Ketchum Interactive Communications Manager, Ketchum Estratégia, São Paulo
Consumers in Emerging Markets May Be Setting the Pace for Media Use
With 184 million inhabitants, Brazil is known for its natural beauty, rich culture and people. However, the country also has been appearing in the headlines because of its passion for technology and new media. Brazilians, for instance, hold a leadership position in terms of Internet usage. During the month of October 2007, Brazilians using the Web surfed 23 hours and 12 minutes on average—ahead of countries like France, the United States, Germany and Japan, according to Ibope/NetRatings.
“Here in Brazil, tools like Microsoft MSN and Google social network Orkut surpass e-mail as the most-used online communication systems. This represents a major opportunity for public relations in Brazil.”
We are talking about 39 million Internet users—21 percent of the population—who have virtually unlimited access to different kinds of media and, as a result, have a great influence. Brazilians lead the way in use of social networking, blogs, video sharing and search engines. Here in Brazil, tools like Microsoft MSN and Google social network Orkut surpass e-mail as the most-used online communication systems.
This represents a major opportunity for public relations in Brazil, and this trend is poised to gain momentum when we consider that the government managed to reduce the prices of personal computers—leading to record PC sales in 2007. And it may get even bigger still considering negotiations aiming to require telecom carriers to offer bandwidth access in every Brazilian city. Today, high-speed Internet access reaches only about 4 percent of the population; mobile marketing can reach a broader customer base with more than 100 million cell phones.
Still, both the Internet and mobile marketing have incredible potential for facilitating dialogue and collaboration with consumers. And Brazilians are clearly ready for such interactive communications. Communicators who want to reach them should have interactivity built into the DNA of their PR strategies.