In Istanbul, we approached successful shoring operators and asked them what features successful operators have that those, who barely exist or are bankrupt, do not.
They told us that the difference is in marketing. People who spend all their money to buy electric vehicles and software, and launch the project itself without leaving money for marketing, usually lose out. Those who spend about 30−35% of their budget on marketing and building a warm relationship with the customer create a stable, profitable business.
Let’s take a step-by-step look at how to set up your company’s marketing system.
Let’s start by talking about reaching out to new users.
Bonus codes are great for attracting new users. This is a code that a customer enters into your app and receives a bonus into their account. A bonus can be a free ride or a certain amount of money for the first free ride. As a dealer, you allow the client to try the service so that they like it and get hooked on it. This works especially well in the beginning when your shoring has just opened, and you need to quickly gather a large audience to test the service.
To distribute the codes quickly, you can publish them in your local media. They’ll be happy to run such an article, and it’ll be great traffic for the publication. You can even choose who you work with and who to post the bonus codes.
When you’ve built your customer base with bonus codes, enter a referral program.
Referral links in your app can help you to make viral marketing. When a customer has already tried something, they want to recommend it to a friend if it’s a really useful service. The customer sends a referral link to a friend, gets a bonus for themselves, and shares it. It’s a win-win situation for each side that receives the referral link.
Most of you are already familiar with this system: Uber used it quite well when it was scaling globally.
An important part of marketing is event marketing. It’s an event that you organize and engage in a story with your brand. It’s a kind of fieldwork where you hold some kind of meeting to teach people how to use electric transportation or show them how to do it safely. Or it’s just a celebration where you give people the opportunity to ride for free, learn more information, and give some gifts. That is to create a warm connection with your brand.
That’s exactly what will help you in the competition that follows. When there are a lot of players, the customer will choose, foremost, the nearest scooter, and secondly, the brand to which they have a warm connection.
For event marketing to work effectively, we advise hiring professionals. They already have people they can quickly engage, coordinate placements, print products, track the response on social media, and deliver your message. Pay the professionals, and set the goals for what you want to achieve with your planned event. Meetings like these pump up the culture of consuming a new service, particularly an electric vehicle sharing service.
A bonus from events is the content you’ll be able to post on your social media: it will be live and real. When you post content with your users, it’s about them, they see and feel it. That’s how you create a warm connection with your clients.
Outdoor advertising is an important part of marketing. We don’t mean traditional billboards with logos and taglines. We are talking about the design of your vehicles. In itself, vehicles are great advertising. So spend the extra money on a specialist to work out the design of your vehicle, it’s wainscoting.
Look at the big players that are in the business of sharing electric scooters. Pay attention to the company LIME and the way their scooters are decorated. You should write on the scooter how to use your service. Be sure to use bright, saturated colors so that in the city you can see this scooter from afar and make a decision about the ride.
As for electric bikes, take a closer look at the company JUMP. They have an excellent and structured description on the vehicle, and how to use it. Their bikes are red, you can see them from afar — a great solution.
For electric mopeds, we recommend FELYX. It’s a Dutch player which has very stylishly decorated its mopeds. Or the company SCOOTY, a Belgian company, which operates throughout Europe. They have quite a decent design of electric vehicles.
We’ve talked about attracting customers, now let’s talk about retention.
Once you have attracted numerous users to you, it’s important to retain them. The most significant part of customer retention is the experience and emotions they have while interacting with your service. If they are positive, the client continues to use the service, if they are negative, they leave the service and advise their friends not to use it, because they have experienced some unpleasant emotions.
Technical condition of the vehicle
The most indispensable thing that separates a positive experience from a negative one is the technical condition of your vehicle. It has a direct impact on the experience your customer will have when they ride. That’s why it’s essential to keep your fleet of electric vehicles in good technical condition.
Once again, to retain customers, it is very influential to keep the bar as high as possible, for the technical condition of your fleet. The lion’s share of this business is building operational processes to maintain the fleet and keep it in good condition. So for customer retention, that’s the number one thing you need to pay attention to.
- Make a checklist for your technicians to check your electric vehicles before sending them out on the street.
- Conduct weekly inspections of your vehicles and identify weak components.
- Keep statistics on which parts are the most fragile, and replace them before they break. Because if they break on the ride, it’s a negative experience for the customer, and they’re more likely to leave you.
You have to anticipate these moments and provide a high level of service, then the customer will be attached to you and will constantly generate revenue for you.
Customer retention is influenced by the technical state of the hardware and the software part of what they see on their phone, and how the application is built.
Specifically, in our case, we noticed that a positive wallet balance encourages the client to use the service again and again because they still have a tail of the money they’ve put in before. Before, we used to let the wallet balance go into minus, but this motivates the user to go to another shoring because they don’t have a debt there. And here they already have it. The client thinks like this: if I want to go on a trip, I have to pay my debt first, and then pay more money to go on another trip. That is why we changed this system and always keep a positive balance.
When you have money in your account all the time, you are also motivated to use your transport, because it is already prepaid. When you have some money in your wallet, the customer decides to ride your vehicle because they’ve already put something in it, or made a prepayment.
For the customer, the ride costs less than with another provider; accordingly, by maintaining a positive balance from ride to ride, you always motivate the customer to come back to you. And this is a very important point, so when choosing software, pay attention to those providers who have an internal purse. And the balance of this wallet must be positive.
Always find those customers who use your service the most. These are your brand advocates, the people who promote your brand. They’re your marketing executives who pay money and spread the word about the brand.
Reward them, give them bonuses and statuses, and come up with a loyalty system for them. Encourage them in any way you can, so that they tell their community how great your company is, and what cool perks they got. This will give them something to be proud of, something to brag about to their friends. That way they can radiate information about you, and it’ll work like word of mouth. And we all know that word of mouth is a very effective way to sell and increase brand awareness.
In addition to what to do, we’d also like to point out the mistakes that providers make when they plan their marketing.
Relying on bloggers
The first and one of the most common mistakes is relying on bloggers and opinion leaders. Like, “I’ll give them a scooter, they’ll take a video, they’ll put it on YouTube, and there are 100 thousand subscribers on the channel, everyone will know about us”. It doesn’t work. When you build quality marketing on the points above, the bloggers themselves will come, and it will be an additional channel of communication with the client. It is important, by the way, to understand what kind of blogger is coming to you and what they are going to say.
Wasting the budget on ineffective advertising
We mean targeting in social networks, with pictures from photo stocks or even a photo of your scooter, but without the user. Pouring a budget into ads to get your scooter flashed in the feed is no longer a running scheme. It may have brought some response in the early days of social media, but now it’s just wasting the marketing budget that way.
When you use event marketing, you get content. If that content performs well without promotion, then you should bring in additional advertising for it. When you’ve already figured out that your users like the material and form a warm relationship with them, only then use social media targeting and promote all the material you’ve received at events.
An unprofessional approach to marketing
It’s a big mistake to put marketing on your niece, student, or any person, who “kind of knows about social media”.
Marketing is an important part of your business and needs to be done by a professional. Hire a professional marketer, show them this article, and let them implement all the things we have written about.
How to promote your business in sharing: engage in smart marketing
To summarize, your marketing must consist of three pillars: attracting the users, retaining them, and avoiding common mistakes. The best thing you can do for your business is to hire a competent marketer.
Let a professional handle the marketing and build a relationship between the brand and its users. This is exactly what will help you build a good reputation and help with promotion at the start.