HSBC banking on digital to reinforce brand perceptions

HSBC is using digital to ensure its services are available in wherever and whenever customers want, hoping to prove it understands its customers and boost brand perceptions.


HSBC chief digital officer says digital innovation can show the bank understand its customers and their needs and help build the emblem.

Speaking to Marketing Week on the Marketing Society’s Creativity For Commerce conference in London today (21 November), chief digital officer Josh Bottomley said innovation is prime to finding the goods and services that buyers didn’t even know they would like. He said the firm uses digital to experiment with new services, determining that are useful and which don’t fit into consumers’ daily lives.

“Digital can play a huge part in building our brand by showing that we understand customers by providing the services that they wish and introducing things they didn’t even realise they needed.

“We ought to test lots of those areas and spot which of them follow learn how customers fit us into their daily lives. That reengages our customers in what we do well and the way we’re helping people,” he added.

He believes that knowing what consumers need from their banks can seem relatively easy, with people desperate to have the capacity to do their basic banking functions easily, once they want them and where they need them. Innovations come from giving access but additionally maintaining security.

“One of the massive challenges is how we reconcile security and access. Nearly all of our customers are multichannel, but there are still certain things that, for security reasons, we can’t do in digital.

“We need to be sure that is a straightforward experience, to move from digital to the contact centre to the branch. For this reason we now have started, in certain places, to provide staff tablets that they are able to work with and ensure the customer experience is often an identical.”

Bottomley suggested this can also help to enhance loyalty. He believes word of mouth and direct marketing are still highly important to banks and the firm must sing about its services across its properties, from the mobile app, website and in- branch to social media.

“I have an extremely strong view that seeing is believing. In case you get the experience right, the beauty of the net is that folks tell one another and that spreads in no time. We’re also aware if customers are unhappy they could use it to vent and we wish to be capable to respond.”

Bottomley joined HSBC from Google earlier this year where he was global head of display. He said on stage that the most difference between the 2 is that while HSBC has lots of technology capability and marketing teams good at showcasing that technology, the firm was missing product managers.

Separately on the conference Saul Klein, partner at venture capital firm Index Ventures, said that businesses are still forgetting that technology and deploying new products is now the job of everybody, including marketers.

“Technology is ubiquitous. The dearth of data is shameful,” he said.