HSBC is one of the leading banking organizations of the world. It is a private sector bank which operates across countries and continents. In UK, it is the largest private sector bank. It offer numerous banking and financial services to its customers. The services offered by HSBC can be categorized into the realm of personal and corporate banking. Under personal banking financial services such as wealth management, loans, saving accounts, portfolio management, managing taxes etc. are included. These services are also referred to as retail financial services.
In order to be competitive and survive in the changing business environment it’s important for banking organizations to market their products and services. There are two forms of media which are used: Traditional and social media. Traditional or conventional media marketing refers to the use of print and digital media to communicate messages whereas social media is a relatively newer concept which gain significant limelight after the advent of social networking websites, blogs, online communities etc. Each one of them has their own advantages and disadvantages. Marketing of retail financial services is a challenging task and need appropriate strategy to attract and retain the customers.
This research extensively focuses on comparison and evaluation of social and traditional media marketing. It compares the effectiveness of these forms of media in terms of their reach, influence and impact on customers’ selection and preference. Further this research also studies the various factors which have changed the dimensions of marketing for HSBC bank. It analyzes the customer segmentation and their expectations to provide appropriate suggestions and recommendations. Each form of marketing is analyzed in terms of its suitability for marketing of the retail financial services of HSBC bank.
The research involves primary as well as secondary data analysis to reach to the validated and authenticated outcomes. It also tries to solve the dilemma of bank about which strategy or media is better to reach out to the customers. Through this the bank can gain an understanding about the various forms of marketing. This will help HSBC in finding out which method will prove to be more beneficial for its campaigns and thereby setting up a proficient marketing plan to draw the customers.
This research primarily focuses on an in depth analysis of the Conventional marketing practices and the social media marketing practices being adopted by the organizations. This study also aims to comparatively evaluate the aforementioned ways of marketing stating their respective advantages and disadvantages (Bryman and bell 2007). Marketing is a very crucial element of any company and therefore several researches have been undertaken in this aspect. However this particular research lays emphasis on the Retail financial services of HSBC bank and how it is utilizing the conventional and social media marketing practices for its promotional campaigns. It also shows their significant impact on the bank’s retail financial services (Crossan 2008). Many areas of marketing and finance subject are touched in it such as-
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The significance of this study is essentially for the bank as it will receive a detailed comparative analysis of the two of its marketing practices (Foumier 1998). Through this the bank can gain an understanding about the various forms of marketing. This will help HSBC in finding out which method will prove to be more beneficial for its campaigns and thereby setting up a proficient marketing plan to draw the customers. In the globalized banking environment, it is very difficult to attract and retain customers. Banks are using various strategies including social media marketing to lure more customers. Most of banking organizations are trying to understand social media, as this new form of marketing is challenging the well established concepts of traditional marketing (Matthews and Kostelis 2011).
Social media marketing is a totally new concept which came into being in the past one decade. It is mounting at an astounding rate. Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace have become the new front lines where marketing battles are taking place. Customers are experiencing new-fangled ways of marketing which have had an impact on their behavior as well. Organizations are facing tough challenge in terms of promoting and positioning their brands in the changed scenarios. No retail bank along with HSBC is isolated from the impact of social media, each of them are trying to understand it, in order to utilize it to the full potential for profit maximization. There is lack of research in this field thus marketers and banks are not able to take effective and efficient decisions. This research tries to compare both the forms of marketing to identify the most suitable method in order to attract and retain customers (Ethridge 2004).
This research focuses on above stated areas and tries to analyze, evaluate and compare both these forms of marketing. It studies the change in the marketing environment and its impact retail financial service industry. With the advent of social media outlets such as networking sites, blogs, online discussion forums and communities, traditional media outlets (both print and digital) have been greatly affected (Allin 1999). So it is essential to understand their relative importance and interrelatedness and this research does the same
Therefore, this study is of extreme relevance to the bank so as to gain an insight and also fruitfully utilize both the types of marketing practices.
