Today, the number of economic migrants (approximately 175 million) would alone constitute the sixth most populous country in the world. There are currently an estimated 25 million Latin American born adults living outside their country of origin. Approximately 65% send money home on a regular basis, resulting in about 175 million separate financial transactions a year (i). In 2006, remittances to Latin America & Caribbean reached US$ 62.3 billion (ii), making the Region the largest remittance market in the world.
The driving force behind this phenomenon remains a fundamentally human connection: a commitment to family values lies at the core of these flows. As a result, new networks of social and economic connections are being formed. These are transnational families, living and contributing to two countries, two economies, and two cultures at the same time.
From a ‘cultural innovation’ marketing approach (iii), one of the most favorable scenarios for new product & services development is where different or opposite worldviews meet each other. This is the case of bottom of the pyramid transnational families, who face every day special domestic challenges (e.g. communicating, money transferring, saving, shopping, etc.) that requires a creative effort not just from themselves and their social networks, but also but also from all 3 sectors: public, private and third sector.
From a ‘buzz marketing’ approach, the transnational families are also social hubs. They are a big natural cross-cultural conversation network, responsible not only for remittances but also of branded products and services, new ideas and cultural trends.
Given that background, we have seen a tremendous opportunity in researching this target in order to facilitate and promote the co-creation of new product & services, by offering to the-bottom-of-the-pyramid migrant workers and their families, innovative and specially-adapted virtual research communities (v) (e.g. "facebook-like" communities, virtual neighborhoods and homes, etc.) where they can not only ‘warmly’ meet, exchange migration tips, share pictures and stories, but where they they can access economic benefits (e.g. money transfer points) in exchange of their opinions and effective efforts to expand the research network.
As one of our firts steps, we will conduct a ´nethnographic’ approach research in order to outline the conceptual basis for the development of specially-adapted virtual research community for Transnational Families and the private, public and third sector entities interested in them.
We need your WIKOLLABORATION.
(iii) Taking an Expanded View of Customers' Needs: Qualitative Research for Aiding Innovation - Maria F. Flores Letelier, Charles Spinosa and Bobby J. Calder, Marketing Research, Volume 12, No 4, Winter 2000.
(iv) This is an ad-hoc group of consumer & market researchers, not necessarily representing the companies they work in.
(v) www.transnational-families.com / www.familias-transnacionales.com / www.here&there-home.com / www.micasa-aqui-y-alla.com