What About The Invisible Markets?

Market Research is a very complex discipline. Although its primary focus is generally on established markets, it is not likely to ignore any and all forms of exchange between those who buy and sell products and services. In Latin America, the component of the informal or invisible market takes on greater weight, which in several countries of the region represents an important part of the total economy.

There are many practices that attest to this type of market. The tianguis or markets on wheels are a fundamental aspect of many cultures in the region. There are also many cases of company-persons that invest their own resources in very different products that they offer among relatives and acquaintances. These exchanges usually take place in public spaces and therefore it is very difficult to analyze them since there is a lack of data in this regard.

In the market on wheels you can find all kinds of satisfiers; either from leading brands and from small and free brands. It is also a space for coexistence between residents of neighborhoods. The relationship between merchants and consumers is more humane and close. Haggling or bargaining is optional on these sites. By occupying the public space, the degree of closeness and identification with it on the part of its visitors is much closer.

Although there are not many studies that address these invisible markets, they always permeate the behavior of other segments in one way or another. This fact is known by many and it is not strange that some brands consider the traveling or itinerant market for planning given the importance they have in daily life; either explicitly or implicitly.

The difficulties involved in analyzing these markets include covering their times and spaces in their fair complexity. Markets on wheels by their nature are environments with many changes and with a very solid network of their own organization. It is not that it is impossible to make ethnographies or consumer videos in them, but their ability to adapt to situations is very great and what is observed today may be different from what is observed on the next visit.

Non-fixed markets, being so complex, require research planning that includes a follow-up of weeks or even months to understand the complexity of its components. Trying to find a parallelism with an established commercial environment, we could compare them with shopping centers. Moreover, the first was a first stage of the seconds.

Understanding all the ways people meet their needs is a fascinating and ongoing task for market researchers. Each region has its particularities and these have an impact on the plans that the brands have. At Acertiva we know the circumstances of Latin America and this allows us to advise those who trust us to carry out their market studies.