One of social media’s most useful applications is for market intelligence, canvassing what consumers think about brands and their competitors. Meanwhile advertisers are increasingly interested in the attitudes, perceptions, and consumption patterns of Hispanic consumers — easily the fastest-growing ethnic group and market segment in the U.S. today. It was only a matter of time, therefore, before someone created online communities focusing on Hispanics to serve as consumer panels for market research. In fact, two new ones just launched in the last week alone.

The first, Tu Cuentas (which translates as “You Count,” but also “You Tell”) was founded by Hispanic marketing veterans Larissa Acosta and Olga Bueno, and is positioned both as a marketing platform leveraging word-of-mouth, and a research tool. It includes user-generated product reviews, moderated discussion forums and community polls of registered members, as well as Web cam interviews with individual members, allowing advertisers to uncover information about shopping behavior, brand preference, advertising likeability and product attributes. Members’ participation in these activities is rewarded with points redeemable for cash, as well as additional opportunities to participate in sampling campaigns through which they receive free products to try and share with their online and offline networks.

Bueno explained: “Brands seek fresh consumer insights in a fast and cost effective manner. Our platform enables them to listen in on conversations and participate in a way that is more organic than traditional research methodologies.  We manage our community in a way that rewards members for posts that provide the deepest understanding of their consumer behavior.  In addition, we have established CRM benchmarks that allow us to assure clients that their questions can be answered in as short a time frame as 48 hours, in the case of a discussion forum, or five days or less, using an online survey.”

Another online community, VozLatinum, was launched by Latinum Network as a tool for “marketers who want to get to know the U.S. Hispanic consumer.” VozLatinum’s has already attracted more than 80 corporate clients, including The Clorox Company, ConAgra Foods, Hallmark, and Nestle USA. Companies can conduct custom and targeted research activities in English and Spanish, including discussion forums, ad testing for both video and print, package testing, and attitudinal and behavioral research.

Latinum Network emphasized that VozLatinum includes both English- and Spanish-speaking consumers, ranging across all levels of acculturation, geography, and demographic makeup.

SOURCE: MediaPost

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