The head of the Mortgage Alliance has called on lenders to take up the challenge of online marketing in order to grow their businesses.
Writing for Mortgage Strategy magazine, Phil Whitehouse argued that the massive growth of online marketing, particularly SEO marketing, makes it impossible for even the most hidebound home loans company to ignore.
Mr Whitehouse cited figures from information technology experts Greenlight, which indicated that customers’ online searches for financial products soared in January this year – and “mortgages” was the term that most people were looking for on Google and other search engines.
Greenlight’s report used industry data to classify 540 of the most popular search terms used by consumers to find providers of savings, credit and debit cards, mortgages and loans online. Of these, 58 per cent of the terms related to mortgages – equivalent to 3.2 million searches overall.
“There’s no doubting the increasing popularity of online activity and it’s important that brokers recognise this and embrace changes in the national psyche when marketing themselves,” Mr Whitehouse wrote.
He urged mortgage companies to harness the power of online marketing rather than trying to resist the rise of the internet – and pointed out that companies did not need to be tech-savvy themselves, as there were many support services and IT companies able to do an excellent job on their behalf.
“Brokers also need to invest in publicising their online presence as customers will not find them without some kind of marketing. And websites needs constant attention, with the addition of relevant content to keep clients wanting to revisit,” he cautioned.
Mr Whitehouse stressed that if properly planned, online technology can help mortgage brokers offer more support to their clients and business partners, as well as increasing efficiency and identifying new sources of income.