Hispanic or Latino? What type of Marketing Do You Need?

If you have been in Marketing for a while, then you surely must have heard of the Hispanic Market opportunity.  Or is it the Latino Market Opportunity that you've heard about.

If you still wonder which term to use, Hispanic or Latino, and when, let me see if I can help with this little blog.

Generally speaking, Latino is more often used in the East Coast while Hispanic is more common in the West Coast.  Some say it skews that way because of the large Mexican population on said coast.  However, just as Mexicans never called themselves Hispanics until they moved to the states, neither did Cubans feel uniquely proudly to be Latinos (after all every Latin American is Latino, and what so unique about that) until they lived in the US.  

So, if it's not an East vs. West Cost deal, nor a Mexican vs Caribbean thing, then what is it? Well, is that and the fact that when you refer to thing that are more in tune with the media and popp culture, per say, then it is most common to use the term Latino or Latin.  Such is the case with Latin Music, not Hispanic Music, it just doesn't sound that cool, does it. How about Latin Beat, vs Hispanic Beat. Not the same effect. Latin Bomb Shell, Eva Longoria not Hispanic Bomb shell is how we describe this Mexican American from San Antonio, TX, where Hispanic traditions, culture, festivities and even institutions like the Center for Hispanic Culture live and thrive.  Which brings us to the point on when it seems more appropriate to use Hispanic vs Latino.  

Hispanic is more often used when when referring to cultural things, both Hispanic and Latino History- which, again, are one and the same, but different- and immigrant experience in the US-which could be very different.  It is the deep rooted term in the mind of most Anglo Americans and it is most commonly associated with the first wave of immigrations from Latin America to the US, which, yes, was mostly from Mexico.  

Suffice it to say, Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated in September, and it encompasses celebrations of all Latin American cultures, while the Latin Gammy's take place in November, and it, too, is meant to encompass and celebrate the music from all Latin American Cultures. 

Including, despite the Stefans, Hispanic Acts.

Some fun Google Facts.  If you search the words below, this is what you get.  Compare the Monthly or Global searches for each one of these terms and determine who is more popular. 


Lalo Wakefield