Tag Archives: LatAm

Keep on going…

This blog has been over two years in the making. At the outset, I sought to link management theories to best practices in Latin America. I have endeavored to provide inspiration to entrepreneurs, managers, leaders and decision makers that will make their organizational efforts resound with people and, in particular, users in Latin America.

For me, as Esther Clark and Founding Partner of Hipona Consulting, it has been a journey of exploration and learning. There are weeks when it is hard to find inspiration in the world around me. It is also difficult to find examples of leaders in real life; even when I know those leaders exist but are barred from acting like leaders because ego, legacy, comfort or other factors in their personal or professional lives. That’s why I think this blog and the messages I relate are important.

While I journey towards new professional challenges, I urge you to come along with me. To “keep on going” towards promoting better management practices, exploring new markets or focusing more on the clients we have. From my side, I will be refocusing this blog to serve my clients better and to share what I have gained for working with boards and executives (and entrepreneurs!) in Latam: connecting interests.

Thank you to my loyal followers and for your comments and engagement over the years.

-EMC

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Savvy Saturday August 22, 2015

You don’t climb mountains without a team, you don’t climb mountains without being fit, you don’t climb mountains without being prepared and you don’t climb mountains without balancing the risks and rewards. And you never climb a mountain on accident – it has to be intentional.

Mark Udall
Embed from Getty Images
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Inspiration – Miami 2015

Since I am in Miami this week, today’s inspiration photo comes from this fabulous city. Enjoy! EMC

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Miami – Connections and Purpose

I’m heading to Miami in a couple of days to take part in an educational conference with participants across South America. Looking forward to meeting some interesting people and hearing some new ideas around educational marketing.

Last year I was also in Miami representing Scoopshot photo crowdsourcing platform to the Latin American advertising community at the Portada Latam Advertising and Media Summit. See my blog post here.

Miami is a connection point for me. It connects people, ideas, languages, cultures, countries, and projects. It links up Latin America with the US and the Caribbean. It is a business hub. It also connects the personal with professional: holding for me memories of when I sailed into Miami harbor as a teenager onboard the topsail schooner Pacific Swift and of more recent business discussions about the future of Latin America and business with North America.

I also try to make my trips (business or pleasure) purposeful. My goals on this trip to Miami are to connect with the wider international school community, meet with contacts in Miami and enjoy a week in one of the region’s great cities!

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EMC

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Six Principles for Doing Business in Latam

Strategy and Business published a piece on doing business where governance is weak. They talk about how to succeed in markets that are prone to ethical and legal risks and focus their article on examples in Asia and the Middle East. It’s a fascinating read and one that illustrates principles for doing business that can be applied to our region of focus – Latin America.
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Here are six of those principles that are crucial to doing business in Latam:

1) align vision and values – this is about ensuring that all stakeholders – from board members to business unit leaders – share the company vision and their corporate values which includes ethical behaviour and how to deliver a product or service in the region. This is particularly important when managing country operations from headquarters outside the region (e.g. from the US or Europe).

2) understand the “way to play” at the local level – uniquely local ways to play exist and should be planned for. How relationships are built and how local talent is utilized is extremely important when contemplating success in Latin American markets.

3) identify key stakeholders – as mentioned in earlier blog posts, it’s important to identify who are the people that are decision makers and influencers in your industry and in the environment in which you operate.

4) build your brand – look at ways to engage your clients with your brand specific to the market. Understand your brand personality at a corporate level but tailor it to your market. You can minimize risk in Latam and emerging markets by having a strong brand that connects to users on many different levels.

5) stay vigilant – empower your local team but stay vigilant of what is going on. Tapping into resources like your country/Embassy trade representative or local expertise can help you stay in tune with local developments. Ensure that vision, values and company policies are not compromised.

6) adapt the governance model – this is the final suggestion from the writers of the article and it’s something that Hipona Consulting strongly recommends whether your company operates internationally or locally. It’s about making sure that members of your board represent the diversity and dynamic characteristics of your company, stakeholders and market. Local board members or committees can help connect the company’s interests to local interests and at times can prove very valuable to getting ideas – and company vision – across.

EMC

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Getting attention for your brand in Latin America

Chiminea
Photo: Chiminea (Blanca Gómez)

I have been helping international brands connect with their markets in Latin America for over 10 years. Here are some ideas that I have picked up over the years and want to share with you. Most of them are relevant and can be applied elsewhere – US, Canada, Europe etc.

