The bank's chief information officer shares his perspective on using social media for the feat.
Sixty years after the first Everest summit, Standard Chartered sent two mountaineers to set another world record by being the first to use its Breeze mobile banking apps on top of the world.
The expedition was supported with a four-week "Above and Beyond" social media campaign that resulted in more than 20 million impressions with over 3.5 million generated on Google.
Ashley Veasey, chief information officer for Standard Chartered Bank Hong Kong, tells ClickZ that the campaign demonstrated the resilience of its Breeze apps in extreme environments and proved that the bank is an innovator in digital banking.
A brief account of the three banking achievements that were made on Everest include:
@ Mount Everest South Base Camp (5,364 meters): Mountaineers Horacio Galanti and Horacia Cunietti conducted what is said to be the world's first stock purchase using Standard Chartered Breeze Trade app.
@ Everest Camp 3 (6,500 meters): The Horacios traded shares on Breeze Trade and conducted funds transfer with Breeze Banking.
@ Everest Camp 4 (8,000 meters): The mountaineers confirmed their bank account balances using the newly launched Breeze Balance app while battling freezing temperatures, forceful winds, and unstable Internet connectivity.
When Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay made their first ascent on Mount Everest in May 1953, it took four days before news broke, but with today's mobile technology the banking expedition that the Horacios embarked on took just four seconds to break, Veasey notes.
Their journey was also documented and circulated in the social sphere as the bank partnered with TBWA's Digital Arts Network that developed a campaign blog and crafted regular posts that reached out to its Facebook fans and @stanchartbreeze followers on Twitter.
Key highlights from the social media buzz include:
As part of the expedition, the Horacios also helped to clean the trash on the mountain and removed close to 300 kg of debris as well as delivered laptops to local schools.
The Above and Beyond campaign not only provided extensive social exposure for the bank, but it was also able to test some of the mobile technology for the first time, which was "incredibly exciting" for the Hong Kong-based CIO.
While Veasey is not directly involved with the marketing aspects of the campaign, he views that social media overall is a great way to reach out to customers and get feedback for their products.
As CIO, he gets very incisive feedback from customers that they take on board, for example, on the user interface of its products.
So what about the conflicts that IT and marketing teams usually have in an organization?
Veasey says he has heard of how the CIO and CMO roles are merging but personally, he has a good relationship with the CMO, particularly from the retail bank, and not a sign of conflicts.
"The lines are probably blurry between the responsibilities." It's accepting that and leveraging each other's skills and expertise.
"Hard and fast lines suggest problems. The more you blur and you integrate, I think it's the way to go," he adds.
Standard Chartered Breeze has five different mobile banking and lifestyle apps that include Breeze Mobile Banking, Breeze Trade, Breeze Home, The Good Life App, and Breeze Places.
Breeze apps have presence in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, India, China, Korea, UAE, Indonesia, and Thailand.
It claims to have more than one million users who have downloaded Breeze worldwide.
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Adaline Lau, ClickZ Asia editor, oversees day-to-day editorial operations covering digital marketing from search to social media, mobile to analytics in the region. Before ClickZ, she was senior reporter at Marketing Magazine and has worked as a journalist for The Singapore Marketer and Asia Pacific Broadcasting. Connect with her @adalinelau or Google+.
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