Reaching Hispanics through Qualitative Research
About 60 million (18 percent of the U.S. population) are classified as Hispanic. The
Hispanic/Latino population is diverse as it flows from many Spanish-speaking countries around
the world characterized by different levels of acculturation. When Hispanics become
acculturated, they often strongly identify with both America and their country of origin, an effect
that persists across generations. A minority of Hispanics use Spanish as their primary language,
with most Hispanics preferring to speak both Spanish and English. Vice president of
multicultural business development at Horowitz Associates, Adriana Waterston, emphasizes that
approaching the Hispanic segment "has never been exclusively about language as much as
cultural relevance." Other researchers have concluded that whatever is the country of origin,
themes are relevant in Spanish-speaking communities: family, moral values, religion, music,
cooking, dancing, and socializing.
Traditional marketing research among Hispanics has often focused too heavily on classifying the
marketplace in terms of language, acculturation, and generation. Perhaps this is because of
overreliance on quantitative research approaches. One strength of qualitative research is the
ability to tap deeper contextual, psychological, and cultural issues. As the Latino marketplace
continues to grow, marketing researchers will need to adjust their research approach, continually
identifying "culturally relevant ways to interact."
Should marketing researchers working with Latinos concentrate solely on qualitative
research? Explain your answer.
Doing qualitative research in the U.S. and other Latino countries will help the
researchers understand Latino culture.
Could qualitative research be used to improve quantitative methods such as surveys?
Explain your answer.
Yes, quantitative methods can improve qualitative research. Collecting data with
surveys can be very helpful to researchers. Qualitative research pinpoints the finer
behaviors of consumers that, taken as a whole, determine real results.
What challenges do researchers face in conductive research with the Latino marketing
lace online? How can researchers minimize the effects of these difficulties?
One challenge would be language. It would be helpful if the researchers were
bilingual. Researchers should have a basic understand of the Latino culture.