Sleepy shrimp goes out with the tide

As consumers demand more personalized experiences, South America’s marketing agencies are slowly transforming themselves and creating client messages that appeal to their audiences’ own experiences and interests.

Latin American companies and marketers should know this: traditional advertising is no longer the only way to connect with the end user. This isn’t a new idea, but many companies and marketers have opted to wish the new reality away. Those who figured out the new world quickly – like airlines, for example, which by their nature think globally – now enjoy the fruits of their foresight. Other marketers managed to stay afloat, temporarily, with strategies that won’t enjoy a long shelf life. But the majority of marketers are reaching out to new audiences, trying to be relevant to both Millennials and Centennials dancing to “Despacito”, always ready to dance to the next big thing. It’s all new, new, new. New channels, new platforms … even new dances. This, of course, offers huge opportunities to a growing market such as Latin America, where there is still much to be done, and so much infrastructure to be laid.

Related: The Real Millennial White Paper – An Authentic Look at a Misunderstood Generation

Not only is connecting through a single channel no longer smart strategy, but the way in which more current media, such as social networks, relate to consumers isn’t a standalone solution either. Many brands have maintained their classic strategies in the form of advertising messages in digital media, without generating deeper links with their increasingly mobile audiences. And so it is difficult for them to succeed.

At a global level, however, there are numerous examples of successful brands that speak to their consumers one on one, using highly bespoke personalization tactics, and almost always via mobile platforms. New marketing also has to speak to something deeper: connections in communication imply personality and voice, and brands must develop a unique personality to interact with real people. Some try to do it spontaneously, but without a well-developed content strategy, real and measurable results will remain elusive.

Experiences, Experiences, Experiences

A good content strategy takes a product or service and incorporates itself seamlessly into the dreams and desires of the consumer. An example: today’s high-net-worth travelers, who have almost everything they need, value quality time with their family, the time to practise hobbies, to experience new things of meaning. These are the values that a brand such as Explora transmits; a brand promise that offers unique experiences, and peace and quiet. It’s a brand that realizes that we are all content, and that the sum of our experiences tells a larger brand story. A brand that can transform you is thus transformative. And these quality experiences are meant to be shared, which is the greatest currency in today’s media.

The Great Moment of LatAm: Time to Make the Jump

Finally, Latin America has the economic and cultural confidence to break from the old models under which we’d send raw resources to Europe (think cacao, for example) to be packaged and resold to us. Instead, we’re taking control of the entire value chain and, in the process, creating world-class products that we need to market and sell globally. And what better way to sell our products than to tell our rich and evocative stories? Brands like the National Coffee Growers of Colombia and their creation Juan Valdez, and Promperu, have done it and done it well.

The challenge for our agencies is to understand the essence and culture behind a brand and, from there, to create stories that will enrich audiences around the world. This is what Bookmark does: it adapts global ideas to local realities. And it does so because we understand that content is “liquid”: that multiple content streams across multiple platforms can serve multiple audiences. Bookmark understands that content that enriches is the content that can enlighten their audience by being of the highest quality, honest, and transparent. It is content that speaks directly to the consumer, no matter where they live.

This piece was originally published in BrandZ Top 50 Most Valuable Latin American Brands 2018.