Data Gurus


Encore Episode: Multiculturalism: Understanding the Future Majority | Ep. 145

Today, Sima is excited to bring you an encore episode in which she has a conversation with Mario Carrasco. Enjoy the show!

Multi-cultural research, strategy, and understanding is what Sima and Mario Carrasco, Co-Founder and Principal of ThinkNow Research, chat about on today’s podcast.

Mario worked in the early days of digital marketing, building online communities for MSN Latino, and didn’t know what a research panel was until researching it for a job interview for a closer-to-home job. He got his start in market research building what became the first national representative panels at Garcia Research.

As research numbers started pointing to the US becoming a minority-majority country in the near future, Mario realized there was a need for a market research company to be focused on multi-cultural consumers, and this is how his ThinkNow Research came about.

Mario is also the newest Board Member to join the SampleCon team!

In the early days of market research, particularly Hispanic research, companies were hesitant to use emerging technologies. Back then it was online, and now it’s mobile.

Mario has since learned that multi-cultural consumers, especially Hispanic consumers, are super tech savvy, and applying all these innovative technologies to multi-cultural consumers has been his company’s ethos.

At the basic level of a potentially contentious conversation, it is consumers who are not non-Hispanic white, and traditionally that segmented into Hispanic, African American, and Asian, which are the largest cohorts of multi-cultural consumers in the US. These 3 groups comprise 40% of the US population, and is expected to grow.

As a nation, non-Hispanic white birth numbers are down, and what drives the increase in multi-cultural population growth is US Hispanic births and Asian immigration.

As the country is changing demographically, ThinkNow Research is dedicated to helping other companies interpret these fundamental changes from a marketing and purchasing standpoint.

It’s interesting to see which cultural values that 1st and 2nd gen Latinos and Asians pick and choose.

There’s a misconception in acculturation in the marketing industry that the longer you’re in the US, the more “American” you become, as if it’s a linear model.

Yes, you are integrating some aspects of the culture, but there are some things about your home culture (or your parents or grandparents culture) that is retained over time. It’s more like a bidimensionality that is happening.

Mario’s company has done some work for The Journal for Cultural Marketing, where they developed a Bidimensional Identity Measure.

It essentially combines two scales, the American Identity Measure and the Ethnic Identity Measure. There are 15 total questions, and what they have discovered is that depending on your ethnicity, you’re going to be scoring differently across these different measures, as opposed to acculturation which assumes a linear progression the longer you’re in the US.

We should really be looking at what aspects of culture we’re retaining, in terms of home culture and what aspects we’re integrating from American culture.

Don’t generalize.
Do your research beforehand, figure out who your consumer is and delve even deeper by defining that consumer within a subset.

Sima loves to hear from her listeners with input, questions, suggestions and just to connect! You can find her at the links below!



Sima is passionate about data and loves to share, learn and help others that share that passion. If you love data as much as her, subscribe on iTunes and don’t forget to leave a rating and review!