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What Makes Arizona Hispanics Unique?

In the business of mass communications, understanding American culture across the states is tough. Understanding minorities’ diverse cultures across the regions is even tougher. Now ask yourselves, what happens when you’re dealing with 1st, 2nd, 3rd and even 4th generation minorities in one place – all uniquely different?

All of these generations differ in backgrounds, customs, traditions, dialects and, of course, buying considerations/triggers.  Having so many different generations of Latinos in one region is part of what makes the state of Arizona so special. Another major reason that Arizona is unique is due to the homogeneity of country of descent from Latinos in the region.  While Latinos in other regions particularly on the east coast tend to be more diverse as far as the country of descent, Arizona is truly set apart by the dominance of Mexican heritage.  In fact, according to the 2014 Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Datos study, over 90% of Phoenix-area Hispanics are of Mexican descent, which compares to only 63% for the entire nation.

NATIVA_AZ_LATINOSThis statistic is huge when one recognizes the strong culture that Mexicans have, especially when considering the relevant customs and holidays that are shared by this group.
Making things

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Natasha: Latina Entrepreneur of the Year

IMG_0320Natasha Pongonis of Nativa named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Latina Style

“Land of the free, home of the brave,” will forever define immigrants who move our country forward. Yet freedom means nothing without brave people willing to put everything on the line for an idea, a belief and a dream. In today’s transforming American landscape, much like early in our country’s formation, the brave surface by their ability to lead. Leadership, now more than ever, is shaping the new America.

Natasha, a native Argentinean along with her business partner Eric Diaz, a second-generation Peruvian, are leading an agency that has become a great influencer and leader in the digital media multicultural marketing space.

“The key to staying relevant in this business is to be able to evolve with the market and to seize these new growth opportunities.” Pongonis said in a recent interview for the Columbus CEO magazine.

“Understanding how the Hispanic demographic advances and realizing how these changes affect digital conversations and the use of the many different platforms are key factors to ensure our success and that of our clients.”

Pongonis’ role in the Latino Startup Alliance and Hispanicize 2014: Latino Startup of the Year

One of …

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Hispanic Marketers Perspective: 2014 National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media

Natasha Pongonis presenting at the 8th annual CDC National Conference on Health Communication.

My First CDC Conference

Last week I attended the 8th annual CDC National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media. I was invited to represent Nativa about our work engaging influential Latina mommy bloggers about the importance of flu vaccination.  Specifically I was to discuss Nativa’s work in partnership with the HMA agency during the annual National Immunization Week (NIVW).

This year’s main topic for the CDC health communication conference was storytelling; how to create and deliver compelling stories while educating and informing the audience about Health topics and changing behavior. This particular theme, is perfectly aligned with our Latino blogger outreach strategy where each blogger is encouraged to tell a personal story related to the importance of flu immunization.

Natasha Pongonis, a featured guest on one of the CDC health panels.

Nativa Marketers Are No Rookies

Each year, the Nativa team attends several marketing/communications conferences and summits nationwide. This was my first experience at a conference organized by the CDC and I look forward to attending again next year!  Here, I had the opportunity to speak and exchange insights with government professionals that live and …

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Q&A: With PEW Research Center’s Director of Hispanic Research – Part II

During my one-on-one interview with Mark Hugo Lopez, we discussed a variety of topics regarding Hispanics in America, education, politics and current trends that are shaping America from a demographic to a social standpoint.

This blog is a continuation of my one-on-one interview with Mark Hugo Lopez, Director of Hispanic research at the Pew Research Center.

Pew Research Center


Natasha (Nativa): Are age or geographic location influential factors in social trends? And, is there any correlation among these?

