View from Standard Life: 56° – finding the perfect marketing angle

Susie Logan

I learnt at school that a right angle is 90 degrees. But when it comes to marketing, the right angle can be absolutely anything. And for me right now, it’s definitely 56 Degrees.

56° started as just a twinkle in my eye, a small spark of an idea that has grown wings and become a fully-functioning communications agency for financial advice firms. It’s an incredibly exciting time and I couldn’t be happier to announce that the doors at 56°are now wide open for business!

It’s been energising and challenging, and really quite thought-provoking. I’ve been working in marketing communications for nearly 20 years, but the experience of starting our own commercially driven communications agency has made me really think, what’s the secret to good marketing for advice firms?

For me, it comes down to five core concepts:

1. Target, then target some more

If you’re short on marketing resources like many firms, you need to make everything count. In a start-up like 56°, this is something we practice and preach! It means being as targeted as you can be, to make your marketing as effective as it can be. Advisers specialise in cultivating strong personal relationships with their clients. In your marketing, demonstrate that you know your customers like old friends and make it really easy for them to deal with you in whatever way they want.

2. Speak up

Social media can sometimes seem scary for businesses, and especially for firms typically built on direct face-to-face communication and telephony. But you need to be part of the community. In the world we live in today, it’s extremely easy for your clients to share their views on your service. This can be brilliant if they love it, or dreadful if they don’t.

But either way you can’t afford to miss out. Not being there won’t stop them talking, so find the communications platforms that your clients love and join the conversation. Simply see it as another channel to manage your client relationships.

3. Be brave

If starting 56° taught me one thing, it was “don’t be afraid to try things out”. The only time you’re certain to fail is if you don’t try. And if it does go wrong, mistakes are easily forgotten – if they’re even noticed by anyone else.

Sometimes you need to find out what doesn’t work to discover what will.

4. Dive into the data

Treasure data. Data is your friend. It will tell you lots of what you need to know about your clients and show you opportunities to drive more value out of your business without expending more resources.

From the beginning, make sure you keep your clients’ data safe and up to date. A great foundation is so important for when you come to scale your business.

Don’t let your data get out of control or it will be incredibly hard to put right in the future, as many companies are currently discovering.

5. Know what’s important

Style? Content? Technology? We know they’re all important, but you need to be able to clearly identify where the value truly lies for your clients.

Use technology, but not at the expense of interesting content presented in a visually impressive way. Web, apps and social are all brilliant, but only if you’re saying the right things to the right people in the way they want to consume it.

So keep it interesting and experiment to find out what works best for your current and prospective clients.

These five ideas have formed the foundation for 56°, and I hope they can help you find the right angle for your marketing.

If you’ve got any questions for me – just ask!

And I almost forgot, 56° has just joined Twitter, so if you’re on there, please give us a warm welcome and follow us for more tips like these.

Susie Logan

Director of 56°