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Entrepreneurs in Mexico Like the Metaverse, but Only a Few Know What It’s About

A survey shows that retail and financial services are the sectors most interested in entering that network of virtual worlds

While 13% of Mexican tech professionals said they fully understand how the Metaverse works and how it could be applied to their business, 70% said they do not know much about it.
July 28, 2022 | 11:32 am

Mexico City — Mexican 30 to 40-year-old entrepreneurs and professionals show the greatest interest and curiosity in exploring the virtues and benefits of the Metaverse, according to a study by ISDI, a school of digital business and technology.

ISDI’s findings — to understand how Mexican leaders view the Metaverse and its business application — show that 56% believe that the Metaverse will interconnect virtual experiences through virtual reality and augmented reality technologies.

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While 13% said they fully understand how it works and how it could be applied to their business, 70% said they do not know much about how this network of virtual words works.

“This may seem surprising, especially when 56% of respondents belong to the (tech) industry or have some specialization in digital business (50% of the sample have a leadership position in their current job),” highlights the report.

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Some in the industry believe that it is only a matter of time before there is a greater understanding and adoption of business models in this area.

Alberto Pardo, CEO and founder of Adsmovil, said that “startups have a riskier mentality and many will want to enter there or are already doing so. They will come out with ideas that they will try to test, create and scale business models looking for investment within the Metaverse, and prove that there is a business in this.”

However, 53% of those who claimed to have an understanding of the Metaverse don’t know how they could apply it to their business or confuse the concept with intra-verse terms such as Augmented Reality, Blockchain, and Artificial Intelligence, says ISDI.

Outside the tech world, 83% of companies in Mexico believe it is relevant to focus on innovation models for their business development. However, the adoption of digitization in 2021 was only 35%.

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Metaverse is open for business

The media (26%), retail (20%), and financial services (14%) are the sectors most interested in understanding and mastering the Metaverse to leverage its potential and stay ahead of the curve.

The five areas where companies consider engaging the Metaverse are innovation, advertising, commercial, sales, and communications, according to the survey.

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Adsmovil’s Pardo believes that regardless of the industry, “the Metaverse will welcome those companies that can read it and get ahead by creating business models that they can scale and replicate. Anyone that gets here and innovates first will surely have a chance to succeed.”

However, the ISDI report shows that in Latin America there are still many brands, businesses, and companies reluctant to adopt digital transformation and embrace new technologies, opting for much more traditional business models and practices. This is normal in markets such as LatAm, where companies are not used to many developments, partly due to the lack of affordability.

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So far, 50% of people consider the Metaverse irrelevant, while 44% think it is highly appealing.

Looking ahead, only 20% of consumers expect to have a Metaverse within the next year. A third of respondents expect to do so within five years, and nearly 50% expect to be active in that virtual environment over the next decade.

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Entering the Metaverse

40% of companies said that the Metaverse has not been discussed within their organizations as a remotely high priority topic, although they believe that it could be in the future.

Some 22% have tackled the topic and are taking action to see how they can include it and leverage its potential in innovation and advertising, while a third of these are still doing some research about it.

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“In the next two years we will see a transition period, with many companies venturing (into the Metaverse),” Pardo said. “Some are already taking small steps, testing, and understanding. There are more promises than realities, but there is substance and possibilities for both brands and users.”

According to ISDI, the key actions companies must take to enter the Metaverse are value propositions, organizational culture, and redesigning products and services, tailoring them to new user needs.

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Data is the golden pot for companies and brands in a 100% virtual world, the school says in the report.

But according to Pardo, consumers have not been quick to embrace the Metaverse. “There is more media speculation than action, you still don’t see massive solutions in the Metaverse and I don’t think we are going to see much of a consumer shift yet.”

At the presentation of the Mexican chapter of the Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2022-2026, Anderson Ramires, lead partner of TMT & Digital Services at PwC Mexico, said that “this year we observe how the Metaverse and augmented reality continue to gain ground globally. With the increase in sales of augmented reality devices, people are increasingly connected to this technology and companies are more enthusiastic about having a presence in these spaces.”