Extensive Marketing Strategy of HBO – With STP Analysis

Updated on: Aug 1, 2022
Marketing Strategy Of HBO - Featured Image

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In our recent article, we talked about the SWOT analysis of HBO. In this article, we are going to go through the details of the Marketing Strategy of HBO which is the first and longest-running subscription television service in the United States.

The objective of HBO is to create the best shows and films that demonstrate storytelling’s exceptional power.

Marketing is very important because it can help businesses grow more effectively and gain their maximum ROI potential. Digital marketing is very crucial in increasing a brand’s image and if you are interested in learning more about digital marketing, you should check out the Free Masterclass on Digital Marketing by Karan Shah, the CEO, and Founder of IIDE.

In this article, Before we delve into the Marketing Strategy of HBO, let’s know more about the company HBO

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About HBO

Marketing Strategy of HBO - HBO Max

Established in 1972 – HBO is owned by WarnerMedia Studios & Networks. Its parent company Home Box Office, Inc. owner is Timer Warner. Around 130 million subscribers all around the world enjoy the telecasted programs by HBO. HBO’s potential customers are between the age group of 15 to 35 years old. 

HBO covers almost every genre of programme including motion pictures, original television programs, documentaries, comedy, concerts & awards. The seven HBO channels named HBO Family, HBO Comedy & HBO Latino operate 24 hours on traditional pay channels. Also, HBO is known as the market leader in releasing the latest Hollywood movies.

Quick Stats on HBO
CEO John K. Billock
CMO Elana Loewenthal
Area Served Worldwide
Industry Entertainment
Market Share/ Revenue $5.890 billion
Vision We believe that amazing things happen when gifted storytellers are allowed to pursue their own vision in their own way.
Tagline ”It’s not TV, it’s HBO.”


Marketing Strategy of HBO

HBO has a multi-channel marketing strategy that aims at always keeping customers involved at every stage of the experience from raising awareness before a show premieres to maintaining a standard level of engagement and nourishing new consumers.

Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning

HBO’s current demographic comprises older Gen X and Millennials with discretionary income between the ages of 25 and 44. It has mostly targeted the city’s middle and upper-middle classes.

HBO has already established a brand value that it maintains by showing a diverse range of programs that allow people to distinguish themselves and set a precedent that is followed by others. When it comes to airing movies or TV shows, it is the market leader and has established a distinct brand. 

As a result, I would suggest that HBO, through any of its channels, can taste a difference in the kind of movie or television series being aired.

HBO Marketing Campaign 


Marketing strategy of HBO +Soshedid campaign 

In honour of Women’s Equality Day 2021, HBO Max launched its So She Did’ campaign which celebrates the network’s pioneers in front of and behind the camera. The Ad begins with a film that honours women who have been told ‘they are too much and who defy all expectations to be who they truly are. 

Jordan Alexander (from “Gossip Girl”), Laura Donnelly (from “The Nevers”), Susie Essman (from “Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Myha’la Herrold (from “Industry”), Martha Plimpton (from “Generation”), Lisa Ling (from “This Is Life with Lisa Ling” on CNN), Hannah Einbinder (from “Hacks”), Zion Moreno (from “Gossi Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, Women of Color Unite, Girls Write Now, Poderistas (formerly known as “She Se Puede”), and HBO Max also contributed to the “So She Did” campaign.

Link to video – https://youtu.be/dHGn1XxFO88 

Game of Thrones ‘Tv Series

Marketing strategy of HBO +Game of thrones campaign 

Game of Thrones is a hit drama series that developed a cult following with massive fans. HBO devised a multichannel marketing strategy to promote the show and focused on new ways to keep viewers involved at every stage of the process from raising awareness before the show premiered to maintaining high levels of engagement to finally getting new followers. HBO used social media, print, television, online communities, and outdoor advertising to promote the show. 

