The insider’s guide to mobile Web and marketing in Brazil 2011
Along with Russia, India and China (known affectionately as the BRIC countries), Brazil, is eyed as a market of great potential by operators, handset manufacturers and mobile marketers alike. Get the low down on Brazil with the MMA's former global chairman.
There are more mobile subscribers than people in Brazil, with 220.4 million mobile subscriptions shared among a population of 196 million. Of these 19 percent of subscribers are on contract – most are prepaid subscribers; and 12 percent are regular users of 3G services, but that is almost double the number this mobile Web users this time last year. (sources: Anatel/Teleco; World Bank; Anatel/Teleco; July 2011).
• Your guide to Brazil is Federico Pisani Massamormile chief executive officer of Brazilian mobile agency Hanzo, and former global chairman of the Mobile Marketing Association (@fpisanim).
• This guide was published August 2011.
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Q1: How big or advanced is the mobile Web in Brazil and what is the potential?
26.6 million Brazilians accessed the Web from a mobile device in June 2011, according to Anatel/Teleco), that’s 12.7 million more than – i.e. almost double – this time last year. Growth of mobile Internet usage and, with it, mobile advertising is being stimulated by the increased availability of both full-feature devices and flat-rate data tariffs from mobile carriers.
The potential for mobile Internet here is huge: there are already three times more mobile phones than PCs and nearly twice as many 3G connections as fixed broadband connections (14.5 million in Q1 2011, according to Anatel/Teleco). It won’t be long before consumers will start to have their first experience of the Web over a mobile phone, rather than a PC.
Q2: What’s driving growth? What's holding it up?
The arrival of smartphones, such as the iPhone, the roll-out of 3G and new data plans being launched by carriers are all helping to drive growth:
• A survey by Nielsen (August 2010) found that 10 percent of mobile devices in Brazil are smartphones, up 128 percent from 2009.
• The majority of Brazilians now have access to a 3G mobile network – this is partly due to demands set by the Brazilian regulator Anatel that all four operators should cover all cities of more than 500,000 people (44 cities in total) by early 2010. Today Vivo’s 3G network covers 75 percent of the population, Claro covers 56 percent, TIM covers 48 percent and Oi covers 44 percent (source: Anatel/Teleco, July 2011).
• Carriers are also offering very attractive data plans for prepaid subscribers. TIM is offering unlimited access for R$0.50 (US $0.31) per day and Claro followed up with R$0.36 (US $0.22) per day. As social networks are popular with young Brazilians, most carriers have created plans that include unlimited access to the popular social networks.
• About 50 percent of people with 3G devices, such as smartphones, have a price plan that includes data usage; these are helping to drive an annual growth in mobile data in Brazil of 140 percent (source: Convergencia Research/Acision June 2011).
• But the cost of browsing is still too expensive for most Brazilians (Convergencia/Acision).
• The lack of mobile-ready sites in Brazil is also holding up progress.
Q3: How do Brazilians use their mobile devices?
A survey by Convergencia Research/Acision (June 2011) of Brazilian mobile users, found:
• 72 percent of users surveyed had Web-enabled mobile devices. 25 percent of respondents had used the mobile Web in the last three months; 13 percent had used it in the last week. Expense was one of the main reasons cited for not using the mobile Web.
• Mobile Web users spent the greatest amount of time accessing social networks (32 percent) followed by Web browsing (19 percent) and emailing (17 percent). The most-accessed social networks are Orkut, then Facebook and Twitter.
• Brazilians send 22 SMS messages per month. Though the frequency is increasing, this is considerably less than the global average of over 100 messages per month, possibly because text is still too expensive for most.
• 28 percent of users have used mobile instant messaging (IM) in the last 3 months; 55 percent of respondents have a phone that is capable of IM.
• 11 percent of respondents use push email and 14 percent use browser-based email, 62 percent have email-capable cell phones.
• 22 percent of respondents have downloaded some kind of entertainment – mostly free, rather than paid-for. Of those, 45 percent had downloaded music in the last month, 44 percent images and 30 percent games.
• 91 percent of respondents had received at least one marketing SMS or MMS to their cell phones recently. Of these, most were promotional messages from their mobile operator (56 percent), followed by an ad for a consumer product (10 percent).
• 10 percent of respondents had used a GPS services on their cell phones in the last three months; 18 percent of phones were GPS-enabled.
• 7 percent of respondents use their mobile phones to access a bank or financial system, mostly to check a bank balance.
Q4: How widespread is mobile commerce (m-commerce), payments (m-payments) and banking (m-banking) in Brazil?
The use of mobile phones for Brazilian commerce and payments is still in the early stages. To date most mobile financial services are aimed at the upper classes, for example via iPhone applications. However, the greatest potential is among disadvantaged citizens. Currently, 65 percent of the beneficiaries of the Bolsa Familia – a social welfare program of the Brazilian government – for example, have cell phones, but only one of them has a bank account. We are expecting news in this area from financial institutions and mobile operators within the next year, while the government is studying the possibility of using the phone as a channel for payment of social benefits.
