategically placed advertisements so World Cup supporters would associate the watch company with the game of soccer and the event. Fourteen Manchester United players from eight different countries took the pitch in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, including England’s Wayne Rooney. Not only did the advertisements add tremendous value to the brand, the brand strengthened its relationship with Latin America. The same opportunities are available to brands that act early for the 2016 Olympic Games....

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A Shift to Mobile Marketing

By Jestelle Irizarry, junior executive at The San Jose Group At the hands of every mobile device, lies a possibly untapped consumer. While social media has dominated most mobile advertising efforts thus far, social media isn’t always the right fit for every brand or company. In a constantly evolving digital consumer landscape, brands are shifting their focus from social media and are concentrating their efforts on mobile marketing. As it sounds, Mobile Marketing is marketing on a mobile device that provides personalized information to promote goods, services, and ideas. Mobile apps offer engaging interactions with targeted consumers, while also offering superior user experience. The 2015 State of Marketing reported that 68 percent of brands have integrated mobile into their larger marketing strategy, and 58 percent even have a dedicated mobile team. Brands doing mobile in house, or even those who are looking to begin implementing, should consider using agencies whose integration expertise would be able to align all media and advertising materials. A recent study found that the average person spends 90 minutes per day on their phone, making understanding how and where users are consuming messages one of the greatest assets mobile marketing offers. Ironically, the problem has never been collecting mobile data, but figuring out how to monetize it. Analytics could help brands understand how their target market is using mobile devices if brands could define what type of data they would like to collect and what types of insights they are seeking from that data. For instance, they could seek the number of impressions of a particular advertisement or the demographics of the users engaging with an advertisement. Relying on a strong web presence but ignoring mobile is almost worse than having no web presence at all these days because you risk frustrating or even turning off your consumers. Brands should work to optimize their websites for mobile use instead of hurrying to create an app because when done correctly, an app can not only engage users but also create a lasting mobile...

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