“I need 500 Spanish-dominant Hispanics that are primary grocery shoppers.” This is a common Hispanic sample request. While straightforward, this request is missing a critical component that could boost the integrity of the data; country of origin.

Hispanics in the U.S. come from 22 different countries of origin. The top three have been changing as Hispanics from El Salvador are poised to surpass Cubans as the 3rd highest country of origin in the U.S. While all of these countries share a common language, culturally they are distinct and unique.

As sample providers, we could easily fulfill the above request with no consideration for country of origin.

But, failing to include country of origin could negatively impact the data your clients would use to successfully target the right individuals in their marketing campaigns and here’s why:

1. Internet penetration is inverse to the population at large.

The majority of Hispanics in the U.S. reside in the west and of are Mexican origin whereas Hispanics on the east coast are comprised of primary Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Dominican descent. That means if you sample a panel with no quotas for region or country of origin, your client will likely be making decisions based off of a skewed version of the Hispanic population.

Unfortunately, the skewed version they would be getting would be the minority of the Hispanic population thus potentially skewing their results to an audience that comprises a smaller portion of the Hispanic population and potentially causing marketing or product launch blunders.

2. Mexicans are by far the largest Hispanic-origin population in the U.S., accounting for nearly two-thirds (64%) of the U.S. Hispanic population in 2012.

Even though Mexicans comprise the largest Hispanic origin population in the U.S, they can be difficult to research online due to lower overall internet penetration as compared to other Hispanic country of origins. It may be easier to complete quotas with the non-Mexican country of origins but if one strays too far from the 64% of Mexican origin it could lead to data that is not nationally representative of Hispanics and could be a point of contention for your clients.

A great resource for finding out if your study is mapping with the Hispanic population at large is this interactive Census tool that visually highlights how different Hispanic countries of origin fall out in the U.S.. You don’t have to hit the exact numbers but having an idea of how and where the Hispanic population falls out can be a crucial tip for your clients looking to research the Hispanic market.

3. Country of origin represent cultures that are distinct and unique.

Understanding the cultural differences among the various countries of origins could be the difference between a successful targeted Hispanic campaign and a failed one. Showing a healthy respect for the cultural nuances present within each country enables you to develop messaging that is relevant for the intended audience delivered in the manner they prefer, which increases your probability of success.