South American and Central American Digital Agencies

Part
01
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Part
01

South American and Central American Digital Agencies - List

I was able to find a list of top 10 independent digital agencies based in Mexico, Central America, or South America with less than 150 employees. The list includes 2 Chilean agencies, 2 Mexican agencies, 2 Argentinean agencies, 1 Colombian agency, 1 Costa Rican agency, 1 Ecuadorian agency, and 1 Uruguayan agency. Please note that some of the sources included are in Spanish and, when available, I provided links in English.

In order to identify the top agencies, I used the Effie Effectiveness Index. It identifies and ranks "the most effective agencies, marketers, brands, networks, and holding companies by analyzing credited finalist and winner data from Effie Award competitions around the world." The global ranking can be filtered by region and includes an option for Latin America. I then reviewed the filtered ranking to identify independent agencies.

Since the request also established the list should include agencies from several countries, I only included 2 agencies per country. Therefore, the compiled list does not exactly match the list of the top 10 independent agencies as ranked by Effie (which has numerous agencies from Chile and Mexico). Instead, once 2 independent agencies from the same country were included in the list below, I proceeded to exclude other agencies from the same country in order to obtain a more representative list. Below I have included the list with some details about the agencies' services, a short list of clients, and links to social media pages.

LIST of lATIN aMERICAN iNDEPENDENT aGENCIES

Proximity is a Colombian agency founded in 2004. Currently led by Hernan Peña, the agency's philosophy relies on building ideas that provoke emotion and connection through any media, achieving relationships with consumers. Their personnel includes creatives, planners, producers, digital creatives, content managers, engineers, socializers, community managers, web masters and administrative experts.

Location: Bogota, Colombia
Social Media: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook
Employees: Less than 100
Effie position: 6
Awards received: 23
Clients: Visa, Claro, Johnson & Johnson, Splenda, among others.

2. La América, previously known as Madre Buenos Aires
Madre Buenos Aires was a successful digital agency that obtained the 18th position in the Effie Latin America ranking. According to its website, the agency was acquired by La América in December 2017. The entire creative team remained in La América and it also retained all Madre Buenos Aires's original clients.

Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Social Media: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn
Employees: Less than 50
Effie position: 18
Awards received: 6
Clients: AB InBev, Pepsico, Carrefour, Quilmes

Led by Sebastián Sonda and Luis Ribó, Flock is a creative agency located in Mexico City which focuses on developing ideas to create stories and experiences. They highlight the use of innovative technology tools to solve real issues and understand real people.

Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Social Media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
Employees: 140
Effie position: 25
Awards received: 6
Clients: Domino's Pizza, Nike, Coca-Cola, American Express, Sony

Ran by Erick Apuy and Néstor Villalobos, interaction is a Central American digital agency which focuses on social media, paid media, design, app development, SEO, and digital campaigns and strategy.

Location: San José, Costa Rica
Social Media: Facebook
Employees: 70
Effie position: 35
Awards received: 6
Clients: Papa John's, Bayer, Chevrolet, Burger King, Huawei

5. Raya
Located in Chile, the agency focuses on content production, data analytics, creativity, planning, and integrated digital services. Their style is irreverent, relevant, and innovative, aiming at developing unique experiences for customers.

Location: Santiago, Chile
Social Media: Facebook, Instagram
Employees: 100
Effie position: 51
Awards received: 5
Clients: Puma, Huawei, Virgin Mobile, Peugeot

The company aims to transform the way consumers relate to brands by developing strategies that combine creativity, data, and technology. Their areas of expertise are digital performance, branding, and customer service.

Location: Santiago, Chile
Social Media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn
Employees: 75
Effie position: 56
Awards received: 6
Clients: Unilever, Movistar, Sony

Ache is a digital ad agency that focuses on creative development, digital media, marketing, public relations, and social media.

Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Social Media: Facebook, LinkedIn
Employees: 51-100
Effie position: 58
Awards received: 3
Clients: Nike, Nissan, Microsoft, Facebook, Danone

The Peruvian agency recently merged with another independent local agency called Pragma. Currently, they are known as Independencia Grupo Parma. The agency has not yet released its new website and information is available through Facebook and LinkedIn.

Location: Guayaquil, Ecuador
Social Media: Facebook, LinkedIn
Employees: 51-100
Effie position: 58
Awards received: 6
Clients: Honda, Telefónica

9. La Mayor
Located in Uruguay, La Mayor is an agency that specializes in sound and video production. The company also has a division, La Mayor Cine, dedicated to sound design for movies, movie theaters, and documentaries.

