Balance, a new marketing consultancy and agency dedicated to financial services, has launched to help businesses hit their online growth goals and better serve prospective clients.
The agency is being headed up by Alex Murphy, with 20+ years of financial services marketing experience with brands such as Admiral, The Royal Mint, and GoCompare.
Alex is joining forces with co-founder Gareth Morgan, another marketer with over 20 years experience, most of it in financial services. As CEO of the wider Liberty Marketing Group, Gareth has worked alongside dozens of finance clients such as Admiral, Target, Aviva, and MotoNovo.
This launch sees Balance become the newest agency in the Liberty Marketing Group, alongside Liberty and Foundation. It boasts a joint resource pool of more than 40 specialist marketers who offer services including SEO, paid media, content creation, social media management, digital PR and digital strategy.
Murphy said: “I absolutely loved my marketing leadership roles in financial services, but it’s undeniable that it’s a very tough sector to market in. Marketing teams tend to be relatively under-resourced and under-budgeted in relation to the size of the business. They often have grand transformative multi-year goals, but zero-compromise short-term targets, and the strict regulation, whilst very important, can make it challenging to navigate while pursuing growth.”
Morgan said: “15 years ago, when managing digital marketing for a firm in the mortgage sector, I was getting frustrated with agencies that either didn’t understand compliance and the massive difference this makes to how finance brands market themselves, or they were too scared of regulations to suggest work that would cut-through such a competitive space and gain attention.
“Chatting to Alex last summer, I realised this is still a huge issue for in-house marketers. He agreed that there was a big gap in the market, and he’d been feeling the same way for years as well. That’s why we’ve launched Balance – an agency that is both creative and compliant.”
The business launches at the right time with the FCA releasing Consumer Duty later this year. These higher standards will put the spotlight on the communications that all financial services brands have with customers, much of it focusing on the web.
As part of the launch, the team at Balance have conducted research into 50 household-name finance brands and scored them against the measurements that both the FCA and Google judge them on, finding that many are failing best practice guidelines on how to communicate online.
Murphy said: “We’ll be releasing this research in the coming weeks to help guide both internal marketing teams and compliance teams in areas where they could do better.
“We’re here to help them fix these issues and make sure all future content and campaigns please the regulator, the search engines, and most importantly, their customers at the same time.”
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