Multicultural Marketing Case Study: Wells Fargo's Asian Outreach

How are resource groups helping Wells Fargo reach the rapidly growing Asian American market?

Nancy Wong, Senior Vice President and Integrated Marketing Manager for the Asian Segment in Enterprise Marketing at Wells Fargo, is a first-generation Asian-American. She was born and raised in Hong Kong by her parents, who were small-business owners, and was one of three daughters who came to the United States as students.

Wong recently sat down with DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti during a Q&A session at Wells Fargo to discuss the company's outreach to the Asian community.

How do you see the demographics of the Asian community that Wells Fargo serves changing?

Nancy Wong: Immigrants actually are very entrepreneurial and many of them are business owners, so the way that Wells Fargo has been serving the Asian community is by really focusing on the financial needs of Asian businesses. We know how important it is for businesses to strive and therefore we develop programs that help the small-business community to strive and provide them access to tools, financial education, resources that can actually help them to really make their business go to the next level. A lot of the businesses have ties with Asian countries and actually have transpacific characteristics, so we offer specific products and services such as treasury management, trade finance and APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) service because we know that these services would help to really meet their needs.

What is Wells Fargo doing to reach a larger footprint with Asian-Americans?

Nancy Wong: The company has a very long history of serving diverse communities and we have developed a lot of marketing assets. We really believe in building out the assets in terms of advertising, in terms of marketing collateral, and what we are able to do when we have a larger footprint is to scale a lot of these assets from the West Coast footprint to the entire footprint. So that's a lot of efficiency. We have the ATM network, which is already serving multiple Asian languages, so all the language marketing materials, such as financial-education brochures, we are able to use all that for different Asian communities across the entire footprint.

What marketing strategies work particularly well with the various Asian segments and what should be avoided?

Nancy Wong: Being consistent is very important in serving the Asian community, and we show respect to the communities by celebrating Asian heritage on a consistent basis coast-to-coast. During holidays and festivals we also run special promotions to make sure that we are offering a particular celebratory offer to our Asian customers. So being culturally relevant, being in the community and respecting the culture is very important.

What role does Wells Fargo's Asian Connection resource group play in your efforts?

Nancy Wong: A lot of our resource-group team members of Asian descent, they are not just corresponding with customers on a daily basis but they are actually living in the Asian community. A lot of the insights that they are able to gather from the community help us improve our products and services. The other thing that we do very, very consistently is that we organize a lot of volunteer work. We have a hands-on banking-education seminar and we mobilize all our Asian Connection team members to go out and actually teach financial literacy to the Asian community. We set a goal to reach 2,000 different community groups across the country to make sure that as a financial institution we are offering the right financial-education programs to our communities.

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