Mexican content studio uses automated Profoto solutions to pass on cost savings in a rapidly growing market.
Who is Mat.Media?
Mat.media is a new content production agency that specializes in creating high-quality visual content for fashion brands, retailers, and designers who want to sell their products online.
That means images of garments on models, shots of them up close on neutral backgrounds, and well-styled still-life photos with the products as the main focus. Next to this, video production has entered Mat.Media's content mix
Based in Mexico City and co-founded by Fernando Marroquin, a photographer, and Rodrigo Marroquin Torres, who runs the operational side of the business, the company was founded in late 2016.
The duo now serves the growing content production needs of an industry worth an estimated 15 billion USD per year. Their goal? To 'provide the highest photographic quality, consistency and speed at the most competitive price in the market'.
What's going on in the Mexican market right now?
With a surge in demand for fashion in the last half-decade, coupled with now widespread internet access, Mexico's apparel and accessories market is thriving. It's a trend that's looking to be onwards and upwards for a number of reasons.
As well as a longstanding garment manufacturing industry, Mexico's third biggest trade partner is China. Recent deals signed with Alibaba signify a shared economic vision between the Mexican Government and Jack Ma's group [Reuters].
No matter how the puffing of chests ends, the e-commerce market in all Latin American countries has been identified as having high growth potential [Business of Fashion]. And investments at this stage of growth, especially in technology, can be make-or-break factors in grabbing a strong foothold in a rapidly emerging market.
It's Mat.Media's plan to dig their high-tech production methods in at an early stage and establish a trusted, high quality and competitively priced offer to e-tailers. They aim to do this through shrewd investment into their production workflow.
By making their photography faster and reducing their cost per photo, they can offer faster turnaround times and lower prices to brands and retailers who want their products meticulously snapped in high quality - at high quantities.
With the last piece of their cost-efficient production puzzle - live model photography and product video - now filled in with the addition of Profoto StyleShoots Live, Mat.Media are now set to go on a hot streak in one of the fastest-growing e-commerce industries in the world.
"Through using automated Profoto solutions, we can deliver our customers the highest quality of content with consistency and speed - at the most competitive prices"
Mexico's growing e-commerce industry
Recently undergoing a series of economic spats with its outspoken northern neighbour, Mexico is looking inward to create a more powerful and self-sufficient environment for its industries. And one big area of focus is online retailing.
"E-commerce has grown at double-digit rates in the last five years and everything indicates that this trend is going to continue." says Erick Pérez, President of the Mexican Association of Online Sales. [Mexico News Daily]
Pérez goes on to add: “[But] being realistic, you have to say that e-commerce is still a small percentage of total retail sales in Mexico, around 1 to 2%"
Compare this to an average of 12 percent of all retail sales in the US being made via e-commerce [Digital Commerce 360]. That means there's massive untapped potential for brands to leverage the growing industry - as internet service penetration and consumer trust increase across its 127 million inhabitants.
By 2018 the number of internautas is expected to jump to 80 million - a whopping 21.1 million of whom are expected to become online shoppers as a younger, more trusting generation of online shoppers emerges. [Forbes]
Mat.Media's competitive tech advantage
Content production is one of the fastest-growing areas brands are investing in as e-commerce continues to become the most vital area of focus for retailers. This means that websites and social media accounts need to be constantly populated with new imagery and product content.
Photographing products requires a high level of technical and creative expertise. It also requires a fully functioning studio filled with lights, cameras, and often multiple sets to match production demands.
This means a great deal of capital investment must be put into content production, as well as accounting for day-to-day operational costs and high-value human resources.
In order to offer a high-quality content production service to brands and e-tailers who aren't able to make this capital investment - or who don't have the expertise to create professional content - Mat.Media added three automated Profoto solutions to their operation.
By doing so, Mat.Media aim to pass on the time- and cost-saving benefits, helping them to expand their local client base at this critical stage of growth.
What tech are they using?
Profoto StyleShoots Horizontal is an all-in-one studio for flat lay photography. It has everything that you'd find in a photo set. The system removes the background of the garment, so it's almost ready for publishing online.
Like Horizontal, Vertical is designed to take packshots with a special 'ghost mannequin effect'. Where this usually takes intensive post-production techniques, the system produces them with the tap of a button.
Live is a new part of the content production mix. It's an all-in-one smart studio that can film and shoot models. The system automatically outputs high-quality video designed for websites and social media with speed and ease.
What are the benefits?
Mat.Media are able to take clothing samples from their clients and shoot them at a much faster pace than their competitors. In a market where fast fashion means more styles per season, this is a big selling point for local clients.
The systems don't require as much technical expertise to operate compared to more traditional photography methods. A simpler method enables a higher production output. This, in turn, allows Mat.Media to pass on savings to clients.
Video and model content
Anyone who has worked with photographing models will tell you it can be expensive and technically difficult to do professionally. Better yet, the ability to add videos of products into the mix gives Mat.Media an advantage none of their competitors has.