National Congress of Marketing in Mexico: Day 1

Congreso Nacional Mercadotecnia Mexico

Grupo Kätedra and the prestigious magazine Merca 2.0 were hosts to the 6th annual National Congress of Marketing in Mexico City – the nation’s gathering for everything related to marketing, advertising, communications and media.

The two-day event took place at the World Trade Center, home to the most relevant business, cultural and entertainment festivals in Mexico. Big names in the marketing industry shared the most relevant concepts of our modern times: social media, content marketing, e-commerce, experiential marketing, ROI and other topics – all relevant to the creative industry as well as entrepreneurs and professionals of the passionate discipline that is marketing. A sense of innovation, exploration and creativity was felt in every panel and conference during the Congress, an event that received over 3,000 guests, specialists and authors of the most extraordinary strategies of the past decade.

Jaime Aparicio, Regional Director of Easy Taxi, kick-started the two-day event with the first conference, in which he cited the 10 changes that are being witnessed in the modern-day customer:

  • ¼ of the current population in Mexico (30 million) are millennials, of which 274% are more influenced by blogs, websites, social media, a generation that is constantly hyper connected.
  • These consumers prefer experience to all else and are concerned about their health and the planet.
  • 70% of millenials have a high regard to the approval and opinion of their peers when it comes to decision-making. 61% of these tend to review products and services online.
  • 90% use multiple screens at the same time and 48% use social media to learn about new trends.

Jesús Padilla, Director of PayPal Mexico explained the new tendencies regarding mobile payments, in terms of consumer behavior, available technologies and the global and local context in which the brand is occupied in:

  • PayPal projects that the level of expenditure through e-commerce will be of 290 million dollars.
  • In Mexico, 50% of sales within the fashion industry are processed through mobile devices.
  • 88% of smartphone owners in Mexico are between the ages of 18 and 34.
  • It’s projected that between the years 2015 and 2017, the demand of mobile solutions for brands will increase.
  • Between 2019 and 2020, there will be a rise in the number of purchase platforms for mobile devices.
  • In the year 2020-2022, online shopping will become an omni-channel experience.

Romeo Márquez, Happiness Ambassador in Gelattina gave an in-depth view on the subject of millennials - the consumers of the future:

  • They look for ways of making money before turning 18
  • They are willing to try new ways of interaction
  • They are multitasking and multiscreen
  • 60% write product reviews online
  • They trust their friends more than corporations
  • They are concerned about helping the planet
  • They don’t have an immediate interest in buying a house, a car or getting married.
  • Their purchasing power is too much to be ignored by brands

Carlos Herrero, President of Strategy, Communications and Media spoke about the main mistakes within the industry of Public Relations. The experienced professional mentioned the four main pillars of PR: positioning, credibility, reputation and empathy.

He made a special emphasis on the fact that Public Relations is not meant to substitute advertising, but rather to complement it. One mistake made by agencies is that they are unaware of certain key aspects of their clients and seldom identify a precise target, or pay attention to the product’s main attributes.

He also mentioned that Public Relations is a human science, and as such, should be measured as one. It should not be measured in terms of money, but in terms of the relationships that are created and brand improvement. For Carlos, brands should integrate digital communications in their PR plan.

Another interesting topic is the future of content marketing, expressed by Gonzalo Sevilla, Director of New Business for ESPN Latin North. He goes on to explain that the concept of Content Marketing goes further back than one might imagine. However, today it’s more important than ever. Content marketing is the act of telling relevant stories with a commercial purpose.

He also insisted in the importance of brand legitimacy, which is vital for a brand’s credibility and sustainability when it comes to a successful content marketing strategy.

Key steps for a successful CM strategy:

  • Look for a relevant story to tell
  • Integrate the brand with that story in an organic way
  • Tell the story without losing sight of both the communication platform and target
  • Legitimize the brand
  • Generate power of influence in the consumer.

Carlos Quintana, General Manager of Lagencita shared the means to having a successful dialogue with the current consumer:

  • Content Marketing: When it comes to creating content, brands should remember consumers are not stupid.
  • Branded entertainment: Brands are the principle generators of entertainment.
  • Wearables: 1 out of 5 people have a wearable gadget. It’s a 5,800 million dollar industry.
  • Communications in movement: One third of all purchases during the last Black Friday were made via mobile devices.
  • Supremacy of audiovisual content: One quality video can elevate sales in a 74%.
  • Gamification: 70% of businesses within the Forbes Global 2000 will invest in gamification in the near future.
  • Right-time marketing: A well published tweet at the precise moment during an important event can generate up to 400% retweets and 421% favorites.
  • Generation of experiences: Definitely preferred over products
  • Native advertising: Current investment in native ads is 4,800 million dollars. This is expected to grow to up to 8,000 by the year 2018.
  • Big data: 94% of businesses require personalization. We must define micro-targets.
  • Collaboration: We live the era of economic cooperation.

Guillermo Pérezbolde, CEO & Founder of Mente Digital taught the basic steps in measuring the ROI of social media strategies, by diving into the interesting concept of ROO (Return on Objective’s.)  This term refers to actions that do not necessarily produce a sale, but that facilitate them. ROO is not a concept that measures currency, but the fulfillment of objectives, actions and accomplishments according to these.

