Everywhere I go, I find myself reflexively analyzing the marketing strategies and tactics around me. Much like a filmmaker at the movies, it’s hard not to notice the details under the surface and dive into a quick game of 20 Questions with the first person I see.
On a recent trip to Mexico, I couldn’t help but notice a lack of technology necessary to fully tap the next big thing for that region: e-commerce. With the increasing penetration of social media in Mexico, Amazon is recognizing the potential for tens of millions of new customers and is initiating marketplaces targeting Mexico City. However, aside from the major roadblock of scarce Internet access, the Mexican market is also facing the hurdle of roughly only 16% of the nation’s 120 million population owning credit/debit cards.
I also noticed a striking similarity in marketing content compared to that of the United States. It’s almost as if ads were merely direct Spanish translations of ads from the U.S., which in my mind is unacceptable. Culture, target markets and purchase triggers are drastically different in Mexico, and marketing should be tailored accordingly. A recent Path to Purchase study took us through the journey of the average shopper in Mexico and showed a deep-rooted existence of impulse purchases. While list-based shopping still has a traditional presence, there is a sense of collectivism infused into it, making the shopper experience more of an event than a chore to check off the day’s to-do list. The most striking example of this is the fact that when buying kid-friendly products, Mexican consumers tend to only purchase items that can expose their children to their heritage.
This was an eye-opening trip that could be summed up in one word: potential. There is a tremendous amount of growth potential in Mexico, not only with technology and online retail but also with the marketing we can and should be doing right now. I challenge my fellow marketers to listen to all the research we have available to us, and to use it to innovate beyond the mediocre, so that we’re truly unlocking potential based on culture, and not just going through the motions.