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5 consumption patterns for the 2022 holiday season

It's time to adjust marketing strategies for the holiday season that this year will be marked by inflation and the "overcoming" of the pandemic.

A global study by Mintel indicates that 76% of consumers are concerned about price increases, so it predicts that 5 key consumer behaviors will prevail for retailers:

Buy now, pay later is the mantra. These types of payments - installments, coupons, refunds - will be prioritized, and digital channels will be used to compare prices.

Shopping is starting earlier. In order to save money, people are starting to look for gifts much earlier than in previous years. "We have to think in terms of offers, anticipate them, and perhaps this will lead to Black Friday becoming blurred amidst the avalanche of promotions," says PuroMarketing.

Environmental awareness is also present in gift-giving. Homemade gifts, recycled materials, second-hand items, or those with a community sense are more popular, especially among millennials and Generation Z.

Customer service is fundamental to neutralize negativity. Investing in employees and offering excellent sales and after-sales service will be the way to create non-monetary value.

Social media is used to discover products. One of the main reasons why consumers buy on platforms is to find new, fun, and bonding gift ideas and objects.

Advertising Day | When it's good, we can't get enough of it

The belief that an advertisement loses its effectiveness because it begins to "wear out" after a certain period of time is unfounded, according to a study by System1. "This obsession with the expiry date leads to the loss of an important asset: repetition to store in memory," they explain in Puro Marketing. Why do advertisers assume they have little time for that #advertising to work and that they must then remove it?

The study compared consumer reactions in the UK and the US, and found that British consumers have a more negative perception because the lifespan of ads is shorter. Repeat exposure to the same ad serves to keep it in the memory of consumers, provided there is creative commitment and good execution. It is no coincidence that we remember so well the advertisements of the 90s and 2000s.

In Argentina, National Advertising Day is celebrated on December 4th to reflect on the contributions of the advertising industry and analyze what it can do to improve day by day. Should we prolong the presence of our advertisements in the public eye? System1 ensures that reusing ads and making campaigns last longer "is not only efficient, it is also effective."

Agile mentality

Agile methodologies emerged from the failure of traditional work methods when applied in the rapidly evolving and cutting-edge field of software development. Their revolutionary approach to project management and product development has permeated various sectors andcan now be applied to all types of businesses, including marketing, manufacturing, and financial services.

We refer to agile methodologies in the plural because various tools and approaches have been formulated, but all of them focus on flexibility, collaboration, and continuous adaptation. In fact, in 2001, 17 software developers crafted the Agile Manifesto, a document that outlinesthe four values and 12 principles characterizing these practices.

The essence of agile methodologies

In this philosophy it’s fundamental toprioritize individuals and how they collaborate because workplaces often tend to put first processes, tools, and bureaucracy over the people who work and interact within them. Instead of excessive documentation, legalities, and absolute records, the primary concern is toensure that the product functions and is readily available to the customer. Thus,continuous collaboration with the client takes precedence over fine print and having everything defined from the outset. This leads us to the final pillar of agile methodologies: the ability to respond to changes rather than rigidly following a plan that doesn't work simply because it was agreed upon.

The benefits of adopting agile methodologies, regardless of the industry, revolve around thecontinuous adaptation of the company and the teamto an undeniably unpredictable world:

  • Greater flexibility in response to market demands
  • Continuous delivery of value, enhancing customer satisfaction and retention
  • Improved collaboration and transparent communication
  • Ongoing feedback to enhance products and services
  • Reduced risks as problems are identified before they become significant obstacles

Agile Marketing

How can we apply agile principles to optimize marketing projects? One of the most valuable tools for task management and daily tracking isKanban, which provides a visual control of the workflow, prioritizes tasks, and ensures that all activities progress efficiently. It can be used in content creation and strategy execution.

On the other hand,Design Sprint is a valuable tool for idea generation and problem-solving. Its distinctive features include brainstorming, prototyping, and rapid testing to validate concepts and obtain early user feedback.

Lastly, the Lean Startup approach is based on creating a minimum viable product (MVP) and using market feedback and user data to continually adjust the marketing strategy.

All that Elon Musk did on Twitter (so far)

It's not easy to summarize what happened on Twitter since Elon Musk took the reins, but it's necessary to try. But why do we care about what happens on that platform? Controversies fill news portals - such as part of the staff sleeping in offices to work more - and amidst all the noise, the underlying issues go unnoticed.

