Moving market research studies from face-to-face to online has been going on for quite some time… and why not? There are numerous smart reasons for doing this… it’s almost always faster, generally less expensive, opens up large geographies to the researchers, increases the number of potential participants and with the vast majority of Americans online, the demographics of the online population mirrors that of the US population as a whole.
But for a while now, there has been an underlying feeling in the research community that that same positive comparison does not apply when conducting tracking studies within the Hispanic community… that is, some believe that the demographics of the online Hispanic population does not mirror that of the overall Hispanic population. For example, some of our clients are concerned that:
Spanish-dominant consumers are not online.
In fact, according to the Pew Center for Hispanic Research (www.pewhispanic.org), as of September 2012, more than 73% of all Hispanics go online (up from 65% just two years ago) and of those, over 20 million Spanish-dominant Hispanics use the internet.
Data stability suffers online.
In fact, one of the biggest benefits from taking your Hispanic tracking studies online is data stability – that is, consistency from wave to wave. This happens online because we’re dealing with such large numbers to start with, allowing us to be assured of optimal randomization… and ultimately, the most valid and consistent data. Face-to-face studies are confined to much smaller sample sizes, resulting in not-so-surprising inconsistencies in the analysis.
Consumption patterns differ from offline to online respondents.
In fact, because so many Hispanics are online, the demographics of online Hispanics is virtually identical to the population overall. For example, look at Household Income:
Population Online Hispanics
Less than $30,000 39% 37%
$30-50,000 23% 25%
More than $50,000 38% 38%