Wells Fargo Advisors ad gets the focus right

Excerpt from Wells Fargo Advisors ad

Financial advisors often struggle to communicate the value they offer to clients. I think Wells Fargo Advisors nailed it with an ad I saw in The Wall Street Journal (p. A5 on Dec. 29). The image above is excerpted from that ad.

Four things make this ad powerful, in my opinion.

1. Emphasis on the CLIENT, not the firm

More than half of the ad is taken up by a client photo. However, what the client says is more important than the photo, as I explain in point #2. Too many ads, advisor websites, and other marketing pieces emphasize the firm more than the client.

This emphasis on the client carries into more use of “you” than “we,” “us,” or “Wells Fargo Advisors.”

2. Emphasis on the BENEFIT, not the feature

The client says, “Confidence comes from knowing I have a plan for my future.” That’s a powerful statement with great appeal for many prospects, especially in a volatile year. The ad gives more attention to this benefit than to the feature, which is the plan.

3. Reassuring discussion of uncertainty

Uncertainty about the future has people on edge, but Wells Fargo Advisors is “With you when you need clarity in an uncertain world.”

The firm also has a reassuring tag line: “Together we’ll go far.” It’s reassuring, but it’s also vague enough to make it through compliance review. Nice job!

4. Effective use of numbers

“95% of Envision(r) Plan holders are able to live the life they planned.”

This is one of the client-benefit-focused statistics used in the ad. It’s powerful.

Plus, the statistic is given credibility by an external source: a survey conducted by Harris Interactive.

Communicating advisor value and Twitter

Thank you, Twitter friends, for getting me fired up about the topic. I jumped on this ad partly because of an online conversation about advisor compensation that included @MichaelKitces tweeting, “@nathangehring @MattBrandeburg @rwohlner @susanweiner I think primary reason we talk abt comp is b/c we’re bad at explaining our real value

What about you?

What do YOU think of this ad?

Can you suggest a better or different way to discuss how advisors provide value to clients?

6 replies
  1. Stephanie Sammons
    Stephanie Sammons says:

    Love it Susan, it is a great ad. I especially love the use of numbers in this one. They really project confidence in a world of uncertainty. Wonder who’s creating/running their ad campaigns?

    Also agree with @MichaelKitces. I hear too many advisors trying to position themselves as fee-based. I think that’s terrific but I don’t think most people get it or care about it.


  2. Andy Rates
    Andy Rates says:

    Thank you for your post about the CLIENT! It’s about time I found something that so perfectly articulated about the correct aim of banking. I agree with you Wells Fargo has got it right!

  3. Mike Ward
    Mike Ward says:

    All good and important points, Susan. I also think the image they used is a good one. It not only reinforces a client-centric approach, but says alot about their target market, i.e., women of a certain age, perhaps single and, from the look of it, apparently enjoying the ‘benefit’ of having chosen WFA.

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