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Digital, social media quickly changing marketing tactics

Juan Bongiovanni, regional interactive director for Latin America for MEC Interaction (Courtesy: Joe Colón Studio)

The digitization of media outlets is changing the way people receive their information, which poses a virtually unavoidable challenge to advertising and media buying professionals to leap forward with the advances, or risk having their message fail.

Furthermore, ignoring the power that the Internet and social media channels have to make or break products or services is the sure-fire way to miss the target, said Juan Bongiovanni, regional interactive director for Latin America for MEC Interaction, one of the world’s largest online and digital marketing companies.

Bongiovanni, who was in San Juan last week, told a group of professionals whose jobs are to make the most out of their clients’ advertising budgets that they must keep their ears to the ground on Internet trends, especially those sprung via the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Google to “influence and communicate.”

“Digitization of media and the social media phenomenon have changed the way people receive their information and that presents many challenges in terms of finding ways to target clients and be more efficient,” he said. “Consumers expect to be able to participate and be engaged.”

As communications channels merge into the digital landscape, there are several trends that will impact Puerto Rico directly sooner rather than later, Bongiovanni said.

Most notably, he said, is that every media outlet will have some sort of digital presence, enabling advertising and media buying executives to target specific audiences.

“Digital media outlets make us more efficient and effective when it comes to communicating, if we do it well,” he said. “This can already be done in Puerto Rico and will continue to increase as more organizations take to the web.”

That migration onto the Internet is also making information “more portable, more searchable, more social, more interactive, and ubiquitous,” he noted.

“It’s about seeing where the audience is. Puerto Rico’s situation is the same as it is throughout the rest of Latin America, where in general, that audience is concentrated wherever they spend the most time online, such as MSN, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter and local newspapers,” he said.

While niche media tends to fall by the wayside when it comes to being included in big media-buying budgets, Bongiovanni said it too is a tool to “more effectively reach that audience that the larger or traditional media don’t let you get to, and become more relevant as they are more accessible.”

Internet privacy rules test campaigns
During an aside with News is my Business, Bongiovanni explained that Puerto Rico is one of the first Latin American markets dealing with stricter Internet privacy laws trickling down from Congress.

As authorities crack down on unauthorized disclosure of personal data, it will make it harder for digital advertisers to gain insight of their target audiences wants and likes, somewhat affecting effective campaigns, he said.

“Those laws will regulate how efficient and effective we will be in terms of reaching our audiences,” he said. “Puerto Rico, because of its relationship with the U.S., will have the unique distinction of having regulations enforced first, which will place certain limits on advertisers. Still, the things U.S. advertisers are able to do in terms of data use is interesting, so these rules won’t put a straightjacket on that.”

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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