Monday, November 12, 2012

TMRE 2012: The New Normal. ¿Comprende?

"In what language would you
like to take this survey?"
I've spent the past couple of years working with extreme populations, most notably arm amputees, to help designers make next generation products for all of us. (Find out more here)  One interesting aspect of working with amputees is what they call us - those with two arms.  They call us "Normals."  I've been striving all of my life to avoid being normal... or more accurately, to be Normal's freaky little sister Abby.  Abby Normal.

I was thinking about normal and representativity as I listened to Elizabeth Ellers, Executive Vice President, Corporate Research at Univision speak about Hispanic Millennials at the IIR's The Market Research Event 2012 today.   This group is 57% of total Millennials (among males) making them the new majority in the U.S.  Her study suggests that because they have a critical mass, they aren't under pressure to assimilate.  And because they can frequently travel home, unlike previous generations of immigrant descendants, and have abundant media in their home language, they can immerse in their original culture on a frequent basis.  And yet, we still consider Hispanics a special class or augment to general market studies.

All of this leads me to ask a question about representativity in general market research.  What is normal?  Is this the New Normal?  The answer is:  yes.  Without a doubt.

Honestly, when every ATM you walk up to asks you if you'd like to communicate in English or Spanish, when will we grow to accept this as Normal in market research?  Even clients of mine interested in mothers of babies fail to grasp that the majority of births in this country are multicultural.  More than half. 

The bigger implication is for marketing.  If marketers continue to think of Hispanic as a special class, if they continue to segment budgets and consider multicultural marketing as something to cut when things get tight, then we are doing a poor job of communicating this important cultural shift.

Hispanic in America is the New Normal.  ¿Comprende?

** ** **
Today's guest post is from Kelley Styring. Styring is principal of InsightFarm Inc. a market research and consumer strategy consulting firm. She has led insights for Procter & Gamble, Pepsico, Black & Decker and NASA prior to founding her own firm in 2003. Kelley is a published author and has been featured in USA Today, ABC News, Good Morning America, Brandweek, Fortune, Quirk's Marketing Research and The Market Research Daily Report from RFL Online.

No comments: