Brazil's Deep Dive into Mobile Marketing

The CEO of Brazil-based digital agency DM9Sul shares strategies for engaging mobile users.
Customer Experience

Brazil has emerged as one of the next major opportunities in mobile marketing, with a significant increase in the number of consumers using mobile to purchase products, reinforcing its new stage of economic development.

While smartphones have largely saturated the U.S. market, Brazil leads Latin America in smartphone adoption. By 2018, Brazil will have about 71.9 million smartphone users up from 38.8 million in 2014, estimates eMarketer. The U.S. is expected to have 220 million smartphone users by 2018 as compared to 165.3 million in 2014.

As smartphone usage grows, brands and digital agencies see an opportunity to engage consumers in Brazil with mobile-focused campaigns. 1to1 Media spoke with Marcio Callage, chief executive officer and creative director of DM9Sul, a subsidiary of DDB Worldwide, about the challenges of engaging mobile users in Brazil.

1to1 Media: What is the mobile app landscape like in Brazil and how would you compare it to the U.S.?
Marcio Callage:
In the U.S. there's a lot of talk of people being "mobile first" and Brazil is also moving in that direction. For example, apps for taxi services are very popular here. EasyTaxi and other apps compete with Uber in Brazil. And so when we think about content we're always thinking of how it will appear on a small screen.

Can you give me an example of a mobile campaign?
Netshoes is a huge Brazilian sporting goods online store with 40,000 products. Last year they asked us to help them create awareness for their new app and their brand during the Christmas shopping season in Sao Paulo. But Sao Paulo has a law that restricts a lot of out-of-home advertising. Unlike Times Square where you can have tons of billboards, Sao Paulo is called a clean city where the most ads you'll see are in stores or on bus stops.

We wanted to find a different way to advertise the app in Oscar Freire Street, which is a very busy street with lots of stores and shoppers. We found a space between two stores that was a little wider than 37 centimeters where we inserted an iPad with Netshoes' app. We kept it there for two weeks and the idea was to have people notice the app and realize they could shop from a selection of 40,000 products on their phones.

What were the results of the campaign?
The campaign's purpose was to increase brand awareness and show people that Netshoes is innovative. And of course the campaign also drove more app downloads. I don't have the exact number, but we helped them reach a million downloads within a few months.

How does Netshoes get users to continue engaging with the app after they've downloaded it?
MC: They're doing push notifications about special promotions for app users and email marketing. It's easier to engage people if they already have the app on their phones so it's important to offer things like special discounts to keep that relationship.

For example, for another client, we created a mobile game for men to play while they were shopping with their girlfriends or wives. Since men usually have nothing to do while they're waiting in a store, they could play The Boyfriend's Game and unlock coupons for that store and other participating stores so everyone wins.

What are other strategies for getting people's attention on a mobile screen?
MC: In Brazil, people are very sociable and they've transferred that behavior to social networks. A lot of people like to share content and you're more likely to look at something from your friends or people you know. Things like videos with a lot of humor or emotion is very popular in Brazil so brands are focusing on making that kind of content. And we know people are looking at these videos on their phones, so great content that people want to share that's made specifically for mobile is important.