Despite receiving criticism for its depiction of excessive violence and nudity, the drama series was able to build a large fan base throughout the world thanks to its outstanding storyline, brilliant execution, and excellent marketing approach. A mix of smart marketing campaigns and a consumer-generated internet buzz sustained interest levels among the audience from every season to season

The Game of Thrones social media success owes a lot to HBO’s multi-channel approach, in addition to being an amazing show. The show is available to watch online, on the HBO Go or HBO Now apps, or on cable television. To raise notice for the show, a lot of buzzes were needed. Because the phrase “Winter is coming” was frequently displayed on show posters and promotions, many people understood it before the show ever started.

Basketball Ball Court Campaign 

Marketing strategy of HBO+Basketball campaign

The marketing team decided on a more long-term solution: transforming a basketball court in Inglewood, California into a permanent tribute to the Los Angeles Lakers and the show. 

HBO teamed with Project Backboard, a foundation created in 2014 by Daniel Peterson and dedicated to rehabilitating outdated basketball courts and adding spectacular visual art to enhance communities across the country, to pull it off. 

After receiving official authority to reconstruct a court in Rogers Park, Project Backboard and HBO worked on the rehabilitation for four months. HBO gave $10,000 to the Inglewood College Preparatory School’s basketball program, which had been utilizing the court before it was renovated and will continue to do so in the future.

Social Media Marketing 

HBO is active on Social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. 

Facebook: 12 Million likes
Instagram: 4.8 million followers 
LinkedIn: 1.1 million followers 
Twitter: 3 million followers 

They are most followed on Instagram and they are active on all social media platforms. 

3rd – They post promotional content, and memes of characters in shows and movies.

SEO Strategies

Marketing Strategy of HBO - SEO

There is no possible way of ranking on google without an SEO strategy because SEO targets quality traffic. Most of HBO traffic comes from searches people make online.HBO is fuelled by a solid SEO plan and hard work to maintain the brand name rising in the organic SERP rankings on Google. By employing better tags, meta descriptions, and keywords, you can achieve higher ranks. 

Influencer Marketing

This brand doesn’t have influencers as they have celebrities acting in their movies, series, or documentaries. I assume that is enough influence.

E-Commerce Strategies

HBO Max is a premium streaming service that includes all of HBO’s content as well as even more must-see TV shows, blockbuster movies, and exclusive Max Originals.HBO Max costs $15 per month without advertisements and $10 per month with advertising and $5 per month without. 

For $14.99/month, you can sign up for just HBO, but if you choose HBO Max, you’ll gain access to all of HBO as well as even more shows, films, and new Max Originals.HBO Max is now accessible on the main streaming platforms, including Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, PlayStation, Xbox, Samsung TVs, and more. There were some minor difficulties in putting HBO Max onto the most popular streaming devices, particularly Roku. Most streaming devices, such as Roku or Amazon Fire TV, provide the HBO Max app instead of the HBO app. HBO GO is available with an Amazon Prime membership or a satellite or cable TV subscription.

Mobile Apps

HBO NOW is a stand-alone streaming service, so you can sign up for it directly from the app.

Content Marketing Strategies

HBO is selective about the video material it purchases and develops. The company wants to focus on quality rather than quantity and has accepted the notion that it doesn’t have to outbid competitors for every potential program. In comparison to competitors, HBO has a higher number of scripted original shows.HBO can cater better to each of its show creators with this method.

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

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Conclusion – What is unique HBO marketing?

HBO’s creative strategy for engaging with audiences is still working, and it’s helping the network sustain its dominance at a time when internet streaming and marathon watching are on the rise.HBO makes a lot of money thanks to a differentiation strategy and a business network that has been in place for more than 40 years, providing consumers with distinctive and high-quality programming.

Digital marketing is crucial since it links a company with its clients when they are online and is effective across all sectors. It links businesses with ideal consumers through SEO and PPC on Google, social media marketing, and email marketing. If you would like to learn more and develop skills, check out IIDE’s 4-Month Digital Marketing Course to learn more.

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 HBO 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 HBO check out our IIDE Knowledge portal for more fascinating case studies.

Thank you for taking the time to read the marketing strategy of HBO, and do share your thoughts on this case study marketing strategy of HBO 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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