Mexico & Brazil: Amazon’s Hottest New Markets
Today, we’re catching up with our Director General of LATAM, Carlos Corona, for insight into the Latin American (LATAM) ecommerce landscape, recent Amazon Mexico trends and opportunities, and for an update on our new Macarta Brazil office. Currently, Carlos manages team operations for the Macarta Mexico City office that serves LATAM clients in a number of industries.
Q: Now that we’re a year into the new “corona-conomy”, what’s the LATAM landscape for Amazon and how is that influencing what you’re doing at Macarta Mexico?
It’s hard to tell right now. When this all started, some companies saw a 2,000% growth month-over-month within the first 2 months, which is unheard of for such a young market. For the entire year, we were trying to catch up, in a way, to something that was so outside of our control and difficult to measure.
In Mexico, the growth of ecommerce and the Amazon marketplace has been so impactful that many companies have been forced to adopt an Amazon strategy just to stay competitive. Although many brands had already been considering a shift to Amazon, the last year accelerated that timeline. Many companies who had never discussed ecommerce or Amazon as viable options began to take notice and make the shift. Now, there’s a variety of companies — some with basic Amazon strategy and some completely new to the game — that have grown tremendously and now they’re looking to invest in new tools and to diversify the strategies that they’re implementing on Amazon.
At the moment, forecasting is a bit difficult for companies that are new-to-market. I trust that Macarta and the investment in Amazon Mexico will continue to grow, but there are so many factors that play into the equation. From the current state of the economy to stores opening back up, to people deciding whether to continue shopping online or go back to regular stores — we’re taking all of this into consideration while taking advantage of the current trends.
These things considered, we’re asking our clients to be as flexible with their advertising investments as they can. Whenever we pitch a new client, we strongly suggest a trial period so that we can better understand the category and analyze the state of their account. This time allows us to gain insights into their competition, define growth opportunities, and gives us the ability to provide more accurate quarterly reporting especially with COVID throwing off annual numbers.
Q: What are some recent Amazon trends and opportunities you’ve picked up on?
We try to consider the results of Amazon U.S. when we think about LATAM trends. Amazon Mexico is a few years behind in both category growth and tool availability so the adoption of new beta programs and new features in the US are delayed in Mexico. The main trends we are focusing on right now in Mexico are video(especially sponsored brands video), the Demand-Side Platform (DSP), as well as Brand Stores. The ongoing priority for our clients is improving engagement with their customers through consistent content optimization and maximizing those trends and tools as best as possible.
Another trend to look out for is gaming. The team jokes with me about this because I’m pushing it so much, but I believe there’s a huge opportunity to use the DSP to attract Twitch users — it opens the door to a younger audience. Beyond gamers, the main audience consists of people ages 18 to 34 and they are engaged on average of an hour and a half per day. The format of Twitch allows us to gather a lot of information on them – what they like, don’t like, what they invest in, etc. These insights give us the tools to target this demographic and utilize these learnings to create a full-funnel marketing strategy on Amazon.
Q: Tell me about the Brazil project. We’ve opened an office there, can you share some of the details?
From the moment that we launched Macarta in Mexico, Brazil wasn’t yet on our minds. In 2020, we went to Ad Week Latin America, which is a huge event for our industry. During the event, we met with prospective clients, many of which with a global presence and asked us specifically about Brazil because the Brazillian market is three times the size of Mexico.
Amazon launched in Brazil in 2012, but the platform has shown rapid growth in the last two years with new advertising capabilities on the way. With the spike in demand from our LATAM brands, we found an amazing partner agency and began preparations for launch.
Shortly after, we launched Amazon’s DSP in Brazil and the first campaign was extremely successful which set a great foundation for our rapid growth. Since the launch of our first campaign, our team has expanded — we’re growing our brand partnerships and hiring more team members along the way.
This is a new frontier for us — every marketplace and industry comes with its own trends, processes and workflows, but I’m confident we will continue to grow with the support of our (rapidly growing) team of experts.
Q: That’s really exciting! What would you say you’re most excited about for Macarta Brazil?
The size of the market — it’s crazy. Mexico was a challenge because it required learning the nuances of a new platform, growing our business in different countries, and adapting our knowledge of the US. It has forced us to go back to basics with each new launch because Amazon is just now getting its sea legs in Mexico and Brazil.
As one of the leading agencies on the continent, we’re excited to utilize our international team to continue global expansion and provide more opportunities for brand partners.
Q: Anything else you’re excited to share?
The Latin American team has grown exponentially in the last two years and we now have experts in every area of the business — designers, copywriters, account managers, DSP specialists and more. With the support of our Amazon partners and our growing team of LATAM Amazon experts, we are expecting massive expansion in Mexico this year and beyond.