César Melgoza


At Portada Miami, over 300 brand leaders and decision makers gathered to hear our outstanding speakers and witnessed the official launch of Portada’s brand new council system. With topics ranging from payment systems and connected cars to out-of-home advertising, marketing in Latin America, and esports, attendees received a varied and complete glimpse into the future of marketing.

After months of organization, Portada Miami took place on April 19 at the exclusive East Hotel in Brickell. Over 300 executives got together last Thursday for the carefully curated list of conferences that opened with Mexican innovator and CEO of TelePay Patrick Becker‘s talk titled The Payment Systems Revolution. What can marketers learn from the advance of new payment systems? How do new payment systems change the approach to e-commerce and traditional POS systems?

 What is next is ‘back to the future’: connecting with consumers in an impactful way will never go out of style; the question is how you do it.

After the official launch of Portada’s brand new Council System, attendees heard about the perspective of César M. Melgoza, CEO & founder of Geoscape, recently acquired by Claritas, on data-driven digital and mobile advertising. “What is next is ‘back to the future’: connecting with consumers in an impactful way will never go out of style; the question is how you do it,” said Melgoza.

Other talks on technology included a panel on connected cars, the new technology that’s being used by car rental companies such as Avis Budget Group. Ricardo Casco, from Global Sales and Integrated Marketing Strategies at Avis Budget Group, introduced this emerging technology as a means to build loyalty from the foundation.

Attendees could also get a good idea of the future of marketing in Latin America thanks to two interviews conducted by Portada. First, president of Portada Marcos Baer interviewed Ricardo Arias-Nath, CMO of PepsiCo Beverages Latin America, to get his views on how marketing strategies should adapt to the new realities of the Latin American consumer. “Online subscription models are changing marketing. Brands of the future have to be top of mind or top of algorithm,” Arias-Nath asserted. Later, Portada’s head of content Janet Grynberg asked CEO of GroupM Latin America José María Sanabria about the firm’s new panregional approach. About this, Sanabria pointed out that “Advertisers should stay in Miami; it makes a lot of sense to see the region as a whole.”

What we’ve got to do is build content around our players, give them a voice.

The audience of Portada Miami also had the opportunity to listen to interesting discussions on passion-point marketing (e.g. sports and travel), like the talk between Chip Bowers, president of the Miami Marlins, and Michael Neumann, EVP, MD, at Scout Sports and Entertainment. In this conversation, Neumann asked the Marlins’ new president of business operations about his plans to further the Marlins’ quest to re-engage and expand baseball business in the diverse South Florida market and beyond after joining the team from the reigning NBA Champions Golden Gate Warriors. “Fans have an understanding and appreciation of players as much as they do of brands,” said Bowers. “What we’ve got to do is build content around our players, give them a voice.”

For a talk on soccer in the U.S. and Latin America, Jan Gerits, MD of Transformation Latam at Omnicom talked to Jill Leccia, Senior Marketing Director at Gatorade Latin America. They discussed exciting initiatives like 5v5, which encourages young soccer players in 25 countries to pursue their dream of becoming football players.

In an interesting mix of technology and passion-point marketing, attendees witnessed an exciting discussion on eSports and gambling, which generated a great response from the audience. Even though for some the idea of watching an eSports tournament sounds weird and even boring, Ben Spoont, founder & CEO of team Misfits, and Chris DouganHead of North America Communications, Genius Sports recommend all skeptics to go watch the content before thinking it’ll be boring. “In all of esports, the fastest growing market is Latin America. The engagement for new fans is really off the charts, and working with the MiamiHEAT will help that market grow in Florida,” stated Spoont.

Online subscription models are changing marketing. Brands of the future have to be top of mind or top of algorithm.

Later in the day, members of Portada’s travel marketing board, including chair of the board Trip Barrett, head of Travel Marketing content, addressed the difficult problem executives in the travel industry have to face when customers go through the elite status threshold. How do you keep them from turning to the competition? Alan Duggan, Regional VP, Business Development at Meliá Hotels and Álvaro Valeriani, Regional VP, Sales & Marketing Latam & Caribbean at Hyatt Hotels, were guided by Barrett through this discussion to try to solve the problem.

Finally, Valentín Bueno, CEO of Latcom, talked to Carlos Martínez, president of Fox Networks Group Latin America, about the revolution of out-of-home advertising. Technology is revolutionizing the way OOH media can reach consumers; Bueno and Martínez presented the case of Fox, one of Latcom’s successful case studies.

In conclusion, Portada Miami attendees had the opportunity to listen to the voices in charge of the future of marketing and innovation. From the way technology determines new ways to create loyalty and master trends like e-commerce and esports, to how sports are a means to fuel young dreams and help them get to the top, there was a feeling permeating the air that the future is already here, and Portada Miami was the best place for the right people to start discussing how to tackle it. All this without saying, the view was to die for. Are you regretting not being there? You’re still on time for Portada LA on May 10!

What: We talked to marketing experts at research agencies and media about the recent acquisition of Geoscape by  Claritas.
Why it matters: The market for multicultural research and data has changed tremendously over the last few years. The Geoscape move provides clues for what’s coming next.

