Updated: Jun 22, 2021
In an increasingly digital world, marketing has become even more of a vital component to rideshare systems. It's important to create a clear path to building your brand's reputation and relevancy to your specific customer market. After all, the lifeblood of just about any business is acquiring new and repeat customers. At the end of the day, almost every business has to promote itself in one way or another, whether it be traditional marketing like mailers, billboards, or radio advertising, or more modern marketing like emailing and running social media ads.
So what kind of ways can you market your micromobility system? Luckily, the possibilities are endless here, as marketing your service can be directly proportional to one’s creativity and foresight. Below, I’ve listed 4 examples to consider:
Anchoring your promotions to a specific time window can be quite effective. By offering a discount or special offer at a specific time, you can attract attention to your rideshare program and increase ridership around periods of time that may be less busy. Timely promotions that only exist around specific holidays or events, such as New Years, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, or even more obscure events like Bike to Work Day or Bike Month (in May). Create that sense of urgency or excitement that can encourage those who are on the fence to make a decision. Keep in mind, this is best done when used sparingly, as continually discounting your service may not build any brand loyalty.
Promote events that align well with your rideshare program. For example, in 2020 we encouraged system operators in the United States to make ridership free on election day to make voting easier for their communities. According to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, transportation is a notable roadblock between people voting, largely among young adults. Between the ages of 18 and 29, a whopping 29% of that category cited transportation as a reason why they didn’t vote, and 15% cited it as a major deciding factor. To learn more about how we advocated making voting easier for communities, check out our blog post on the subject.
It’s important to recognize when customers want or need your service most. During these moments, they might be the most responsive to timed promotions.
Build an Email or Text List
With Movatic’s software, it’s a simple process to export all of your customer data into CSV files to use elsewhere. That data includes first/last names, phone numbers, email addresses, the date they joined, and so on. Email and/or text marketing are extremely reliable ways to reach out to your warm audience for feedback, promotional offers, or important announcements. Mailchimp, Aweber, and Freshsales are all great software options to accommodate this idea.
Each individual customer can be clicked on for additional details.
Email and text marketing also allows a convenient way to provide additional products and services to your list. For example, a percentage of your customers may purchase upsells (hats, shirts, premium services), provide valuable customer feedback via surveys, or have an introduction to any local businesses or sponsors you work with. A partnership may also grow your list of customers organically.
Email or texting lists are beneficial in that you own them, as opposed to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. who technically own your followers on their respective platforms. Many social media platforms come and go with time, but email marketing has been around for longer than all of these platforms, and will not be going away anytime soon. Almost every internet user has at least one email address- after all, they are required to even sign up for social media accounts in the first place. According to research by Radicati, there are roughly 3.8 billion active email accounts in the world, which is half of the earth’s population. This figure alone signifies that emails are still a very reliable way to build intimate relationships with your customers.
Collaboration is an extremely powerful tool for system operators, regardless of the type of ridesharing system you have. The connections you form with others have the potential to expand your system in exciting ways. It’s not widely talked about how much you can discover in your own city just by riding a bike or scooter. Even within a 5-mile radius, I found myself discovering local restaurants, parks, and statues that I had never noticed while driving. You’d be surprised what you can discover in your own backyard! Building a partnership with another business doesn’t necessarily require a lot of time or financial investment with the right creative ideas. Partnerships may also manifest themselves in the form of sponsorships. For example:
Cross promoting services on social media
Adding a sponsor’s branding across bikes, scooters, or system banners
Placing bike racks near a sponsor’s brick-and-mortar location to drive business
In business, when you get stuck on something, who do you reach out to? Most people will reach out to their colleagues, mentors, or trusted resources to help you work through specific issues. When you include new viewpoints and creative ideas into the mix, you have the potential to uncover solutions that may even transcend your original expectations. Every interaction you have with somebody outside of your immediate circle provides valuable learning opportunities. Some of the most successful ideas can involve 2 different professionals with vastly different skillsets and perspectives. It’s important to get outside of your own head to jumpstart your creativity, objectively view new ideas and information, and find what’s most effective for you. At the end of the day, local businesses benefit from ridership in their area.
With a customer avatar, you can target your marketing and ridership a lot more effectively. Instead of talking to 'anyone' you can start addressing 'someone'. You can talk to them in a language they understand while also addressing their specific needs. An ideal customer for a college campus won’t have the exact same needs as a customer who is using a ridesharing amenity from their apartment complex, a customer filling the gap in public transit, or a tourist who is only in town for the week.
Being as specific as you can about your ideal customer allows you to laser focus on the details of your messaging and marketing. Sometimes, if you try to help everyone, you end up not helping anyone. No need to go overboard, but any market with a distinct set of goals, values, and pain points is deserving of a customer avatar.
An avatar should be able to answer the following questions:
What goals and values are most important to them?
What are their biggest pain points (e.g. tech overwhelm, lack of accessibility to ridesharing, etc.)?
Where do they most commonly get information from?
What is the biggest problem that your solution will solve for them (e.g. easier to commute on a college campus, more inspiration to exercise, easier to explore the city without having to look for parking for a car, etc.)?
Here is how most customer avatars are set up.
The key is to understand how and where you and your system can provide real value. Fortunately, there are tons of ways to promote and market a ridesharing service, and with the prevalence of digital marketing, it’s even more affordable than ever.
Ever come across any clever or memorable marketing ideas? We would love to hear them!
Still not completely sure how you should be marketing your ridesharing service? No problem! At Movatic, we have a team of experts invested in creative ideas and solutions for our partners.
Simply fill out our website form where you will be contacted to start a discussion.