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4 Sensational Marketing Tricks that Made Success out of Uber

Let’s face it. How cool can be a taxi booking app? It is not one of the most extravagant things to do and brag about and rarely something you would share on your social media account. Taken this way, a taxi app could easily belong to the group of boring businesses like vacuum cleaners or freight.

That of course until once in a while someone appears and turns the entire game upside down. I am sure most of you already know of  Uber app where members register for an account, download an application for iPhone and request cars for almost immediate pick-up. Users are charged by cash free methods mostly involving credit cards. Conquering city after city,  Uber is even being called a giant supercomputer orchestrating the delivery of millions of people and items all over the world.

In San Francisco tech crowds, Uber is seen as the messiah. Other than Tesla Motors, there’s probably no Silicon Valley company that has more insane expectations swirling around it. Plugged-in people in the Bay Area will tell you things that are hard to believe: Uber is the most exciting company in the Valley. Uber will be a $100 billion company in five years (Forbes).

Why you should be seriously studying Uber and its story, especially if you work in transportation and logistics business?  What started as infrastructure for delivering books quickly was further expanded into platform for delivering all sort of commodities, which was later branched into other businesses such as Cloud storage and web services, Kindle publishing services and even TV streaming service to rival Netflix.

Can you recognize a similar trajectory with Uber? It is the same reason why Google invested in it and why it is seen as the single most exciting company in the Silicon Valley. Once it has you summoning cars from your phone, the logic goes, it can use that same back-end technology to hook you in for all other kinds of deliveries — food, clothes. There’s a reason the company recently changed its tagline from “Everyone’s private driver” to the much broader “Where lifestyle meets logistics.

So, what would it take to build a $200 million profit transportation company. Since it is a off-line business that deals in providing real services in the real world you cannot expect a sudden exponential growth, but rather calculated conquest plan, conquering city after city, winning battle after battle. Uber did not lack on battles so far.

What was truly remarkable about Uber that made it far from being a boring taxi business is the exclusivity it imposed on its service offering (choose a luxury car of choice ) and a beautiful marketing mix which was introduced in every city in entered (most recently here in New Delhi).

Here are some of  Uber’s marketing tactics:

Soft launch campaigns at each new city

Uber seems to be master in establishing buzz around its arrival by hinting at it’s arrival in a city but doesn’t officially admitting it, generating demand and hype.

Event stunts

Have you ever taken a ride in a motorcade? And on that special day like the President’s day? That is what few lucky customers in Washington DC got on the US’s President day –  an Ubercade featuring three Uber Secret Service agents and two sub-urbans flanking a sleek black town car.  What about ice cream delivery straight at your doorstep in honor of the National Ice Cream Month? Is you taxi provider attempting to make taxi service romantic and on a day such as Valentine’s day? Uber let those late planner Cupid stricken boys avoid Valentine’s Day-Fail-Woman-Wrath by instantly and conveniently booking Uber cap via SMS or the iPhone app where one of them got special treatment dinner and free ride with his date.  Such a beautiful example of turning no brainer into something extraordinary don’t you think?

Publicity stunts

During its soft launch in Los Angeles. Papa Don and Mama Bonnie Kalanick,” the mother and father of Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick, appear in a photo with well-known actor of stage and screen (and apparent avid surfer), Edward Norton who was introduced as first or “rider zero” in Los Angeles. The same move was repeated in Toronto, the first Canadian city that Uber tapped featuring Ben Mulroney (Canadian Television Host) was Canada’s rider zero.

A cutting edge mobile app

While high class vehicles and courteous drivers remain the prime driver of customer delight for users of Uber, more than 90% of its

uber appusers would admit that they are hooked up to the serviced because the easy ad hassle free process of booking the cab via iPhone app and cash free method of payment.

User drags a map on the screen to the place where he wishes to be picked up, gets immediate information about the type of the vehicle and driver info and receives frequent updates about the current location of the driver and the distance to the picking point. Users especially those in Delhi are particularly pleased that they would avoid normally uncourteous and irritating taxi operators and the prospect of not having to deal with cash which makes a public moment in driving with friends high.

The global Smart transportation market is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 18.3% from 2014 to 2019, citing congestion, hyper-urbanisation and globalization as main drivers.  World’s leading enterprises harness gains your transportation and logistical business is surely to benefit from mobility and features such as remote freight tracking, delivery status tracking, delivery process tracking, bundle deliveries tracking etc.

The success of the business model of Uber is surely inspiration for other local taxi companies to come because it highlights what your customers would demand and appreciate from your service:

  • Quick booking (no operators)
  • In-app (cash free) payment
  • Instant confirmation
  • Vehicle tracking

Let us help you!  We have been closely tied up with several transportation and taxi companies in delivering top notch mobile solutions that deliver ROI and bring customer delight and loyalty. Use this link to contact our solutions specialists directly and get a free consulting session over how to adopt mobile first strategy and drive your business towards untapped niche of clients and growth.