Wells Fargo recently announced the addition of Mariela Ure (photo) to the Enterprise Marketing team as the Hispanic Segment Business Manager. In her new role, Ms. Ure coordinates Wells Fargo’s efforts in meeting the needs of the rapidly growing Hispanic market. Portada talked to Ure about her new role and her major objectives.
Portada: You come from Bank of America, how would you characterize the marketing strategy of major U.S. Banks vs. the Hispanic demographic? Do you think this strategy has changed over the years and if so how?
Mariela Ure, Hispanic Segment Business Manager, Wells Fargo: “Strategies to reach the Hispanic community have certainly changed over the years. U.S. Banks have more information about Hispanic consumer needs and preferences. At Wells Fargo, we have the advantage of a long-standing relationship that dates back to its early history 160 years ago. So, we are uniquely well positioned to serve the needs of the Hispanic community. Our strategy is to learn as much as we can about their financial needs and to build relationships that lead to financial success. Most of these relationships begin at our Retail Bank where bilingual team members learn about our customer’s financial priorities and goals. For example, many Hispanic customers are telling us that building and maintaining good credit is a top priority for them. So, our team members are using financial solutions and in-language tools, such as our Secure Credit Cards and our unique bilingual Hands On Banking Program: Using Credit to Your Advantage, to help Hispanic customers achieve important financial goals”.
Can you describe the products you will be marketing for Wells Fargo?
Mariela Ure: “Our marketing plans are focused on generating awareness about the financial solutions that we know can help the Hispanic community achieve financial success. We know the Hispanic community has a strong desire to build and maintain credit, to own their home, and to manage their small businesses effectively. Thus, our marketing communications will be focused on financial solutions that address those needs. Homeownership: We continue to be the country’s largest originator of offshore loans for Hispanics. Credit Cards: When used responsibly, credit cards can help customers build strong credit history, as well as make important purchases. Small Business Lending: We are helping with Hispanic small business creation and growth by lending over $5.6 billion to Latino-owned business since 1997. Remittances: We offer a safe and economic way to send money to more than 15 countries – including Central and South America.
How does marketing to Hispanic small business owners differ from marketing to small business in general in the U.S?
Mariela Ure: “Hispanic small business owners, just like their counterparts in the general small business population, are interested in receiving guidance and assistance on how to manage and grow their businesses. But, Hispanic Small Business owners have expressed a significantly greater interest in learning more about how a bank can help them with their business. For that reason, we created a unique bilingual educational program – Hands On Banking for small businesses, which provides valuable information on how to start, manage and grow a small business. Also, our partnership with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, as wells as local Hispanic chambers across the country, play an important role in our efforts to continue to help small business owners manage and grow their businesses.”
How do you plan using media (advertising) to promote Wells Fargo products and services targeting the Hispanic Business owner.
Mariela Ure: “We have increased our advertising to the Hispanic community across the board with a mix of cultural advertising in both English and in Spanish. We have plans to continue advertising on television, radio and print in key markets.”
Can you describe the structure/organization of Wells Fargo’s Multicultural /Hispanic Marketing Unit. How is it structured (by products, target audiences, both, geographical locations etc)?
Mariela Ure: “Our organization is structured with the Hispanic customer at the center of everything we do. For example, my role as SVP, Hispanic Segment Strategy is to spearhead enterprise-wide initiatives that lead Wells Fargo to meet the needs of the Hispanic customer. The fact that my role is not part of any product group or geography allows me to objectively identify and focus on the work that benefits our customers. In addition to my role, Wells Fargo has thousands of bilingual team members working across the organization to serve the needs of the Hispanic community.”