Ricardo Barrera
The Cocktail
José M. García-Hoz
José M. García-Hoz
The Cocktail
View from the Top

Taking Mexico's Market to a Digital Level

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 09:54

Q: What was behind The Cocktail’s decision to open an office in Mexico City?

A: We decided to come to Latin America because we believed there was a lot we could do in this growing market. The company was founded in Spain 14 years ago and in 2012 we opened the office in Mexico to identify trends in the digital market and to the needs of our customers. In Mexico, we work in five sectors: banking, insurance, retail, travel and media, where we mainly offer e-commerce and transactional banking services. We also want to reach pharma, which we believe is a very interesting sector.

Q: How does Mexico compare with other countries in the region regarding e-commerce?

A: Mexico is an important market but the penetration of e-commerce and mobile transactions over total retail operations is very low. Other countries like Brazil, Argentina and Colombia are more advanced. The challenge in Mexico is that there is a large number of family businesses in which the decision-making is more centralized. Because there are no middlemen who own the budget, every decision on a project can only be made through someone with the power to decide.

Q: How do your services benefit companies?

A: We create digital transformation projects. When we develop a project, we activate different handles. For example, we evaluate what type of structure the company has and if it can support a digital strategy. From the internal structure, we consider capacity, skills and personnel, while from the external structure we evaluate the type of processes and suppliers. Finally, we offer our customers information through our market research agency focused on the digital market, so we can offer structural changes a company can introduce based on the knowledge we have of the consumer and their patterns of use of products, services and content. When we carry out a project, we must get involved in logistics, talent, technology, distribution and operations.

Q: Which industries could most benefit from digitalization?

A: I think the Mexican spectrum is going to change given the current market environment. Compared to Europe, Mexico has low financial inclusion and lacks an insurance culture. In this case, digitalization could help increase the customer base, reduce commercial costs and raise value per client. The travel and retail sectors must accelerate their digital growth. First, due to the appearance of new players like Amazon that are changing consumer patterns and improving the industry, and second, because local users are becoming more used to conducting transactions and shopping via the internet.

Q: You have worked with top brands in Spain. How do you reach your clients?

A: In Spain, we have worked with almost every company in the IBEX 35. We do not have an ad hoc commercial team, so we live on the success of other projects and brand recognition. In Mexico, at first, it was hard to get the big companies because when we arrived here there was already a group of consultancies with long experience. Also, things here work differently than in Spain, but for us it is a great opportunity to have this learning experience. In the end, what makes The Cocktail is the great talent our team has in different areas like design, strategy, research and technology and how this talent adapts to each project. We are a young team with different methods and we offer a growing opportunity for our clients and our people. Therefore, once a client works with us, they will continue bringing us new challenges.

Q: What are your growth expectations for the next year?

A: Our objective in Mexico is to reach the size we have in Spain, where we have more than 250 consultants and are growing at a good pace. In Latin America, we have about 30 people and growth is also moving quickly. Considering industries, we want to get stronger in retail and work much more in insurance and banking, which are our strongest sectors.