MARKET PROFILE: Bland expands Washington Mutual's reach

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Who: David Bland, 48, VP-ethnic marketing for Washington Mutual. Mr. Bland most recently was VP-senior segment manager for Bank of America, and prior to that, he served as VP-ethnic marketing for Wells Fargo Bank. He has worked on the agency, marketer and media sides of the business including posts at Gannett Co. and Ketchum Advertising, San Francisco.

Mission: He says he believes African-Americans, Asian-Americans and Hispanics are underserved in the financial-services category and aims to expand Washington Mutual's business by marketing to those consumers.

Insight: About 49% of U.S. Hispanics do not have a relationship with a bank, he says, but an emerging affluent class shows this market offers tremendous opportunity for the financial services category.

Opinion: "When the population changes, you just can't close up and move. You have to adapt and respond. That entails developing cultural sensitivity. It impacts marketing outreach, participation in community events, staffing, and of course advertising." Multicultural marketing means coordinating everything from targeted advertising to multilingual branch staff, he says.

Strategy: Mr. Bland plans to focus heavily on consumers in California, Florida and Texas. Washington Mutual uses Chinese- and Spanish-language advertising, but new campaigns will be created in Vietnamese and French.

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