Much time has passed since the last Geoscape merger…

More than ten years have passed since Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group announced in June 2007 that it was merging  Latin Force LLC, a Hispanic marketing strategy firm, with multicultural intelligence and data analytics company Geoscape International (with the new company to be called Latin Force Group). The new company was called LatinForce. Back then, Goldman Sachs Managing Director Kevin Jordan said, “The merged company will provide its existing and future customers with a clear competitive advantage in reaching America’s fastest-growing demographic.”

What has happened since is clear. A few years later, Latin Force Group was renamed Geoscape and just a week ago, it was sold to Claritas, a portfolio company of the Carlyle Group: Geoscape by New MainStream Capital (a spin-off of the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment group).
Six things you need to know:

1. Major Investors are Betting on Data and Market Research

The Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest private equity and asset management firms, bought Claritas from Nielsen early last year. Claritas is focused on consumer segmentation insights. It provides marketers with a comprehensive view into consumer behavior patterns through proprietary segmentation analysis powered by broad access to data sources. Multicultural research and data now also comes into the picture with the Geoscape acquisition. “Marketers must find ways to connect with these high-growth consumers in relevant ways.”, said Claritas LLC’s CEO Mike Nazzaro when the provider of consumer segmentation analysis announced a few days ago the acquisition of Geoscape, a firm dedicated to the in-depth understanding of multicultural consumers.

2. The Pendulum Swings Back to One-Stop-Shop

While multicultural audiences continue to be coveted by corporate America, the audiences and media to reach them are not specifically multicultural or Hispanic. In other words, most multicultural media buying decisions are no longer taken by multicultural specific agencies but by general market agencies. Similarly, multicultural research is increasingly demanded by major general market agencies who tend to have better connection with general market shops such as Claritas. It is in this context that Geoscape’s acquisition by Claritas has to be analyzed.


Martin Cerda, founder of Encuesta, Inc. [Photo: Hispanic PR Blog]

3. Comprehensive Services Demand More Capital…

Claritas’ acquisition of Geoscape is perhaps not that surprising as it could have been a few years ago. When multicultural research industry veteran Martin Cerda, founder of Encuesta Inc., joined Cheskin, a WPP shop, in 2011, everyone in the industry was surprised. When Portada asked him about his decision back then, he predicted that small marketing research firms wouldn’t be able to deliver the level of services required in view of the more and more complex media, marketing, and advertising conditions. “Specifically, fast used to mean taking a week to deliver results, now overnight or even real-time results are expected,” he said. The Geoscape acquisition is a sign that predictions like this are the new norm.

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General market research agencies will begin to bolster their multicultural capabilities through strategic acquisitions creating a new multicultural marketing research model.


4…. because Technology is Crucial.

“Today, marketing is mostly about data.  Research and insights that are culturally unique and relevant to Hispanics is more important than ever,” says Ballas-Traynor. “ However, the data sources and the way that we mine data has to align with the sources and the tactics used in the general market.” The research space answers to an ever-evolving market that becomes faster and more data-driven every day.

Today, Marketing is mostly about data.
Mario Carrasco

Companies will need to make sure they’re able to access those data. “Navigating in the new mainstream is going to require a big ship”, said Cerda back in 2011. And it would seem Claritas and Geoscape will be showing others on the right path, as explains Mario Carrasco: “The acquisition, I believe, marks a shift into the 3.0 multicultural marketing research era; general market research agencies will begin to bolster their multicultural capabilities through strategic acquisitions creating a new multicultural marketing research model”.



5. Hispanic Consumers Are No Longer Defined by Language

The key to how drastically multicultural marketing research has changed over the last decade, says Mario Carrasco, co-founder of Think Now Research, is that the first multicultural marketing research firms were able to easily differentiate themselves from general market agencies through language: “Hispanic ad agencies had the Spanish language as their key differentiating factor from general market agencies”.

The Hispanic consumer is no longer defined by language but by culture.
Carlos Cordoba

But what happened once immigration slowed down and U.S. born Hispanics accounted for most of the Hispanic population growth? In the words of Carlos Cordoba, marketing expert at Vision Strategies and Insights, “the Hispanic consumer is no longer defined by language but by culture, which means we need to communicate with them in the language of their choice.”
With their most obvious differentiator gone, suddenly small agencies don’t have enough resources to connect to Hispanic consumers and need powerful allies. “I need more and better resources, increased scale to execute new and emerging research methodologies,” said Cerda when he joined Cheskin.


6. Large Firms Need Multicultural Expertise

Lucia Ballas-Traynor

However, the need goes both ways. For Lucia Ballas-Traynor, Media and Marketing Executive at Hemisphere TV, “Today, marketing is mostly about data. Research that is culturally unique and relevant to Hispanics is more important than ever.” Big companies will need to find a way to get through to the ever-growing Hispanic population, and, as she explains, “it makes sense to acquire a company that has been doing this for decades rather than trying to build this discipline from scratch.”