The Rise of Market Research in Central America is in Full Swing!

March 20, 2024 Author:

Understanding consumer trends and preferences through market research has always been important to marketers. But it's become a business imperative in today’s hyperconnected, competitive marketplace. While countries like Colombia, Dominican Republic, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, and Mexico have led the way in market research investment in Latin America, we must acknowledge the strides made in Central America, notably in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Panama.

What’s driving the growth?

Well, several factors are at play. The widespread expansion of the internet has opened up a wealth of data on consumer behavior and market dynamics, now easily accessible with just a few clicks!

Furthermore, the growth of the middle class in the region has generated more sophisticated consumer demands. With a population whose tastes and preferences are constantly evolving, companies must stay up to date. Market research insights are the compass guiding their journey.

Finally, the reduction in extreme poverty in recent decades has been a significant factor. This change has increased consumption and attracted greater domestic and foreign investment, creating a virtuous cycle where economic expansion fuels the imperative for deeper insights.  

How do you navigate the challenges?

Like any journey, navigating market research across LATAM has its share of bends and twists in the road. Access to representative samples of the online population remains an obstacle. Disparities in internet connectivity can skew research results, posing a hurdle to obtaining accurate insights.

As such, data quality is fundamental. With the vast amount of information available online, it is crucial to ensure that the data is reliable and accurate. After all, no one wants to make important decisions based on faulty information.

Additionally, there's an ongoing tug-of-war between traditional methods and online research. Convincing companies to embrace new technologies can be daunting, yet exploring all avenues is essential to paint a comprehensive picture of the market landscape.

What are the market research fundamentals?

First, find an experienced business partner with a track record of providing reliable and representative samples in Central America, like ThinkNow. In addition, instead of seeing online research and traditional methods as adversaries, inquire how both approaches can be integrated to attain a more comprehensive and precise understanding of the market.

Lastly, adopt a balanced approach. While the growth of market research in Central America presents exciting opportunities, sustaining this momentum and fostering its contribution to regional economic development requires addressing industry-wide challenges across LATAM. Collaboration between the public and private sectors is imperative to harness the potential of online research across the region.


World Bank. "Central America: Investment and Economic Growth".

Latin American Institute of Market Research and Public Opinion (ILAM). "Report on the Growth of Market Research in Central America".

López, A. (2022). "The impact of the expansion of the Internet on market research in Latin America". Journal of Economic Studies, 15(2), 45-60.