To perform a comparative evaluation of the conventional and social media marketing methodologies those are being used by HSBC for promoting its retail financial services.
1. Analyzing the conventional marketing practices adopted by the bank: the traditional marketing comprises print and digital media. Print media can be in the form of magazines, newspaper, brochures and etc. TV, radio, electronic bill-boards and etc. comes in the digital media paradigm. This research illustrates the efficacy of the said mediums for the bank in the present state of affairs. It describes the alterations the organization has made in its traditional marketing practices with the introduction of internet (Maxwell 2005).
2. Analyzing the social media marketing practices of the bank- Social media is an emerging phenomenon in marketing. It gained momentum after the introduction of interactive social sites like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and etc. The research highlights the growth of social media, how it differs from the conventional model and its relevance for HSBC in the coming time (Gillin 2009).
3. Evaluation and comparison of traditional and social media- After an in-depth examination of both the forms of marketing is carried out, their evaluation in respect of their respective benefits and drawbacks will be performed. Secondly they will be compared in terms of reach, lead generation, conversion and retention to devise the best solution for the bank (Eikelmann , Hajj and Peterson 2007).
4. Impact on HSBC Retail financial services- The alterations in the marketing program of HSBC owing to the advent of social media marketing will be examined then. It studies the impact with respect to sales and revenue increment after adoption of the two forms of marketing (Basille 2009).
5. Future of marketing- Research also involves forecasting near future of both the forms of marketing. Sustainability, cost effectiveness of each one will be measured.
6. Solving the dilemma of which approach should be adopted- This research concludes with providing a solution to a critical decision that which approach is the most suitable for the company. This question is answered with supporting arguments and on the basis of findings of the research.
Conventional marketing practices refer to those traditional methods of marketing which were being adopted extensively by the organizations prior to the advent of social media marketing practices. These methods are still in use owing to the customer segments being targeted by the company, but their popularity is now witnessing a downward shift. Traditional marketing practices can be classified into two segments- print media and digital media. Print media includes Newspaper classifieds, Yellow pages, magazines, brochures, posters, billboards and etc. These means of advertising are cheap and have mass coverage. But there is no direct interaction with the customers (Adage.com 2011). Also they do not contain complete information. Digital media consists of radio, electronic bill boards, Television advertising and etc. Out of all these TV is the most popular, reliable and effective means. While radio is useful for many things but it proves to be ineffective for certain promotional campaigns. Also it lacks a visual appeal. And it was more productive in earlier times when not everyone could afford a television set. But soon television became the most sought after means of advertising. It provides mass exposure and information to a mass audience. It can be the most cost effective forms of advertising if capitalized properly. While most of the traditional forms of marketing are facing a downturn, television advertising still stands strong (Borgan 2007).
Social media marketing practices is a new trend these days with more and more companies opting for online social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and other such platforms. Under this the corporations are making their customer interaction departments empowered in cross functional engagement approach. The buyers can decide the various aspects of this engagement. Social media is about the society, the community and not just about how to promote and sell. This new marketing practice is cost effective and as per the changing consumer behavior (Odden 2009).
The retail financing services are those which are provided by banking sector to their clients, such as wealth management, portfolio management, credit card and BPO services etc. This zone has been the principal in off late core as well as noncore operations, so as to achieve cost savings in this competitive or unstable scenario. Banks are continuously facing a challenging task of addressing a very contradictory issue that of reducing the unit costs as the sales volume increases and at the same time in order to enhance customer service quality, making further investments. Thus it is very important for banks to plan their marketing programs efficiently in order to gain supremacy in this sector (O’Reilly 2005).
HSBC (The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation) is a British International financial as well as banking sector, which is headquartered in London. It is the second biggest bank plus financial corporation in the world. It is a pioneer in retail financial services. The various financial services provided by the bank to its customers are:
As the popularity of retail banking increased, competition became increasingly fierce. For HSBC, advertising is very important to inform and aware people about the benefits of their products and services. HSBC bank is aggressively using both the marketing forms to promote its retail financial services. Marketing strategies and methodologies have to be revised keeping in mind the consumer behavior.
