In the past 10 years, Brazil has experienced stable growth in its economy, attracting investments from abroad and maintaining the internal development of its social programs.
While the population of Brazil is more than 196 million, it is estimated that the number of mobile subscriptions in the country is closer to 220 million. This incredible number of mobile phones in Brazil indicates a huge opportunity for marketing and advertising, especially for mobile Internet.
Growth in Brazilian mobile phones and services is due to several factors, including:
- Influx of smartphones with 3G technologies;
- Access to new and more advantageous data plans;
- Growing income among Brazilians.
Carriers of mobile phones in Brazil such as Vivo, TIM, Claro, and OI have presented more attractive plans to its consumers, elevating the number of text messages and online access. Nevertheless, Internet access on mobile phones remains expensive, reducing its use and distribution only among those with higher incomes.
As the mobile market grows, more companies are seeking the benefits of reaching out to the increasing number of consumers using this platform. Through several campaigns such as “text to win” or “like us” on Facebook, companies have invested in mobile phone technology in Brazil as a way to get in touch with consumers and spread their brand recognition among the population that is accessing this technology.
Among some of the challenges faced by mobile phone marketing in Brazil is the limited access most consumers have to the internet. Although social programs developed by the Brazilian government in the past decade have allowed low-income Brazilian families to have access to mobile phones, this portion of the population usually holds pre-paid accounts, which limits online access and other more expensive applications.
With the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games approaching, the growing mobile market presents itself as a solid opportunity for marketing in Brazil.
A strong domestic consumer market aligned with Brazilian interest in social media can effect real change in the way business is done in Brazil. Up to now, most of the advertising in the country is concentrated on TV, followed by newspaper, and online. Diversifying this pool through mobile technologies can provide an edge to companies who are willing to explore and invest in Brazil.
Paulo Lima is senior advisor in the Hispanic practice at Lagrant Communications.