This past week I was fortunate to visit Brazil on a business trip along with my colleague Jason Burby, where we made presentations in Rio de Janeiro and São Paolo during a series of targeted Web analytics and marketing events.
Naturally, I was curious to see and understand firsthand what the differences are between U.S. and Brazil in terms of current marketing trends, online goals, and Web analytics challenges.
What’s the Same?
Much like in our own backyard, Web analytics in Brazil is a maturing discipline and marketers are making analytics a priority. Conference attendance was tremendous and mirrored the increasing demand we’ve seen this year at the industry events we presented at in the U.S.
A few highlights:
- Data-driven design: A major theme of the conferences, and the core of our presentation, was focused on how to strike the right balance between the creative and analytic sides of online marketing to leverage the data for greater insights into customer behavior and marketing ROI (define) without becoming overly data-driven and risk adverse.
- Online branding: The audience was very interested in the latest trends on how to build an online community through consumer participation and consumer-generated media. As in the U.S., traditional offline spend is shifting online and organizations are hungry to learn how to measure online brand lift and the monetary value of desired behaviors that aren’t transactional. We shared a few case studies on what leading consumer brands are doing to achieve greater results online.
- Goals and KPIs: No matter where I am in the world, I consistently see the gap marketing organizations must bridge to start an analysis process. They need to clearly define business, site, and individual goals, then define the key performance indicators (KPIs) that align to those goals to effectively monitor the health and performance of their initiatives. We spend a lot of time discussing simple yet successful methodologies for establishing a process within the marketing organization to turn their analysis into action.
- Market opportunity. Outside of Google and WebTrends, the other leading tool providers haven’t yet built out local sales and distribution channels of any significant size in Latin America. This may be due to a lack of perceived market opportunity or just a natural sign of the market maturing. From audience size and interest level we saw at these two events, I think this region could experience tremendous growth in the next few years and become as competitive as it is here.
- Tools of the trade. The explosive growth we see in the U.S. toward hosted Web analytics applications is non-existent in Brazil. Due to the lack of technical infrastructure (e.g., cost and speed of data transfer to vendor-hosted data centers), the market is currently heavily weighted toward software solutions. As the infrastructure is built, we’ll see a similar shift toward hosted solutions due to the convenience factor it provides to marketing organizations.
- Web analysts. Whereas in the U.S. we’re seeing the emergence of the Web analyst as a strategic job role and function (whether in-house or outside consultants), there are very few experienced Web analytics professionals in Brazil at present. This will change within the next few years.
- Site optimization. Few organizations we met with currently conduct A/B or multivariate testing. These concepts were seen as something they’re planning to do 18-24 months from now. For many U.S. companies we work with, this is a key online initiative this year.
I’d like to thank Francisco and Gabriel Camargo of CLM Software for inviting and hosting us in their wonderful country. If you haven’t been to Brazil, I highly recommend the trip. You’ll enjoy some of the best BBQ and friendliest service of your life.
If you want to share your own international perspectives on Web marketing or analysis, please email me with your feedback, questions, or comments.