Utilising market research to develop segmentation, targeting and positioning strategies for HSBC Australia BY YOU YOUR SCHOOL INFO HERE DATE HERE Utilising market research to develop segmentation, targeting and positioning strategies for HSBC Australia I. Purpose HSBC Australia is currently struggling to identify new customers in the geographic region of Australia for Financial Services…
II. Background “Today’s financial services customers is a ‘Butterfly Customer’, sceptical, and not loyal to any product or company, and yours only until the next good thing comes along” (O’Dell & Pajunen, 2008, p.24). Because of this, HSBC requires a sound methodology for conducting market research to ensure more customer volume increases. HSBC Australia conducts routine customer-related surveys to gain quantitative information about the brand in the eyes of customers, willingness to recommend HSBC over other target competition, and a variety of customer service feedback systems. Refer to Appendix A for a chart of survey results associated with intent to recommend HSBC from the company’s 2010 annual report which highlights the very low level of word-of-mouth HSBC can rely on based on this quantitative information. Financial services at HSBC include personalized planning from HSBC financial planners in areas of superannuation, retirement planning, wealth creation, borrowing for investment purposes, and personal insurance policies (hsbc.com.au, 2011). Since it has been determined that HSBC is not meeting its Board-mandated sales results in gaining customer loyalty for using HSBC for its financial planning, the business must revamp its current marketing strategies and change its current format of reliance on market research tools. Tightening of monetary policies from the government has a very hard impact on interest rates during a recession. This makes investment less attractive to customers and they instead seek bank loans (Bolton & Freixas, 2006). It has been established that HSBC outperforms most of its Australian competition in banking, and it is necessary to try to restore confidence in target consumers to ensure that existing banking customers and new customers choose HSBC for its financial planning and investment services offerings. III. Discussion It is being proposed that HSBC conduct a new type of market research program that includes qualitative data in the form of questionnaires rather than the traditional survey format. Qualitative research provides key insights into emotional capacity of consumers, their confidence in banking and investment, and also serves to uncover the psychological dimensions of what is driving such a high resistance to financial planning services. Why is this a preferred research format over the survey currently being utilized? Financial investment services represent risk to the consumers. Financial decision making is driven by the willingness to accept risk along with intuitive factors, such as trust in a brand, as well as data and options analyses (fsa.gov.uk, 2005, p.9). Intuitive factor is the key phrase in this proposal, since most of this is based on sociological or psychological factors which determine how a consumer structures and plans their investment strategies. Identifying which financial services planners best fit the buyer needs is a very elongated search process that include pricing, perceptions of reliability, service quality, and many other factors (Laffey & Gandy, 2009). The longer a search process takes, the less chance a brand has of gaining consumer interest immediately in areas of promotion. The data gleaned from qualitative research ...
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