Portada interviewed Alejandro Campos Carlés, Co-Director and Founder of StartMeApp.
Alejandro_Campos_Carles 285StartMeApp is an independent mobile advertising network with offices in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, USA, England, and Singapore.
Translated by Candice Carmel
“StartmeApp’s value proposition is linked to direct response marketing—we are looking for accurate results. It’s not just about media buying, clicks or impressions, but about transformation: transforming impressions/clicks into the response that advertisers are seeking from the audience,” says the company founder.
“We have the chance to position ourselves in the Latin American market while the market is still developing, but we possess the know-how to play in other markets and that’s what we’re doing,” adds Campos Carlés. The company, which was founded in Argentina and later expanded throughout the region, also has a presence now in Europe and Singapore.
StartMeApp’s revenues come mostly from Latin America (70%), but according to its founder: “This year we expect revenues in Latin America to be dispersed by revenues from Europe and Asia.” In Latin America, the company derives the bulk of its business from Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, and Brazil. Campos Carlés says that the company was profitable from day one and generates its own customers. It had a marginal contribution of about 50%, with EBITDA of nearly 20% last year.
Mobile advertising market in LatAm
“Latin America has a very small market presence in mobile advertising,” asserts Campos Carlés flatly. “In the E-marketer report published two months ago, Latin America appeared as a separately listed region for the first time. In last year’s reports, Latin America’s market presence was so low that is was lumped under ROW (rest of the world). Even though the region’s metrics and projections are very positive and point to high growth, it still lags far behind other regions,” he added.
For Campos Carlés, the low market presence of mobile advertising in the region is due to several factors. The first has to do with the population, which is low compared to other regions, he says. As a result, the number of mobile telephone subscribers is also low. “Smartphone penetration in the U.S. will reach 80% next year, while that number is only expected to reach 30% in Latin America,” Campos Carlés told Portada.
Portada: What are the causes of Latin America’s delay in getting into the mobile advertising market, in comparison with other regions?
Alejandro Campos Carlés: The situation is that the subscriber base is still prepaid, not postpaid, and the featured phones base is still very strong. In regards to carriers, the passage from 3G to 4G is just beginning, which causes data transfer rates to be slower. Government decisions are also a factor, because they influence technology, infrastructure, and investment. Brazil is an example of how government decisions influence market development. In Brazil’s case, the country is going digital in preparation for two major sporting events Brazil will be hosting—the World Cup and the Olympics. This is an example of government joining forces with operators in an effort to generate infrastructure. And finally, there are regulatory issues: the region is highly monopolized.
Market rules are starting to change, because regulation is beginning to take place. But we must also keep in mind that it will take a while for Latin America to replace its fleet of featured phones with smartphones.
Portada: What is the current investment flow in mobile advertising in the region?
Alejandro Campos Carlés: Today we have pan-regional and local spending, but both advertisers and agencies still have little knowledge [about mobile advertising]. Online advertising is important here, but if you compare it with traditional media it is still marginal, despite the fact that it is growing at impressive rates. IAB reports rates of about 40% annually in the region. If online spending is marginal compared to traditional media, imagine what mobile ad spending must be.
Latin America gets residual pan-regional advertising from mobile global campaigns. That is beginning to change.
On the other hand, advertisers are unsure about how to enter the mobile advertising market, faced with a wide variety of offerings and multiple operating systems. In fact, StartMeApp launched an event in Sao Paulo called Movilizando Latinoamérica (Mobilizing Latin America), to demonstrate what the channel is all about and what can be achieved with it. We will be repeating the event in Mexico, Miami, Colombia and Argentina.
Portada: What will be this year’s surprise?
Alejandro Campos Carlés: The market is giving very precise signals that this year’s surprise will be RTB (Real Time Bidding). In 2009, RTB was just beginning to be used as a purchasing technique and represented 1% of online advertising buys at the time. Today, its use is impressive and is growing at a rate of 300% month after month.
In regards to other mobile devices besides smartphones, Campos Carlés highlights the importance of tablets for mobile advertising. “Tablets are making a difference. Tablet shipments to Latin America next year have been estimated at $3.7 trillion, of which 1.7 will be spent in Brazil,” said Campos Carlés.
According to the executive, there are 24 million tablets in Brazil today, out of a population of nearly 300 million—which reflects low penetration compared to the population, despite Brazil being the largest market in Latin America.
Key players in the mobile advertising market
The main mobile advertisers in Latin America are mobile content aggregators. “These players have a shared network agreement with the operator for content purchases or subscriptions by users,” says the executive.