To analyze, evaluate and compare the conventional marketing practices and social media marketing practices and their role in Retail Financial Services of HSBC.
Type of Research- Exploratory research
Data collection method-
Primary Data- It is collected through interview method using a set of well designed questions for customers who have experienced both conventional and social media marketing campaigns.
Secondary Data- Using text books, journals, articles, research papers etc.
Sample size- For interviews- customers of HSBC bank
Data Analysis- Using Thematic Analysis
• Debriefing – This means keeping all the people involved in research, informed about the intention and need of the research. Respondents should be informed about the cause of research and why they in particular have been selected to respond. Exceptions in case of focus group can be made, where participants are not made aware of the research, in order to get spontaneous reactions from them.
• Seeking permission – It is very necessary to take permission of respondents for involving them in the process of research. This should be obtaining before undertaking the investigation. In order to make use of any confidential data, the researcher must firstly get consent of respondents. Sometimes monetary benefits are also provided to the respondent, in such case one should not be deprived of it and should be remunerated accordingly.
• Right to withdraw – It should be informed by researcher to the respondent that they are free to withdraw at any time before the final acquiescence of the report. The respondents are also have right to ask question related to utilization of their feedback as well as they can quit ant any period from the process.
• Confidentiality and anonymity – The respondents establish their trust in researcher while responding, so it is important for the investigator to ensure secrecy of all gathered the information’s. Moreover, legal actions can be taken in opposition to the individuals as well as organizations who make wrong use of any respondent’s information.
Qualitative research design has been used for data analysis in this study. Qualitative analysis generally applies individual themes for data analysis rather than the physical units like words, sentences or paragraphs. The coding format is created for the reason to code the text, so the particular results could be simplified. In order to search out higher accuracy, coding scheme is initially employed on text sample, more willingly than on whole text. It arrives to be in uniformity of our research examination, due to this each units are coded into text as well as we also checked the reliability of our coding. After the code processing, conclusion from the data is drawn.
In this specific research, the researcher has used thematic analysis, under which firstly the proto themes are determined. After this the themes name are finalized, followed by their in depth illustration and portrayal together with significant insights about them by few extracts from the main text to support the reader in proper knowing of its meaning (Axinn and Pearce 2006).
Thus we conclude that this research aims at doing a comparative assessment of the two forms of marketing practices, i.e. traditional means of advertising and social media. The relevance of this study is for the HSBC bank in its retail financing services. Advertising and sales promotion have become very important for any organization. Various subjects of finance and marketing like value chain analysis, lead generation, promotion, consumer behavior, segmentation, targeting and etc. have been taken into consideration in this (Matthews and Kostelis 2011).
This research emphasizes on above mentioned areas and tries to analyze, evaluate and compare both these forms of marketing. It studies the change in the marketing environment and its impact retail financial service industry. With the dawn of social media means of advertising such as networking sites, blogs, online discussion forums and communities, traditional media means (both digital and print) have been significantly influenced. So it is necessary to recognize their relative magnitude and interrelatedness and this research does the same (Quevauviller 1995).
The underlying objectives of this study are to analyze the traditional means of advertising followed by the bank, to analyze the social media marketing practices of the bank, to evaluate and compare the traditional and the social media, their respective impacts on HSBC retail financial services, to forecast the future of marketing and to solve the quandary that which methods should be adopted (David and et.al. 2001).
The type of research methodology used in this study is exploratory research. The data has been collected through two main sources i.e. primary and secondary. Primary data has been collected by conducting interviews with the customers of the bank. And secondary data has been gathered by means of journals, books, articles, research papers and etc. Data analysis has been done using thematic analysis. There were certain limitations encountered while working on this research. Secondary data on social media was not easily available, the sample size was limited and there were time and location constraints. All the ethical issues like briefing the customers about the research, asking for their approval, ensuring them confidentiality and secrecy and etc. were taken into consideration.