Detailed Marketing Strategy of Citi – World’s Largest Credit Card Issuer

Updated on: Jul 29, 2022
Marketing Strategy Of Citi - Featured Image

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My name is Aditya Shastri and I have written this case study with the help of my students from IIDE's online digital marketing courses in India.

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In our previous article, we learned in detail about the marketing strategy of American Express Bank. In this article, we’ll look over its marketing strategy of Citi in detail.

The objective is to help you gain insights on Citi and how it became the world’s largest credit card issuer and how they play a key role in the establishment of key market intermediaries like depositories, credit bureaus, clearing, and payment institutions.

Marketing is a crucial part of any business as it adds heavily to the organization’s success. As users all around the world shift to the digital world, marketing soon followed. If you’re interested in cutting-edge digital marketing, IIDE’s Free MasterClass on Digital Marketing 101 by our CEO and Founder, Karan Shah, is a must-attend.

We will fully cover our marketing strategy of Citi in this blog. Let’s start by learning about the company’s story, target audience, and digital presence before we dive in.

Digital Marketing Academic Challenge 2024 - DMAC

About Citi – Company Overview

Citigroup is an American-based multinational investment bank headquartered in New York. It came into existence with the merger of banking giant Citicorp and Financial conglomerate Travelers group in 1998. 

Citi also owns Citigroup, which is the holding company for Citibank, as well as international subsidiaries. Citigroup or Citi mainly are in operations for primarily management reporting which includes two business segments, Global Consumer Banking & Institutional Clients Group.

It’s one of the nine largest investment banks in the bulge bracket. It carries its business for Fortune 500 Companies. It has offices all over the globe, in regions including Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East & Africa, and Latin America.

Quick Stats on BOE
CEO Jane Fraser
CMO Jennifer Breithaupt
Area Served Worldwide
Industry Financial Services
Market Share/ Revenue US$71.88 billion (2021)
Vision To be a valued partner to their clients by providing financial services responsibly.
Tagline Live Richly


Marketing Strategy of Citi

Citibank used segmentation, targeting, and positioning to understand the types of customers they serve, which products are appealing to them, which markets the company should focus on, and provide a clear and desirable location to meet their demands.

Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning

Citibank prefers multiple segments as a target to increase the number of consumers and earn a profit, thanks to Citigroup’s strong support. Improving service quality and customer-centricity are central to Citibank’s company culture. As a result, Citibank’s credit card is suitable for use at all levels.

Citi uses diverse targeting strategies to provide customers with the best-suited services, whether it’s retail banking, securities market services, or institutional banking. Citibank’s target segments include low-income earners, high-income earners, recent graduates, wage earners, and businessmen. This is to ensure that Citibank focuses on the right customers.

Citigroup positions itself as a high-tech banking/financial organization that is disrupting the market while making financial goals simple and convenient for customers.

Marketing Campaigns

Marketing Strategy of Citi - Campaign 1

Citibank’s ad campaign Live Richly is perhaps the most persuasive in advertising history. According to the New York Times, the campaign lasted from 2001 to 2006 and cost a staggering $1 billion, making it the world’s most expensive advertising campaign.

A series of billboards went beyond creative wordplay to elicit emotional responses. Using a variety of outdoor media, such as taxi signs, kiosks, billboards, and other forms of advertising, helped to raise awareness. They quickly became a topic of conversation in the mainstream media.

Marketing Strategy of Citi - Campaign 2

For the campaign #WhatsNewThisVacation, Citi teamed up with top travel bloggers Savi and Vidit of Bruised Passports. The couple shared travel advice and how they made the most of their Citi cards by using Facebook Live, Webisodes, and Instagram to keep their followers up to speed on their vacation.

The ad generated a lot of buzz among Citi cardholders, with a Facebook reach of more than 16 million, the largest ever for a Citi India campaign, and the highest PTAT (17.1%) among competitors.

Marketing Strategy of Citi - Campaign 3

Citi launched its ‘Celebrate with Citi’ campaign, with the aim to give customers the opportunity to appreciate and pamper themselves while also getting rewards. The campaign was widely promoted via a variety of social and digital media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Google, YouTube, news platforms, and entertainment channels, among others.

