One of my clients asksed me if the term “Hispanic” and “Latino” should be used interchangeably. He also asked if his company needed special marketing strategies to reach those segments of the population.
What’s the Difference between Hispanic and Latino?
Historically, the term “Hispanic” is derived from the people of the Iberian Peninsula, including Spain and Portugal. The term “Latino” is derived from the people of Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and most nations in Central and South America where Spanish is the spoken language. This is because most of them were once colonies of Spain (except Brazil). “Hispanics” are European and respond to European culture. While Latinos also speak Spanish (except Brazilian who speak Portuguese), they have a different cultural background and therefor another cultural approach is needed.
Are Special Marketing Strategies Needed to Reach Each Segment?
As a better business practice, a company may want to consider cultural nuances between the two segments when planning their outreach efforts. Keep in mind that all “Latinos” are not the same. Because the Latino community is so diverse, there are many cultural characteristics that should be considered to gain a better understanding of this market. Only then will you be able to identify the groups within this market that you should target and effectively tailor a message that resonates with them.
Latinos are now the largest minority in the United States. To successfully reach this market, your company must cultivate employees who relate to the unique needs and preferences of this demographic.