How To Understand Latin America?

The world market is huge and made up of many regions and countries. Based on the purposes that are had from the beginning, it can be classified into one number or another of subdivisions. To cite an example, the ESOMAR or European Society for Opinion and Marketing for its acronym in English contemplates dividing it into at least seven regions: Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, North America and Latin America. This division responds to trade union needs for Market Research.

However, there are other mechanisms to regionalize our world. We believe it is important to clarify this point in order to answer the question that titles our blog post this week. This issue gains more weight when many people find it difficult to delimit what is also known as LATAM in Marketing. To cite a case of how relative the definition of this region can be, some people include Mexico here, others consider it a kind of bridge with North America, and still others consider it an indissoluble part of its neighbors in Central and South America.

This issue is not a minor thing. Although what is considered Latin America can be understood by most as a space within the American Continent where languages with roots in Latin are spoken (Spanish, Portuguese and French, to name the ones with the most speakers), the coincidences seem to start and end there. Although most countries share a common past, the evidence shows us that the differences between neighbors are more prevalent and this has prevented integration projects such as the European Union.

Although the same language is spoken in most of the Latin American nations, it is true that even in the way of speaking there are great differences that are well worth considering. Anyone who knows some countries can attest that sometimes it is difficult to understand the Buenos Aires Spanish of Uruguay and Argentina, that of Chile and Cuba, to mention some classic cases. A separate case is Brazilian Portuguese, which even maintains marked differences with its contemporary European version.

These differences force market analysts to consider several reservations when standardizing research projects in LATAM. This reason also takes into account the differences in the demographic, legislative, political, economic structure and habits of each participant in the region. It is enough to review right now the situation in Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador and Mexico to corroborate this point. Although they are on the same list of members, each one has conditions that make them go very different paths.

Due to what has been described above, it is very difficult to think that in the medium term there will be a regional organization that manages to harmonize the economies and policies of the potential signatories. The intention of some South American States (a subregion of LATAM) to establish a common currency was recently reactivated, but the fluctuations in the presidencies of the neighbors makes it unlikely that this policy will materialize soon. Even today it can be observed that foreign trade relations with the foreigner are carried out between each country or, on some occasions, by groups of members with some degree of affinity at a particular moment.

This great diversity is what explains why it is complex to develop studies in various Latin American countries. Companies and agencies that have experience in LATAM know that particular communications and conditions must be considered for each country to be analyzed; even if the scope is restricted to countries with more monetary and/or economic weight. Having allies who understand and know how to handle these big differences allows us to optimize time and resources.

Acertiva is a Market Research agency that has almost 20 years of experience in this region of the world. We understand the complexity of understanding LATAM and that is why we put our contacts in Brazil and Mexico at your disposal. If you are about to carry out a project, write to us now so that you can share your needs and in turn we can tell you how we can write your next success story together.

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