The Business Year

Fernando Yañez

General Director, BRAYA

Sylvain Chevalier

CEO, Havas Media Group México

What are the peculiarities of the Mexican market? SYLVAIN CHEVALIER The Mexican market is becoming more competitive. This country is going through a change of generation and of management style, […]

What are the peculiarities of the Mexican market?

SYLVAIN CHEVALIER The Mexican market is becoming more competitive. This country is going through a change of generation and of management style, whereby it is becoming less based on relationships and more on results. There is also a structural change occurring in the industry as a result of the latest reforms. The most significant change, however, is in the behavior of the Mexican consumer. Mexico has been lagging behind in digital technology. The share of media spending represented by digital was lower in Mexico than the Latin American average, but this is now changing rapidly. Regulatory changes are offering a minor boost, but I would say that it is more of a final push now, rather than the initial one. The initial push comes from the change in behavior. If it took other countries 10 years to reach a 15% share of investment in digital, Mexico will probably do it within five or six years.

FERNANDO YAí‘EZ TREVIí‘O We started in both the US and Mexico simultaneously around the start of 2014, and are seeing rapid growth in terms of clients and staff. We are wary of growing our workforce, however, as past experience of instability was a lesson well learnt. In Mexico clients and projects are volatile, and having a huge fixed cost at your agency invites undue risk. At Braya, we want to design an agency of strong and senior staff. We are a boutique operation, but not a boutique business. We are pursuing high revenues, but with low staff count. The agency started with 12 people and today numbers over 40. We are trying to remain at under 100 over the next couple of years. That said, the volume of clients and business will ultimately determine the number. We also have HR consultants who are permanently advising Braya on how to build, hire, and restructure staff in order to maintain a low cost structure, but with significant operational capabilities. Agencies in Mexico do not invest in HR, and at the most employ one HR manager.

On which kinds of clients are you now focusing?

SC Our main clients are major companies that have B2C business models like Grupo Caso, Telecel, Sanborns, Sears, Bimbo, Grupo Modelo, and Polala. We have around 100 clients that are top Mexican corporations. Our clients are changing as media changes. Today, people consume media in a more fragmented manner. This means that reaching customers is more difficult, but it has also opened up a whole new range of opportunities. This used to be a concentrated market of two players, Televisa and TV Azteca that probably represented up to 70% of the market. Today, those two players represent just half. This gives us the opportunity to negotiate media space, and to make them much more interesting, open, and competitive. We need to move toward a more strategic planning offering, and digital media is the engine behind that.

FYT At Braya, we want to design our client portfolio instead of just building it by responding to random contacts. We are building a technology portfolio and have clients from Silicon Valley, and are looking for new clients in that industry as they differ from other corporations. They are basically start-ups, but with considerable money and ambition. They think in terms of users, rather than consumers, which is different. We are also building a luxury portfolio wherein we have clients like Moí«t & Chandon, Louis Vuitton, and Porsche. We like luxury brands because they have amazing histories and a legacy behind them.



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