Does Market Research Include All People?

This October 12, different demonstrations are held in the American Continent. The positions of each group are influenced by their position regarding the historical event known as the «discovery of America.» However, the proposal to consider this date as an opportunity for reflection to define the next steps to follow as a region after the historical stage that meant the arrival of Europeans and the conquest of the different peoples who live here is beginning to gain weight.

To the clueless reader, it might seem like we’re crafting a social science blog post. However, the invitation to reflection also impacts Market Research. America as a continent is a melting pot of countries and nations that covers from one pole to another. It is generally considered that in our region only English is spoken in countries such as Canada and the United States, Portuguese in Brazil and Spanish in almost the majority of the other members of the area such as Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru.

Other languages ​​are also present on our continent in slightly smaller markets, but with different habits from those listed above. We refer to the French that is spoken officially in Haiti, in some Caribbean countries and in the Canadian province of Quebec. We also find Dutch in Suriname and in several Caribbean islands. Although very remotely we must not forget the Greenlandic in Greenland. In these last two paragraphs we have mentioned the languages ​​of European origin.

We cannot ignore the other languages ​​that are also spoken on the continent and that are more deeply rooted than the others mentioned above. Quechua has millions of speakers in South America and in some places it serves as a lingua franca; It has even been included in the Google translator recently. Guarani is the official language in Paraguay. It is also worth mentioning the Aymara, Creole and Mapudungun in Bolivia, the Caribbean and the extreme south of America. In Mexico and the United States we find the Nahua or Mexican, Mayan, Zapotec, Mixtec languages and Purepecha.

As a general rule, market research focuses on the largest markets given their weight for the vast majority of brands. This is equivalent to the fact that the research that has been done in our region for years has focused on the languages ​​with the greatest number of speakers: Spanish, English and Portuguese. This leaves out of the scrutiny and attention of market analysts consumers who do not dominate any of the most widespread languages.

Can this be reversed? This will depend on many factors. As we have outlined before, it is difficult for market studies to be applied in segments whose size or interest is not sufficient for those companies and agencies that are dedicated to the field. This date serves as a reminder to analyze whether we are not leaving aside a part of the population of our continent that also produces and consumes goods and services.

Perhaps, within the same segments that speak languages ​​other than the most widespread, projects designed, applied and analyzed by their own speakers can be developed. Ultimately, the production of studies that follow good practices and adhere to ethical principles will be the basis on which the market researchers of tomorrow will be able to improve the techniques and tools of our discipline regardless of the language in which they are produced.

At Acertiva we have almost 20 years of experience getting to know Latin America. If you are interested in applying market research in our region, count on us as your regional allies.

Traducción de la palabra "hello" al español (español) / Tradução da palavra "hello" em espanhol (português) / Translation of the word "hello" into Spanish (English)