In the last couple of years we’ve seen the Latino market of buyers and sellers grow at an incredible rate. By 2050, Latinos will account for 30 percent of the nation’s population. And the fact is that if companies want to succeed in the economy of the future, Latinos simply cannot be overlooked.

With this astonishing statistic, it’s no wonder that each and every day more companies are trying to engage us in a meaningful way. Now, more than ever, businesses should be looking to tap into the huge capital that is the Latino community.

It can’t just be about the bottom dollar – you must be interested in marketing to Latinos because you know that your service will benefit the community.

- Jose Aristimuno

But targeting the Latino market is not an easy task. With our community coming from over 20 countries, catering to Latinos will never be successful with a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, companies must take into consideration the different Latino cultures that are weaved into the greater American fabric.

Gone are the days when a company could execute a total market strategy and be successful in engaging and connecting with us. Marketing to Latinos isn’t solely about the language – you can’t just translate your company’s strategy and expect a positive result – instead, companies must connect by identifying with people culturally, and it must be genuine.

Companies such as Dish Network, Procter and Gamble, and ESPN are great examples of businesses that are beginning to understand how to properly target our communities by having meaningful communication with us, being respectful, and getting to know us on a personal level.

Even the big players have had to learn this lesson. Univision, the Spanish network, used to only cater to Spanish-speaking individuals. This year, in a joint venture with ABC, the Latino broadcaster will launch Fusion, an English-language news station.

Aside from effective communication, cultural intelligence is also a vital element in marketing to our community. Cultural intelligence, the ability to recognize and understand the beliefs, values, attitudes, and behavior of a given group of people in order to achieve a specific goal, is one of the most important ingredients when marketing to our community. If you don’t have this, your strategy is likely to fail.

Culture, for the most part, defines our identity. By understanding the culture, you begin to understand how Latinos think and why they purchase and become loyal to certain brands. It can’t just be about the bottom dollar – you must be interested in marketing to Latinos because you know that your service will benefit the community.

With the way our country is changing, and Latinos’ purchasing power estimated to reach $1.5 trillion dollars by 2015 now is the time for companies to make an investment in our community. By doing so, not only will Latinos have greater access to a variety of brands, but companies will have the potential of growing and ultimately impacting the economy in a positive way. With an estimated $1.5 trillion to spend, the Latino consumer market will help improve a variety of economic sectors, including the housing, food, retail and financial markets.

As the Latino population continues to rise and the elements of our country continue to shift, companies must be ready to adapt and reap the benefits, for the sake of both parties involved. This is because, at the end of the day, in order for the economical equation to work, companies that want to succeed and grow in the Unites States must attract the Latino consumer.

Jose Aristimuno is the founder of Latino Giant, a digital platform focused on empowering U.S. Latinos to reach their greatest potential. 

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