Using Qualitative and Quantitative Methods to Improving Response from Spanish Speaking Hispanics
*Robin Gentry, Arbitron Inc
Keywords: Spanish, Hispanic, Response Rate, Focus Groups
Arbitron conducts radio ratings surveys in nearly 300 metro areas across the 50-U.S. states and Puerto Rico. One sub-population of particular concern is Spanish speaking Hispanics, particularly in areas of emerging Hispanic population growth (i.e. the Midwest, the Northeast and the Northern South Atlantic regions). In December 2010, we conducted qualitative research (4 focus groups and 20 one-on-one interviews) in three emerging Hispanic markets and one more established Hispanic market. Participants were primarily recruited via Hispanic community groups and were 18-54 year olds of Hispanic/Latino origin who primarily speak Spanish in the home and with other Spanish speakers outside the home. All interviews were conducted in Spanish by a trained bilingual moderator. The interviews focused on survey research, in general, and specifically the mailed Arbitron survey materials, as well as topics such as incentives, how Hispanic respondents perceive questions about race and ethnicity, cultural barriers to survey participation and issues about immigration. The results of the focus group were illuminating and we identified several motivators and barriers to survey participation—some of these were similar to those we would expect from the general population, but others were very specific to our target population. The findings from the focus groups have led to a series of quantitative tests that seek to improve materials and communication with Spanish speaking respondents. We will present the results of the qualitative study and how those results specifically translated into changes in respondent materials. Also, using the quantitative data from our research tests, we will provide an assessment of whether the changes in communication strategy have improved representation from Spanish speaking Hispanics.