ThinkNow, a technology-driven cultural insights agency and the No. 1 provider of U.S. Hispanic samples, is increasing its reach into Latin America, expanding its Spanish language panel offerings to Argentina and Colombia. This further solidifies our dominant position in LatAm markets. In an industry that is consolidating based on value, ThinkNow offers access to major U.S. and LatAm markets that are Spanish speaking. ThinkNow has been operating panels in the U.S. and Mexico for eight years.
When ThinkNow set out to build what became one of the first nationally representative Hispanic online panels in 2008, we thought a lot about what type of communication would work best with Hispanic panelists. While the concept of online research panels was mature by that time, it was a relatively new concept for Hispanic panelists, specifically first-generation U.S. Hispanics. At the time, email was the primary and usually exclusive mode of communication from the panel to the panelists. Interestingly, not much has changed over the past decade. Email is still the primary mode of communication from a panel to a panelist in 2018.
Research Live published a thought-provoking article by JD Deitch in February 2018 entitled “Programmatic 2.0: The Future of Sample.” He aptly broke down the role automation has played in the history of sample into two distinct phases: 1.0 to 2.0. Deitch shares: “Programmatic 1.0 did two things very well: it has made us quicker and more cost-effective”. […]and how, “Programmatic 2.0 can vastly improve the accuracy and reliability of our data and our operational dependability.” His point being that programmatic 1.0 helped the sample industry become more efficient in bidding and programmatic 2.0 put the respondent back at the center of the sample process, implementing algorithms that will filter good survey experiences from bad survey experiences in real-time and adjust accordingly.
Strategic acquisitions can play a big role in corporate growth strategy. And recently, we’ve seen a number of them in the market research industry, especially in the panel sector. Since GfK Knowledge Network’s acquisition of Garcia Research’s Hispanic panel, Cada Cabeza, in 2010, there have been several large companies acquiring Hispanic panels to bolster their Hispanic sample offerings. Nielsen, Research Now, and most recently, Maru/Blue’s acquisition of the Hispanic panel, Tú Cuentas, just to name a few. So, what’s driving this growing interest in Hispanic panels?
Last week, I was honored to speak at IIeX2018 NA in Atlanta. We presented a paper on a study that investigates whether there is a better way to drive television return on investment (ROI) with Hispanics at a time when television viewership is declining, and digital and social media usage is ubiquitous among Hispanics. Given lleX’s focus on innovation, our presentation, for some, may not have checked all the boxes, especially for those who only see innovation through the lens of technology. But innovation isn’t inexorably linked to technology. Innovation in the insights industry can reference methodology, sampling, survey design, business models, and much more.
The good old days of six-figure ad tracking studies are long gone. A remnant of recurring revenue for market research firms may have existed on the fringes but has since been replaced with more affordable, and at times more accurate, ad tracking solutions such as Lucid’s Proof and Connect by Cint. These new players are hell-bent on disrupting the status quo, leaving legacy models behind to catch up. So, the question is, do market research firms fit into the ad tracking ecosystem? Before we answer that question, let’s define what ad tracking is.
There’s no doubt about it: the face of marketing has transformed over the last 20 years. Yet, for more than three decades, marketing to U.S. Hispanics has undergone little change; Spanish-language television still represents the bulk of U.S. Hispanic media spend, even though digital media use is now ubiquitous among Hispanics while television viewership is declining. There is a new study in the Journal of Cultural Marketing Strategy, “Nativity-based view: A new audience measurement standard that drives television return on investment for U.S. Hispanics” authored by Dr. Jake Beniflah, Brian Hughes, and myself, has revealed a major opportunity for brands to improve results when marketing to U.S.-born vs. foreign born Hispanics.
As the percentage of Hispanics who speak Spanish begin to decline and immigration slows, it begs the question among market researchers, “do I still need Spanish-dominant sample as part of my U.S. sample frames?” Well as researchers, we can’t answer the questions until we investigate the numbers, right? So, let’s dive in, starting with the facts. Hispanic Spanish Speaking Consumer Growth Trends The United States is now the world’s second-largest Spanish-speaking country after Mexico, according to a 2016 study published by Instituto Cervantes. In fact, of the roughly 60 million Hispanics living in the U.S., 41 million are Spanish dominant.
With only a few weeks left in the year, it’s fair to say that 2017 was the year of Hispanic sample. We saw an explosion of new Hispanic panels come online and provide quality sample helping us meet the demand for quotas we must fill regularly. We anticipate demand for quality Hispanic sample to continue its upward trajectory as companies attempt to better educate themselves on the diversity that exists within the Hispanic community in efforts to improve targeting and resonance in 2018.
As a researcher who has worked in the sample industry for over a decade, I was surprised that I had never asked myself the question, “why do people take online surveys?” It’s a practice that we just kind of take for granted in our industry. Researchers often assume that the primary driver is incentives, as every panel gives some sort of incentive to panelists to encourage participation. But because the incentives are small, there must be a more fundamental reason people take the time to check a few boxes.