The Difference Between American and Latin American Millennials // With Marcela Miguel Berland

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Written by Pete Sena,
• 4 min read

Pete Sena: When we look at Latin America versus the United States, one of the things I’d love for you to help the audience understand a bit more is: What do you see as some of the key differences in the Millennial market (both the younger and the older millennial market) when you juxtapose the United States with Latin America? I’d love to understand the psychology, the behavior insights, and how you’re seeing some really great differences that would make it very valuable for companies to come and talk to you just based on the unique understanding that you have on both the markets.

Marcela Berland: Well that’s a great question. I think there’s a lot of similarities because now, through digital means and technology, people are much more connected, but also there are significant differences. And unless you understand that it’s going to be very hard to be successful. The first ones that comes to mind are the cultural differences, the environmental differences. If you go to Latin America– I was in Santo Domingo and Buenos Aires within the last two weeks and it’s a completely

Pete: I’m really jealous of that by the way. [Laughs]

Marcela: It’s a completely different environment! First of all I think people here don’t realize how different it is to live in an underdeveloped country. We always live in a crisis. I remember in ’08 when we had a big crisis here in the US and people were all freaking out and talking about the crisis and I remained very calm.

Pete: You’re like, “you don’t know what crisis is, we’ll show you what crisis is.”

Marcela: [Laughs] “Why are you so calm?” And I would say, “Well, I’m used to always living in a constant crisis.” We are used to that. That’s the way we live. Also, our three most important issues, (and we see this doing research in all of Latin America), there are three topics that come on the top. In the past it used to be economy and now it’s corruption, safety, insecurity and the economy. And here in most cities in the United States, you don’t have that sense of being unsafe. You feel like if you work very hard, you will be able to accomplish something in life, and in many of the Latin-American countries, unfortunately, we don’t have that. So, we have to work, in a way, much harder to accomplish the same reach.

So there are some significant differences between the United States and Latin America, but even among the different countries in Latin America we find significant differences. We talk about Venezuela vs. Guatemala vs. Argentina, there are differences that are very significant. Unless you understand those cultural differences, even language differences, you have to be always very respectful if you’re going to do a campaign. If you don’t understand the market, it’s going to be a problem.

And you, Pete, running digital campaigns, I’m sure you see that because now you’re doing a lot of local campaigns. How do you deal with that? You have to be prepared.

Pete: Well generally, we just hire you guys, you give us all the good insights, and then we just have to come up with the ideas. So thank you for making our lives easy, we appreciate that. [Laughs]