Other investors participating in the mobile channel are advertising agencies, who allocate their clients’ advertising budgets. Campos Carlés says that “only this year have we begun to see a slightly larger commitment to the channel by the agencies, who are allocating a bit of their brands’ ad budgets to mobile. But it is still far behind the spending of mobile content aggregators.”
Coming in third are those investing in the distribution of applications. “Most come from global application distributors who also want to gain an audience in Latin America for their applications.”
Best bets for 2014
For next year, the StartMeApp founder is betting on the “conversion” of both agencies and advertisers to mobile advertising. “The same thing happened 10 or 15 years ago, with digital advertising. We need to start showing successful case studies, as these are very important.”
“All marketing and advertising managers are talking about mobile. That’s what the buzz is about today—the need to have to have a presence, even if they don’t know how to do it or why. But it’s a huge opportunity for us,” says Campos Carlés.
When asked by Portada what advice he could give to advertisers interested in mobile advertising, Campos Carlés offered the following:
• First, think about who your mobile channel audience is. That’s the first tip. You first need to study the mobile audience you already have.
• The next point is to think about how to hold on to that audience, through which medium, and how to create audience engagement with the brand.
Read more: http://latam.portada-online.com/2013/09/26/alejandro-campos-carles-startmeapp-latin-america-gets-residual-panregional-advertising-from-mobile-global-campaigns-that-is-beginning-to-change/#ixzz2iDTGHtJ7
Translate Abroad’s Huan-Yu Wu (ENG’10) (from left) and Robert Sanchez, Alejandro Campos Carlés StartMeApp Co Founder, and Translate Abroad CEO Ryan Rogowski at the Global Mobile Internet Conference, where their app, Waygo, took top honors in the appAttack contest in Silicon Valley. Photos courtesy of ENG’s electrical and computer engineering department
Two years ago, American Ryan Rogowski was building mobile games in China, and struggling with the language.
It would be helpful, he often thought, to have a tool that allowed you to look up characters on a phone simply by pointing your camera at the text. Rogowski enlisted the help of Huan-Yu Wu (ENG’10), and together they designed an iPhone app that can translate Chinese into English.
Rogowski met Wu shortly after he returned to the United States and encouraged him to join his small start-up company, Translate Abroad, based in Providence, R.I.
“I had a passion for image processing, and he was looking for teammates to build the app,” says Wu. “We soon realized the potential of our project.”
The free app is called Waygo, a name chosen because its pronunciation is similar to that of the Chinese word for “foreign country.” Wu, who earned a master’s in electrical and computer engineering at the College of Engineering, has been instrumental in the development of the app’s image capture and analysis features.
The app makes life easier for travelers by using optical character recognition to read Chinese characters. After taking a photo of the Chinese characters on an iPhone, Waygo then provides the English translation.
“We decided to first focus on China and the East Asian market,” Wu says, “because that’s where our team had the most experience.”
Huan-Yu Wu (ENG’10) was instrumental in the development of the app’s image capture and analysis features.
Wu is familiar with tackling new research. At BU, he studied under Janusz Konrad, an ENG professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Prakash Ishwar, an ENG assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering. Both professors, he says, pushed him to learn more about image processing, a skill he uses every day at Translate Abroad.
Although the company is still young, its Waygo app is already being noticed. At the Global Mobile Internet Conference–Silicon Valley last October, the app—then known as Waigo Translate—took home top honors, and $5,000, beating more than 200 competitors in the appAttack contest.
“The conference turned out to be a wonderful platform for keeping up-to-date with new technologies and connecting with great people,” says Wu. “There were a number of people present who travel back and forth between the United States and China, so it was a good opportunity to build traction with our app.”
While Waygo is still able to translate only Chinese into English, Wu and his team hope that it will soon be able to translate other languages, such as Japanese and Korean, and provide English to Chinese translations.
Hoy IAB Argentina publicó una nota que me encomendó para la columna de opinón.
Basicamente la nota marca una diferencia importante entre lo que muchos consideran expectativas y lo que en definitiva marca la realidad frente a los desafios que estamos viviendo y que viviremos en los proximos meses y años.
Los invito a leerla y si alguien quiere dejar sus comentarios, bienvenidos. Para leerla, click en la imagen.
