Brazil has overtaken the UK to become the world's sixth largest economy in the last couple of months, drawing the eyes of British marketers towards Latin America. With a rapidly expanding middle class of about 90 million consumers, it is a market that no brand can afford to ignore. Brazil's economy grew by 7.5% in 2010 and although that slowed to 3.5% last year, it is in sharp contrast to predictions that the Eurozone economy will shrink by up to 2% in 2012.
But it is not just the sheer number of potential customers that makes Brazil so attractive for British brands. The country is the fifth largest globally in terms of digital users, with around 91 million people online, according to Forrester research. This gives marketers the opportunity to reach consumers through cost-effective digital marketing, products and services.
Olga Martinez Garcia, Diageo's marketing and innovation director for Latin America, agrees: "One of the special things about Brazil is that it is â€˜leapfrogging' trends. For example, people are jumping straight from not having used technology at all to having smartphones. "As a marketer, you have to anticipate this adoption of technology and make sure you have the right content and tools available for your brand."
A concerted push by the government to offer free Wi-Fi means that Brazilians are now the third highest users of the internet out of all nations, according to research by Ebiquity. The UK is well-placed to make the most of this, says Thomas Fabre, EMEA marketing director of Brazilian footwear brand Havaianas. "Brazil is growing very fast and, as a digital leader, the UK can bring a lot of added value to this market," he adds.
Brazil has also fallen in love with YouTube and is sixth in the world based on video views, according to a study by EMarketer. This offers mainstream British and US brands a route into the market; companies such as Nissan, Burger King, Whirlpool and Visa have capitalised on this by launching new products with large budget video campaigns.
Trends, digital marketing, social media, and multichannel marketing will be key discussion points at the upcoming Loyalty World Brasil and Loyalty World USA events in Sao Paulo, September 25th-27th and Las Vegas, October 29th-31st, respectively.