McKinsey acquires team from a leading digital commerce agency: LOBO

“It’s a time of high-growth for e-commerce and digital transformation in Latin America,” says Facundo Bonfigli who, along with Lucas Chimmalez, created LOBO, a boutique digital agency in Buenos Aires. Founded in 2016, the agency has grown significantly over the past six years, working across 25 industries and in 15 countries. [Note: This story is also available in Spanish.]

Today, we are very pleased to announce that the full LOBO team will be joining McKinsey. They will double the size of our digital commerce and operations team in the Americas, forming the core of a new capability hub based in Buenos Aires serving clients in Latin America and North America.

According to Stephan Zimmermann, a McKinsey senior partner who leads our digital marketing analytics group for the Americas, the region is experiencing a digital revolution due to “a convergence of factors that are hitting all at once—a digital-savvy population, booming smartphone penetration, fast growing tech start-ups and unicorns, and surging ecommerce growth.”

The LOBO team has been delivering powerful results for both established businesses and digital-native startups by energizing their digital sales channels. For example, they helped a fragrance company increase revenue by over 1000 percent, and a medical insurer boost lead volume by 85 percent, lowering the cost-per-lead acquisition by 43 percent.

McKinsey has been partnering with LOBO for three years. “LOBO brings together a great team of experts who can get on-the-ground quickly and help our clients accelerate to a world-class level of digital marketing,” observes Stephan.

Specifically, Stephan says, the LOBO team knows how to help businesses target new customer segments and expand their existing relationships. Their work can identify the most effective digital channels and formats for developing personalized client acquisition and retention campaigns. They also create content that resonates with target audiences, and then can automate the engagement processes end-to-end, from sending emails to reporting results, optimizing approaches, and refining budgets.

From left to right: Lucas Chimmalez (Lobo founder); Francisco Ortega (Sr Partner McKinsey) & Facundo Bonfigli (Lobo founder)
From left: Lucas Chimmalez, LOBO co-founder, Francisco C. Ortega, McKinsey senior partner and managing partner Spanish Latam; Facundo Bonfigli, LOBO co-founder
From left to right: Lucas Chimmalez (Lobo founder); Francisco Ortega (Sr Partner McKinsey) & Facundo Bonfigli (Lobo founder)

“Entire industries such as retail, banking, telecoms, and consumer products are being upended by competitors who are digital natives—at a pace that is phenomenal,” says Jesus Moreno, a McKinsey partner in Buenos Aires who is leading the acquisition. “It’s a real challenge for many companies to internally grow world-class digital marketing talent, which is usually very scarce in the market. To help them, we provide the best team with speed and scale, powered by the best analytics and tech assets.”

For instance, a McKinsey team could include a data scientist from QuantumBlack, software engineers and designers from McKinsey Digital, and now marketing operations and digital sales talent from this team of experts who have joined our digital marketing operations and technology team.

The acquisition will also help us ensure the impact we create for clients can be sustained over the long term. “The LOBO team will help us build capabilities and help them develop their own marketing operations teams,” says Stephan. “This is what differentiates us from other firms. We're there to help clients accelerate results while building the skills of their team so they become fully self-sufficient and realize sustainable growth.”

They have execution experts that can get up and running quickly and help a customer go from zero to a hundred miles-an-hour in terms of digital sales.

Stephan Zimmermann , McKinsey senior partner

LOBO has built its team through a smart recruiting process that is reinforced by a collegial, flexible, and collaborative culture. Colleagues go through a rigorous program of client rotations, train on different tools, and gain exposure to a variety of industries and geographies. They experience a systematic approach to coaching and advising clients, similar to the way McKinsey trains consultants. “We hire candidates with an analytical bent from a range of backgrounds,” says Lucas. “What we look for is enthusiasm.”

Now, that enthusiasm will be put to work in service of our clients. “By joining McKinsey, we can give our people the ultimate opportunity,” says Facundo. “They will be able to work on a variety of challenges and projects they might not have had otherwise, and have the chance to create new, innovative solutions.”

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