Date: 01 Dec 2015
Our market intelligence solutions deliver the information you need to make smart business decisions in Latin America.
Growth - What business opportunities do you need to quantify?
Our Growth Analysis Solutions provide certainty to your future business plans.
Companies operating in Latin America must constantly choose one market over another, decide which product to next introduce and select the most viable customer segment for their expansion.
95% of product launches in Latin America are adaptations of products designed for other, more mature markets. But the region's receptivity to foreign products is no guarantee of a successful launch. Before your company invests in penetrating a market, you will need to answer the following questions:
- Is the market ready for my product?
- Can my product compete and if not, what is required to make my offering competitive?
Our unique combination of market research, competitive intelligence, regulatory and economic analysis helps companies answer these and other critical questions and thereby lowers the financial risk of new product launches.
Latin America's relatively open markets, expanding credit access and changing demographics have created an increasingly demanding consumer base. The best way to survey customer needs varies by country, target market, and product type - understanding that is half the battle. The rest of the battle is won through close collaboration with our clients - the hallmark of our approach to customer research.
In an ideal world, investors wish to be told the future returns on their investments. But Latin America & Caribbean markets are neither robustly nor accurately reported by published sources. In the accelerated timeframe which is typical of a pre-investment analysis, AMI raises the level of certainty of an investment by interviewing well-placed industry sources and modeling key metrics on limited input information, enabling our seasoned analysts to grade projects by their level of viability.
Who you do business with often defines your reputation, not to mention your performance. However, few companies have the internal resources to adequately identify, much less qualify and choose the best possible local partner (or acquisition target). AMI's six-phase partnering approach helps our clients to partner with distributors, co-investors, acquisition, targets and vendors. Our modular approach enables clients to in-source or outsource any of the phases without compromising the end result.
Come 4th quarter, companies struggle with the creation of a strategic plan, designed to bring focus to their growth investment plans the following year. In Latin America, the challenge is exacerbated by a dearth of reliable market sizing and forecasting information. The diversity of markets in the region also makes it difficult to achieve managerial consensus on where to spend limited funds. AMI provides both vital market intelligence as well as an objective sounding board to the decision making process. Our seasoned managing directors can moderate a consensus building meeting of top managers and guide them through the options the company faces so that everyone buys into next year’s planning priorities and budget.
Risk - What business threats do you need to better understand?
Our Risk Analysis Solutions assess and mitigate a wide range of business risks to which your Latin American operations may be exposed.
Strong growth and open markets invite an evolving parade of new competitors to Latin America and the Caribbean. In such an environment, competitive intelligence should be an ongoing monitoring exercise, not a once-in-a-blue-moon diagnosis. AMI designs bespoke competitive intelligence programs that legally and ethically deliver vital information in a timely fashion to managers who can adjust pricing, product portfolios, messaging, channel coverage and other tactics to defend their market share or exploit a competitive advantage.
Unethical competition is present in most product categories across LAC markets. Illegal imports of global brands can undercut legitimate competitors by 20-30% by evading tariffs, sales taxes and expensive regulations. Product rip-offs, made in the region or imported from Asia, devalue a brand and can endanger its reputation. Some local players exercise corruption to avoid complying with onerous labor laws, income taxes, regulations or to win tenders.
Understanding how to compete in a market begins with an honest assessment of the landscape. Defending one’s hard earned market share against unscrupulous competitors requires gathering evidence of their wrong doing. Collecting intelligence on unethical competitors is not for the faint of heart, which is one reason we relish doing so.
Political risk can rear its head in many places but is almost always driven by financial greed and/or electoral ambition. In Latin America, the historical complexities associated with the natural resource sector (mining, oil & gas, energy, water, agriculture, forestry) heightens the political risk exposure to investors in those fields. Mitigating political risk begins by partnering with influential local partners. Keeping political risk at bay requires constant vigilance through a program of discreet intelligence gathering that is coordinated with government and community outreach. AMI can help assess political risk at national, provincial and local levels ahead of an investment. More importantly, AMI can design and manage a discreet intelligence gathering program that anticipates risks before they materialize.
Corporate reputations are at risk at a few vital junctures, some of which are predictable, others not. In the process of entering a market or starting a project, who one partners with or acquires can bolster or damage a company’s reputation. Ahead of those partnering decisions, AMI conducts reputational due diligence analysis, assessing areas of risk so that our clients can either walk away or proceed better prepared. Once operational, reputations can be damaged quickly and for multiple reasons. Periodically, surveying a company’s reputation among stakeholders is preventive medicine that our consultants provide. When a company’s reputation is at stake, swift investigations into the source and motives of the attack can provide vital defense in the court of public appeal. We work closely with our client’s PR apparatus to supply timely and accurate intelligence in defense of their reputation.
The end of the commodity super-cycle reminds us how vulnerable most markets in Latin America are to currency risk. The best laid plans quickly unfold in the face of economic volatility. But beyond macro-economic risks, the future revenue streams of our clients are also vulnerable to industry dynamics and the invasion of disruptive technology. At AMI, we make economic risk analysis an important building block of any strategic recommendations that we offer to our clients.
Performance - How well does your business perform?
Our Performance Analysis Solutions measure where your business stands today and tell you how to improve tomorrow.
The ultimate yardstick of business performance is market share. In Latin America, few industries are reliably analyzed by neutral 3rd party players so it is incumbent upon each company to measure the size of the market and their share of the pie. AMI combines market research and market intelligence techniques to measure share. When underperformance is flagged, we dig deeper to find the root cause of slipping market share.
Climbing the learning curves of operating in a challenging market like Latin America can be made easier by studying the successes and failures of your competitors. Their experience offers invaluable insights that can save your firm both money and time. Collecting those insights is one of AMI’s most practiced skill sets and is at the forefront of our market intelligence offering.
Brand awareness is the platform upon which marketers conduct both their offensive and defensive strategies. Most products enjoy some local brand awareness before they are launched in Latin America. Understanding where awareness is strongest and how it is positioned via the competition will often dictate the success of a product or campaign as well as the true value of an acquired corporate asset. AMI employs market research and market intelligence techniques to measure the awareness level, strength and positioning of our client’s brands.
Customer satisfaction readings are like the canary in the coal mine, predicting future risks to your brand value and/or market share. We advocate combining customer satisfaction surveys with competitive intelligence because your customers perceive your products and services vis-à-vis other choices they have. Only by looking inside your company and the competition you face, can you truly understand what is driving any changes in your customer’s satisfaction levels.