People like Michel Lent, Carla Meneghini, and Renata Saraiva at Ogilvy have developed a great integrated approach to social media marketing and digital influence programs. They live and work in Sao Paulo which I can only describe from my naive pov as the New York City of Brazil, if not of the overall region. It is a kick-ass city with more culture, food and commerce than any I have visited in a while. Traffic too, but that's another story.
We met with many brands last week. They are all taking social media very seriously. As in many markets there is a range of brand adoption behaviors including:
Brands who want to put listening programs in place to understand what consumers are saying about them in blogs, Orkut and Twitter
Brands fascinated with Twitter and ready to accept that platform as a microcosm of cgm chatter
- Brands looking to a number of partners - small and big - for guidance and not always getting the best recomendations (In my opinion)
- Brands looking to their traditional agencies and to new boutiques (there are a few new social media boutiques using simple cgm listening capabilities to build business)
- Brands embracing the idea of new influencers and inviting them to interact with the brand
- An emphisis on using social media without clear expectations around realistic measurement and impact
- Brand marketers looking at social media as a channel (pitfall)
- Communications execs trying to make the case at the C-suite level for the relevance and impact of social media marketing and communications
It's all good, essentially. Brazil is such a big and fast-growing market. The key to all of this is how fast the market is growing. With 197 million people and 68 million on the internet (35%), there is a critical mass of people and influencers that can drive marketing and communications.
There are always limits on infrastructure - how fast can we grow 35% to 50% by sheer "pipe" alone? How can we go from 6.8 million broadband users to 10 million? Still, just keep an eye on adoption curves - how fast Brazilians grabbed onto Orkut and Twitter - these tell a story of a market that will explode in a blink of an eye. And the marketing and communications professionals at the brands seem to know it.
Some facts about Brazil (from Globotrends wiki):
- BR - 196,342,587 population - Country Area: 8,544,418 sq km
- 67,510,400 users as of Dec/08, 34.4% penetration, per ITU.
- 6,788,100 Broadband subs as of Nov.26/08, per ITU, 3.5% p.r.