Mr. Lopez: In terms of geography, the Hispanic population in the United States has become much more dispersed. Some of the fastest growing places are actually in the Southeast. Georgia, for example, is the 10th largest Hispanic state by population. Now what’s surprising is that it’s just behind New Mexico, one of the older well established Hispanic states. In fact, it’s the only other state besides California where Hispanics are the single largest racial or ethnic group. Georgia’s story really is a reflection of where there’s been a lot of growth in the Hispanic population. Atlanta is one of the fast growing Latino populations, as are some of the rural parts of Georgia. It’s not just limited to Georgia, the same thing is happening

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Q&A: With Pew Research Center’s Director of Hispanic Research – Part I

In early March I had the opportunity to travel to Washington DC; I enjoy visiting this vibrant city, walking alongside Richard Romanesque and Queen Ann homes next to modern office buildings and usually getting lost after leaving a metro station. During this trip I  met with some of our partner agencies to learn about their current work, visiting their expanded offices and strengthening our relationships. Each time that I travel for business I like to connect with professionals that are providing a significant contribution to better the understanding of the rich Hispanic culture in the U.S.  This trip, I had the privilege to meet in person and have a one-on-one interview with Mark Hugo Lopez, Director of Hispanic research at the Pew Research Center.


Pew Research Center, Hispanic population analysis.

Pew Research Center: Hispanic population analysis.


Mark’s job is to coordinate and direct the Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends Project and assist colleagues on any research that is related to Latinos that includes analyzing their attitudes, views of religion, politics and immigration reform. As a director he helps to shape the research program related to Latinos across the Pew Research Center.


Natasha (Nativa): How is a topic selected for research and what

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The future of Ecommerce

A few weeks ago I received an invitation to attend an event sponsored by DHL and Excel Logistics where a group of digital communication experts analyzed the future of ecommerce. Professionals form different sectors and areas of communication and marketing were at the event as well as a group of journalists from different countries. That evening I was asked by a journalist of my home country, Argentina, if I would like to do an interview about ecommerce for one of the most prominent newspaper, La Nación. Here are my notes on this interview:



Advancements in technology increased usage of smart phones and tablets, the easy access to social networks are radically changing our buying behavior and lifestyle, promoting the rapid growth of ecommerce around the world.

A recent study published in the United States showed an estimated 17% ($1.2 trillion) growth for ecommerce in Asian countries, where ecommerce growth is particularly strong.  It is expected that China, a country that has a strong ecommerce economy and has seen strong economic growth overall, will grow as much as 65.1% in 2013.

Worldwide average ecommerce by eMarketer

Worldwide average ecommerce by eMarketer


In the global market of online sales, Latin America is also showing …

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Does Your Campaign Need a Network of Bloggers?

With the burgeoning blogosphere, simply having a web presence is not enough. Companies need to establish a successful website, social media campaigns as well as a blog strategy to stay relevant in today’s online market.

Blog Integration

Integrating a blog in the company’s overall marketing plan not only helps with search engine rankings and furthers the brand’s online image, it also propels all other marketing initiatives in a way that other platforms cannot. Evidenced by the recent influx of bloggersbrands and bloggers are taking heed and fostering symbiotic relationships.

As of July 2011, there are an estimated 164 million blogs on the Internet. Hispanics make up 15 percent (33.5 million) of the overall online presence in the US, and are growing three times as fast as the general market. Evidently the sector of Hispanic bloggers is thriving as seen by the number of big-name brands sourcing bloggers to promote their products. Hispanics are 37 percent more likely than the general population to publish a blog on a blogging platform or use a social networking site, according to a recent study by 360i.

Big Brands using Bloggers

In January of 2012, Ford sent 150 bloggers on a …

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Where to Find Latinos: Social Media Alternatives

It is important to stay on top of which social media sites can be used to engage Latinos as the landscape evolves. While we all know about the hugely popular sites such as Facebook and Twitter, there are also a variety of smaller sites that cater to Latinos in some way. Some of these social media forums are growing, some shrinking, and all appeal to more specialized markets.  We compared a few of the ones popular with Hispanics and gave them a ranking, ‘A’ through ‘D’ based on their usefulness for marketers.

Below are the 5 sites we compared.  We also included current users for each site as well as world site ranking assigned to them by (where a #1 ranking means you have the most web traffic) to get a general idea of how popular they are relative to each other.

Orkut –  DK Rating = A

Registered Users = 100 million
Alexa Ranking = 65

We found Orkut to have the most robust capabilities for marketers.  This Google-owned social media forum is similar to Facebook in many respects. There is a Facebook-like wall and there are a large variety of communities to join or create. You can …

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