Location: Montevideo Uruguay
Social Media: Facebook, Twitter
Employees: Less than 50
Effie position: 58
Awards received: 5
Clients: Telefónica, Claro, Pepsi

Originally called Carlos y Dario, The Juju Agency focuses on developing marketing and digital campaigns. The founder, Dario Straschnoy, has also partnered with other independent agencies in New York, Colombia, and Brazil to integrate additional advertising services under an ecosystem called Untold_. These include data analysis, public opinion, and research (provided by Quiddity); branding and product development (provided by fogdog); public relations (provided by Agora); and digital strategy, digital content production, and social media services (provided by Juju).

Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Employees: 50
Effie position: 99
Awards received: 3
Clients: DirecTV, L'Oréal, Unilever

CONCLUSION

Using the Effie Effectiveness global ranking I was able to identify the top 10 independent agencies in Latin America. As requested, the list is composed of agencies located in 7 different countries. It includes Proximity Colombia, La América, Flock linked by Isobar, Interaction, Raya, Digital Bond, Ache Producciones, Independencia, La Mayor, and The Juju.
Part
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Part
02

South American and Central American Digital Environment

After extensive research, we found that Buenos Aires, Santiago, Panama City, Bogota, Mexico City, Lima, and Rio de Janeiro are currently the top cities with the strongest technology industries within Central and South America. Efforts to find data or reports about the population of web developers and software engineers in these countries prove that such information is largely unavailable. However, we found that the countries identified have been investing heavily in the tech sector through both private and public projects. Data which shows a continued increase of both startups and jobs within the tech sector of these countries may also be indicative of a growing number of jobs crucial to this ecosystem such as web development and software engineering.

JOB POPULATION

After exhaustive research, we were unable to produce an estimate of the number of web developers and software engineers for the seven cities enumerated in this request. Areas we searched include data within the official census bureau of the corresponding country of each city, globally-trusted jobs listings databases such as Glassdoor and statistics databases such as The World Bank, and relevant press releases.

REGIONS/CITIES SELECTED

The cities enumerated within this request were chosen after we found that numerous articles published by credible sources such as the World Economic Forum have repeatedly presented findings that these cities have shown extraordinary performance in the tech sector compared to other regions and cities within Central and South America.

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA

BACKGROUND
The World Economic Forum (WEF) is a globally-recognized forum and resource for global industry trends. They recently published an article featuring the top 22 cities in the world in terms of their technology industries and digital environments. One of the cities identified in their list is Buenos Aires in Argentina. According to an article published by Financial Times, Argentina Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation Lino Baranao is currently working on liberating the country from its own “chronically dysfunctional economy”. In addition to this, the continued migration of “ambitious immigrants from Europe” has created a very "creative and diverse" population that has been able to maximize the benefits of over 30 research centers and 40 universities around Argentina. The article also states that the national and city governments are cooperating and launching initiatives which both aim to promote Buenos Aires as a technology hub.

OTHER STATISTICS
According to the WEF, there are around 0.2 startups for every 1000 people, or 0.0002 per person in Buenos Aires. (0.2/1000=0.0002) Considering how it was also stated that the population of Buenos Aires is 2,900,000, we can estimate that there are over 580 startups in the city alone. (2.9 million*0.0002=580)
SALARIES
Teleport is a developer of software designed to collect and analyze population-related data. According to data from Teleport, the median annual salary of web developers in Buenos Aires is currently $25,266. The lowest recorded salary is around $12,000, which may be indicative of the salary for junior positions. The highest recorded salary is $55,000, which may be indicative of the salary for senior positions. We have decided to make these assumptions after exhaustive research has shown that there is no publicly available information which shows the difference in salary between junior and senior positions of each job.
Data from teleport shows that the average annual salary of software engineers in Buenos Aires, Argentina ranges from $13,000 to $50,000 with a median of $25,791.

SANTIAGO city, CHILE

BACKGROUND
Another city identified in the list by the WEF is Santiago in Chile. WEF states that the tech ecosystem in Santiago City is currently developing rapidly, primarily driven by grants from the Chilean government. The tech environment in the city has flourished so much in recent years that it was dubbed the ‘Chilecon Valley’.

OTHER STATISTICS
According to the WEF, there are around 0.1 startups for every 1000 people, or 0.0001 per person in Chile. Considering how it was also stated that the population of Santiago City is 6,200,000, we can estimate that there are 620 startups in the country.
SALARIES
Data from Teleport shows that the annual salary of web developers in Santiago City ranges from $46,000 to $103,000 with a median of $68,582.
According to their database, the annual salary for software engineers in Santiago City, Chile ranges from $20,000 to $71,000 with a median of $37,351.

