Latin America is the fourth largest regional online market, behind Asia, Europe, and Africa. The increase of mobile phones and tablets accounts for some of this growth in online traffic, as Latin Americans use mobile phones most frequently for browsing the internet. In 2018, 68% of the population across Latin America and the Caribbean was connected to a mobile network, and that number will increase to 74% by 2025, closing the gap on the developed market average (87%).
This online growth has shifted the digital media landscape and changed the way travel marketers communicate with their audiences. Digital marketing is utilized now more than ever in Latin America, accounting for almost half of all travel marketing budgets (45%). And 77% of Latin American travel marketers plan on increasing their digital ad spend in 2019.
To understand how travel marketers are addressing these challenges in a growing region, Sojern took a deep dive into the findings from the global State of the Industry: 2019 Report on Travel Advertising and broke them out into our 2019 Latin America Report on Travel Advertising. Here are a few of the key trends we observed for the region:
Trend #1: Digital is Growing Faster Than Ever
Digital advertising represents the largest portion of ad spend for Latin American marketers in 2018 at 45%. That number will grow as more people access the internet; in fact, three in four (77%) travel marketers plan to spend more on digital in 2019. Major drivers for this online growth will be Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia.
When broken down by country, Mexico allots 46% of their spend to digital, 51% goes to digital in Brazil, and 57% in Colombia.
Trend #2: Latin American Metrics Differ from Global Trends
Globally, marketers report their top metrics to measure ad campaign effectiveness include traffic to their website and cost per booking—Latin American travel marketers agree.
Latin American travel marketers place a greater importance on brand lift metrics when compared to global trends. Of those surveyed, 23% of Latin American marketers said they use brand lift to measure the effectiveness of an ad, while just 19% view brand awareness as an effective measurement globally.
Trend #3: Big Tech Players Are Disrupting the Industry
Last year, Amazon began placing Echo devices in select hotel rooms, starting with Marriott Hotels—enhancing the hotel guests’ experience through the power of voice commands.
“Amazon is not thinking about launching into the travel industry—Amazon is already in the travel industry.” – Mat Harris, Vice President of Product, Sojern
Both global opinion and Latin America rank Facebook and Instagram with the highest ability to disrupt travel marketing (global at 49% and Latin America at 51%), Amazon the second highest (global at 46% and Latin America at 47%), and Google Ads the third highest (41% for both). Of note, no other region falls more in line with the global trends than Latin America. For example, in the Middle East, travel marketers rank Amazon the highest at 43% with Facebook and Instagram at 35%—showing far less optimism about the disruptive capabilities from the incumbent big tech players.
Looking for more detail on the key challenges travel marketers face, how they’re allocating advertising budget across channels, where they are finding success, and what technologies may impact the future of marketing?
Download our full 2019 Latin America Report on Travel Advertising today.