So, here are some ways (in no particular order or linear process) for you to connect with Latin America and get the attention your brand deserves!

1) Choose your influencers
2) Make friends with the media and thought leaders
3) Tell your story – unique and compelling content
4) Solve a problem – be creative!
5) A picture is worth 1000 words – be visual

At some point in the future, I would love to delve down into each one of the items on this list but until then, I would urge you to think about your brand (and corp) values and how those apply to what you do. If you can connect with your values and with people who share the same values – especially if they are influencers and thought leaders – then your brand will get the attention you want and deserve. Coherent, simple, organic growth.

EMC

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Marketing at #PortadaLat 2014 in Miami

Next week I will be participating in Portada’s 2014 Latam Advertising and Media Summit in Miami, Florida. I’m presenting an award on behalf of Scoopshot at the Online Video Forum that takes place on the first day of the Summit.

What are the expected takeaways? Marcos Baer (Publisher at Portada) talks about them here. I’m particularly interested in real time marketing and the interaction between design and technology.

bayside

It will also be amazing to be within a “stone’s throw” of where our sailboat was moored about 20 years’ ago (Bayside Marketplace!). When I was a kid, we spent a month in Miami getting ready for our trip through the Caribbean on our 111 foot sailboat. Exploration, discovery, marketing….they fit together, don’t they?!

EMC

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Authenticity can help you become a better leader

Authenticity is what separates leaders from followers. Coherent actions that build on the reputation of an organization or leader are at the center of what makes a brand and a loyal following of customers, community, employees, —people!

We are skeptics. People sense “hype” and increasingly gravitate toward “real” experiences. Access to information, reviews, testimonials, stories etc. through various social media and community platforms have also made people demand more coherent and authentic actions from leaders.

To prove my point on the power of authenticity, here are a few phrases on authenticity:

Yes, in all my research, the greatest leaders looked inward and were able to tell a good story with authenticity and passion. – Deepak Chopra

“How can I differentiate my company in the marketplace?” My reply to every president, chief executive officer, or vice-president of marketing is always the same: “Why do you want to be different?” We are swimming in an overabundance of products and services. “Different” is no longer a differentiator. What is? Creating an authentic relationship with your customers. -Sohrab Vossoughi writing in Bloomberg’s Businessweek

“I had no idea that being your authentic self could make me as rich as I’ve become. If I had, I’d have done it a lot earlier.” -Oprah Winfrey

“Authenticity is the alignment of head, mouth, heart, and feet – thinking, saying, feeling, and doing the same thing – consistently. This builds trust, and followers love leaders they can trust.” -Lance Secretan

Authenticity may be considered a buzzword by some but its benefits go beyond buzz….being authentic can help you connect and develop long term (and mutually beneficial!) relationships with markets in Latin America. Here are some my articles in Spanish on the topic of authenticity:

La Autenticidad y el marketing 3.0 (America Economia)

Liderazgo y una taza de té (America Economia)

Cual sería una foto auténtica de tu empresa? (Forbes México)

EMC

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E-commerce in Latam – opportunities for innovation

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The strongest markets for e-commerce in Latin America are, not surprisingly, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and Peru. The facts and figures shown in US Media Consulting’s Latin Link blog substantiate the commonly held belief that Latam (Latin America) is an important and growing digital marketplace. You can read their excellent article here in Spanish or here in English.

“This is nothing new” you might say. Where’s the innovation in this? And I would say that this growing digital marketplace represents opportunities for innovation. Opportunities related to changing demographics and process needs (perfecting a pre-existing process, replacing a link that’s missing or weak) that ultimately create new ways to interact with your customers and create new ones.

And creating customers is what business in all about…

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It’s your turn…

It’s your turn…help raise awareness (and solutions!) related to the education crisis – not just in Latin America but in the world at large.

I am a finalist in the Inter American Development Bank (IADB — or BID in Spanish) Graduate XXi competition. It seems they liked my idea about applying design thinking to education!

Voting opened today and continues to the end of February. Please go to this link, read my idea and vote for me if you like it. That’s it. It takes less than a minute.

If you want to “pay it forward”, share my idea with your network and get them to give me their vote if they like my idea. Here is my recent blog post with a bit more explanation of my idea.

Thanks so very much!
EMC

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