Alejandro Suarez Sanchez-Ocana. TIME-sector employer since 1998, CEO of Group Publispain and the network of blogs Entertainment Networks SL, President of Inversora Foley, director and Founding Partner of Yes.fm, adviser and investor in several companies for innovation, new technologies and the Internet.
A few days ago I met a very interesting fact of the penetration of the Internet in Spanish-speaking countries. The fact is I nternet World Stats, and I saw it in an interesting blog Amado Martin, who visited with some frequency.
Always said that one of the key factors in order to ascertain the economic level of a home, is the volume of waste (garbage) that is generated every day. Sounds like a joke, but literally if you think about it. And a key factor in assessing a country's development is the% of Internet penetration in its population.
These are the objective facts:
Mexico: 23.7 million users / 21.8% penetration
Spain: 22.8 million users 56.5% penetration
Argentina: 16 million users / 39.7% penetration
Colombia: 10.1 million users / 22.8% penetration
Peru: 7.3 million users / 25.5% penetration
Chile: 7 million users / 43.2% penetration
Venezuela: 5.3 million users / 20.4% penetration
Dominican Republic: 2 million users / 22.4% penetration
Ecuador: 1.5 million users / 11.3% penetration
Guatemala: 1.3 million users / 10.4% penetration
Costa Rica: 1.2 million users / 29.4% penetration
Uruguay: 1.1 million users / 31.8% penetration
Puerto Rico: 0.9 million users / 23.2% penetration
El Salvador: 0.7 million users / 10.1% penetration
Bolivia: 0.6 million users / 6.4% penetration
Honduras: 0.4 million users / 4.6% penetration
Panama: 0.3 million users / 8.2% penetration
Paraguay: 0.3 million users / 3.9% penetration
Cuba: 0.2 million users / 2.1% penetration
Nicaragua: 0.1 million users / 2.7% penetration
From these data, several conclusions emerge.
First the more developed technologically in Spanish, would be in this order Spain, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay.
Countries like Spain with 22 million penetration and 45 million people have traveled a lot smaller than others such as Mexico with 110 million people and 23.7 million of penetration. But other countries such as Argentina (penetration 16 million people vs 40 million people), or to a lesser extent Colombia and Peru have the same potential tour Spain in absolute numbers.
Of course not all users "worth" the same thing. The purchasing power of each country and that is very different (though it sounds ugly, we can talk in terms of value). Years ago, virtually the only profitable IP Spanish, today the Latin IP can be profitable even at very distant from the IP Spanish (except Mexico and Chile each day closer except for the difference in changing the currency of reference Euro vs Dollar).
Normally from Spain widespread on the Latin IP (LATAM) and is a serious mistake. Nothing to do cost per thousand impressions (CPM) that we can obtain in countries like Mexico, Chile, with which we can obtain in others as Peru and Cuba . A campaign that in Mexico makes $ 0.70 CPM could easily convert to $ -0.1 $ 0.08 in Peru. We are talking about differences abysmal 700%.
Many Spanish companies and Internet technology, historically have not been interested in the Latino market. This has been for many causes, for e-commerce are obvious difficulties in export, customs, transport costs, poor implementation of payment systems at user level in many Spanish-speaking countries and so on. In 1999, was overcome these points simply an illusion. Today many are being overcome, although not entirely.
Regarding the advertising market is beginning to return, low-cost, but rentabiliza Spain from the Latin IP. That low-cost compounded by the fact that you mentioned before the huge difference of the current exchange Euro vs Dollar, which in the past 3 years has positioned itself to the stronger euro as their currency, making the markets from Spain to influence U.S. dollars are less interesting.
Today at a meeting at the offices of Entertainment Network, to which I finally moved my professional office, reminded in 1998 when some companies in the sector chose to "close" the access of IPs Latino their servers. It was the dawn of the Internet and at the time, with the high cost of bandwidth and server capacity much lower, were a significant cost (especially since then Mexico) and no income. I never closed to traffic from the IP anywhere. I always thought that it would reach profitability or at least that we should always look to these markets.
I firmly believe that they are the future. We speak of 362 million people in Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America, and 45 million Spaniards, in a market total of 407,000,000 people who share language (eye, do not count with many Spanish-speaking countries like Brazil, for example). Nothing that the penetration of the Internet reaches only 35% on average, we would be talking about a potential market of almost 150,000,000 people. With a penetration of 56% as the current Spain, only the Indian markets, Chinese and Anglo-Saxon will be higher worldwide on the Internet.
These days we are working on our project for a download site, which incidentally I have received very good ideas lately (the most interesting of Manuel Jimenez, of Coveralia hope that we can implement), and we defined that the key must be comprehensive Not only focused on the Spanish market, but the entire Latino market and we're working on it.