Influencer marketing, newsletters, greetings, fresh holiday deals, ongoing digital and social media engagement contests, and amplification were just a few of the initiatives done. The campaign’s success was due to the innovative marketing campaign concept and precise application of marketing methods.

Social Media Marketing

Citi is active on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

Facebook: 1.1M likes
Instagram: 95.7K followers
LinkedIn: 3.7M followers
YouTube: 61.8K subscribers
Twitter: 914K followers

Citi’s LinkedIn handle has the most followers followed by Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube respectively. Citi’s social media strategy includes various branded hashtags, like #citithankyou, #solongwallet, and #incredouble, all of which encourage fan interaction and bring clients closer to Citi’s services. Customer service is a key aspect of Citi’s social presence, mainly on Twitter, where they have @AskCiti, a customer support channel manned 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Sunday, in addition to the main Citi handle.

SEO Strategies

Marketing Strategy of Citi - SEO

This data shows that the website is well-optimized. Citi has around 145,000 organic keywords and over 1.1 million organic monthly traffic, which is very impressive. Citibank’s SEO efforts have resulted in significant increases in traffic and conversions, with online credit card applications doubling in the last year.

Influence Marketing strategies

Citi has collaborated with several YouTubers, Bloggers, Influencers, and others to promote its services. 

At the beginning of IPL, Citi had a five-year sponsorship arrangement with IPL. Citi has also teamed up with Bruised Passports, well-known travel bloggers, and major food influencers Kunal Vijaykar and Maria Goretti, as well as Zomato, to act as their marketing channel.

Ecommerce Strategies

Citi Mobile, Tablet Banking, Citi WeChat Banking, CitiAlert, and Statements by Email are some of the online services provided by Citi. Online payments include tax payments, online fund transfers, credit card payments through Citibank accounts and e-payments through other accounts, and other bill payments.

Mobile Apps

The Citibank mobile app is good for managing your credit card accounts and making payments. Many features, such as account monitoring, payment processing, accessing your credit score, and many more are available through the Citibank credit card app.

Content Marketing Strategies

Citi has partnered with Well+Good, Business Insider, and Condé Nast to produce branded content campaigns. They also have their blog, “Life and Money,” which is designed to boost brand awareness and engagement. 

They are also active on social media. The post contents are related to raising awareness and promotional content.

This ends the elaborative marketing strategy of Citi. Let us conclude our learning below from the marketing strategy of Citi.

Digital Marketing Academic Challenge 2024 - DMAC

Conclusion: What’s Unique in Citi’s Marketing?

Citibank applies the appropriate marketing techniques to address and overcome difficulties that arise in the industry or its operations. Advertisements on billboards, television, the internet, and in newspapers are the most common promotional strategies. The advertisements clearly state the banks’ accomplishments as well as their facilities and services. Citibank has a value-based communication strategy. The study emphasizes the need of having an online platform to cope with competition and improve the quality of service. 

Digital marketing is the new “normal” in the marketing world. It is how you may reach out to potential customers and keep connected with existing ones, and it is one of the most effective and distinguished ways to build brand awareness.

If you want to learn about digital marketing, check our Online Digital Marketing Course if you want to learn more and improve your marketing skills. Alternatively, you can enrol in one of our free online masterclasses led by IIDE’s CEO, Karan Shah, to gain insight into the field of digital marketing. 

We hope this blog on the marketing strategy of Citi has given you a good insight into the company’s marketing strategies.

If you like such in-depth analysis of companies just like the marketing strategy of Citi check out our IIDE Knowledge portal for more fascinating case studies.

Thank you for taking the time to read the marketing strategy of Citi, and do share your thoughts on this case study marketing strategy of Citi in the comments section below.

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Aditya Shastri

Lead Trainer & Head of Learning & Development at IIDE

Leads the Learning & Development segment at IIDE. He is a Content Marketing Expert and has trained 6000+ students and working professionals on various topics of Digital Marketing. He has been a guest speaker at prominent colleges in India including IIMs......[Read full bio]


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