Q5: Which industries/sectors have shown the most interest? Is interest from local or international companies?
Both multinational and local companies are showing interest, with automotive companies and food and beverage companies being some of the most active. Retailers, consumer goods and energy companies are also embracing mobile marketing. Media companies are leading the way in terms of providing mobile content and interactive campaigns, but brands are catching up fast.
Q6: Which brands are the most innovative and which spend the most on mobile marketing? Who isn't interested that ought to be?
Fiat, Coca-Cola and Anheuser-Busch InBev are all making significant investments in mobile in Brazil, as are many banks and financial services businesses. In 2010, we saw many brands including mobile in their marketing mix and increasing their mobile spending, many more have mobile marketing plans for 2011, including Unilever, Shell, O Boticario and Nestlé. Meanwhile, Detran, Sadia, Pao de Acucar, Globo.com, ClicRBS, G1, Revista, Rolling Stone, Playboy and Telelistas are investing heavily in their mobile sites.
At this stage, I believe all companies are interested as mobile is a key touch-point between brands and consumers.
Q7: What are they doing – mobile site; banner ads; text campaigns? Do mobile campaigns tend to be part of a larger cross-media campaign?
Text-to-win is the most popular format, but mobile Websites and mobile advertising are becoming popular as well. Mobile apps mainly for iPhones and SMS-based CRM campaigns are growing in popularity also.
Usually mobile is an integrated part of a bigger campaign with other media and equivalent Web site, but there are also standalone promotional efforts.
Q8: What type of site is most popular with consumers and business customers? What are the best examples of mobile sites?
For consumers, most mobile Web activity is on-deck (on the mobile operator’s portal) – there’s still very little off-deck. About 80 percent of the traffic still comes from carriers’ decks, but third-party mobile sites, portals and app stores are starting to make inroads into the carrier’s dominance – this is forcing carriers to reappraise their portal strategies, according to comScore and GSMA.
For business customers, banks are the most popular destinations, such as Itau Mobile and Bradesco.
Examples of good mobile friendly sites are Pao de Acucar – the largest retailer in Brazil, Sadia – a large Brazilian food company and Globo.com – Brazil’s second largest Internet Portal.
Q9: What are the key mobile players in Brazil?
• Mobile operators: according to Anatel/Teleco, Q1 2011 the market shares of the four major carriers are: Vivo (30 percent), Claro (26 percent), TIM (26 percent), Oi (19 percent).
• Creative/mobile agencies: F.biz, Grupo.Mobi (formerly Pontomobi Interactive), Mobext, Hanzo and Future Group. All were finalists or had award-winning campaigns at the MMA Global Awards. Others agencies include AgenciaClick, which is part of Isobar.
• Mobile ad networks: Hands, RedeMobi.
• Aggregators/integrators: Spring Wireless, Movile and PureBros.
• Mobile content providers: iG, Abril, TV Esporte and Interativo.
• Mobile search engines: Google Mobile, Yahoo Mobile, Bing Mobile.
• Mobile associations: MMA (Mobile Marketing Association), MEF (Mobile Entertainment Forum), IAB Mobile.
• Must-attend mobile events: Tela Viva Móvel (Converge), Proxxima (M&M), MMA Forum Sao Paulo.
Q10: What role do mobile operators play in the mobile ecosystem?
Carriers play both the role of the pipe and the role of mobile-media salesman. A brand and its mobile agency can use carrier’s opt-in list or create their own opt-in list. In the latter case, the list must be cross-checked with the carrier's opt-out list, because Anatel’s rules make carriers responsible for policing users' permissions.
Carriers are rolling out aggressive mobile data plans, in particular targeting prepaid youngsters with their demand for mobile access to social networks. The price of SMS marketing in Brazil is still high, but the CPM cost is gradually reducing as large brands become more interested in this medium.
Q11: What role does the Brazilian government play in the mobile ecosystem? What is the regulatory environment like?
In July 2010, Anatel regulated on opt-in mobile advertising and content subscription services. Wireless carriers are now prohibited from sending advertising messages via mobile phone without users’ permission.
In parallel, the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) is working with Brazilian carriers (among others) to update the Consumer Best Practices paper, covering the main types of mobile marketing, first released in 2009.
Q12: What makes mobile Web/marketing different in Brazil compared to abroad?
More than 80 percent of Brazilians are on prepaid mobile contracts. This makes Brazil a very interesting market as advertising could prove a crucial way subsidize telecom costs. This could be an important factor driving higher adoption. Brazil is one of the top countries for the use of social networks (for example, it is the second highest country for Twitter usage, according to ComScore) and phenomena like Blah! and Orkut show that Brazilian’s are very open to new communication trends. It is also worth mentioning that the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics create an unprecedented opportunity for the development of mobile marketing.
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Brazil: a mobile market of great potential
Federico Pisani Massamormile, chief executive officer of Brazilian mobile agency Hanzo and former global chairman of the Mobile Marketing Association