Editor’s note: Mayra Munguia is project manager at marketing research firm FlexMR, U.K. This is an edited version of a post that originally appeared here under the title, “Doing it right: How to research Spanish speaking populations (Latino and Hispanic). 

The Spanish or Castilian language (due to its origins in the Castile region of Spain) is the second most spoken language in the world with over 472 million native speakers and 567 million first or second language speakers. Most notably it’s spoken in Spain and across Central and South American countries (Latin America) which were former Spanish colonies, and more recently in the U.S. due to migration from its southern neighbors.

Why is this important for businesses? In terms of global purchasing power, the combined GDP of Spanish-speaking countries totals over $6 trillion, with Mexico and Spain alone commanding $1.68 trillion and $1.43 trillion, respectively. And the economic purchasing power of these countries is set to increase, which is why we have seen global corporations like PepsiCo investing over $5 billion into Mexico recently.

(The map depicts the 21 international countries that use Spanish as their official language by population density.)

Any company, no matter its size, will face some issues in adapting its market research approach for Spanish-speaking people. I have been working in multi-language research for several years now, specializing in Spanish. Based on my experience I have created 10 tips to help you when addressing participants in Spain, Latin America and the Hispanic regions of the U.S. Part 1 will cover the first five.

Understand the microeconomic influences

When conducting marketing research in a foreign country it is important to know the current state of that country. This is even more important should you be researching developing nations (i.e., many Latin America countries). There are two key ...