ThinkNow was founded in 2011. Both Roy and I came from a boutique Hispanic market research firm that was purchased earlier that year. We had the opportunity to join the new purchasing entity as executives but decided against it after careful consideration. We were passionate about multicultural research and felt that going along with an acquisition to a much larger company would minimize the amount of multicultural research we’d be doing.
Furthermore, Roy and I believed that multicultural research shouldn’t be relegated to a multicultural department within a multinational corporation or the Hispanic research “person” within a company. The impact of multicultural consumers is bigger than that. They make up more than a quarter of the U.S. population, fueled by younger generations, like Gen Z, who have the honor of being the first majority-minority generation in the U.S. We believed that multicultural consumers were better served by creating a market research company whose sole mission was to debunk misconceptions and elevate understanding of multicultural consumers.
The company we envisioned and went on to build would help organizations understand the cultural nuances that influence purchase decisions, like those from the Latino family interested in family-focused features in a vehicle (as they are more likely to have children in the household) to the Asian-American household looking into retirement planning services for their parents (as they are more likely to live in multigenerational households).
While our value proposition has always been our ability to expertly help organizations tap into this audience’s tremendous buying power, the mission was built on our personal obligation to help traditionally marginalized voices be heard in the boardrooms of organizations and see that those opinions have an impact on the products and services that affect their lives every day.
Our approach to achieving these goals have evolved to include cutting-edge technologies. For years, the market research industry did not apply now common methodologies such as online surveys and mobile phone research let alone more disruptive technologies like behavioral tracking and AI enabled qual boards to multicultural respondents. But now, multicultural consumers are more connected than ever before. Applying innovative methodologies to multicultural audiences was a core objective for us not for technology’s sake, but for the fact that it enables the voices of multicultural consumers to be amplified more quickly and at a lower cost than traditional methodologies, expediting adoption of multicultural research as a critical part of the marketing mix among Fortune 1000 companies.
While amplifying the opinions of multicultural consumers through market research is the core of what we do, data quality and representativeness is just as essential to helping us live out our mission. And we are often reminded of its importance. We have worked with many clients who have thought they received data from a representative sample of U.S. Hispanics only to find out through probing that the survey was fielded just in English, thus missing over 30% of the Hispanic population. To provide high-quality and representative research, we embarked upon a less conventional track for a full-service market research company by creating a proprietary Hispanic online panel. Having a proprietary panel in-house allows us to control all aspects of the sampling process from ensuring representativeness from a recruitment perspective to meeting strict data quality standards set by ESOMAR.
Looking to the future, we see our mission expanding beyond amplifying the voice of multicultural consumers through conventional market research methods to including MarTech, AdTech, and ResearchTech. As marketing decisions continue to transition to automated tools, the inclusion of minority audiences and fine-tuned algorithms is essential to reversing the uptick in culturally insensitive campaigns making it through a series of checks and balances. Our newest MarTech tool, ThinkNow ConneKt, aims to solve this problem by becoming one of the first on-demand automated tools with a representative dataset of multicultural consumers, enabling organizations to create multicultural personas in real-time.
Ambitious? Yes. Impossible. No. The past eight years have been an incredible journey, and we are thankful that organizations have believed in our mission and ability to help them discover cultural drivers within multicultural communities.
We look forward to continuing to serve our clients and elevating the voices of the new mainstream for many years to come.
Roy Eduardo Kokoyachuk & Mario Xavier Carrasco