Hello and it's good to meet you.
I'm Karen Brierley and I am a marketing consultant with more than 30 years' experience in the industry.
I cut my teeth the hard way: selling investment linked insurance policies literally door to door! It was an exciting way to earn a living and it taught me self discipline. It takes a lot of it to get up on a cold rainy morning, then go out and visit every shop and business on a High Street, trying to persuade complete strangers to buy investment products they had never heard of!
Nevertheless I made a reasonable living out of it and it gave me a mental toughness that has kept me in good stead ever since.
I progressed to selling property in Spain. This was more like it! Taking clients out to the sunny Costa del Sol every week, then taking them round the properties for sale, then to the bars and restaurants at night, was a good life and I made a lot of good friends; not least of all a wonderful man, Alan, who a couple of years after we met became my husband!
It was he who persuaded me to learn all about this new technology called the Internet; many people suspected that it would be a flash in the pan and never catch on, but we stayed with it and it proved to be the right move.
As a result Alan and I are probably amongst the most experienced Internet marketing people in the world and we were involved in many startups, including a number which have since become household names.
However; nothing stays the same. Insurance, for instance, was a service that seemed a natural product to sell using price comparison engines. After all, nobody wants to pay for it but every motorist wants to have it, so we all want to pay as little as possible! Price comparison websites became immensely popular and premiums fell on average. It was going to be a much more efficient way of buying insurance; after all it would cut out the middleman wouldn't it? Sadly things didn't work out that way.
Firstly cut throat competition broke out between the big price comparison companies, which led to immense sums being spent on advertising, including those non-stop TV ads that irritate so many of us so much. The money for these huge advertising budgets had to come from somewhere.
Insurance companies which would once have paid a commission to a local broker found that most of these brokers were moving online. Not many people realise that the great majority of so-called insurance companies online are actually brokers, and not insurers themselves! They were not getting business there themselves though; the price comparison sites with their huge spending were sweeping up all the business and then passing it on to them, at a high price of course. Much of the business these price comparison sites got came from advertisements on the search engines, for which they paid heavily.
So now, instead of there just being a broker taking a cut of the premium a motorist paid for a policy, there was the search engine charging a price comparison site several pounds a time for clicks on their website (only a small number of which actually resulted in a sale); the price comparison site taking a cut for passing the enquiry on to the broker; then the broker taking another commission for passing the business on to the insurer. Efficient? I don't think so.
We believe we have found the happy medium between the old fashioned ways and new technology. We spend nothing on advertising; so we have no huge costs to pass on to you; but we put specialised web sites online. Any enquiries go straight to selected brokers who are also specialists in that particular market sector. They get a commission from the insurers, which they have always done, and they share some of it with us. This way our visitors don't pay towards the billions earned by a certain search engine, or pay for those non stop annoying TV ads that force so many of us to turn the sound off during commercial breaks.
Simple, efficient and economical. The way that buying online should be.
Like to get in touch? I am Karen Brierley and can be contacted at 156 Great Charles Street, Birmingham Cheshire B3 3HN. Telephone: 0330 324 2727or by email at
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