NEW YORK: Mobile and programmatic are strong emerging trends in digital marketing in Brazil according to an industry figure.

Users in Latin America are very highly engaged with mobile, Maren Lau, CMO at IMS Internet Media Services, a digital marketing and communications company with ten offices across the region, told eMarketer.

And she highlighted geolocation as being especially "hot" at the moment. "If you go to Brazil, you see that the taxi drivers and everyone else are using geolocation platforms," she said. "In Mexico as well, it is very popular."

Part of the reason is the investment that Brazil made ahead of last year's World Cup in things like 4G infrastructure and wifi in stadiums. "These kinds of capabilities … really provide a context [where] mobile can thrive," Lau noted.

And consumers are responding in a manner that is making Latin America is a mobile-first region. "As digital consumers grow, they're starting to use mobile and may not even have a computer," said Lau – upgrading from a feature phone to a smartphone means they don't have to invest in a desktop or a laptop.

This new type of digital consumer is also open to engaging with brands and receiving information from them, Lau reported, "as long as it's relevant".

Brazil's economy has hit a difficult patch, which has been reflected in falling advertising expenditure, but Lau said the share of digital was continuing to grow, with advertisers and agencies showing particular interest in programmatic.

"Programmatic is certainly a trend or a development in digital advertising overall," she said. "I see it gaining traction in Brazil first, then in other areas of Latin America. The reasons behind it are very similar to why programmatic is growing in the US –wanting to optimize your ROI and reach audiences."

But a lack of available digital inventory is holding up its progress. "And what is available is not yet piped into major programmatic platforms. So there's still a lot of work that needs to be done."

She observed that most advertisers continued to take a traditional approach – buying a demographic via a certain media – but as they became more comfortable with the idea of buying an audience, then "programmatic offers a huge advantage and provides tremendous value".

Data sourced from eMarketer; additional content by Warc staff