Marketing To Latin Americans Is A Long-Term Commitment

I am excited to announce that my first report that draws from our Latin American Technographics® data — entitled Understanding Latin American Online Consumers— is now available. (For Forrester clients who do not subscribe to our Latin American Technographics data, there is a shorter version of the report that you can access here.) I hope that our readers find a lot of valuable takeaways in this report. One aspect I want to highlight here is that understanding the Latin American market requires a long-term commitment.

Although the Internet has been around for almost two decades, Latin American’s active presence in the online world is relatively new. Our data shows that 58% of metropolitan Brazilians and 53% of metropolitan Mexicans are online at least monthly or more. While these may sound like exciting numbers for developing markets, two caveats stand out to me: 1) non-metropolitan populations will have much lower penetration, and 2) consumers in these metropolitan markets are just starting to familiarize themselves with the Internet — as evidenced by their generally lower Internet activity compared with other regions we cover. However, certain trends, such as the use of social media, suggest ways in which companies can connect with certain Latin American consumers online.

Reliable data is one resource that will help you, as market researchers, get familiar with the nuances of this market and understand the degree to which your target customers are engaging with the online world in Latin America. And, regardless of how connected your consumers are today, this market will be evolving as technology and infrastructure develop in the region. If you’re serious about marketing to Latin Americans, you need to continuously follow the development of the Internet culture in Latin America so that you can successfully advise your executives on when and how to implement a digital strategy.

 To be successful, keep these three things in mind:

  • Be familiar with the factors that will energize Internet growth.
  • Determine the correct media allocation mix for your company’s target audience.
  • Understand how to connect with your company’s customers within each country.


I hope this report and other findings that I will uncover throughout the year will help you understand how to connect with your target audience and position your company correctly in Latin America.

As always, I welcome any reaction to or comments on the findings and recommendations in the report. Happy reading.


Congrats on this new product

Congrats on this new product launch!

Marketing to Latin Americans

Latin Americans are rapidly adoption Internet tools (e.g., social media, etc.). What's lagging is the ability and cultural wherewithal of local companies to take advantage of this fact. Companies down here are more hierarchical (with some exceptions) than their counterparts in other regions. Open and Authentic leadership is required in order to get closer to customers and there's still a long road to traverse there.

RE: Congrats on this new product

Thanks Joe! It is always good to have support from a colleague. I look forward to reading your book "Latino Link: How to build brands with community and content" when it comes out in August.


RE: Marketing to Latin Americans


Thank you for your comment. That is definitely our goal here at Forrester - to help companies understand how consumers are using technology in their daily lives. It is my hope that by collecting this valuable data in Latin America, I and my colleagues at Forrester can demonstrate what a unique and phenomenal opportunity companies have to engage with Latin American consumers. One that is not as easily found in other markets. In my travels to South America and conversations with companies, I am starting to see some traction with companies regarding strategic plans to use Internet tools like social media to engage with their customers beyond just simply stating the company needs a Twitter account. Now whether companies will use these tools and ensure that they are interactive and rewarding to the consumer rather than simply a one-way broadcast will be the question.