Q&A: Chris Moloney, SVP, head of marketing, Wells Fargo Advisors

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Q&A: Chris Moloney, SVP, head of marketing, Wells Fargo Advisors
Q&A: Chris Moloney, SVP, head of marketing, Wells Fargo Advisors
Chris Moloney, SVP and head of marketing at Wells Fargo Advisors, discusses his new role and the financial firm's approach to social media

Q: You began as head of marketing of the brokerage arm of Wells Fargo in October after several years as CMO of the consumer division at Experian. What were the first few months like?

A: My role is a 50/50 split 
between strategy and execution. People think CMOs spend 90% of their time talking about strategy and 10% talking about execution, but I oversee minute-to-minute execution as well. My goal is to be like a football coach. You have to pick the right play at the right time since a well-executed B-plus idea can do better than a poorly executed A-plus idea.

Q: What role does direct marketing play in Wells Fargo Advisors' marketing vision?

A: I think a healthy mix of direct response and branding can influence each other. Although my responsibility is to build the brand's name, I must also bring customers in the door.

Q: Has the recession made it difficult to execute effective direct marketing campaigns?

A: I think it represents a great opportunity to leverage the stability and security of the Wells Fargo brand. At Wells Fargo Advisors, our goal is to talk about relationships. Rather than emphasizing terms like investment or brokerage, we emphasize the importance of being an adviser. The emphasis on that is critical to building and re-establishing consumer confidence.

Q: Wells Fargo is more than 150 years old, and the Advisors sector has been around since 2009. How do you take 150 years of history and apply it to social media?

A: [In past roles] I've executed some cutting edge social media initiatives. In financial services, cutting edge is not always best. Due to regulatory oversight, there are requirements about how we track and measure our campaigns and interaction with customers. On a corporate level, we think we'll have a breakthrough year in how we engage customers on social media. 

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