Join the conversation:

Flirting with the market. Did you skip the first step?

Flirting with the market. Did you skip the first step?

Posted by Liliana Castaño on March 29, 2014


Dancing tango, cooking arepas, all the time networking, does the market research, and then coordinates, plans and executes campaigns.  Works at the hectic pace of Miami that requires you to appear to float, she is on vacation, but she’s is not.  She is sheathed in her heels, has the Latin impetus, but was seduced by the love of an American.


She is Roxana Frontini, who PanamericanWorld we wanted to invite, to remove with our readers, the veil that has access to the Hispanic market in the U.S., and the equally coveted Latin American market for the entire hemisphere. She serves as the General Manager ARS Advertising in Miami , which is an agency with 75 years in Venezuela and seven in South Florida.



Just her name speaks of the mixture of her roots, this market  and brand strategist, Roxana Frontini, is half Venezuelan and half Argentinian, born in the Caribbean country, and daughter of a southerner. She is passionate about her two homelands, but still very young emigrated after finishing her law degree in Venezuela and specialization in law of new technologies and communications in Argentina. She left Buenos Aires to Madrid, where she fell into the hands of two excellent mentors,  advertising consultants of DLT, giving her the opportunity to work for large companies in Spain for four years, where her strengths were research and innovation.


4 additional years of her life have passed in the heat of a peninsula in the north, permanently looking south. In this America of hers, that she has to read and decode every day for her clients.


Miami, life plan or chance?


I came to Miami by chance, to evaluate a business opportunity. A personal turning point joined with the possibility of giving birth to a new digital media in the area, and there I was hooked, if there is something I like is to give life to new businesses.


Anything that has to do with innovation is music to my ears, this gave me the opportunity to enter the managerial world more completely and let the legal part as a tool. Within that management I made the ​​contacts that lead me to lead ARS advertising today.


The local branch of ARS is more established in terms of Miami, a very dynamic place where you talk to many Hispanics at the same time. Where you have to be able to serve the general market, the American market, so you can connect with the Hispanic market and Latin America specifically.


What does this place mean for your career?


Miami has meant consolidating the experience in the world of digital communications. It is an art to understand and communicate with different cultures, to lead the process of the brands that requires that this is my main skill.


My learning summarized in one word is: "simplicity" , the same that has given me the emotional connection that is transcultural and reaches the essence of people .


How do you place your product or brand in this market?


It is not so simple, it is a challenge for those who work in marketing and communications, the biggest challenge is to arrange the way we talk to Hispanics who respond to different stimuli. The other challenge is to bridge the American who has a product that meets the needs that Hispanics have, but obviously one must be able to tell them what the product is and why it is different from others existing in the market .



What would be the “must do” step?


Take your time, put a bit of investment into market research and understand who you are addressing.


The most important thing we have found is to do good market analysis, learn to segment the market very well, it is very important in marketing, particularly key in Miami .


Another big plus besides learning to segment the audience, is to have a neutral enough Spanish to talk to Cubans, Venezuelans, Argentines, Mexicans, Colombians, and Dominicans, because that’s definitely important in Miami.


In Miami Dade there are 2.5 million inhabitants, of which 65 percent are Latino, Hispanic.


What do your clients understand the most and the least about the market in Miami?


What they understand the most is the complicated, the least understood is that when you have a complex market, your communication should be simplified .


It's like the antidote, in Miami there are a barrage of products in many markets .


Are people afraid of the Market Research ?


They are terrified because they think it is a part of bureaucracy, one of the greatest mistakes of the client is the tendency to think that they can assess their product as consumers.


There is an interesting challenge. Last year we had an experience with a client, for a long time we  insisted on doing a market research. They resisted, but in the end we convinced them. We did and it turned out that what they thought they had to communicate was away 60 percent from what was expected from the community to which they were addressing. Afterwards an annual investment in media of $ 100,000 began, at last, to be effective when they had seen seen no increase in sales in previous years. The result was previously so minimal that it was not worth to continue advertising, then finally the market research said: people want to hear this, they are interested in this, perceived in this way , they feel good when you give them this, feel bad when you say that.


Does the client resist because investment in market research is very high?


Market research can begin at about seven thousand dollars, but for someone, for example, who will invest $ 100,000 in average per year , which represents less than one percent of their investment is actually not expensive, and it is relatively fast, we perform market research in two weeks.


If this time and this investment can catapult me the success of my investment by 60%, then I'm getting a good deal.


The recommendation is then not to skip the first step.


Another important point is that in Miami there are many entrepreneurs who have little experience in marketing and sales, but they have the capital to open the business, have the interest or know very well how to distribute the product, such as the delivery, which does not necessarily mean they know marketing. What happens when you're an agency, you have to educate more than you'd ever have to educate a sales and marketing manager .


They are companies that do not have that structure, what we have developed for this type of very typical profile of Miami are business solutions, and become its satellite marketing department .


What is your primary customer?


I have two types of customers, they either come from Latin America and they want to position their products in Miami , or come from Miami and want to move their products to the rest of the hemisphere .


When we look at the latter is relatively simple, because they usually want to get to a specific country. Their goal is usually "business to business" and not to go direct to the consumer. This greatly facilitates the negotiation, because we look for who buys the proposal to be an expert in the market.


We start by diagnosis and research, that allows us to define which ones will make the differentiating elements that will support the communication campaign and media strategy , but it is actually easier because you're dealing with one culture.


The essence of what is marketing , pricing, product, and placement is the same throughout the world, the complexity of this market ( Miami) is the coexistence of many Latin Americans. Then, when you study the range of House Income, you have five or six completely different Latin Americans in the same range and they all consume your product .


What is your customer balance?


We have a portfolio, I would say it is balanced in terms of ratio of customers. However, of those agencies that are in the U.S. market the ones in Miami are becoming the “hub” agencies, because obviously the link that makes the American is that Miami is the gateway to Latin America. The Latin Hub , and they realized that they are not only selling to the Latin American population in Los Angeles or Texas, but they are selling to a full range of Hispanics who are here .


What catches my attention, and the Real Estate numbers demonstrate, is how New York now turns to see Miami on investment issues, that has me particularly impacted.


Roxana Frontini reflects and says " We still have much to do," she says it as a Hispanic and a woman , "we have to expose ourselves more." Making miracles over time, to get involved with the rhythm of Miami life. That is what she has done, donating that little time she has to social causes such as the fight against cancer, with the American Cancer Society.


Part of her projects is to help more Hispanics , "...I want my steps to inspire more Hispanic women, and the first step is to embrace their cultural richness, that’s why I keep dancing tango ."


Translated by Sebastian Llavaneras




Facebook comments

Monthly newsletter featuring articles hand picked by our country managers from the best content across PanamericanWorld.

Monthly newsletter featuring articles hand picked by our country managers from the best content across the Caribbean Region on PanamericanWorld.