As Hispanics have experienced American culture, the U.S. has also absorbed new cultural patterns from Latinos, creating an environment of cultural exchange and cross-cultural marketing.

    Hispanic marketing has become a must since general marketing efforts lack cultural relevance and are less effective for today's diverse array of consumers. Hispanics are buying. The question is: who is effectively inviting them to buy?

    It is important to know the difference between selling and inviting to buy. The latter has long term benefits that can be seen in many aspects such as customer loyalty. Businesses that are aware of this difference and proactive in their Hispanic marketing efforts are ahead of the curve and will generate more business even during these tough economic times.

    The participation of Hispanics in today's economy has become vital for the growth of America. From hard working illegal immigrants to successful Hispanic CEOs, Hispanics represent one of the major driving forces of economic success for millions of people in and out of the U.S.

    In 2008 we witnessed the making of history with Barack Obama as the first African American U.S. President and Hillary Clinton as the first female presidential candidate. It might not be long to have a Hispanic U.S. president. Sotomayor's appointment to the Supreme Court is proof of Hispanic participation and importance in the U.S.

    My involvement in the Hispanic community allows me to see the potential and progress of our people, and how we make a difference in America. Struggle is always present in our lives and our journey is not easy. But our hard work has allowed us to build a pathway to our culture and gain respect in what was once a foreign land, which has become our home away from home.

    I am fascinated with the opportunities that are out there not only for Hispanics but for those who are interested in our community. I am the founder and organizer of a professional group call "Hispanics Mean Business" and it is always a pleasant surprise when a new member registers that is not Hispanic. Hispanic culture is rich in many aspects. Millions of non-Hispanics become part of our community every day by doing business with us, eating Spanish food, learning Spanish language or by "trying" to dance salsa!

    The important thing to know is that we are an elemental part of the whole enchilada that makes the world go around and that defines the U.S. as the land of the free and the home of the brave. The Hispanic market is open for business; we are not only consumers but providers. Our powerful community is built upon values of perseverance and survival, our dreams are our goals and we stay strong.

    To understand the Hispanic market takes time and effort but it is necessary in order to gain a successful presence within this community. Businesses that do not market effectively to Hispanics are losing money by not taking advantage of a healthy and wealthy market that is only getting bigger and better.

    © Sofia E. Keck 2009

    Sofia E. Keck; Hispanic Market Expert. Her company Sell it in Spanish™ works with businesses to develop or modify marketing strategies to reach Hispanic consumers. Visit

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