In the last eight years, we have witnessed the evolution of the taxi industry made by the small start-up from San-Francisco, California. Uber changed the world and opened for us a new type of business model and marketing strategy. A lot of other start-ups used Uber as a template and succeed as well. This is one of many reasons why I choose this company for my analysis.
Uber is privately owned company that tracks its roots from 2009, when it was created by team of entrepreneurs that are headed by the founders Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp. Although Uber faced serious competition from regular taxi drivers, Uber decided to promote its industry through the modern type of advertisement that has never been used before to such extent. Instead of regular ways of marketing, they became increasingly interested in fastly developing Internet advertising, marketing field that had little attention from the giant taxi corporations at that time. Social networks- such as Facebook and Snapchat became dominant sources of Uber Internet advertisement, generating public awareness of this new company. Indeed, today, hardly anyone can't notice Uber's simple but at the same time, very expressive logo, popping out on every major website. As the popularity of Internet and social networks grew worldwide, so did the amount of people that learn about Uber company. It was simply, the matter of time when it would rise to fame. According to Reuters, Uber generated net $6.5 billion profit during 2016 making it one of the fastest growing corporations in the last decade. (Uber's Revenue Hits $6.5 Billion in 2016, Still Has Large Loss.) Today, their primary goal is to expand and globally unite personal transportation services and provide competitive prices that lower the cost of such transportations. They achieve this through convenient software application, launched in 2010, that can be easily accessed by any person who has Internet and smartphone.
Going further we will analyse Uber's business model and how marketing influences its success. Sakshi Singhin made a great work describing Uber's concept “Available as a smartphone application, the Uber app allows users to book a cab ride from their desired pickup location to the required destination, with the utilization of a couple of basic prerequisites – their location and an internet connection.” (Uber Business Model | How does Uber Make Money?)
II. Internet Marketing Strategy
Uber fulfills all three parts of the marketing concept having a great customer, service and profit orientation. They strengthen the value of uniting online with offline marketing force since the data is interactive and offline at the same time. Although, most of the main concept of their business is the online platform. As we know there are three general purposes for marketing and it is acquisition, retention, and value growth. Uber tries their best and as we can look at the value of the company which is $69 billion. (Wall Street Survivor). That means their marketing strategy is working and they are doing pretty good despite all the bad press they have been to.
Uber has a very interesting business model. They positioned themselves as a connection in the value chain. Uber provides service for people by connecting drivers who have their own vehicle and customers who need a ride. They enable a new type of the business by giving people the opportunity to use their property and leisure time to earn extra money. Now we have services, like Lyft and Airbnb, that are successful by having the same business model.
The ability to rate your driver gave Uber the viability on what is going on in the supply chain. They know what is the customer's experience with their service as soon as they get out of the car. Also, they added the feature for drivers to rate their customers it gave them a mirroring for the boss sides of the chain. The system works in both ways and it gives a very good picture to managers how they can make it works better for everybody. They gave to customers more value and it benefited them.
Uber's value proposition is relevant for both sides of the service: drivers and customers. Let's look at some benefits that Uber gives to their customers. First of all, it is very easy to request a ride through their app just in one click. Also, it tracks geolocation of users what gives them the approximate time of wait and cost. Secondly, it is cheaper than the normal taxi driver and they do a lot of discounts and promotions for their customers. Thirdly, the payment is cashless and secure.
There are two important kinds of the target segmentation that Uber uses, the geographic and demographic segmentation. It is important for Uber because it gives them information about the areas where people use the private transportation. For the customers, it is beneficial because Uber is less expansive than the regular taxies in those arias. On the other hand, Uber gets more loyal customers who will use their service to save money. Also, Uber has a lot of partnerships with hotels airports and other major companies. It even launch “Uber for business” to make it easier for the companies to track their expenses on transportation.
Uber has a direct response internet marketing strategy and it has the following characteristics. First of all, it is interactive. Their main marketing strategy in the new location is giving free rides to those who are trying it for the first time and who refer the app to their friends. Furthermore, it is information-driven, you need to register to use their app, and this is how they collect all the information that they need to use it for the marketing purposes. Additionally, it is immediate, their promotions are up to date and customer service working 24/7. Moreover, it is involving. They launched their blog where people can participate and get the information they needed.
Uber care about their customers to have the best customers experience. The service is functional, the sensual, and the emotional. Most of the people who experienced Uber had a great experience and will use it again. Also, feedback is a fundamental element in the experience which ensures that the customers and employees get the best service (How Uber delivers an excellent customer experience.)
Uber engage their customers using their app, social media and a website. It is very easy to be up to date to company's vision and offers. Also, they have a perfect balance between the online and offline marketing campaigns. The content they use is original and high-quality which gives brand a credit of trustworthiness. By the way, Uber did couple rebrandings to their main logo, and now it is perfect in it's minimalism for their target audience.
Let us review all things that Uber is doing for their brand awareness. It is included but not limited to Social media marketing, partnerships and ads with such companies like Hulu, YouTube, Spotify, Netflix and Pandora, Special promotions for new and current clients, uber kiosks in the malls and word of mouse.
Moreover, they use email marketing as well. They get people e-mails when they registering for the service and use it for their email campaigns. But they don't overwhelm subscribers with the spam. Oppositely, they gave them important information like safety tips and don't sent it very often. In the article “Uber Gets an A+ for Its Direct Mail and Email Marketing!” it says “The entire process moves seamlessly across the entire marketing spectrum, from direct mail to mobile to email and CRM — without batting an eye.”
Uber doing great success in the Social Media Marketing. They not only maintaining the official pages, but doins the local ones for all the countries they are working in. Their official Instagram page has 642k followers. To compare to their main competitor, Lyft, who has only 106k they has almost six as much followers on this social platform. Uber's Facebook page has 16,091,071 followers. Also, they enabled amazing feature: you can request a ride using the Facebook messenger which means a lot. Their twitter has 856k followers and it is getting more popular every day.
Last, but not least is the Uber's website that they are mostly using to encourage people to use their app. But interface is simple and user friendly. For the SEO they use ads and keywords to promote their website.Although, their website and search marketing strategies are the weakest part from all what they doing to promote their service. “Uber's title tag does not include any other keywords other than the word “Uber.” This appears to be a huge missed opportunity not just for SEO, as they could be not only targeting some strong non-brand keywords, but also they could also use this space to specifically highlight their advantages.”(Uber Case Study: Customers Should Drive Search Marketing.) Also, this article says that Uber don't use PPС as beneficially as they could because it centered on their brand awareness dispie of the specific service provide. And the last thing about their SEO, they mostly promote service for the new drivers then customers, what can confuse people who simply just looking for the taxi.
Overall, it crucial to understand the importance of Uber in our current everyday life, as it is perfect example of successful Internet marketing that benefits the company's popularity. Through making bet on advertising its services on fastly developing Internet and social networks, Uber did not lose its stakes. Indeed, more and more people start to recognize Uber asa convenient service that is pleasure to have deal with. Future Internet progress, will propel Uber's success even further.
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