Internet search data from digital marketing agency Greenlight revealed that in July Mas was only the 16th most visible website for retail banking in natural search. It reached 553,117 internet users, compared to almost 3m for the most visible site, moneysupermarket.com.
The service was the 12th most visible by natural search in the borrowing category, reaching 506,287 internet users. The top five most visible sites reached between 916,539 to almost 2m users.
The site did not feature in the top 20 most visible sites under the savings and investment categories, or in the banking categories.
Mas reported a total advertising spend of about £19m in 2012/2013, while its business plan for 2013/2014 stated it would be spending £12.5m of its total budget of £78.3m on marketing and advertising.
Some £43.8m of the budget was earmarked for developing the Mas money advice proposition, with a further £34.5m destined for its debt advice proposition.
Previous marketing campaigns have included the multi-platform What does Ma think? campaign.
Karen Broughton, marketing and service delivery director for Mas, said: “Given our finite budget and breadth of service, it’s important we are as efficient as possible and focus on areas which will have the greatest impact in guiding people’s financial decisions and drive the best outcomes for them. Due to the competitive nature of the digital search market, our strategy is commercially sensitive but we can confirm consumers are always absolutely at its heart.
“We reach customers using a comprehensive list of more than 75,000 keywords.”
Derek Bradley, chief executive of online adviser community Panacea Adviser, said: “Ultimately, with the size of the budget Mas has, one has to wonder if it wants to create a service or a brand. If its the former, I would suggest a lot of other people could do it better, and if its a brand, I don’t think it has succeeded.”