Since traditional display campaigns don't allow enough flexibility, we developed a programmatic display solution that could be optimized in real time.

The challenge

Amid the volatile real estate market, HSBC, as a performance-driven challenger brand, needed media to work three times as hard (as twice is not enough!) to achieve aggressive goals:

- Acquire 24K new-to-bank Mortgages, with 10% of those being high ratio mortgage 

- Increase qualified leads growth in marketing response

We successfully handled the volatility real estate market

Marketing Responses against mortgages year over year
Acquisition cost efficiency
Branch locator use

The Insight

Just when we thought the COVID-19 situation was recovering, the news of inflation hit Canadians. The real estate market has not been spared with rising interest rates, frequent rates change and home prices higher than ever. The latest data showed home sales sank 47.4 % year-over-year in July 2022, while sales activity was down 24.1% monthly.

Despite this uncertain market, there is a unique group of homebuyers, unlike any other time, who embrace the economic challenges with courage and are not afraid to seize new opportunities. They demand that their financial partners perform up to their standards with flexibility and offer them the most suitable solutions. These new homebuyers were our target.

In the middle of such an economic environment, in-market home shoppers instinctually want to go to a trusted source for their mortgage – primarily, their existing bank. Our problem: HSBC has less than a 2% share of banked Canadian.

If they don’t pick the bank they already deal with, new buyers will go with the lowest mortgage rate at the time of signing. Year after year, the market is flooded with mortgages message from every financial institution in Canada. In such a crowded and undifferentiated category, competition for leads is tough. 

These insights were instrumental in forming our three-fold strategy and the success of the HSBC mortgage business despite the threats we faced.

The Strategy

To position itself at the heart and top of mind of new buyers’ process, HSBC designed a first-to-market solution using exclusive third-party data to build a direct line to live data.

Three Steps Execution


1- Get Ahead

How to stand out from aggressive competitors? Traditional display strategies don't allow the flexibility needed to keep up with market volatility. We had to outsmart the competition.

Seeing that outdoor traffic was beginning to recover from the pandemic, we designed a digital signage solution infused with accurate real estate listing data. Our solution was to be present at the most decisive moment in the home-buying journey, before the competition: when people are about to visit a house. We were present throughout the territory with dynamic display placements that changed according to the geographical locations where there were the most houses for sale.

2- Responsiveness

How do we keep up with the Bank of Canada's frequent rate changes and deliver the flexibility our homebuyers seek? We designed a DCO solution that factor in rate changes and the plethora of mortgage options. Whether it's fixed, variable, cash bonuses, or hybrid mortgages, HSBC has the right mix of solutions delivered in front of you just a couple of clicks away to learn more, where you can find flexible solutions and even discover options for you that may not be aware before.

3- Optimization

How do we meet the ambitious growth goal of the business? To win during uncertainty and serve our target audience, we must think and act like them with optimism, agility, and collaboration throughout the campaign optimization. We put a rigorous performance review framework in place to optimize targeting signals, spending, creative, and platforms against the marketing targets every other week, with multiple cross-functional teams and partners.

A Succesful Campaign

Media Innovation Awards
Data-Driven Marketing
Media Innovation Awards
Location-Based Marketing

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We are steadfast in our belief that marketing and media creativity needs to be constantly redefined. Because we are emboldened by the ever-more meaningful, memorable and impactful connections this creates between a brand and its audiences. And most importantly, because it drives business success.