Far from the humble beginnings of its namesake shoe cobbler born in 1898, Salvatore Ferragamo today is a multinational company that does not limit its production to its unique shoes. During the last Media Festival held in Miami, Portada correspondent Blanca Stella Mejía interviewed Diego Stecchi, head of Salvatore Ferragamo for Latin America and the Caribbean. The executive talked to us about the importance of the region for the brand and how the company structures the marketing of its high-end products.
Portada: In what countries of the region are you present?
Diego Stecchi: "We are basically present in the larger countries of Latin America, from Mexico, Argentina, and Chile, to the Caribbean. We are in a total of 15 countries."
Portada: Are you planning to expand to other countries in the region?
Diego Stecchi: "We have plans to expand to a few more countries. So far we have very little presence in Venezuela, for example. We are looking at market conditions to see when we’ll be able to expand into this country, which can become a very important country for the brand. We are also thinking of expanding elsewhere in the Caribbean, such as Panama and Costa Rica."
Portada: How would you describe Salvatore Ferragamo’s marketing strategy in Latin America?
Diego Stecchi: "Our marketing strategy for Latin America does not vary much from what we do elsewhere in the world. We do advertising, press, many events, and promotional activities in the stores. In the end, brand management is always important, which is why our marketing activity is not massive, but rather selective. We are also moving into social networking with great brand management."
Portada: Do you do regional or pan-regional media buys?
Diego Stecchi: "At first, we did pan-regional buys. We have a marketing office in Miami. But we also manage part of the budget locally, especially if we have strong local points of sale that allow us to take advantage of greater efficiencies."
Portada: Do you handle your marketing in-house or with an agency?
Diego Stecchi: "We do it all in-house, except for certain professional activities for which we may use a public relations agency other than the company."
Portada: What percentage of ad spending is directed to Latin America?
Diego Stecchi: "It is a significant percentage, in line with the percentage we invest in the rest of world. We can continue to grow in this regard, but there is less possibility to do the kind of marketing activities we would like. In some markets, we have an infrastructure that is not appropriate for everything we would like to do."
Portada: How important is the region for your brand?
Diego Stecchi: "The region is important, and not only because it is growing very well and so strongly. It is growing steadily every year, which is very good for a multinational company. It is also important because our brand awareness is also growing in Latin America at the same level as some other countries outside the region. We have a very strong presence in Brazil, Mexico and Colombia, and we see that our products are not only selling within these markets, but that our Brazilian, Mexican, and Colombian customers who travel a lot are also buying our products outside of their countries. That is why growth in Latin America is also very important for our brand. We plan to increase the brand's presence in Latin America in the coming years."
The video interview: