Small Businesses Marketing Lessons From is a British price comparison website which specialises in finance. The site enables you to compare prices on a range of products and services including mortgages, credit cards and loans. The website itself has slowly developed and it now has branches in travel, insurance, energy, broadband, and the mobile phone market – and is now turning over an annual revenue in the region of £200m.

But where did it all begin?

Well like many other huge organisations since the internet revolutionised the world, it started as one man, a computer, some hefty university fees and a simple idea. An idea that would eventually change the financial services market, and show businesses throughout the UK the power of the internet and the profits it can yield!

The business was established in 1993 by Simon Nixon, a student at Nottingham University, under the name ‘Mortgage 2000’. It was originally a company which provided off-line mortgage information but in 1999 was developed to add an online presence to the business. It worked the same way and specialised in the same areas but the company had transferred their skills and experience from the off-line market to the newly emerging online market.

At the time the company saw this as a small decision and, if anything, a small investment for the future. However, as time passed, and the internet exploded into most households throughout the UK and globally the company shifted all its resources online.

What did actually DO to get such massive growth - and what marketing strategies did they use?

As Simon Nixon explains in this short clip, the company based their marketing around 4 “key” areas: 

  1. PR – Nixon explains: “ gets mentioned all over the internet and in newspapers on a regular basis.” Building the brand was extremely important for the company. Specialising in finance it was, and still is, extremely important that people trust their brand name and what they provide.
  2. Portal partnerships – the company used online partnerships to promote their services meaning they could advertise to a wider area and build good relationships with companies throughout the internet.
  3. SEO – probably the most important strategy for the business becoming successful was SEO. Nixon explains this was “key” to the company becoming the powerhouse it is today! Becoming top in the natural search engine results for a large range of key words means customers go there instead of their competition!
  4. TV Advertising – although this relates to larger companies it has allowed the business to significantly increase the brand awareness of the business and therefore profits and sales have increased! The business also used video on its website and has its own YouTube channel.

Nixon also goes on to explain why print advertising is nearly dead and why every business should be looking online for the promotion of their site because the market is broad and you can reach so many potential customers through it in a cost effective way!

Lessons small businesses everywhere can learn from Simon Nixon and

Every business has to start somewhere, and as proves, the internet is a fantastic place to get your brand known and get your business enquiries! It’s a great example of how the internet can propel a company from a small team of financial specialists to a money-making online giant! Although your business may sell a different product or service, the way in which have achieved their success is relevant to every business looking to grow and become more successful.

Simon Nixon puts the success of his website down to the four marketing strategies listed above –and every business owner has access to these. All you have to do is either spend hours every day keeping the website updated with fresh content, creating videos and images and learning about SEO or you can make a small investment in working with a professional, creditable digital marketing agency!

Some small business owners are still sceptical of SEO, but the fact remains when done correctly it can be one of the most powerful marketing tools available online! 90% of the population first go to Google before any other search engine, meaning that if you can get your company above your competition then you will be sure to see a massive increase in your enquiry rate and therefore sales.

Many business owners fall into the trap of just creating a website and expecting the revenue to roll in, it doesn’t work like that! comes in the top 3 search results for a wide variety of searches and this allows them to retain their market share and continue to achieve the sales they need to make profit!


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