"The problems with Twitter are not engineering problems, they are political problems," summarizes The Verge. The value of the platform is not in its technology but in the people (in large numbers) who use it: celebrities, politicians, institutions, brands, and everyday people, and the conversations that are generated.

Therefore, it is an important stage for public discourse where debates are held, information is disseminated, connections are made, and actions are taken. And now it is in the hands of a person who already has a lot of power and little desire to share it. Nevertheless, after conducting a poll where people voted for him to step down as CEO, he seems to have committed to leaving that position.

The first thing Musk did was to implement a paid verification system, which lasted only a week. For $8, people opened accounts that looked official and began posting things that real brands wouldn't tweet. The one that had the worst time was a pharmaceutical company that had to clarify that insulin is not free, sparking a debate about equal access to healthcare. Its stock plummeted.

In addition, the magnate launched changes in content moderation with the promise of "ensuring freedom of expression," but with an escalation of racist content as an immediate result.

In this unstable environment, it is risky to invest in Twitter, and rumors of its closure have been circulating for weeks. But it is still standing, for now.

Change of era: why companies with very few years of existence are already worth much more than traditional ones

Why are relatively young technology companies more valuable than traditional ones?

In recent years, the advance of technology has changed consumption habits around the world. Thus, relatively "young" companies have become the most valuable on the planet.

Firms such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, or Facebook are the faithful reflection of this phenomenon. The same happens with Argentine companies that, born from the hand of new technologies, have a market value higher than that of traditional firms with "historical" brands.

One of these cases is undoubtedly that of Mercado Libre. The company founded by Marcos Galperin, based on e-commerce, has a market capitalization of $55 billion. Although its shares have fallen more than 20% in the year on Wall Street, its market valuation is much higher, for example, than that of IRSA, owner of the most important shopping malls in the country ($300 million).

In the financial world, there are plenty of examples. In August, fintech Ualá achieved a valuation of $2.45 billion after a $350 million investment round. Its "traditional" rivals in the country have a market capitalization up to eight times lower in the New York market, such as Banco Macro ($845 million) or Grupo Supervielle ($342 million).

Globant, on the other hand, has a market capitalization of almost $10 billion, which places it far above a flagship of the Argentine economy: YPF ($1.5 billion).

Another example can be seen in the world of travel: Despegar is valued at $650 million, while Latam, one of the largest airlines in the region, has a market cap of $246 million.

A globally recognized case is that of Tesla, Elon Musk's electric car manufacturing company. Its market valuation exceeds $900 billion, far above two historical companies in the sector such as General Motors ($77 billion) and Ford ($82 billion).

According to Gustavo Domínguez, CIO of Adcap Grupo Financiero and co-founder of Banza, "the main reason why many young firms have higher values than other more legendary ones is that it is difficult to assess them in terms of potential growth, profitability, and earnings to be generated, as they are based on completely new technologies."

As a result, "traditional valuation methods can be wrong: comparing new companies, based on technological innovations, with traditional ones makes one think that they have very high price-to-earnings multiples."

"For some that are already older, such as Amazon, Microsoft, or Tesla, those who invested from their inception celebrated returns of between 2,000% and 3,000% in the last 20 years. This happens quite frequently in new companies, especially if they were disruptive. That is, in their origins, the final impact on the business and consumers was unknown," says Domínguez.

The specialist highlights that, as a consequence of this, "the initial volatility of the price of these stocks may be greater than that of many traditional ones" because:

  • "Fluctuation in investor expectations is wider"
  • "There is enormous uncertainty about whether their business model will be validated and generate the expected returns"
  • "The company is capable of maintaining the right course until it achieves its consolidation or if it turns to something different"

"The best example of this is Amazon, which started by selling books on the Internet and today is the largest retailer in the world. It sells everything, has cloud computing and pure technology businesses, in addition to marketing products and services," he adds.

Beyond the valuations of technology companies, a series of factors in the global economy have slowed the rise of their stocks in recent weeks, and many have indeed presented appreciable declines. The possible rise in Fed rates is one of them.

In this sense

How work will be in the next decade

Bumeran has published a study where Human Resources specialists from Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Panama, and Peru visualized how they believe work will be in the next decade.

By a wide margin, the region imagines that work will be different in 10 years: 66% of Argentine specialists say it will improve, 23% say it won't change much, and 11% say it will worsen. The other countries, except Chile, are a bit more optimistic.

Regarding the challenges foreseen, the ones with the greatest adherence were "that workers manage to adapt to the new world of work" and "that they do not perform their tasks in isolation and that teamwork synergy is not lost."

