Confused.com

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Confused.com
Type Wholly owned subsidiary
Industry Financial Services
Founded 2001
Headquarters Cardiff, Wales
Key people Martin Coriat (CEO)
Products Insurance
Credit Cards
Parent Admiral Group
Website www.confused.com

Confused.com, part of the Admiral Group, is a British price comparison website specialising in insurance and financial services. The website enables consumers to compare prices on a range of insurance and financial products, including car insurance, home insurance, life insurance and credit cards.

History[edit]

Confused.com launched in 2001 , becoming the UK’s first car insurance comparison site. It is based in Cardiff, Wales with its offices located near the headquarters of the Admiral Group. The Admiral Group floated on the London Stock Exchange in September 2004, it is currently the only FTSE100 listed company headquartered in Wales.[1]

Confused.com is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Management[edit]

Confused.com has undergone a high degree of management churn in recent years. At the top level, founding Managing Director Kate Armstrong, an IT consultant originally from Sydney,[2] retired from the business in 2005, following the successful floatation of the Admiral Group. She was succeeded by Deborah Williams who took the reins from 2005 to 2007. The business underwent expansive growth in this period with profit hitting £36 million in 2007.[3] It was with some degree of surprise therefore that the industry received news of Williams' departure to join a relatively unknown insurance broker.[4] Williams was succeeded by Carlton Hood in the newly created position of CEO. The sector was shaken up by the ground breaking Compare the Market campaign in 2009 and Confused.com, along with other established competitors lost market share. Hood resigned abruptly in 2010 [5] and was succeeded by Group FD Kevin Chidwick as an interim measure.

Chidwick remained in place until January 2012 and was succeeded by Admiral Group senior manager Nic Weng Kan followed by Martin Coriat. Coriat was MD of Admiral-owned French comparison site LeLynx.fr[6] until he took up the position of Confused.com CEO in October 2013.

The marketing department came under new management in July 2010 when Mike Hoban formally passed a six month probation period[7] and stepped into the role of marketing director. Prior to joining Confused.com, he spent 18 months as the Communications Director of Directgov, helping to position their website as the ‘nation’s official website'.

Awards[edit]

Confused.com have been recipients of a number of marketing and industry awards:

  • Winners - Best in house team - 2014 European Search Awards[8]
  • Winners - Best systems integration (marketing specialist category) - 2013 UK Sitecore site of the year awards[9]
  • Joint winners - Best financial services site (joint winners with HSBC) in the financial services category - 2013 UK Sitecore site of the year awards[9]
  • Highly commended - What Mortgage Best comparison site category - 2013/2014 personal finance awards[10]
  • Winners - Marketing Excellence award (PR category) - 'Driving in heels campaign' - South Wales Chamber of Commerce Marketing Excellence Awards 2013[11]
  • Winners - PR award - 'Driving in heels campaign' - Canmol Marketing awards 2012[12]

Advertising[edit]

In early years, Confused.com achieved success with a simple, repetitive direct response advertising format, in which a man with a megaphone shouted about exactly what Confused.com was offering. This led into the longest running of Confused.com’s campaigns, featuring simple cardboard props on a white background.[citation needed] In later years as competitors Moneysupermarket.com, GoCompare.com and Comparethemarket.com have entered the market, Confused.com has tried numerous different advertising vehicles. None have emulated the success of the initial campaign and Confused.com has slipped from the position of market leader to being the fourth largest car insurance comparison website in the UK. The popularity of the companies slogan 'Confused.com' rose to prominence after the success of the 2001 campaign. A 2002 study by Webster showed that the slogan was the third most used phrase of the year behind 'Hey you' and 'Naughty Soldier'.[citation needed]

Later adverts containing real life testimonials, featuring customers and prolific social media users talking about their experiences while using the website, as well as showcasing the website’s simplicity by explaining how it works.[13]

Adverts in early 2010 focused on the concept of regret and featured members of the public lamenting that they could have purchased something they wanted if they had purchased their car insurance through Confused.com.[14]

Former logo featuring the mascot "Cara"

In September 2010, Confused.com introduced the character of "Cara",[15] a wild-haired animated version of the original company mascot that was present on the former Confused.com logo.[15] The inspiration for the creation of Cara came from Kate Armstrong, the founder and former managing director of Confused.com.[16] The campaign used the tagline, "it pays to be Confused.com". In February 2011 an advert started featuring Cara (voiced by West End star Louise Dearman) singing the Diana Ross track "Chain Reaction".[17] Marketing Director Mike Hoban claimed that this campaign gained Confused.com 2 million customers since launch.[18]

In June 2013 a campaign launched featuring a robot named Brian, depicted as being on a mission to help people to "save pounds".[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Insurance firm creates 400 jobs". BBC News Online. 2008-06-25. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  2. ^ "Sheep farmer defies millionaire and refuses to quit home". The Daily Record. 2010-03-21. Retrieved 2011-07-08. 
  3. ^ "Admiral Group plc - Press Releases - Admiral Reports Record Profits & Strong Growth". Admiralgroup.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-07-08. 
  4. ^ "Business - Business News - Debra Williams quits Confused.com". WalesOnline. Retrieved 2011-07-08. 
  5. ^ Sion Barry. "Chief executive quits Admiral’s Confused.com; Business | walesonline.co.uk". WalesOnline. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  6. ^ "Admiral Group PLC - Our Companies". Admiral Group PLC. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  7. ^ Alex Brownsell (2010-05-27). "Directgov's Mike Hoban to join Confused.com as CMO". Marketingmagazine.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-07-08. 
  8. ^ "www.europeansearchawards.com/winners". European Search Awards 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-02. 
  9. ^ a b "Site of the Year 2013 - UK Category Winners". Sitecore.net. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  10. ^ "2013/14 Personal Finance Awards Winners Announced!". Whatmortgage.co.uk. 2013-12-02. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  11. ^ "Firms Celebrate Awards Success". South Wales Echo. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  12. ^ "Canmol 2012 Winners". Canmol. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  13. ^ Noel Bussey (2008-11-13). "Farm lands £25m Confused.com task - advertising news - Campaign". Campaignlive.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-07-08. 
  14. ^ Anne Cassidy (2010-07-09). "Confused.com splits with BMB - advertising news - Campaign". Campaignlive.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-07-08. 
  15. ^ a b Parsons, Russell. "Confused.com introduces animated logo in fresh push | News". Marketing Week. Retrieved 2011-07-08. 
  16. ^ "Kate Armstrong: profile of a PhD student". University of Glasgow Adam Smith Business School. Autumn–Winter 2011. Retrieved 2013-08-08. 
  17. ^ "Confused.com – Cara Sings Chain Reaction". TV Ad Music. 2011-02-15. Retrieved 2013-08-08. 
  18. ^ "New Confused.Com ad campaign featuring Cara launched". todayinsurance.co.uk. 2011-02-15. Retrieved 2011-07-08. 
  19. ^ Brownsell, Alex (2013-05-29). "Confused.com overhauls brand in search of 'expert' positioning". Marketing Magazine. Retrieved 2013-12-30. 

External links[edit]