Some say the Hispanic market may be the last true growth opportunity in food. Most U.S. firms have a major corporate goal to attract Hispanic consumers, given their tremendous demographic and economic importance. Some companies, such as McDonald’s, Budweiser and AT&T, spend significant resources to gain market share with Hispanics and are making inroads. But it’s not easy, says a Nielsen report issued last year.

A Nielsen report from 2012 indicates that “Hispanics are the fastest growing ethnic segment, and are expected to grow 167% from 2010 to 2050, compared to 42% for the total population.” The report also found that Hispanics “will be the dominant and in many cases the only driver of domestic CPG sales growth.” Given their tremendous demographic and economic importance, most U.S.–based firms have a significant corporate imperative to attract Hispanic consumers.

With this new business reality, the Hispanic market may well be one of the last significant growth opportunities left in the U.S., particularly in the consumer goods and service industries.

So, how do you capture this often elusive market? A well-crafted, data-driven strategy is the first step in reaching the Hispanic marketplace. The process must include a marketing, strategy and financial assessments to comprehensively assess the Hispanic opportunity, which results in outputs that frame the size, scope, and process required to win with Hispanics, as well as clear financial contributions and investments.

So remember to : Define clear goals and objectives to win with Hispanics; hyper local strategies are critical; deploy your best people, use world-class analytics and partners; and keep in mind that the Hispanic strategy is a change management imperative.

As Monica Gill, senior vice president, public affairs and government relations at Nielsen, sees it: “Latinos are emerging as a powerhouse of economic influence, presenting marketers an increasingly influential consumer group that can translate into business impact. The key is recognizing that today’s modern Latino is ‘ambicultural,’ with the ability to seamlessly pivot between English and Spanish languages and to embrace two distinct cultures. Understanding how to connect with this unique consumer profile will be key to successful engagement.”

The report puts into perspective that Latinos are no longer just a sub-segment of the economy, “but a prominent player in all aspects of American life.” To that end, what’s needed is a comprehensive approach to creating a Hispanic strategy that highlights a deep understanding of brand building for Hispanics and their critical voice across social media platforms, as well as a “traditional” understanding of the need to approach this group in a highly-targeted and micro-localized fashion, using a test-as-you-go approach to determining best practices.