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  • Isabel Aneyba

Making Your Research Pay Off in LATAM

Updated: Oct 14, 2019



Adapting projects to Latino culture is the key to successful research in Latin America. Here are some best practices:

1. Use secondary research to identify clusters of key features that define a market. Within those clusters choose countries that have the most potential for developing a regional strategy.

2. Include lifestyle questions about the target market in the screener to standarize the target market across countries.

3. Avoid fieldwork dates around holidays. Latinos live to celebrate. Not only do their parties last longer, but Latin America celebrates more holidays than the US.

4. Phone is the preferred form of communication rather than the email.

5. Choose a vendor you trust and then trust that vendor to adapt the research guide.

6. If you are doing research in more than one country in Latin America, consider hiring a regional researcher.

7. Add more time to focus groups to allow for socialization. While a focus group in the US normally allows little disgression, in Latin America it is rude or at least hasty to "get to the point" right away.

8. Hire an experienced focus group interpreter. Most interpreters in Latin America have experience interpreting for conferences but less experience with focus groups. Good focus group interpreters are not cheap.

9. Over recruit. It is very common for Latinos to drop out at the very last minute. This is related to their people pleasing culture. 10. When recruiting, invite participants to a social event, rather than to just a study. Participants in Latin America attend a focus group not only to get the incentive, but because they see it as an opportunity to interact with others. 11. Choose the right venue. While people of higher socio-economic status prefer an upscale restaurant, participants of lower socioeconomic level feel more at ease in casual venues.


12. Take the "courtesy bias" into account. Interpreting the results is "translating" what happened during the groups beyond what was said. Courtesy bias means that consumers in different countries use scales in a different way. In Latin America, consumers are relatively "easy graders" compared to other cultures.



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