The mainstream media, politicians and advertisers are catching onto what you already know. Hispanics can help take nearly any business to the next level.

Earlier this summer at the annual Nielson Conference, the Chief Marketing Officer of Coca-Cola told an influential crowd of advertising executives that Hispanics are a key part of Coke’s growth strategy through 2020.

David Calhoun, the CEO of Nielson, was even more blunt at that conference. He said Hispanics are the biggest source of growth for all US companies and challenged business owners to spend 65% of their time “figuring out this Hispanic opportunity.”

Here’s the best part. You already have an insider edge since you understand the culture, but are you taking advantage of it?

When I was an Executive Producer with WNBC, I co-founded the NBC/Telemundo Hispanic Forum, which brought Latino journalists from the English and Spanish news divisions together for networking and mentoring sessions. Today, I run a public relations firm – 3M Media Group – which gets publicity for clients ranging from nonprofits to personalities to small businesses.

You would think with my background, I would have thought of targeting Hispanics when it came to finding new business. But guess what: I didn’t take advantage of my insider edge.

It took meetings with three different clients (who are not Hispanic) before I realized I was missing out on reaching a key growth opportunity. My clients told me they wanted to reach my market, my people, my culture and asked me how they could achieve that.

My Dad always brags to me about how Hispanics are the fastest growing market in business, yet I didn’t even think of reaching out to my own people when it came to finding new business.

Sometimes, we need to get out of the coffee shop to appreciate the coffee aroma.

After the light went on in my head, I pitched one of my bilingual clients to CNN en Enspañol. Within 10-minutes, I heard back from a news producer, telling me she loved my story idea. She just needed to test my client’s Spanish skills over the phone.

My client passed the test and before the end of the day, he was booked on Dinero, which airs at 8pm on CNN en Español. My client was the sole expert for a 4-minute segment that aired on national TV in primetime. This never happens so quickly in English TV.

So what does this mean to you?

If you speak Spanish, you already stand above the crowded publicity market. English news outlets don’t need to search for experts because everyone they need is eager to get on TV. Lawyers, accountants, financial consultants, nutritionists, doctors– they’re easy to find anywhere, but Spanish journalists need to look harder to find their equivalents for their audience.

The business that creates noise, gets noticed. Every business owner understands this philosophy, but sometimes budgets, time and resources keep us from pursuing that publicity strategy.

But if you speak Spanish, you might find more success in promoting your product or service to people just like you – bilingual professionals with disposable income. I don’t speak for all Hispanics, but I can tell you everyone in my family spends a lot of money to make sure we stay healthy and young looking. My vain family is a marketer’s dream. Loreal wants to reach my sisters; Banana Republic wants to reach my dad…

That’s why I’m looking in the mirror and going after new clients who are just like me.

Today’s guest post is from Mark Macias, who runs 3M Media Group – a public relations firm in New York City. You can reach him at

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