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September 29, 2011


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Adele Revella

Inspiring story David. I see so many companies that have some knowledge of their buyer personas, but almost all lack the insights that are needed to define a strategy and convince internal stakeholders to invest in it.

Key to this story is that HSBC hired the "dedicated editorial staff" needed develop "valuable free content" and "premium stuff". And they also worked out an agreement with Wall Street Journal.

It's clear that someone did their homework before they tried to sell this strategy to management. Good work HSBC.

David Meerman Scott

Thanks for jumping in Adele. I really love what HSBC is doing because it is based on buyer personas. It's as if they read your blog!


David, great example. Isn't there another trend hidden behind this one? The trend that when news nowadays is coming to us so fast and with so much content (sometimes repeated like in an echoing well), consumers will be looking for websites that provide news on more specific items? Corporate sites (with focus on brand journalism) jump into this trend. Or at least, they can..

David Meerman Scott

Emiel -- I think you have identified something important. Yes, people are looking for news about specific things that interest them and they will do business with the companies that provide it. Thanks

Barbara Grace

Just wanted to say thank you. Every time I read your blog I realise what a blog should be - your links to either past blogs or people with a story to share are always worthwhile. Go the content-rich information-sharing community-minded person you are! Thank you - your work and blogs are always enriching.

David Meerman Scott

Thanks Barbara. I'm fortunate that there are so many people doing great stuff (like HSBC) that I can talk about.

Avil Beckford


I signed up with Business Without Borders over a year ago. I am in Toronto and I went to an event on doing business in Brazil and it was outstanding. It was not focused on HSBC and its services, the event really was about telling you what it really is like and the things you need to do if you want to expand to Brazil. They brought in some of their clients who are doing business there and you got honest feedback. Also, one of the panelists worked for the Economist and they shared some relevant research.


Patrick Willemarck

What they miss is the integration and eventually amplification of converstaions held elsewhere.
Look at Dialogfeed.com. Think about the survey done by altimeter: 140 social media strategists want integration because a media needs an audience and customer generated content too. No?

David Meerman Scott

Glad to hear you had a good experience Avil.

Patrick - I hear you. But I don;t think that's their goal. They are running this as a member portal that people register for.

Brenda Christensen

If you knew the guy who was behind this, you would understand why it's done so well. He also understands journalism better than any billionaire CEO or publisher I've ever worked for - was a pleasure handling his PR and being his corporate officer, as well. His encounter with Mike Wallace of "60 Minutes" during an interview put him on a trajectory to understand our business, as well as Mao's successful use of a newspaper column to start a revolution.

Shel Holtz

Another one to look at that just launched is from SunLife Financial in Canada called Brighter Life. It's at http://brighterlife.ca. I've been speaking about this (in fact, my talk at the IABC conference on content marketing/brand journalism wound up the top-rated talk) and am convinced we'll see more and more of it. What that means is that each company is going to have to continue to innovate in order to stand out from the crowd.


Great and informative post, thank you.


BeSmartBeWell.com is another good example of a content marketing initiative being done right from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois -- (http://besmartbewell.com). I've been involved with BSBW for last 18 months helping them understand strategically the value of the assets they are creating, expanding the distribution of the assets beyond their web site, and building up a subscriber base. The site has a dedicated editorial/video creation team. It's been exciting work.

virtual office

These are good examples of brand journalism that contributes. Readers need to be informed on relevant content.

business consultant

Journalism swears to disseminate information that is comprehensive and proven. Kudos to this company for doing it right.

Xtreme Lashes

They brought in some of their clients who are doing business there and you got honest feedback. Also, one of the panelists worked for the Economist and they shared some relevant research.

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