Extensive Marketing Strategy of ICBC – In-Depth Analysis

Updated on: Sep 27, 2022
Marketing Strategy Of ICBC - Featured Image

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In this article, we are going to elaborate on the marketing strategy of ICBC Bank – one of the top-rated banks in the world.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) is a joint-stock bank built in the People’s Republic of China. ICBC pulled ahead of Barclays Plc to become the world’s largest bank by total equity in 2007, which was again retained in 2019. ICBC has opened its branches outside of China through mergers and acquisitions, also by registering outlets in foreign countries.

ICBC follows certain values to hold its standards by giving professional quality services to their customers and maintaining the same service all over the world. 

To open branches in every foreign country and gain people’s trust. ICBC has some amazing digital marketing strategies to learn from to upgrade your knowledge and skills for your personal growth. Interested in knowing some amazing techniques of digital marketing? Check out our free MasterClass on Digital Marketing 101 by the CEO and Founder of IIDE, Karan Shah.

Want to know more about what exactly ICBC is known for and how it became one of the best banks in the world? We got you all covered. In this blog, we’ll be deeply focusing on the marketing strategy of ICBC Bank, the services they provide, their competitors, and much more.

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About ICBC Bank

Marketing strategy of ICBC - ICBC Bank

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China was founded as a limited company by Jiang Jianqing in 1984. It’s a multinational Chinese Company ranking as the leading bank in the world. ICBC Standard Bank is a specialist, offering commodities, fixed income and currencies products with a determined idea of emerging markets and commodities in global marketing. 

ICBC Bank also trades and sells its commodities, including base metal, precious metal, energy and bulk commodities. It also offers foreign exchange services in commodity and emerging market currencies. The bank has offices in the UAE, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, India, Russia, Dubai, Doha, Sydney, New York and many other countries.

In recent years ICBC turnover has increased double what was expected. It has never let down the service and quality they provide to each customer and maintained its reputation to not only be China’s No. 1 bank but make a mark to be one of the best banks in the world.

Quick Stats on ICBC
CEO Chen Siqing
Area Served Worldwide
Industry Commercial Bank
Market Share/ Revenue $148.97 Billion
Vision To be “The First Choice” and “Delivering Excellence” bank for trade and economic interactions between Indonesia and China.
Tagline By your side, as your trust


Marketing Strategy of ICBC Bank

ICBC’s marketing strategy helps the brand/company to position itself competitively in the market and achieve its business goals & objectives.

Segmentation Targeting and Positioning

Consumers in the Money Centre Banks industry vary in their needs, wants, demands, resources, locations, access to technology, cultural differences, buying attitudes, and end use of the products and services. Market segmentation is the process through which ICBC decides to segment the overall market into smaller segments and groups that have similar attributes, buying behaviour, socio-economic background, etc. This is done to reach out to the group of consumers more efficiently and effectively.

ICBC  targets a  specific market. The choice of a target market is dependent on ten critical factors –

  •  Product Life Cycle stage – It is highly relevant in the international scenario where the product life cycle is different.
  • Organisation’s comparative strengths and weaknesses to market successfully to the target market.
  • Financial resources to target a specific segment – The organisation has marketing capabilities, operational skills, and financial resources to target a specific segment of consumers.
  • Competition in the target segment – What is the level of competition in the target segment? If the competition is fierce then there is less likelihood of sustainable margins in the long term.
  •  Segment structural attractiveness – Presence of core infrastructure to market successfully to the target market.
  • Presence of appropriate collaborators to market successfully to the target market – Is there sufficient infrastructure available to target certain customer segments? For example, everyone knows that there is an environmentally conscious segment in the automobile industry who can pay premium prices for electric vehicles, but none of the major auto players successfully target that segment because there is no collaborative ecosystem. Tesla became successful by building that ecosystem.
  • The financial return potential of the target market – ICBC needs to decide whether the segment it is planning to target can be financially lucrative.
  • Organisational technical capabilities to cater to a specific consumer segment in the Money Centre Banks industry.
  • Organisation’s mission, vision, and consumer segment fit – Is the targeting consistent with the vision, mission, ethos, values and strategic fit of the ICBC?
  • Regulatory and other entry barriers – Are there any regulatory and technological barriers that ICBC will face if it decides to enter the market?