On the other hand, the main advantage for half of those surveyed is the possibility of working from anywhere in the world, followed by an improvement in working conditions. In fact, 60% believe that the workplace will be a "hybrid between the office and another place."

Incorporating new skills and training is key for the entire region, although half believe that work itself will be modified by the automation of many tasks. Furthermore, nearly 30% of specialists predict that many positions will disappear due to technological implementation.

Finally, HR experts agree that teamwork and new forms of leadership will be essential for relating to work.

Stages of maturation of an e-commerce

Knowing what to expect from a business and how it can evolve is crucial when starting a project. How muchtime and money will be needed to open, maintain, and leverage anonline business?

Alan Soria, CEO & Co-Founder of We Are, identified 3 growth phases related to ecommerce traffic:investment, maturity, and professionalization, and they are not related to the passage of time. Each of these phases is marked by milestones related to the company, digitalization, sales volume, database traffic, and store pickup location density. As ecommerce matures, its needs also mature.

Stage 1: Birth of Ecommerce

This is day zero, the moment when inertia is broken. The database has fewer than 10,000 contacts, organic traffic is not significant, and search engine rankings are very low.People are not familiar with the brand, so they don't contribute to direct traffic by typing the URL.

The investment in a newly launched ecommerce should not go directly into sales;the focus should be on increasing traffic sources and starting to build an email and/or phone databasethat will support the marketing strategy. The investment amount should bebetween 12% and 15% of gross revenue, although if there are no sales, you may need to work with lower budgets.

At this stage, havinga physical store is useful for collecting customer data and growing faster. This can be done by putting a QR code on the bag, conducting giveaways based on voluntarily provided data, or sending the receipt online.

Stage 2: Seeking Stability and Volume

A common mistake in ecommerce occurs when high volumes are achieved in all indicators, and the desire to reap the rewards comes too soon. This stage is critical because the focus should be on testing the elasticity of your strategies and finding where they break.

This period provides the opportunity to analyze the value of each customer and understand how the products and services offered by the business behave online. If the goal is to acquire new customers and get existing ones to buy more often, you should startinvesting between 8% and 10% of gross revenue at this stage.

Soria mentions that in this way, you can focus on new paid traffic channels such as programmatic advertising and branding videos on YouTube, without expecting an immediate return on ad spend (ROAS). Additionally, you canstart working with influencer marketing and value-optimized content for SEO.

Stage 3: Profitability

The final stage begins with the pursuit of competitiveness: achieving better shipping methods, new payment methods, ecommerce-specific packaging, gift experiences, and more. Understanding user behavior is already advanced, solaunching a loyalty program would be very appropriate, and profitability is now possible.

What a mature ecommerceneeds is an investment of 3% to remain competitive in new channels and for keywords that open up the sales funnel.

According to the specialist, finding profitability will depend exclusively on the ability to "leverage" logistics operations, customer service, digital advertising, and supply chain through physical stores.

When ecommerce is already profitable, the recommendation is to form commercial partnerships with other brands for joint promotional activities, innovate in products and services, and even sell traffic to third parties.

The secret of fintechs: why they are gaining more customers and can lend you money more easily and quickly

What is the current situation with credit card financing in Argentina and how are fintechs benefiting from it?

In recent months, credit card financing in Argentina has registered a real decline, possibly due to factors such as lack of credit limit updates, high user indebtedness, and recent interest rate increases. The use of credit cards for purchases in Argentine pesos grew by 38% year-on-year in 2021, well below inflation. In January, credit card transactions grew by just 0.2%, while prices increased by almost 4%.

This decline has led to a surge in demand for fintech loans. Fintech companies offer greater flexibility and a wider variety of financing options that cater to different user profiles, making them increasingly popular. In many cases, these companies offer products specifically designed for those who cannot access traditional bank credit or credit cards.

Fintechs such as Alprestamo and Wenance have seen a significant increase in loan requests. Alprestamo, for example, reports a 400% increase in approved loans through their platform. The pandemic has accelerated the digitalization of financial services and boosted trust in fintech solutions, which are seen as effective and accessible.

Many people in Argentina now use fintech platforms for loans, paying for purchases in installments and without a credit card. These platforms analyze various user-specific variables and offer payment options in just a few minutes, giving people who were previously excluded from the traditional financial system access to credit.

What do new talents want when looking for a job?

Did you know that Argentina is the Latin American country with the highest percentage of employees working in a hybrid manner?

