The Money Don’t Mean a Thing

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One particular blog entry stood out to me on Blogamericas.com, which stated that according to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Brazilians pay highest cell phone bills in the world.

The typical Brazilian citizen spends an average of $ 107.00 per month on a cell phone.  This amount is equivalent to U.S. $ 44.20.

The log also went on to point out that:

  • In Brazil, the price of a basic monthly mobile package – includes ONLY 25 calls per month and 30 torpedoes (SMS messages) –
  • In Brazil, in 2008, the cost of local cellular minutes in peak hours was $ 0.92 (Germany the average cost was only $ 0.06).
  • The average Brazilian pays above the global average for use of their phone to connect to the internet due to taxes, which in some states constitutes 40% of the overall bill.

Surprisingly, despite the atrocity of this data,  mobile phone companies are STILL increasingly targeting the slums and shanty towns of cities such as Rio and São Paulo in search of new customers.  In fact, 1.3 million NEW mobile phone users were registered in January 2009 alone–bringing the total number of users in Brazil to 151.9 million out of a total population of 190 million.

Economically, I do not understand how it is possible to get so many mobile subscribers given the cost analysis of these devices.  Nevertheless, the data proves that regardless of the cost the people of Brazil as well as around the world Want, Need and Live by their mobile devices and will not regress from it despite the cost.

A brand that is looking to promote their goods or services could very well use these stats to help them implicate the use of social media to reach the people of Brazil.

A Brand can take this information as a clear sign that as telecommunications continues to expand throughout Brazil and the rest of South America so will the opportunity for mobile media marketing campaigns.

Brands may also want to consider how they can use social media platforms to assist in making access to information about their products and services FREE to the people of Brazil.

For instance, when Nokia began launching its celluar phone to the people of Brazil, the phone came with music service that allowed the purchaser to download tracks unlimitedly for one year as part of a  purchase incentive.  Read more about that here.

Check out this video which describes the concept of the Free Generation.

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4 Responses to The Money Don’t Mean a Thing

  1. Moritz says:

    I like the stats on cell phone costs in your blog. Interesting perspective! It shows clearly that having a cell phone in this Latin American country is far different than having a cell phone in the U.S. or Germany. However, I think prices for the usage of mobile cell phones will eventually decrease the more people in Brazil get into “the mobile phone system.” What I am trying to say is that prices were very high to make a phone call or send a text message in Germany ten years ago, but decreased alot since then. Today, Germany has got one of the highest cell phone penetrations in the world: 110%. So, as you said at the end, the future looks good for marketers!

  2. juliaccartwright says:

    It is amazing to me too that mobile phones are so popular the world over with people of low socio-economic status. How do thery manage to pay for them? Of course they are less expensive than PCs or laptops, but if your only viable way of being connected is a mobile, you’ll find a way to pay for it. Free consumer information like you’ve detailed here would be invaluable to them in protecting against getting robbed by greed-driven mobile phone companies.

  3. shayvg says:

    Wow, that’s really crazy that people mobile companies are targeting individuals who live in poverty. Yet, the fact that they are actually successful is mind-blowing.

  4. Great firsthand research and stat finding to identify an interesting anomaly for the Brazilian market when it comes to the costs of mobile phones. As you rightly identify, this may create marketing opportunities for the right brands to help provide this service or subsidize the cost. What is missing to complete this post is an analysis or your thoughts on the campaign that you mention at the end of the post. Do you think it works or doesn’t work? What could other brands learn from it? As it stands, the post ends quite abruptly with the example – so further detail and thinking would have completed the thought you started in this post. (3)

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