By Janette Leon-Speyer, Web Success Team
What does being “latino” mean?
I was reading an article in Clickz the other day titled the “Paradox of being Latino” by Gustavo Razzetti, in which he addresses the subject of being “tagged” a Latino.
I was born in Britain and raised in Venezuela. Since moving to the United States of America and becoming a citizen in 1987, I have always felt that I never really was part of the “American” culture because of these “tags.” Now, as an online marketer I fully understand and appreciate the value of having to “generalize” a group of individuals to better market your products.
However as a bi-cultural citizen, many telemarketers and the like sell me their products in Spanish and in English. I receive materials designed for an individual that is assumed to have a 6th grade education as well as materials for upper class products and services.
I have also worked with several Hispanic ad agencies and moved in different bi-cultural circles.
Here’s what I found:
• “Hispanic”, does not mean “uneducated” – Just like “Americans” there are Latinos from all walks of life
• Today “Hispanics” are mostly bi-lingual – Yes a new generation is here!
• Most of them use a cell phone or a computer… so please don’t tell me: “Our audience can’t turn a computer on!”
• I don’t believe “Hispanic” is a race or can be sold to as an ethnicity. There are Spanish, Mexicans, Salvadorans, Hondurans, Guatemalans, Costa Ricans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Nicaraguans, Panamanians, Colombians, Chilians, Argentinians, Paraguayans, Uruguyans, Peruvians, Venezuelans, Dominicans, Bolivians, and so on! So it is very hard to categorize all these different nations into one group. They are all different cultures even when they come to America.
• That being said we are all united by a common language and by our family values
Even the great British pundit George Bernard Shaw, once so famously stated, “We (the British and the Americans) are two nations divided by a common language.”
Thank goodness for Social Media
Social Media is an opportunity for personal marketing and the elimination of stereotypes. I am looking forward to not being pigeonholed for long. Today you can address an audience with an bi-cultural background and you can also respect his or her individuality. Social Media levels the playing field because it is about building relationships. You can respond one-on-one and personalize your contact.