Razorfish Debuts Research on Latin America's New Digital Middle Class

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Study aimed to help businesses prosper in Latin American market

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the New Digital Middle Class.

CMOs with global aspirations must understand a thriving New Digital Middle Class in the increasingly powerful Latin American economic markets, according to a new Razorfish report, The Stampede - Meet The New Digital Middle Class. The study was conducted in partnership with Terra, the largest online media company in Latin America.

The Stampede - Meet The New Digital Middle Class is a first-of-its kind study of so-called "Classe C" consumers, an important but misunderstood economic block fueling the growth of vibrant Latin American economies such as Brazil, a hot market for global expansion among businesses from Caterpillar to Louis Vuitton.

The report shatters many misconceptions about Classe C, which Razorfish has renamed "the New Digital Middle Class." For instance, contrary to popular belief, digital - not television -- is at the core of the New Digital Middle Class lifestyle, and women are the chief economic decision makers of the home.

The publication of The Stampede is especially significant because the business market in Latin America is growing rapidly, even as other areas of the world are still recovering from the economic recession. For instance, Citigroup released credit card data in July 2010 that showed consumers in Latin America increasing their spending 15% during the second quarter of this year, while U.S. consumer spending fell 7%*.

"Many Razorfish clients are exploring the possibility of expanding into Latin America, as it is currently one of the fastest growing markets in the world," said Joe Crump, senior vp of strategy and planning at Razorfish. "The New Digital Middle Class is a large, untapped consumer group in the region, and understanding this group is crucial for marketers trying to connect with them via the right products, services, messages and experiences."

With the support of Terra, Razorfish studied the behaviors of the New Digital Middle Class in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. This group represents the largest and fastest growing segment across these three countries, comprising 53% of the population in Brazil and 62% and 60% in Mexico and Argentina respectively. Such families earn about 3 to 10 times above the national minimum wage, represent billions of dollars in household income, and are the largest economic force in the region.

The study discovered two key insights about the New Digital Middle Class that will help marketers successfully build relationships with this group and deliver products and services that will resonate with them.

  •     Digital plays a central role in the lives of the New Digital Middle Class. The New Digital Middle Class are digitally-savvy and are using digital and mobile technologies to do more than socialize and communicate - the majority are accessing educational and entrepreneurial opportunities. As a result, they place a high value on digital access. In 2010, 9 out of 10 PCs bought in Brazil will be purchased by this group.
  •     Women hold the most influence over purchasing and financial decisions in the household. New Digital Middle Class women are more likely to start their own business than men, and in Brazil 30% of women are their home's breadwinners, while in Mexico 60% of households receive female contribution. Women also play a greater role in e-commerce and hold more influence over purchasing decisions.

"Businesses that want to succeed in Latin America must devise a strategy to build relationships with the New Digital Middle Class, as they become an ever more significant economic block," said Fernando Madeira, CEO of Terra Networks. "And this research shows that the key to succeeding with this New Digital Middle Class is to leverage digital technologies and reach out specifically to women as they have proven to be the decision-makers."

The research offers a first-of-its-kind qualitative and quantitative portrait of the New Digital Class in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. Researchers studied the habits, spending behaviors and culture of the New Digital Middle Class by not only interviewing subjects, but also observing them first-hand at their jobs, homes, and schools. The full results of the study can be viewed at http://bit.ly/9gCF2G.

About Razorfish
Razorfish creates experiences that build businesses. As one of the largest interactive marketing and technology companies in the world, Razorfish helps its clients build better brands by delivering business results through customer experiences. Razorfish combines the best thought leadership of the consulting world with the leading capabilities of the marketing services industry to support our clients' business needs, such as launching new products, repositioning a brand or participating in the social world. With a demonstrated commitment to innovation, Razorfish continues to cultivate our expertise in Social Influence Marketing, emerging media, creative design, analytics, technology and user experience. Razorfish has offices in markets across the United States, and in Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, Singapore and the United Kingdom. Clients include Carnival Cruise Lines, MillerCoors, Levi Strauss & Co., McDonald's and Starwood Hotels. With sister agencies Starcom MediaVest, ZenithOptimedia, Denuo and Digitas, Razorfish is part of Publicis Groupe's VivaKi, a global digital knowledge and resource center. Visit http://www.razorfish.com for more information. Follow Razorfish on Twitter at @razorfish.

About Terra
Created 11 years ago, Terra Networks is the largest online media company in Latin America. Present in 17 Latin American countries and in the United States, Terra is monthly visited by more than 70 million people throughout the region. It gathers worldwide online success cases, such as streaming music channel Sonora and streaming videos and series channel TerraTV - among the largest channels in their categories in the world.
Based on News, Entertainment and Sports, Terra is known by its excellence in online content and services, been elected by clients such as Procter & Gamble, Unilever and top ranked banks Itaú and Bradesco to host its online advertising. With offices in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and the United States, Terra Networks is headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and part of Telefonica International SA. For more information, please contact comunicacao(dot)corporativa(at)corp(dot)terra(dot)com(dot)br or visit http://www.terra.com.br.

*Vivien Lou Chen and Anthony Feld, "Asian, Latin America Drive Profit as U.S. Growth Slows," Bloomberg BusinessWeek, 23 July 2010 (http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-07-23/asia-latin-america-drive-profit-as-u-s-growth-slows.html)

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