Being relevant in the digital world, the challenge for brands


Competition in the digital world is no longer focused on the lowest price, but on who offers a better value proposition, which is why marketplaces are presented as a key channel when it comes to highlighting the presence of brands and making them relevant to buyers.

It is not a secret that online sales channels grew strongly driven by the situation, in the United States, for example, e-commerce grew in just three months what was projected for 10 years, in the region the penetration of these channels went from 4% to 9%, and projections say that Latin America will be the one that will grow the most in the world in 2021.

According to Juan Andrés Martínez, manager of Mercado Ads in Colombia, the pandemic led people to adapt and buying cycles shortened, for example, in Mercado Libre, loyal buyers went from buying every 22 days to every 216, frequent buyers from 98 days to 41 and sporadic buyers from almost once a year to every two months.

In terms of advertising to reach those buyers, it has been interesting to see how the budget of companies is being allocated to digital channels, in the Colombian case, for example, 43% of the total investment in advertising is focused on these digital media, far above treacherous television and media, and marketplaces are becoming a relevant option.

“In the region, we hope that, as eCommerce penetration increases, the leading marketplace will take on a similar relevance to other regions -explains manager Martínez- Today the third player in the region is Mercado Libre, and there is room for growth and reach international proportion. An example of this is what happens in China or the United States, with players in the advertising pie like Alibaba and Amazon, where brands invest more and more in these marketplaces because they see the relevance of being there to reach their buyer segments “.

What are brands betting on?

In the most recent CMO Network, organized between Mercado Ads and Forbes, the Vice President of Marketing of Claro Colombia, Ingrid Pérez, explained that in the telecommunications sector one of the main focuses is the point of sale, and is limited by The pandemic should have changed, that 38% of the investment goes to digital channels and they find in the marketplaces an important place for more people to reach their products.

“60% of Claro’s clients are over 35 years old, so we must see their relationship with technology and how we offer simple solutions. It is no longer the prettiest packaging or the biggest advertisement, now it is who gives me the most value, the competition is no longer based on price, but on the brand promise, the link with consumers, the digital world challenged us, today a campaign on television or traditional media goes unnoticed in the digital world, you have to segment differently and know where to be and how ”, explains the vice president.

Another of the guests was Ronald Matamoros, Chief Digital & Marketing Officer, L’Oréal Peru, and Colombia, who said that eCommerce worldwide compensated for almost 40% of the market decline and his bet is on a 50% investment in digital media with professionals who were not previously data scientists or trade marketers, all in a strategy oriented to first-hand data to understand the consumer, use information from digital channels to develop strategies and products in their factories, such as that of Vogue in Colombia.

“We have a presence in marketplaces such as Mercado Libre and direct channels with the consumer, the key is to understand what role each channel plays, where to be in the eCommerce ecosystem and diversify for a 360 strategy,” says Chief Matamoros, and reveals that before I had identified the type of buyer for each brand, but this has expanded and is becoming very variable; Furthermore, not all the products of a brand will be in all sales channels. “We must aim at value for your money, packages, routines, understand that it is not the same to buy by supply, by impulse or by an event like Black Friday, and there the importance of data to understand consumers is even clearer”.

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For his part, Carlos Salcedo, Media Manager for the Andean region of Colgate-Palmolive, argues that the strategies should be adjusted to the extent that presence returns and people go to the points of sale with a much more planned purchase decision.

“The change will continue to occur in all marketplaces, each person has a very different approach when making a purchase and their expectations are different. You have to understand each of the sales channels and know which is the best for each product. The reason for buying toothpaste in an app can be due to immediate need, in a retailer it can be a planned purchase or of more products, in a marketplace it can be for both reasons, they are different types of purchase, and that requires constant learning of how we offer value in each channel ”, emphasizes Salcedo.

The last guest, Miguel Tafur, Digital Manager of LG Electronics Colombia, says that at the online level they leverage sales with their most important allies, which are hypermarkets, and have been working on direct sales models through marketplaces.

Your strategy is oriented to bring traffic to your website so that users consult the products or specifications and link with the purchase channels. “Within LG each category is a different world, television, appliances, monitors, audio, each with different objectives. One strategy would be aimed at knowing the products, another at the conversion and purchase, etc. In the marketplaces we found that the main competitors had official stores, so we started a project, in the development phase, with Mercado Libre to soon have a direct sales channel ”.

The importance of branding

Manager Martínez says that a strategy for clients who advertise in Mercado Libre is to present the audiences that are looking for their products and segment the advertising campaigns, which would influence when buying. “Some brands transfer their budget to eCommerce channels and there the branding is very relevant, not only to focus on performance but also to think beyond that for each peso invested I hope to obtain five immediately. It is seeing the effectiveness of traditional channels, their price compared to a marketplace for branding and taking advantage of the purchasing mindset ”, he concludes.

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