International market segmentation (International market segmentation) is the concept of market segmentation in the use of international marketing. Its concept is by comparing the domestic and international market for more buyers, a wider distribution. With businesses having limited power, it is usually very complex to meet the needs of worldwide customers. A market segment is defined as “a group of customers who share a similar set of needs and wants”. In this case its HSBC trying to target potential customers. The first key consideration is the benefits of segmentation. This segmentation uses customers as a point of reference.
The firm can then focus on their marketing resources and it gives them competitive advantage by being able to serve more according to customer segments. There are four level of segmentation, first one is preference segments. Some consumers have a very different taste for the things that they want. Consumers are free to prefer HSBC or other banks available in the market. A group of people gathered their preference will show the natural segments. Second level of segmentation is niche. It is defined as a more narrowly defined customer group seeking a distinctive mix of benefits.
HSBC in this case targets consumer niches with distinctive products and services. It is proved by having a pet insurance product, growing at a 125% per year. Third level is local,which involves local customer groups in trading areas, neighborhoods and even industrial stores . HSBC is actually focusing at serving local markets. They maintain to have local presence in the area with the tagline which is “world’s local bank”. Last level is individual, customer with HSBC bank card, etc will get a ride in the BankCab. The next step is to segment the consumer markets.
The fundamentals to consider are geographic, demographic, psychographic and behavioural. Geographic segmentation means dividing market into different geographical units such as nations, states, regions, cities or neighbors. HSBC demonstrated its local knowledge with marketing efforts dedicated to specific locations. In 2005, it set out to prove to jaded New Yorkers that the London-based financial behemoth was a bank with local-knowledge. Demographic segmentation means “dividing by age and life cycle, life stage, gender, income, generation and different social class”.
HSBC offered a “smart card” and no frills credit cards to the underserved student segment and targeted high-value customers with special “Premium Centers” bank branches. Psychographic segmentation is segmentation depending on the person itself on primary motivation such an ideals and achievements. Last element is behavioral segmentation. This is segmenting “based on decision roles such as intiator, influencer, decider, buyer and user. ” As for behavioural it consists of occasions, benefits, user status, user rate, buyer-readiness, loyalty status and attitude. The second key to be considered is target marketing.
It develops measures of market attractiveness and select target segments. For example, “selecting the most profitable segments to focus on”. HSBC target student segment by offering “smart card” and high-value customers with special “Premium Centers” bank branches. Steps in segmentation process include need-based segmentation, segment identification, segment attractiveness, segment profitability, segment positioning, segment acid test and market mix strategy. “To be useful, market segments must rate favorably on five key criteria which are measurable, substantial, accessible, differentiable and actionable. ”
The third key to be considered is the market positioning. Positioning is done by targeting segments and develops a marketing mix for each segment. For example “creating an image or position for the brand with competitors’ brands”. For example HSBC wants to be known as the “world’s local bank”. This tagline reflects HSBC’s positioning as a globe-pning financial institution specialised on serving local markets. Strategy for positioning includes, “Identifying a set of possible competitive advantages on which to build a position”, choosing the right competitive advantages and selecting an overall positioning strategy