Multicultural Marketing Not Just a Segment


Seattle -- Marketers from the get-go have to treat their customers as part of
a multicultural America, a banker said Tuesday at the CTAM Summit general
session here.

"We are not out there marketing to a segment," said Brad Davis, executive
vice president of corporate marketing for Seattle-based Washington Mutual Inc.
"That is the market."

Davis presented a variety of examples of Washington Mutual’s targeting of
various ethnic markets, whether it be running billboards in Japanese in Seattle
or doing an ATM screen in Russian in New York.

Grassroots marketing has translated to dollars for the bank. In one instance,
Washington Mutual participated in a gay-pride parade in Los Angeles. In that one
day at that event, the bank did more business than one of its sites typically
averages in three months, Davis said.

The mantra at Washington Mutual is to make the business transacted with a
consumer as enjoyable and personal as possible. "Is it about the transaction or
the experience?" Davis asked. "Branding is really about the experience your
customers have."

At the session, Davis substituted for Peter Villegas, Washington Mutual’s
first vice president and national manager of emerging markets, community and the
external-affairs division, who had a scheduling conflict.