He also stated that aside from that, brands needs to generate brand awareness, engagement and need to work on their Online Reputation Management (ORM).

Metrics that can be used when it comes to ROO:

  • Audience
  • Engagement
  • Conversation
  • Influence
  • Conversion
  • Scope / Reach

Emilio Trabulse, Director of Marketing in Grupo Martí shared the key elements that generate brand experience:

  • Thinking like the client
  • Market segmentation
  • Differentiation
  • Innovation
  • Simplicity
  • Credibility and congruence
  • Added value
  • Personalized service
  • Social responsability
  • 360° communications
  • Off/Online experiences

One experience – even a good one - is not enough in order to sustain a lasting impression on a customer. Brands must prevail over time.

Experienced advertising executive Sebastián Arrechedera, CEO of Arrechedera Claverol, shared advice on what to consider when choosing an advertising / creative agency:

  • Step out of your comfort zone: Dare to experiment and let the agency guide you during the process.
  • Research, analyze and filter: Avoid gathering different agencies with different profiles. Be precise, research the firm’s background and pick the option that best suits your brand.
  • Don’t look for a “provider.” Instead, seek a partner. Don’t hire an agency in order to tell it what do. Consider it a strategic partner with experience within the area.
  • Believe

Day 1 of the National Congress of Marketing was enriching thanks to the expert advice and experiences of its lecturers. It is, without a doubt, a terrific example of the quality and level of professionals within the industry of Marketing and Advertising in Mexico. 

Nominated for the Journalist of the Year Award

I am extremely honored to have been nominated for the Journalist of the Year Award by the folks of Cannes Lions Dominicana. It's very flattering to be considered for the first edition of an award that values the efforts of all those whole love the industry and enjoy writing about it. 

One can't help feeling tremendously grateful and motivated!

Journalist of the Year Cannes Lions

How Brands are Using Snapchat and Other Messaging Apps

The new revolution of mobile messaging apps began in a very innocuous manner. The basic idea was to bypass the charges involved in texting by creating an app that does essentially the same thing, but between smartphones over wireless networks. Although text messages are unlikely to go away anytime soon, for those who send hundreds of texts every day and are limited by a restrictive plan, messaging apps are a suitable alternative.

Messaging applications like Whatsapp, LINE and WeChat as well as more recent innovations like Snapchat, Jelly and Whisper have understood this requirement and taken these charges completely out of the equation.  WhatsApp has around 450 million users. WeChat has around 350 million and dominates the Chinese market, where American giants are not allowed to operate. Snapchat, which is only a couple of years old, is closing in on 100 million users. Newer ones are also quickly expanding their footprints and getting millions of new users every week, tailored to the new, clean mobile look of the Internet.

So, the question here for the businesses is how to capitalize on this new social development. Surely something that has hundreds of millions of subscribers needs to be at least explored and experimented with, especially when traditional social networks like Facebook and Twitter are getting a bit overcrowded and reaching a point of saturation. The good news is that despite their newness, they are no longer a mystery to clever marketers. While they are likely to change and evolve in the near future, many brands have found out ways to use these apps to engage with their potential customers

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

One-On-One Interaction

The main benefit of these apps is that they are capable of ensuring privacy and allow people to interact with each other without the entire world witnessing these interactions. Instead of craving for mass operations, businesses can use this opportunity to have more intimate conversations with their customers. At Coachella festival, Henineken sent cropped images as clues to its followers on Snapchat. Whoever identified the artists from these clues correctly got entry to events at the Heineken House, the branded stage of the beer giant.  Essentially they used the unique characteristics of Snapchat to promote their branding event.

Offering exclusive and interesting content

Taco Bell made an exclusive film for Snapchat that combined footage from an MTV award function and tied it with a new product line. Due to the exclusive nature of the video people rushed to see it and made it a success. Similarly, HBO promoted its series Girls by making its stars post their images and letting the followers get them directly. They were posted regularly till the season lasted and was perfect for the younger followers who are obsessed with celebrity culture.

Direct Sales

Chinese mobile brand Xiaomi created a stir by organizing flash sale of its handsets through WeChat last year. It was a huge success as it managed to sell 150,000 units in little time. Promoting or branding keeping long terms benefits is one thing. But why bother about all that when we can directly sell it anyways? These apps are yet to fine-tune themselves completely for such purposes but they will surely do it in the near future. Some effort may still be required in order to sell physical goods, but they can be extremely useful for easily selling items that can be consumed digitally. For instance, selling a song or a small piece of graphic art can be easily done through such apps.

Customer Service

The private as well as ephemeral nature of networks such as Snapchat may be ideal for customer service. People often have genuine queries and grievances and they do not like to discuss such things in public. Such apps are ideal for these purposes. General Electric is using Jelly to answer scientific queries while Travelocity is considering the same for helping travellers.

All these messaging apps are not necessarily replacements but compliments for the existing social networks. They are offering features that the traditional networks cannot provide due to their very nature. These apps are still very new but it can be said that they will grow very fast in the next few years, just like Facebook and Twitter grew five years ago. Business would do well if they would spend some time considering how to use them and secure that early bird advantage before others realize the same thing.