The world of communication consulting is one hard to understand. Throughout the years companies around the globe have come to realize the importance of a communication agency and having an objective and external opinion about their strategies with its stakeholders.

The Latin American Communication Monitor (LCM), the broadest study in communication trends and strategy, has shown the discrepancy between what agencies and clients consider to be an asset within communication consultancy. For example, in Latin America the main reason for organizations to seek consulting in external agencies is based in their creativity and innovation along with their applied strategic knowledge.

However, a considerable gap exists between the perception of the added value communication agencies believe they provide and that of the reasons for which companies hire their services. This gap has been closing up in the last years, indicating a merger between the functions of one with the motivations of the other. As of 2016 the average perception gap stands at a 4.5 percent. It is a slow, but gradual process that will end when the market finds its balance. Never disappearing completely due to the tendency humans have towards subjectivity, but it will come close to alignment.

It is precisely what communication departments do not value when searching to externalize work what we think is fundamental: the economic factor. About 41.1 percent admitted to recurring to agencies to save on internal personnel costs; 27.1 percent due to the inability of hiring internally.

The motivations for which agency services are hired vary depending on the nature of the business. Strategic intelligence, creativity and innovation are the most demanded, with over 69.9 percent of surveyed companies implying so. It is true that the digital transformation has encouraged a change in the way communication is dealt with.

Change must occur, but as it must happen whenever there is a change of era. As is the case of Latin America, they find themselves in a conjuncture where they are changing their relation with communication, and incorporating it further into their processes. The increase of stakeholders and parties with which communication is necessary has been increasing slowly and must be attended.

An interesting finding from the LCM is the difference between the average perception gap between Europe and Latin America. Data evidences in average that there is a higher confidence and alignment between agencies and companies in Latin America than in Europe by a 2.5 percent. This reveals a new spectrum of opportunities within this growing sector. Communication has become a new business hub for those interested in entering this region

By: Alejandro Romero, Partner and CEO for the Americas