Visa learns vital lessons from Latin America

Stephen Whiteside

Dramatic fluctuations in consumer confidence, budget levels and – indeed – entire corporate strategies are new phenomena to many marketers across the US and Western Europe as they struggle with the fallout from the economic downturn. These trends are, by contrast, highly familiar to their counterparts in Latin America.

"We're used to being a bit more frugal and a little bit more efficient, because our markets have been in crisis forever," said Adrian Farina, head of marketing, Latin America and Caribbean, at Visa, the financial services provider. "It's not a matter of whether you have a crisis, but where, in which country. There's always a crisis going on: you have a major devaluation or a major change in the regulations. So you become very, very agile [and] very frugal in how you invest your money.