With the assistance of LaVERDAD, Allstate Insurance in-creased its sales 12 percent in the Tristate. Here's a case study of how Mike Robinson and his associates were able to help the insurance giant:

Ernest Almanza, agency principal for Allstate, purchased La-VERDAD's customized demographic report for Greater Cincin-nati and attended several of the consultant's workshops. "They gave us enough detail to make a legitimate business case to market to this segment," Almanza recalls. "I was able to learn how large the market segment is and how much it is growing."

Allstate also participated in this summer's Hispanic festival, Cincy-Cinco, put on by LaVERDAD. Together, Allstate and the consulting firm created a bilingual survey, which queried Hispanics about their automobile insurance needs. Five bilingual LaVERDAD employees representing Allstate passed out surveys.

The country's largest minority group is knocking at your business door. Care to let it in? During the past decade, the number of Hispanics living in Greater Cincinnati has soared by 200 percent, an influential consumer base wielding an estimated $350 million in buying power.

If you want to tap into the market, you could listen to Mike Robinson, CEO and founder of LaVERDAD Hispanic Marketing Solutions in Montgomery. Procter & Gamble, Fifth Third Bank, and Budweiser Brewing Co. are just a few of the Fortune 500 companies that already have done so.

Robinson, a Mexican-American, founded LaVERDAD a year ago to help companies in the Tristate and across the country link with Hispanics. "We know how to target and win the Hispanic market," Robinson says. "We've seen what works, and can get into action quickly."

To help companies learn how to entice the growing Latin American population, Robinson, who spent time in the 1980s and 1990s in Central and South America as a Green Beret, created a process he calls OneView. This marketing strategy focuses on each of LaVER-DAD's clients individually. The goal is to create the right message delivered through the right channels to reach each client's Hispanic customer base. OneView thus seeks to create a single view of the truth, or "la verdad."

"Our goal is to create an environment of inclusion," Robinson says. "It's a smart use of marketing dollars." In addition to its OneView approach, LaVERDAD of-fers an array of other services to help corporate leaders understand Hispanic consumers and market relevant products directly to them.

One way Robinson's firm effectively educates companies about the Hispanic market is through seminars that teach decision makers about cultural variations, emphasizing that consumers from different Latin American countries don't always behave the same. LaVERDAD also offers detailed market reports about Hispanics' purchasing behavior, providing in-depth information about key spending patterns and demographics for any given ZIP code.

When Folgers Coffee needed to conduct Hispanic market research, for instance, marketing manager Juan Lora was able to keep his initial research to a local segment. "LaVERDAD helped us tremendously. They are completely tied into the Hispanic community. They live it, breath it, are it," Lora says.

The consultant conducted surveys, provided quantitative data, held interviews, and created focus groups for Folgers. These services allowed Lora to conduct his preliminary research locally without compromising the quality of his research. "What LaVERDAD offers that so many do not is that they have so many contacts within the Hispanic community," Lora says. "They have a lot of value to add to a local business."

"If you don't start including diversity in your advertising messages, you're going to stand out from the big players who are," warns Robinson, who adds that if companies don't tap into the Hispanic market now, they could be hurting later.

"The only population increase in Ohio is the Hispanic segment. These people are our future workers, future managers, and future teachers."