Interview: How Peru business should approach Internet marketing


How can Peruvian firms take advantage of Internet advertising?

Thanks to the Internet it is now easier than ever to find an international audience, the trick is in knowing what approach best suits your business and your product. Some of our bigger clients in the travel industry operate a huge web presence and they need to be thinking about reaching the first place on Google, advertising campaigns, even things like how Facebook and social media can bring them new clients.

Aly Mahan.

Give an example.

Smaller clients, for example independent clothing producers trying to branch out of the local tourist trade and sell directly to clients in the United States, also benefit from investment, finding that they can compete with major vendors just by having a solid presence online.

How many businesses are currently considering this?

Every smart business owner is thinking about it, the problem is that currently there is very little support for these firms and very little knowledge of how to succeed online. We started working with clients in Lima and realized that there are no dedicated English-language marketing services for firms here. That’s a problem because to succeed in this area you don’t only need web and marketing experts, you also need a team of people with extremely high standard, native level English. It’s very difficult to sell to anyone unless you can communicate with them perfectly. And we found that we were the first people in Lima that were combining the two.

What’s the future for e-commerce in Peru?

This is an exciting time for business in Peru because the opportunities for growth seem to expand on a daily basis. Peru is especially fortunate because so much of what it sells to the world remains in high demand despite the global recession. Think about it, even when times are tight people still like to travel, they still need high quality clothes, raw materials, fresh produce and all the other things that Peruvian companies export. That’s why so many Peruvian firms are still doing very well.

What about domestic markets? Does the same apply?

Obviously the English-speaking market within Peru is much smaller, but it still exists and there are a lot of businesses trying to sell to that market. The great thing about the Internet is that it has changed the rules of the rules of marketing. Small businesses can compete because you don’t require huge upfront investments in commercials and print ads and everything else that used to cost a fortune. Getting to the top spot on a search engine is actually a very affordable and easily achievable process, which means that even small businesses selling to relatively small markets can afford to invest in a successful online marketing campaign.

What would your advice be to business owners trying to reach these markets?

The first thing you need to work out is whether the Internet is an important marketing channel for your product and your market. Basically it’s about whether or not people are searching online for the things that you sell. Once you have that knowledge you can think about the tools that you need to be using. A website is pretty much standard, but the way it is built and configured depends on what you are trying to achieve. Then you need to think about the different strategies: are you focusing on search engines or an online ad campaign? Do your products and clients suit platforms like YouTube or Facebook? There are a huge number of tools that exist, the trick is in knowing how to use each one for your own goals.