For this our first step is a solutions provider Global SMS and an advertising agency that can globally, exploiting the best possible advertising at Global. Overall focus, we are on track.
On one occasion, Carlos Blanco said in her blog and in public, as was the determination to create Pequejuegos, a website devoted to children born from observing the behavior of his son on the Internet and see how kind webs Disney, despite their undoubted quality, were not what his son was looking for. Thus was born a portal for years of great success and with a target set that last month printed about 15,000,000 page views on data from Nielsen.
The case is an exception, half the companies, including ours, despite being an interesting niche content have not created mostly for children; Garrafal a strategic mistake. The merit of Carlos is to observe, interpret and infer from the attitude of his young son in front of a computer a chance to market.
It no longer surprises us think that children have become increasingly active consumers. Assets in the sense that they intervene forcefully on the purchasing decisions of the family. Some researchers say that is due to the predominance of the family model "democratic" in which all decide. They, the small heavy users, have great influence on the decisions that were formerly in the plot of adults. I do not think that is due to a "democratization" of positions relatives. For me it is because parents are less present and replace this with no gifts to the child and allowing greater market access. The experts talk of compensation that puts parents in the place of everything but the presence of suppliers.
For this reason, the publicity has focused not only as a target for the sale of products for them, but also as intermediaries in the purchasing decisions of their parents. Adults have to ask ourselves where we went or what we were doing when the big brands in strategies bellow the line tell us what to buy for our children. It is obvious that we are not asking for advice from our children to buy a laptop computer, but perhaps if we do the shopping for breakfast or movie downloaded from emule, forgiveness, saying he wanted to rent the weekend.
Today kids can choose between the various proposals in addition to the usual advertising (cinema, television, radio, publications) because the Internet has come .... but also in other areas such as school. The United States has even school sponsored by companies with interests in children. Not something that happens in many other countries yet and may even be ethically questionable.
And not only offered food and toys, today added mobile phones, ringtones and logos, Ipods, etc. are products that in some segments have a clear target children who are behaving more like a toy or web portals where they find more information about cartoons, games and merchandising. The brands that were previously only moving screens film and television (like Disney and other entertainment industries child), are positioned on the Internet today is very strong in this segment.
The new generations are digital natives, unlike us, and we can not conceive of life without the media, something that happens to us because many of us. They know the world pre-internet and is now part of their lives. Parents should make sure their children understand what content is commercial and what not.
The number of children who are connecting to the Internet and its influence on prescribing and consumer habits is not a number you should disregard: 7 out of 10 Spanish children use the Internet and 6 out of 10 are mobile. Internet is used as a tool in school, but also email, IM, and social networks are part of consumer habits technological child. On the other hand, we must not forget that mobile phones aimed at children, began to be a "gift" to maintain a contact remote, and this fact brings us back to the top: the lack of presence of parents.
We are in a consumer society that has increasingly small but experienced, restless, insistent, informed. New technologies are responsible for this major new figure of the child ... but also the parents.
Sifting through balance sheets of some of our businesses we are detecting a disturbing trend since last December 2007, while during 2006 and 2007 we experienced defaults were absolutely residual, in recent months have shot up dramatically.
This, which many hoped, we expected that did not affect squarely to the technology sector if it is affecting: personally see it as international companies have difficulties in meeting its economic agreements with us, or like 3 domain names that have sold in recent months from the crowd, the 2 that have been important figures have ended in failure.
Yesterday I read Expanding an interesting article under the title "The record number of bankruptcies in the trade progresses a serious extension of the crisis." I see that defaults have grown by 85% in the last period in Spain.
I will not return to play the theme of the economic crisis, for those interested only recommend some interesting post with many interesting comments on the blog of Carlos Blanco, but if I have a small reflection of the impact of these new developments in the technology sector .
Those of us who spend months listening to the internet to bring the sector will suffer less "than others and that we can be more or less quiet. Come on, that this will not be as 1993, in which all moments, to a greater or lesser degree turn complicated moments. Ojo, relied on it can be fatal!
I think that if we stay still, motionless, regodeándonos in this style of thinking, thinking "are bad but it could be worse, as it is possibly in other sectors," do a disservice to our companies and we have to start moving and adapt to a new reality that will go to worse.
For several months, watching the price of the dollar, the collapse of Adsense advertising, CPM's falling, agreements to be renegotiated in September, the difficulties of selling advertising agencies involved in branding and changing cycle of advertising toward sales strategies and pure hard and getting ready for what comes over in months that are going to be tough as September and January-February, we have launched a small plan of spending cuts and containment in the daily life of our businesses and Also on our investments. It is possible that some of these measures come a little early, but I think it is only gray skies today, but in the background is black black black ... and I think we should all prepare ourselves for what we yield to us. If also in this sector and say what they say the figures macro sectoral analyst on duty.
Alejandro Suarez's blog.