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Interview with Stuart Wilson

by | Nov 27, 2018 | Interviews,

Stuart Wilson

Stuart Wilson

Corporate Marketing Director at more 2 life

Key Topics:Equity Release, Retirement, Later Life Lending, Debt in Retirement
Location:Preston, UK

I have spent the last 30 years working in financial services, mostly in B2B roles and for a range of big and small brands from Friends Provident to LV= and Just Retirement. I have also run my own marketing consultancy business. I now head up the B2B marketing team at Key Group, looking after more 2 life (an equity release lender) and Key Partnerships (a B2B equity release referral service).

What are you currently focusing on at more2life?

more 2 life is currently the third largest equity release lender in the UK but we have ambitions to be the biggest. Our focus right now is on growing our market share through greater penetration of segments of the market where we see the greatest potential for growth – specifically the ‘tail’ of the equity release market that consists of thousands of advisers who do not specialise in this market but are looking to grow their practises. We have a fantastic propositional story to tell and we see social media as a key platform to help bring that story to life. We are also about to go through a major rebranding exercise – the first since more 2 life launched in 2008 – and again social media platforms will be critical in helping raise our brand awareness amongst a wider audience in a market dominated by two ‘household names’ (Aviva and L&G)

How much is influencer marketing a part of your current marketing strategy?

Historically, social media has been an afterthought in our marketing strategy but it has gained far greater importance in the past 12-18 months. We have managed to grow our follower numbers on Twitter and LinkedIn significantly in that time and we see these platforms as critical in terms of helping us reach new audiences. In particular, we want to make greater use of multimedia assets such as video and podcasts as well as traditional methods such as blogs to help reinforce our aim to be seen as the ‘lender of choice’ for advisers in the equity release space. We felt that leveraging key industry stakeholders in this market could help us accentuate and amplify our messages – we also saw this as an opportunity to show our credentials as a leading supporter of advisers by helping our Influencer group increase their own reach and resonance by providing them with content they could white label and re-use/re-post as their own

What outcomes are you seeking to achieve by working with influencers?

We have seen our own share of voice on social platforms across our key topics increase substantially and we are now ahead of our key competitors on this benchmark. We have also seen our own influencer group increase their own reach/resonance significantly. This puts more 2 life in an excellent position to help relaunch itself under the new branding in Q1 of next year. Here are some stats from this year’s activity:

  • 57.7% increase in monthly reach of m2l mentions (60.1k in Jan, 104.1k in Sept)
  • Average of 49.86% monthly share of voice on social media in whole ER market (closest competitor has monthly average of 24.1%)

What activities are you currently partnering with influencers on?

We have already undertaken a number of initiatives this year such as giving our Influencers exclusive advanced access to our latest ‘Lending in Retirement’ research and we continue to develop content that Influencers can use such as infographics, blog posts and research insights. Our latest research into vulnerable clients will generate content that we will share initially through the influencers.

What positive outcomes have you seen from influencer marketing?

Our share of voice, reach and resonance have all increased far beyond our initial expectations and that has been one of the biggest positives. Before engaging with Onalytica, we were growing our social following organically with some degree of success but it can be a hard slog without pinpoint analysis of your market place, who’s talking about your products/market/brand and how you can influence conversations with key stakeholders.

How important is it to have an influencer marketing software platform in achieving your objectives?

We couldn’t even have begun to attempt what we have achieved to date on social media without the help our Onalytica and their platform. It has been indispensable and its feature-rich functionality gives incredible depth to the MI we can report back up the line to senior management. The cost of running and maintaining an influencer marketing programme are not insubstantial and so it is important (vitally so) that we are able to show the impact of this spend. The Onalytica tool has been one of the most important investments we have made in terms of marketing spend in the last 5 years.