According to a study by WeWork and Michael Page, which interviewed more than 8,000 people in six Latin American countries, 86% of Argentines work in a hybrid manner, 14% work completely remotely, and only 4% continue to go to the office every day in person.

The survey was conducted to understand the new habits, priorities, demands, and values of professionals in the region after the pandemic and confinement.

What are the advantages of the new work paradigm?

87% consider the reduction in commuting time to be the main advantage of the hybrid work model.

People increasingly value the balance between personal and work life, so they favor employers who offer a flexible work model. Companies must understand that well-being is no longer seen as a benefit but as a fundamental strategy for success.

Hand in hand with Generation Z (born 1997 and 2012), which already constitutes 30% of the workforce, the requirements when taking a job are changing.

It is no longer enough for companies to offer good remuneration, and they must propose a range of benefits to attract and retain new and old talents. The two unbeatable requirements are: remote or hybrid mode and a good salary, but with an explicit clarification about the salary adjustment.

In addition, Manpower lists other factors that matter when accepting a job:

  • Choose start and end times
  • More vacation days
  • Completely flexible work options (35%)
  • Health and well-being of employees
  • Creating new work models
  • Improving skills, learning, and development.

Improving skills, learning, and development.

What does "remote first" mean?

Literally, remote first means that the organizational first option of a company is for the total elimination of the traditional office workspace. This way, very few or almost no people would be required to regularly go to a centralized office.

This is how @marturua reflects for the Argentine newspaper La Nación: "The remote work forced by the pandemic allowed the corporate world to ask the question that seemed impossible in 2019: What if we continue working remotely indefinitely?" 🏠

Remote work is no longer a new practice exclusive to tech companies, and more and more firms from traditional industries are joining the trend, such as Nissan, Naranja, MercadoLibre, KPMG, and Etermax 🙋‍♀️ Our way of working at Mediática Interactive is also #RemoteFirst.

Although hybrid work still dominates, fully remote teams are becoming the first choice worldwide, and not just as a response to restrictions.

🧑🏻‍💻 Maintaining this remote modality with optional in-person presence provides flexibility, allows different lifestyles to be accommodated, and expands the company's talent market.

It is important to keep in mind that the request for employees to "wear the company shirt" has been replaced by the need for executives to put themselves in their collaborators' shoes 🤝


Why are there so many layoffs in Big Tech companies?

The headlines about massive layoffs in Big Tech began in the second half of 2022, and it seems that every week there is news of some cutbacks. What happened in an industry that appeared to have no limits?

The response offered by most of these companies is that they had over-hired during the pandemic and with the return to normalcy, they realized that many positions were surplus. In a sector where there has always been a need for more labor, and even competition for the best talent, it is surprising.

But the economic uncertainty that has shaken the West due to widespread inflation and the international political instability resulting from the war in Ukraine has affected the Big (and not so big) technology companies, and they have decided to be more cautious.

Technology companies that have made massive layoffs

  • Technology companies that have made massive layoffs
  • Amazon is the company that will lay off the most people: 18,000 workers.
  • Google is reducing its staff by 6%, with 12,000 layoffs expected in the coming months.
  • Meta was one of the first companies to announce massive layoffs, eliminating 11,000 jobs in November, or 13% of its workforce.
  • Microsoft also announced a cut of 10,000 people, which is equivalent to 6% of the total.
  • IBM will lay off 1.5%, or 3,900 positions.
  • Twitter kept just over half of its staff after laying off 3,700 people.
  • Spotify Technology plans to cut 6%, or approximately 600 jobs.
  • Salesforce will lay off 2,500 workers.

Since mid-2022, the digital sector has seen more than 150,000 layoffs.The crisis is also affecting regional brands such as Ualá, TiendaNube, Kavak, and Etermax.

The only company that has not made any layoffs is Apple, which, in addition to having a more prudent commercial and financial strategy than the rest, was the only one whose CEO took a pay cut. Tim Cook decided to earn 40% less this year, just $35 million.

Where is tech talent heading?

Working for one of the big companies was the dream of many professionals because of the money, benefits, and prestige, but now it is much more attractive to aim for a startup. The appeal lies in collaborating on a project from scratch, helping it grow, and demonstrating talent.

However, Business Insider explains that, on the one hand, small companies cannot offer the same salaries as more established ones, so they would not be able to absorb all that available human capital.

On the other hand, there are cultural differences between those who work in Big Tech and startups, so hiring is cautious. What they are looking for are people who have experienced diverse challenges, have many skills, and can work on various projects.