Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month
It’s National Hispanic Heritage Month here in the United States, and Alter Agents is proud to join in celebrating the contributions our Hispanic, Latino, and Latina colleagues, partners, neighbors, and friends have made to the fabric of our city and country. This company was born in Los Angeles, California and one quarter of our Agents identify as Hispanic, Latino, or Latina. Hispanic heritage and culture are part of who we are, and we’re stronger and better people for it.
We’ve learned a lot about the Hispanic community in the United States as well as abroad over the course of our research projects. With each engagement, we re-examine how we interact with that community through our surveys and interviews to be sure that we’re reaching people in a respectful and inclusive manner so their voices are heard in research.
Inclusive survey language
There are two main reasons why being inclusive in how we word our demographic survey questions is important. The first is that it’s just the right thing to do. We pride ourselves on being an inclusive and diverse company, and we’re committed to ensuring that this spirit of inclusivity manifests itself throughout our entire organization. When we interact with a respondent and ask for demographic information, we never want them to think that they aren’t actually represented on the page. That’s why we include demographic options for Hispanic, Latino/a, and Latinx. We also never make respondents pick just one term to signify their race. We all have complicated, deep identities and our surveys won’t make people choose between different parts of themselves.
Beyond a basic level of respect for the respondents’ identities, being inclusive is also good for our analysis. When respondents feel comfortable taking surveys or sitting for interviews, they’re more likely to be frank and honest. That supports our data integrity efforts and ensures that our clients are making decisions based on solid insights.
Learnings from our research
We’ve also learned a lot about exactly how to survey the Hispanic community in our research. There are some specific mechanics that market researchers need to follow in order to get good results, and we’re committed to forever innovate so we serve this community to the best of our ability. Here are some of our basic tips:
- Make sure surveys are available in Spanish if data on the Hispanic community is vital. It sounds simple, but only surveying fluent English-speaking Hispanic people in the US leaves out a sizable number who just wouldn’t be totally comfortable taking a survey in English. And we always have our surveys translated by native speakers and checked internally by native speakers – no Google Translate here.
- When reaching respondents who are not fully fluent in English, we find that their adult children are often the first line of contact. That means that we might have to work a little harder during recruitment, but it’s worth it to get the insights we need. It’s important to consider also including adult children when conducting IDIs and focus groups because they often make some of the purchase decisions and other financial choices for the family.
- If your brand wants to test advertisements or messaging for the Hispanic community, you need to consider exactly which parts of the community you want to reach. If the effort paints the whole group with one brush, it will come off as pandering to a stereotype. Consumers, especially those in younger generations, crave authenticity, so it’s important to do the research necessary to understand how to speak to them in an authentic way.
From all of us at Alter Agents, happy National Hispanic Heritage Month!
Interested in elevating the voices of Hispanic consumers in your research?
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