Best Advice, 5th February 2014, Strange Days indeed

Do read on. There is nothing in this blog which will interest you.

If I asked you drive slowly around town in your car hollering at other road users about the adverse effects of traffic on the environment, you would probably think I was quite mad. You’d be likely to walk away in the other direction rather quickly, and never speak to me again. And you’d be well within reason. In the same way, if I asked you to create an e-marketing and social media campaign to denounce the merits of computers to other computer users, you would think I was equally mad.

So if I told you that no less than four secured loan packagers were doing just that right now, you probably wouldn’t believe me, would you?

Let me explain: while on Twitter recently I saw an ad for another secured loan packager. This ad said nothing about the company it represented. No unique selling points, no benefits to using that broker rather than another. It did however warn its potential clients about the hazards of using computers to get quotes for secured loans. It reminded me of those government TV ads years ago that warned us not to fly our kites near pylons. There was another one that showed a child smashing into a piece of plate glass that was being carried from a van into a house by two chaps dressed in brown overalls. Running is dangerous, came the message. The first thing I wanted to do after seeing such ads was to go grab my old kite that I’d forgotten about, and go run through a field with it.

The online campaign for another secured loan packager carried the strapline ‘We don’t use sourcing systems’. Thanks for letting me know, I thought. I don’t use angle grinders, but I don’t feel the need to build a creative and go to the expense of displaying the fact on the buildersmerchantsnews.co.uk.

Any expert in marketing will tell you that appealing to a prospective customer’s subconscious is more effective than anything else. What these competitor brokers are subconsciously telling us is that they are thinking about nothing other than sourcing systems and the potential business that they are losing to the likes of miLoanbroker.com, Promise Solutions, Loans Engine, Lending Wizard and other providers.

Even worse, and in the same pointy-fingered way as the old fashioned government ads, the advertiser is telling the prospective client what not to do. Any reader who has a small child will tell you that this is probably the least effective way to go about it achieving the desired result. Just look at the adverts for Yorkie chocolate (it’s not for girls), or Marmite (you either love it or hate it). These big brands use reverse psychology in its most effective format to create bumper sales: tell someone not to do something and they go right ahead and do it!

At Y3S we prefer to anticipate the potential needs of a broker, and then build the tools and facilities that we think they may need, display them in front of the broker and let them choose their tool of choice which they will then use to leverage secured loan business. Just go to your local shopping mall and observe: people like to buy, but they do not like to be lectured to.

In a classic case of double irony, our competitors are actually paying to drive more mortgage brokers to using our websites than ever before, which is great news for those of us packagers with sourcing systems, but a huge waste of money for the actual advertisers themselves. I can only suggest that they increase their marketing spend in 2014 and continue to denounce the use of computer-driven lead generation and underwriting. It’ll certainly make my job just a little easier.

In the meantime, we’ll staff up ready for the onslaught.

Read on Strange Days