Jorge Ruiz
Facebook Mexico and Central America
View from the Top

Connecting Mexico

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 10:58

Q:What have been Facebook’s most remarkable achievements in the country?

A: The first day that I arrived here I saw a huge opportunity to connect Mexico. At that moment, worldwide Facebook had almost 1 billion users. Five years later, we have connected 2 billion people worldwide and 76 million people in Mexico. At that time, there were a lot of questions about the importance and role of Facebook in the markets and we saw a huge growth opportunity in terms of mobile technology. However, the most important transformation has been from a social platform into a people’s platform.

Our concerns as a platform have also changed. Five years ago, our most important concern was generating engagement on the platform. Now, it is how we solve business, communications and marketing issues through the platform. Facebook has become the go-to place for companies to connect on a daily basis with the people they really care about. 

When we started in Mexico, our main challenge was to grow and convince businesses that were used to consuming traditional media, such as television or radio, to switch to Facebook. Our first strategy was to target Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG). Then, we came up with other verticals, including retail, auto and finance. E-commerce was not as big as it is now and Amazon, eBay or MercadoLibre were not as popular. That is why we decided to focus all our efforts on branding. 

Q: How can Facebook collaborate to further the entrepreneur ecosystem in Mexico?

A: Entrepreneurship in Mexico needs to get closer to the digital world. They also need to do a better job measuring their success, aligning their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), talking the language of investors and aligning their brand positioning and sales’ strategies. An advantage we provide to entrepreneurs is that we can offer them massive segmentation, which is the dream of all marketers. With this segmentation, you provide the right services and products to the right people at the right time. Is something no other platform can offer. More than 90 percent of internet users in Mexico are also on Facebook, which makes us the perfect vehicle for entrepreneurs and SMEs to grow and further e-commerce. We believe that if people get to Facebook, they can become a multinational company right away.

Q: What should be the role of companies such as Facebook, the telecom industry and the government in providing countrywide internet access?

A: For the country’s development, we need people to be connected. There are 89 million mobile phones in Mexico but not everyone has internet access. We do not want that lack of access to become a hurdle for people to connect. That is why we have developed platforms such as Facebook Lite, where several features that are valuable to people also work offline. With Facebook Lite users can access content that can influence their daily life. We have people in the agricultural sector that use Facebook to check the weather forecast before deciding whether to work or not.
We also want to connect the other half of the country that still does not have access. We already have some projects aimed at providing Wi-Fi to places where access is difficult. Internet access allows people to be more informed and companies that produce content can publish it through Facebook and reach more people. 

Q: What are the right metrics for companies to pursue?

A: More sales and more market share, those are the two metrics that matter. We have learned from traditional markets that we need to address businesses’ needs. At first, digital metrics were important but for businesses the metrics that matter are sales and market share. To address this, we have launched Brands Beyond the Line, which aims to eliminate the lines between digital and business strategies. The intention is to help companies attract more people to their business, to have more people aware of their products, more people loving their brand and buying and consuming their product.