PANAMA CITY, PANAMA

BACKGROUND
TechFlier is a widely-featured provider of insights and news revolving around the world of technology startups. They recently published a list of the top Latin American countries in terms of their environment for tech startups and entrepreneurs. One of the cities identified in their list is Panama City in Panama. According to an article published by Raconteur, the government of Panama has launched several initiatives to boost the tech ecosystem within the country. Examples of this include Internet Para Todos, where over 328 free hotspots were installed around the country. The government has also recently partnered with JCDecaux to install tiny cellular sites within furniture around the city streets with the objective of decongesting data network traffic in very densely populated areas. In addition to this, Panama City has been recognized as the very first ‘smart city’ of Latin America. The private sector has also contributed to this stream of developments for a digital Panama, contributing further to its attractiveness to tech entrepreneurs. An example of this is how the Casco Viejo area has implemented a centralized cloud-based valet service.
SALARIES
Data from Teleport shows that the average salary for web developers in Panama City ranges from $10,000 to $24,000 with a median of $15,717.
Data from Teleport shows that the average salary for software engineers in Panama City ranges from $13,000 to $28,000 with a median of $19,052.

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA

BACKGROUND
Techflier included Colombia in their list mainly due to the launch of several programs with have helped grow tech innovation and businesses. An example of this is Colombia Startup, which is an annual summit where tech investors, startups, and entrepreneurs gather to discuss the latest innovations and industry trends. According to an article published by Latin Link, the government has even provided tax incentives for IT services and professional training courses.
SALARIES
Data from Teleport suggest that the average annual salary of web developers in Bogota City, Colombia ranges from $17,000 to $69,000 with a median of $34,256.
Data from Teleport shows that the average annual salary of software engineers in Bogota City, Colombia ranges from $14,000 to $70,000 with a median of $30,841.

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO

BACKGROUND
Mexico was one of the regions identified in Techflier's list. According to Techflier, analysts from Goldman Sachs forecast that Mexico will be the fifth largest economy in the world by 2050. Cities in Mexico such as Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey have been recently recognized after becoming the regional headquarters of technology giants Oracle, Intel, IBM, and General Electric. Aside from this, there are current local ongoing programs and movements that help drive even more growth especially in the tech startup environment within the country. An example of this is Startup Mexico, an organization whose objective is to further drive growth in entrepreneurship and innovation.

An article published by PYMNTS states that Mexico City has exhibited continued growth in its technology sector over the past few years. This is partly thanks to the fact that over 130,000 new engineers graduate every year. The government has also contributed to this growth greatly by providing a total of $658 million in funding to entrepreneurs back in 2014. This eventually led to the creation of over 6,000 new companies.

OTHER STATISTICS
Sources indicate that as of 2017, there are 1,235 startups and tech companies within Mexico City alone, with over 319 founded since the beginning of the year.

SALARIES
Data from Teleport indicates that the average annual salary for software engineers in Mexico City ranges from $10,000 to $40,000 with a median of $20,557.

Data from Teleport shows that the average annual salary for web developers in Mexico City ranges from $9,000 all the way to $66,000 with a median of $24,042.

Lima, PERU

BACKGROUND
Lima is the capital of Peru and has over one-third the population of the entire country. Techflier included Peru in its list due to the government's effective initiatives in building up the local tech startup environment. Examples of these include Startup Peru and Innovate Peru, which serve the same purposes as Startup Mexico and Colombia Startup. The number of projects that have applied for seed capital from Startup Peru reached 837 within 2017 alone. According to an article published by TechCrunch, the government intends to increase funding for innovation by over "ten-fold" within the next ten years.

SALARIES
Data from Teleport shows that the average annual salary or web developers in Lima, Peru ranges from $14,000 to $32,000 with a median of $21,347.

Data from Teleport indicates that the average annual salary of software engineers in Lima, Peru varies greatly ranging from $7,000 up to $107,000 with a median of $27,021.

RIO DE JANEirO, BRAZIL

BACKGROUND
Techflier also recognized Brazil in their list because of government efforts to boost the tech ecosystem within the country. This is being accomplished through several initiatives such as the 21212 Startup Brazil, a program which allows entrepreneurs the chance to receive funding from the government. An article published by PYMNTS states that the tech sector of Brazil has continued to grow despite the national economic slowdown, increasing by up to 20 percent between 2014 to 2015. Rio De Janeiro has been central to this growth partly thanks to government incentives for tech companies within the city.

OTHER STATISTICS
The latest sources indicate that as of 2015, there are around 335 startups in Rio alone. This number will likely continue to rise due to increased activity within the sector evident in the launch of initiatives and movements such as the Cariocas startup community.

SALARIES
Data from Teleport shows that the average annual salary for web developers within Rio de Janeiro ranges from $9,000 to $55,000 with a median of $22,578.

Data from Teleport shows that the average annual salary for software engineers within Rio de Janeiro ranges from $17,000 to $72,000 with a median of $34,550.

CONCLUSION

Buenos Aires, Santiago, Panama City, Bogota, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, and Lima are currently the top cities in Central and South America in terms of growth and strength of their technology industries. The continued increase in the number of businesses and jobs created within the tech sector of these cities may indicate a growing population in jobs crucial to relevant industries such as web development and software engineering.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01
From Part 02