Unveiling HSBC’s Robust Marketing Strategy – Detailed Insights

Updated on: Oct 19, 2022
Marketing strategy of HSBC - 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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We previously covered an in-depth discussion of Standard Chartered Bank‘s marketing strategy. In this blog, we will go over the marketing strategy of HSBC, which is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.

The marketing strategy of HSBC is one of the main reasons why it has grown so large and the strategy behind its growth is that it has implemented some of the most successful marketing techniques using digital platforms, as most customers are now online.

So, if you want to learn the latest digital marketing skills, watch our Free MasterClass on Digital Marketing 101 taught by IIDE’s CEO and Founder, Karan Shah. If you want to learn digital marketing to build a successful career enrol in our IIDE 11-month digital marketing programme.

By the end of this blog, we will have learned the entire marketing strategy of HSBC. Let us begin our deep dive by learning about the company’s history, target audience, and digital presence.

Digital Marketing Academic Challenge 2024 - DMAC

About HSBC 

marketing strategy of HSBC - HSBC LogoSource – www.hsbc.co.in

HSBC Holdings is a multinational universal bank and financial services holding company based in the United Kingdom. With US$2.953 trillion in total assets as of December 2021, it is Europe’s largest bank. HSBC will have $10.8 trillion in assets under custody (AUC) and $4.9 trillion in assets under administration (AUA) in 2021.

HSBC has 64 offices in Africa, Asia, Oceania, Europe, North America, and South America, serving approximately 40 million customers. It was the world’s sixth-largest bank by total assets and market capitalization as of 2020.

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of HSBC Holdings, was founded in March 1865 with the simple idea of being a local bank serving international needs.

HSBC is divided into three business units: commercial banking, global banking and markets, and wealth and personal banking. In 2020, the bank announced that it would merge its Retail Banking & Wealth Management division with Global Private Banking to form Wealth & Personal Banking.

HSBC has a dual primary listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange, and it is a component of the Hang Seng Index and the FTSE 100 Index. It is also traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the Bermuda Stock Exchange.

Quick Stats :

CEO Noel Quinn
CMO Suresh Balaji
Area Served Worldwide
Industry Finance and Insurance
Revenue $ 50.429 Billion (2020)
Vision We aspire to be one of the world’s great specialist banking groups, driven by a commitment to our core philosophies and values.
Tagline Together We Thrive


 Marketing Strategy of HSBC

Let’s take a look at marketing strategy of HSBC and how HSBC carries out the marketing campaign, for example.

Segmentation, targeting, and positioning

As a global bank, HSBC employs a combination of demographic and geographic segmentation strategies to make its products and services available to individual and corporate customers.

Because the potential clients have diverse cultures, preferences, and administrative systems, geographic segmentation is extremely effective for HSBC in the international markets.

Given that HSBC’s goods offer a superior value proposition, it should divide its clientele into groups according to two primary demographic factors: potential clients’ income levels and life cycle stages.

HSBC targets a certain market after identifying different consumer segments within the market. Millennials between the ages of 25 and 34 are a mostly unexplored and untargeted market that HSBC wants to target. Utilising survey data, it created a persona for its target audiences called “The Carefree Experientialist,” a group of digital natives who are seeking experiences and planning their next stage of life.

HSBC employs a value-based positioning strategy to establish itself as a bridge between various customer segments around the world. With a distinct focus on serving local markets, HSBC positioned itself as a financial institution that operates all over the world. It boosted the “world’s local bank” promotion. The idea is to connect its global scope with close ties in each nation.

Marketing Campaigns

Together We Thrive 

marketing strategy of HSBC - marketing campaign

In 2018, HSBC was struggling to find its mission. It was facing branch closures, disruptor competition, and the end of its iconic ‘The World’s Local Bank’ slogan, all of which contributed to a 25% drop in brand value. In short, the bank needed a facelift. The solution was twofold: find a new purpose and create a unified visual brand identity.

