On the individual level, clients are experiencing a lot of angst, Bill Burke, senior vice president of brand marketing for Nationwide Financial, told PLANADVISER. “They’re still carrying over anxiety from 2008 and 2009 toward financial institutions and toward their own advisers,” Burke said. “The last four years of volatility have taken a toll on clients` psyches, and while the markets are beginning to recover, clients haven’t.”
“Let’s Face It Together” brings to light client fears and phobias that are based on relevant, real-world issues clients struggle to discuss with their financial advisers.
When people are planning for retirement, complex and emotional issues come into play, Burke said. “Issues like outliving their assets, managing health care and long-term care costs, and the uncertainty surrounding Social Security and taxes,” he said. “Advisers are seeing their role expand beyond just being a financial expert—they now need to be part expert, part coach and part psychologist.”
The campaign is aimed at helping advisers turn clients’ fears and phobias into constructive conversations. It was developed through qualitative interviews with advisers, which found that clients’ expanding needs are forcing advisers into more complex roles.
Some of the phrases and taglines in the campaign, such as “retire-phobia,” “income phobia” and “enough-phobia,” were developed in response to feedback from advisers as well as investors showing that clients worry about these issues and need advisers to prompt difficult conversations and simplify complex issues.
“Over the past year, we have spent time looking at how the retirement landscape is changing, how it is affecting our target advisers and how Nationwide Financial’s core values of being a thoughtful and trusted strategic partner play a role in that dynamic,” said Matt Jauchius, chief marketing officer of Nationwide. “We see ‘Let’s Face It Together’ as our way of speaking directly to our advisers and addressing the complex issues they face.”
Nationwide is offering an array of tools, strategies and a suite of products for advisers to use to get clients off the sidelines and ready for retirement, Burke said. One of the tools, a health care assessment calculator, was designed to help identify what costs clients will need to prepare for in retirement. “The tool helps advisers show clients how they can adequately save and put together the right investments,” he explained.
“We don’t want the adviser to be just a purveyor of Nationwide products,” Burke said. “We want to help them face difficult issues together, and we’d like to make sure advisers are armed with helpful tools for the reluctant investor.”
There is a general reluctance to face up to retirement challenges, Burke noted, adding that Nationwide Financial’s campaign is an articulation of the firm’s ability to break down and simplify these complex issues for advisers and help their clients prepare for and live in retirement.
The campaign will run online and in print publications. More information is available on Nationwide Financial’s site.