Mary Meeker of Morgan Stanley isn’t just any Internet analyst. She was covering the sector when the brokerage firm was the lead underwriter for Netscape Communications’ initial public offering in 1995, was dubbed the “Queen of the Net” by Barron’s magazine in 1998 and was covering the space in 2004, when Morgan Stanley helped launch the Google IPO. Now a managing director at Morgan Stanley and head of the global technology research team, she has released her latest massively detailed “State of the Internet” report, which she has been putting out periodically since 1995. She presented the report during an event this afternoon at Google, which was streamed live as part of the Events@Google series (the presentation is embedded below).
And what does Meeker see in her crystal ball this year? Two overwhelming trends that will affect consumers, the hardware/infrastructure industry and the commercial potential of the web: mobile and social networking. Such a conclusion is hardly earth-shattering news to GigaOM readers, for we have been following these trends over the past year or two, but Meeker puts some pretty large numbers next to those trends, and looks at the shifts that will (or are likely to) take place in related industries such as communications hardware. She also compares where the rest of the developed world is in terms of mobile communications and social networking with Japan. Again, not a radically different approach to the one many tech forecasters take, but Meeker has the weight of some considerable research chops on her side.
The Morgan Stanley analyst says that the world is currently in the midst of the fifth major technology cycle of the past half a century. The previous four were the mainframe era of the 1950s and 60s, the mini-computer era of the 1970s and the desktop Internet era of the 80s. The current cycle is the era of the mobile Internet, she says — predicting that within the next five years “more users will connect to the Internet over mobile devices than desktop PCs.” As she puts it on one of the slides in the report: “Rapid Ramp of Mobile Internet Usage Will be a Boon to Consumers and Some Companies Will Likely Win Big (Potentially Very Big) While Many Will Wonder What Just Happened.”
Meeker says that mobile Internet usage is ramping up substantially faster than desktop Internet usage did, a view she and her team arrived at by comparing the adoption rates of iPhone/iPod touch to that of AOL and Netscape in the early 1990s. According to Meeker, adoption of the Apple devices is taking place more than 11 times faster that of AOL, and several times as fast as that of Netscape. Helping to drive this is 3G technology, which Morgan Stanley says recently hit an “inflection point” by being available to more than 20 percent of the world’s cellular users (although penetration is only 7 percent in Central/South America and 13 percent in Asia/Pacific — excluding Japan, where it’s 96 percent).
But that mobile boom will take its toll on carriers, Meeker says, because mobile Internet use is all about data. The average cell-phone usage pattern is 70 percent voice, while the average iPhone is 45 percent voice. At NTT DoCoMo, data usage accounts for 90 percent of network traffic. The analyst says her team expects mobile data traffic to increase by almost 4,000 percent by 2014, for a cumulative annual growth rate of more than 100 percent. Such numbers will likely strike fear into the hearts of carriers, but joy into the hearts of equipment suppliers and mobile service companies.
One of the implications of mobile access is a growth in ecommerce, says Meeker, featuring things such as location-based services, time-based offers, mobile coupons, push notifications, etc. In China, the success of social network Tencent proves that virtual goods can be a big business, she says — virtual goods sales accounted for $2.2 billion worth of the company’s revenue in 2009 and $24 in annual revenue per user. Online commerce and paid services made up 32 percent of mobile revenue in Japan in 2008, up from just 14 percent in 2000. Meeker’s report suggests that the rest of the world — which is still below the 14 percent-mark — could see much the same trajectory over the next 10 years.
Meeker says that users are more willing to pay for content on mobile devices than they are on desktops for a number of reasons, including:
* Easy-to-Use/Secure Payment Systems — embedded systems like carrier billing and iTunes allow real-time payment
* Small Price Tags -– most content and subscriptions carry sub-$5 price tags
* Walled Gardens Reduce Piracy -– content exists in proprietary environments, difficult to get pirated content onto mobile devices
* Established Store Fronts -– carrier decks and iTunes store allow easy discovery and purchase
* Personalization -– more important on mobiles than desktops
On the social networking side, Meeker’s report notes that social network use is bigger than email in terms of both aggregate numbers of users and time spent, and is still growing rapidly. Social networking passed email in terms of time spent in 2007, hitting about 100 billion minutes/month globally — it’s now twice that — and passed email in terms of raw user numbers in July of 2009, with more than 800 million. Given the rate at which Facebook has been growing, that number is probably now closer to a billion. Meeker attributes social networking’s success to the fact that it’s a “unified communications + multimedia creation tool/repository in your pocket.” And Japan’s experience makes how crucial mobile is to that equation: Mixi, one of the country’s largest social networks, has seen its mobile page views grow to 72 percent of the total from just 17 percent three years ago.