The campaign “Together We Thrive,” developed by Saatchi & Saatchi in collaboration with Wunderman Thompson, was born. Following the closure of global branches, the bank could no longer claim to be the world’s local bank but could capture the brand’s commitment to an open and connected world.

marketing startegy of HSBC - marketing campaign

This campaign was launched in 2018, and its message hit a chord with local markets worldwide, allowing marketers to tell unique stories. The campaign aimed at changing the consumers of all ages’ perception from being a bank that is interested only in the international élite to a bank that is accessible and caters to every Briton. Print ads intended to portray the international ties of British citizens to other countries such as India, Korea, Sweden and America.

The first video portrays a couple’s postponed wedding; the husband decorates his living room for a simple yet intimate ceremony to please his fiancée. The second, which depicts a child’s disappointment as a result of a cancelled vacation abroad, shows how his father makes him happy by building a locomotive at home.

Through this ad, HSBC wants to convey to the people the idea that even in the face of unforeseen circumstances, precious memories can still be made. These campaigns target those audiences of the age group (25-40) who were frustrated as their plans got cancelled due to pandemics.

marketing strategy od HSBC - marketing campaign

A live billboard in Spitalfields Market promotes HSBC UK’s in-branch “safe spaces” for those experiencing domestic abuse.

It incorporates the original out-of-home campaign, which debuted in May and depicted strings attached to a hand with the copy: “When an abuser controls your finances, they control you.” These strings connect a live performer to the billboard. At first, their movements are natural, allowing them to move a certain distance before being dragged back.

The target audience of this ad is people of all ages who are victims of domestic abuse, have access to specialist help and advice and that they have the opportunity to build a life beyond the crisis.

Social Media Marketing

HSBC is present on a variety of social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram, in over 20 countries and territories. 

  • Linkedin – 3 million
  • Twitter – 200k 
  • Youtube – 36k subscribers

The posts are mostly promotional and informative, with a few posts about their new product launch thrown in for good measure.

SEO Strategies

marketing strategy of HSBC - ubersuggest screenshot

Source – UberSuggest 

According to SEO rankings, the number of keywords – below 500 is bad; above 1000 is good, and 10,000+ is amazing. As can be seen, www.hsbc.co.in has 86,680 organic keywords, which is considered good. That means HSBC’s digital marketing is gaining a lot of insights.

Also, the monthly traffic is 375,716 which is excellent. This means HSBC is doing exceptionally well to keep the brand soaring in the Google organic SERP results.

Influencer Marketing

HSBC has collaborated with many brands and organisations like BWF, Petronas brands, HSBC Sports, etc., with more than 100 k followers for their marketing purposes, due to which the bank’s popularity increases and which helps them to generate more revenue.

E-commerce strategies

In talking of e-commerce strategies, HSBC helps customers through its website by making its website and financial transactions easily accessible to their customers through internet banking, so that a customer can avail of services even at their locations rather than physically visiting the branch.

Mobile Apps

The company doesn’t have any mobile apps. It should develop its mobile app to reach more customers.

Content Marketing Strategies

Through content marketing, HSBC redefined its relationship with small business owners. The Elevator Pitch contest stories drew an interested, relevant audience, and the value provided afterwards kept them interested. Overall, HSBC was able to humanise its brand, establish thought leadership, and create a long-lasting resource for its target audience. That is a genuinely amazing content marketing story.

Thus we have come to the end of the detailed analysis of the marketing strategy of HSBC.

Digital Marketing Academic Challenge 2024 - DMAC


In the marketing strategy of HSBC, we saw that it has done its marketing very well and is gaining love and support from all corners of the world. Though it also faced backlash, it’s still one of the top banks in the world.

As we know, pandemics have affected every business, making a shift in digital marketing. According to digital marketing statistics, approximately 60% of the world’s population uses the internet. It has increased by 20% in the last two years due to the pandemic, with many businesses going online.

Understanding the ever-changing field of digital marketing is an essential first step. If you want to learn more and develop your skills, check out IIDE’s 4-Month Digital Marketing Course.If you enjoy in-depth analysis of  marketing strategy of HSBC, visit our IIDE Knowledge portal for more fascinating case studies.

Thank you for reading, and please share your thoughts on this case study of marketing strategy of HSBC 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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