A digital divide still persists in Latin America, where 56% of metropolitan Brazilians and Mexicans are online. Understanding their differences in behavior and level of engagement is critical for marketers seeking an effective media allocation mix for Latin America.
Here are some highlights from a new Forrester Latin American Technographics survey of more than 6,000 urban consumers in the 12 largest metropolitan regions in Brazil and 10 in Mexico:
Broadband adoption is emerging but at different rates. While 45% of Brazilians — 50 million metropolitan adults — connect to the internet via broadband, Mexicans are adopting at a much slower rate of only 28%, or 16 million metropolitan consumers.
Similar to what we’ve seen in other countries, the low adoption numbers are not influenced by consumers using at-home dial-up instead of broadband. Rather, these consumers do not have home computer access in the first place.
Degree of online engagement is not similar — Brazilians are more active and social. Although online Brazilians and Mexicans are on par with the fundamentals like emailing, online Brazilians demonstrate higher levels of online engagement overall. The biggest difference is in social media. Brazilians are fanatical about social media: 63% of them regularly use social networking sites, adding up to 40 million metropolitan consumers. This is in stark contrast to Mexico, where only 22% of online metropolitan Mexicans — 7 million people — use social networking sites.
Many offline consumers find the internet mysterious. In markets where the internet is relatively new, such as Brazil and Mexico, many consumers are still trying to understand what it will add to their lives. This is reflected in the fact that 66% of offline Mexicans and 44% of offline Brazilians say they aren’t online because they just don’t know enough about the internet. Furthermore, about one-third of offline consumers in both countries say that they will never go online.
I’ve traveled extensively to Latin America over the last month, and one of the things most striking about technology adoption in the region is the ubiquity of cellphones: 75% of all metro consumers in the two countries own a mobile phone. (Read the Whole Story)
Amadou M. Sall
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