Marketing Expert Touts Mexican National Shoppers

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – 6/27/2012 – On Tuesday morning, merchants in San Antonio’s Alamo Quarry Market listened intently as a well-known retail marketing expert taught them how to make money by catering to moneyed Mexican nationals shopping here.


A.B. Barrera, CMD, co-chief executive officer of PMDG Marketing Communications, told the large early-morning audience at the Alamo Quarry’s California Pizza Kitchen it’s imperative to know the needs and wants of wealthy Northern Mexican shoppers.


“Mexican National Shoppers are brand-savvy. And they expect peerless customer service,” the ICSC- (International Council of Shopping Centers) certified marketing director said in a bass baritone. “You have to develop an acculturated message, provide Spanish signage and ensure team members are bi-lingual, among other maxims.”


Barrera, after noting nine percent Mexican unemployment during a nationwide economic upturn, added in many American cities close to the border, the Mexican National wants brand-name, quality goods – and incentives, value-oriented offers and plenty of coupons.


To get them here, the ad agency owner said San Antonio retailers must first advertise in Mexican media organs.


“Ads need to be consistent and well-planned, with an acculturated appeal,” Barrera emphasized. “Remember, treat them like tourists.”

These shopping destination tourists, Barrera added, who are flying from Monterrey to San Antonio more than ever before, have expensive tastes they want to satisfy here.


“Remember, of all Mexican shoppers, it’s a good bet that fliers usually have more disposable income,” Barrera emphasized.

Of that income, an average of $3,000 is spent per visit, especially on Mexican holidays – one of which isn’t Cinco de Mayo, which is celebrated by Texans of Mexican descent.


For Mexican Nationals, who like to wear the latest status designer fashions, retailers in shopping destination cities not just in Texas but throughout the Southwest and also in Southern California must learn that price in status is a non-issue if the item in question is desired and that retailing is driven by key brand-name items.


“And those brand-name items must be readily available,” Barrera said, “especially during the fall, with the holiday shopping season upon us. Often, Mexican National Shoppers will take a long weekend, called a ‘puente’, or ‘bridge’, in Spanish, to come to your city to see shows, concerts, to shop a lot and to also experience fine dining. That’s when concierge-level service is needed to answer questions about what’s going on here after the shopping is done.”


The jet-setters often come armed for retail safari, hunting down their lists of items to purchase and the list of the stores selling them cheapest.


“They plan their trips. They are serious shoppers looking for reasons to buy from you,” Barrera noted. “So talk to your district managers and corporate entities and come up with a good, solid advertising plan and a savings program.”


All this means retailers must also maintain adequate, bi-lingual staff during the Mexican holidays. They also must constantly monitor stocking of inventories, provide local information on nearby restaurants, hotels and entertainment, provide clothing shoppers with adequate conversion charts and offer areas for re-packaging of goods prior to leaving the store, said the retail marketing expert, also certified as a business etiquette expert by the Emily Post Institute.


Barrera, who preaches his maxims to audiences of many thousands, closed his talk by emphasizing the importance of having a good attitude when servicing the needs of this special category of shopper.


“Above all, be a good, patient listener – and smile a lot.”