Focus On: The Latin Force/Geoscape Merger

Portada: What is at the heart of this Latin Force/Geoscape merger?

David Perez: What it represents is really the foundation of the company moving forward, Latin Force being a strategy firm, Geoscape being the leader in the analytics. It’s all about thinking through the minds of our clients. We’re looking to reach the Hispanic market with a business approach. Our services allow companies to put together the business case and quantify the opportunity that exists in this ever-growing market.

Cesar Melgoza: The unique play in the market is that “Times they are a changing.” It is time to deliver marketing programs that have sufficient analytics behind them so that we can build sustainable market programs defensible by corporations that are seeking to invest. What we need to do is link in with the decision makers. We are now doing this with this merger. We’re off to the races now, and it’s really exciting to have the backing of a powerhouse like Goldman Sachs with us.

P: How does the vertical integration of all of these services affect the cost for clients? Is it significantly different than if the client were to charge different agencies with the same duty?

DP: Large corporations are looking for scale and results-oriented plans that can be implemented in cost-effective ways. Of course they are concerned about cost, but what is first and foremost are attaining the desired results.

CM: I think the end result is that companies are going to start spending a lot more. I don’t think companies mind spending the money. But they will demand.

P: How much is the Hispanic marketing services industry in the U.S. worth?

CM: I don’t think that anyone has an accurate number, because so much of the investment is blended into different initiatives. Frankly I haven’t seen any reliable stats. I think it’s time to do that math. Perhaps Forrester could come out with a study examining that.

P: Do you expect to see the roughly 14.5% year-over-year growth in Hispanic media spending to continue over the next 10 years?

DP: I would think so, and can even see it accelerating.

CM: I agree. We’ve seen dramatic growth, but the majority of companies are still testing. As soon as those tests come back positive, investments are bound to accelerate and become more focused on successful strategies.

DP: The real growth is going to come from new entrants into the market. The Hispanic market is not a niche market anymore. It is the new mainstream in many areas and we are positioning ourselves to take full advantage of this reality.