Managing Communications across a Pan-Latin Hemisphere

By Mike Valdes-Fauli, President of JeffreyGroup

There is significant interest and excitement about the Latin hemisphere these days. Countries like Brazil and Mexico have grown quickly in recent years, and the U.S. Hispanic market represented over 50% of total population growth in the United States over the past 10 years. However, the staggering figures often overshadow some interesting facts that too often go overlooked.

All Eyes Are On Latin America

Although you’ve probably heard that Latin America is home to more than 500 million people, the population that most companies want to reach is very concentrated. Of those 500 million, 200 million are located in Brazil, which has been one of the world’s fastest-growing economies for the past four years. Another 100 million are in Mexico – where the projected economic growth rate is now exceeding Brazil’s – and another 40 million in Argentina. So those three countries comprise about 70 percent of the total population of the region. They’re also home to the largest percentage of middle‐class consumers. Although there are other stable, high‐growth markets – such as Chile, Colombia and Peru – a huge disparity still exists between the rich and the poor in many Latin American countries and sometimes the smaller markets do not represent a significant amount of revenue or investment opportunities for large multinationals.

That’s why it usually makes the most sense for companies wanting to build their brands and capitalize on the region’s opportunities to focus on increasing visibility and awareness in the markets where it will make the most impact. It’s also important to take into account the huge cross‐border flow of news, information and content, particularly in all of the Spanish‐speaking countries. People watch much of the same television programming, hear the same information, and go to the same online sites, regardless of which country they happen to be in – which even includes the U.S. where much of the Spanish‐language programming is the same as it is in Mexico.

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