ICBC  positions its product in such a way that it creates a – distinct image and provides a specific identity/reference point of the product and services in the customer’s mind. Brand positioning and product differentiation have become increasingly critical because of the driving down of production costs in the Money Centre Banks industry and the direct access to consumers using e-commerce and other online retailing strategies.

Marketing Campaigns

Marketing strategy of ICBC - Campaign 1

ICBC  launched their refreshed brand with an advertising campaign. Objectives included raising the profile of the bank, highlighting its services and introducing the new brand. The campaign featured their new positioning phrase, “We work hard to make wealth easy.”

The aspirational campaign ran in Chinese and English and ran in various channels to reach its tightly defined audience of HNW individuals with assets in China who sought global access.

In many ways, the campaign demonstrated the leadership of the bank by moving away from traditional representations of wealth often favoured by mainland China financial institutions.

By taking mainland China’s financial advertising in new directions, the bank asserted its status as a global leader.

Social Media Marketing

ICBC Bank can be found on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Facebook – 7.6K followers
Instagram – 3.7K followers
LinkedIn – 89.1K followers
Twitter – 1K followers

The above-mentioned information clearly tells us that they are the most followed and active on LinkedIn. Their social media provides users with informational posts and tests.

SEO Strategies

Marketing strategy of ICBC - SEO

The number of keywords – below 500 is bad, above 1000 is good, 10,000+ is amazing.

Above 20000 visits a month is good.

SEO strategy has no other alternative and ICBC bank uses it to the fullest extent. As we have already seen that most of its traffic (over 66%) comes from searches made online.

Influencer Marketing

ICBC Co-sponsors the “Abu Dhabi and China” Economic Forum.

The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development in cooperation with the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC and ICBC organised on May 31, 2010, an economic forum entitled “Abu Dhabi and China”. The event was held in Shanghai with well over 200 key figures from government, finance and business from the two countries taking part. The Forum provided a unique platform for the frank exchange of views in maintaining the momentum in trade, financial cooperation and project investment opportunities at this time of post-financial crisis.

E-commerce strategies

The Board of Directors of ICBC has recently approved the Proposal on Establishing the Internet-based Finance Department to establish the Internet Finance Department based on the original E-banking Department, accelerating the upgrade of internet-based finance e-ICBC 2.0 to the smart banking strategy e-ICBC 3.0.

ICBC will speed up innovation and application relating to big data, artificial intelligence, cloud computing and other emerging financial technologies, focus on the security of Internet finance and build the ecosystem of financial services. For example, the Bank accelerates the smart transformation of traditional financial services by establishing an open, cooperative and win-win financial services ecosystem, developing smart systems of marketing, products, services and risk control, as well as reshaping the central position of the Bank as the intermediary of information and credit. 

In addition, a new type of customer relationship management system will be developed integrating online and offline services to acquire, manage and retain customers. The Internet Finance Department of ICBC will be responsible for the implementation of a smart banking strategy, coordination of development and management of the Internet-based financial business, user development, establishment and operation of Internet-based financial platforms, as well as cooperation with other Internet companies.

Mobile Apps

Marketing strategy of ICBC - Mobile App

ICBC has tailored a mobile banking client for you, providing you with comprehensive mobile banking services and improving customer experience constantly. The client furnishes you with account inquiry, transfer and remittance, foreign exchange trading, time deposit and other banking services.

Content Marketing Strategies

ICBC loosely follows an infographic content marketing strategy with its posts bursting common banking jargon while simplifying operations for the masses.  It also aims to educate the masses against banking frauds and scams by creating awareness through its posts. 

Through its social media presence, the brand mostly promotes and unveils its new features through images or short videos, which are often found in newsletters and blogs.

This ends with an elaborative marketing strategy of ICBC. Let us conclude our learning below from the marketing strategy of ICBC.

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As ICBC Bank tackles its issues, the biggest one plaguing them is its lack of marketing efforts. Marketing is an important function of any company’s existence and in the current scenario, the field is rapidly digitising.

The bank has beaten its competition and the biggest reason for that is its amazing marketing efforts in highlighting the brand to its customers. Marketing is one of the main pillars of any business, and currently, this pillar is going through rapid change. With the increasing importance of digital marketing, learning about the growing field is an important step.

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

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