Latin America is betting on its thriving entrepreneurial culture to drive innovation in the region to modernize its way of life. Like Argentina and Peru, Colombia is becoming known as a hub for tech start-ups, stimulating the economy and making it an attractive tourist destination. This steady increase in economic growth has made Colombia more appealing to multinational brands while cultivating domestic brands preparing to export goods around the world. With increased entrepreneurial and economic activity also comes a growing demand for market research. We recently launched the DigaYGane panel in Colombia to great success. Having been there for some time now, we’d like to share three key facts about online market research respondents in Colombia that we have learned so far:

1. Facebook and WhatsApp are almost universal.

Almost all of these account holders actively use these services. Ninety-two percent of Colombians state that they have visited Facebook and 89% report having used WhatsApp in the past 30 days.

If you are conducting market research in Colombia, make sure your panel provider has a presence on both platforms from an engagement perspective as they are deeply rooted in the lives of online Colombians.

2. Concern about data privacy is prevalent.

Colombian internet users are extremely concerned about data privacy.

Furthermore, more than 2 in 3 are worried about the internet eroding their privacy.

With data privacy concerns being so widespread in Colombia, it is essential that the panel company you work with in the region is aware of these concerns. Thoroughly reading their ESOMAR documents will give you a sense of how they are addressing data concerns. If their commitment to data privacy is not evident, do not engage.

3. Smartphones keep them connected.

Colombian online respondents are clear about which device is most important to them: the smartphone. Almost two-thirds select this as their top device, leaving desktops (22%) and laptops (12%) far behind.

In conjunction with the massive popularity of social media, it’s not hard to see why any strategy in Colombia needs to be rooted in a mobile, social experience. This holds for brands looking to conduct online market research in Colombia as well. Mobile friendly surveys are required. If you only offer desktop surveys, you will reach far less than a quarter of the Colombian population.

Latin America represents an incredible opportunity for brands to reach new markets. Having a healthy understanding of the prevailing culture, however, is key to gathering insights from its residents to determine how to position your brand successfully.