Monday, May 10, 2010

BigResearch: Reaching Niche Markets Within the Growing U.S. Hispanic Population

This post was written by Edilia Ruiz, who is a student at the University of Washington from the Department of Communications and Spanish, and is interning with us during Spring Quarter.

Thinking of targeting your business to the Hispanic population? Consumer research firm BigResearch in Columbus, Ohio has discovered that tastes of Hispanics vary in regards to shopping and media preferences between U.S. born and English speakers versus their counterparts who are foreign born and speak Spanish.

English-dominant speakers and U.S. born Hispanics tend to prefer stores like Macy’s, Walmart and Kohl’s for clothing and Best Buy, Target, and Walmart for electronics.On the other hand, Spanish–dominant consumers and foreign-born Hispanics choose stores such as Macy’s, JCPenney and Walmart for women’s clothing and Best Buy and for electronics.

Also, BigResearch found that English-dominant and U.S. born Hispanics include top 40 in their music interests, whereas Spanish speakers include Latin artists.

Media and technology topics showed that English-dominant Hispanics are more likely to text on their cell phones and use TiVo/DVR, while Spanish-dominant Hispanics are more likely to blog and use instant messaging.

In my opinion, having this type of research helps businesses know how to target a specific audience and advertise most effectively. As a bilingual consumer, I identify with both group findings in this research because as a Spanish speaker and foreign-born consumer I choose stores like Macys, JC Penney and Walmart to shop; at the same time, as an English speaker I also listen to top 40 and I use my cell phone to text as well as blog and instant message with friends and family.

Some questions I had while reading this article include concerns about who their sample included. Did the research include participants in Columbus only? In big cities? Rural areas? Nationwide? Beyond? and what was their methodology? Was the survey conducted through focus groups, telephone interviews, intercepts or was it online? Further, the results do not reflect a big difference between the two groups and their choices of music selections or stores for shopping. Perhaps this tells us that the two groups of Latinos are more alike than different in these areas.

If you are interested in learning more about this research check out the BigResearch website.