With budgets tighter and the need to attract new customers becoming ever more important, financial institutions are focusing on internet marketing as a way to advertise their products and services, according to one expert.

In an interview with Econsultancy, Annalaise Gibbons from the e-marketing team at LV= said companies are moving away from "above-the-line marketing" and are turning their attention towards "response-driven communications".

"All bets are now on the measurable, low acquisition marketing channels (particularly online) to deliver business goals and bottom line sustainability," she remarked.

And she said the biggest challenge for financial institutions, especially older establishments, is to develop a unique online offering, which may require significant investment.

However, the good news is that consumers are increasingly using the internet to research financial products and read economic news.

According to Robin Goad, research director at Hitwise, searches for interest rates have increased dramatically since last August, peaking in November following the Bank of England’s 1.5 per cent cut.

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