Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Marketing Case Study: Tesla

Last Tuesday, it was my turn to present to the class a marketing case study. I decided to do one on Tesla. Since the presentation had to be short (about 5 minutes), the information I tried to convey was pretty basic and to the point. However, I did try to engage the class in a couple of discussions. Here are the highlights:

Tesla Motors was founded in July 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, not by Elon Musk. Elon Musk became Chairman of the Board in 2004 after raising millions in financing for the company.

In 2006 the Tesla Roadster was unveiled in California officially launching Tesla as a car company.

The company is based in California and employs 13 thousand people across 4 continents, and the company has yet to make a profit.

It produces 2 premium all-electric vehicles: Model S, and Model X, with a 3rd model, Model 3, in development.

Tesla's mission is "to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy."

In my estimation, Tesla's value proposition is that it produces a high performance, all-electric, luxury vehicle with a driving range that exceeds all of its electric vehicle competitors. The Nissen Leaf still outsells Tesla models, but it has a much smaller driving range; (about 80 miles), and it does costs less.

Tesla is a perfect example of Seth Godin's remarkable "Purple Cow."  It's unique (all-electric), it was marketed to a niche audience of early adopters and "sneezers," and it uses social media, word of mouth, and website for most of its promotional activities; no advertising agency. Plus, purchasing transactions are done online.

Thus far, from a marketing point of view, they seem to be doing everything right.

I included a SWOT analysis of the company done by UC Berkeley Extension in 2013. Bullet points of the company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats were shared and discussed by the class. One threat that could pose a problem are the potential lawsuits that could come about from the autonomous driving features that are being launched with every new model.

What's trending for the company is that the Model 3 had the biggest one-week launch of any product ever, with 325,000 reservations received in the first week. However, Consumer Reports recently rated the Tesla Model X in the 10 least reliable vehicles category.  

I closed the presentation with a video that introduced the self-driving capabilities available on all the new Tesla cars, complete with a Rolling Stones music track. Ah...entice those baby boomers!

Tesla Website
UC Berkeley Extension Strategic Marketing Study
Consumer Reports



Social Media Marketing

As assigned, I took a trip through the vast array of Facebook and Twitter pages looking for a site that is using the medium as a good marketing tool. I settled on one; one that really grabbed me right away, and here's why...

- Fabulous use of color photos. Breathtaking photos, really, that demanded I investigate the information further.

- The text is brief and engaging and each post includes a link where you could find out more about the image.

- There is limited use of commercial videos and many of the posts told a quick story with just the use of images.

- It is simple, fun, and not cluttered with a bunch of promotional-hype text.

The Facebook page belongs to Adobe. Here's a link and screenshot example of a post below.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Generational Content Gap

Since serving on the board of a non-profit performing arts organization, I've often wondered about the effectiveness of our social media efforts. Are we connecting with our preferred demographic? What social media platform is the most effective? Are we reaching other audiences?  So I was intrigued when I happened upon a blog by Andrea Lehr entitled, "Exposing the Generational Content Gap: Three Way to Reach Multiple Generations."

The data she cited was based on a 2015 survey of over 1200 individuals conducted by BuzzStream and Fractl. The study divided respondents into three groups: Millennials (born between 1977-1995), Generation X (born between 1965-1976), and Baby Boomers (born between 1946-1964) Their findings were, for me, surprising and, at the same time, reassuring.

Right off the bat, I was surprised that Baby Boomers were consumers of the most content, followed by Gen Xers, and then Millennials. The survey noted that more than 25 percent of the Boomers consumed 20 or more hours each week, and their preference was to consume this content earlier in the day. My guess would have been the reverse, that Millennials would be consuming the most content. This was very enlightening.

I was reassured by several other findings.

1. Preferred content types and lengths span all three generations, and
2. Facebook is the preferred content sharing platform across all three generations.

It was reassuring to see under content types that "Entertainment" was the favorite content searched for by all three generations. This is good to know, since I'm involved with a performing arts organization. And, although our activities on Facebook are a bit lack-luster, at least were using one of the most popular platforms. 

Lehr's blog was full of other facts and figures too numerous to share here, but it helped validate for me that what we're doing with social media seems to be right on track.

Here are a few of the infographics used in the blog.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Social Listening

After poking around on Twitter searching various topics like the Corvallis Repertory Singers and choral music, I was struck by a couple of realizations. One, the Corvallis Repertory Singers mainly had posts that were self-generated, very few from others, and two, there were lots of other great ideas for social conversations generated by other individuals and organizations related to choral music.

Here's a little bit of what I discovered from those who appreciate, or are involved in choral music. Some boasted about a personal accomplishment or about how listening to choral music "is so calming to me."  Some, of course, were promoting an upcoming concert or commenting on a concert recently experienced. There were many that included
images. All of them had an element of storytelling. Here's a link to twitter feed that I currently follow that provides, I believe, a great example of good content.  Their logo is posted below.

This exercise has been a real eye-opener for me. I'd truly like to see more effort put into the Repertory Singers' social media activities. It could be really beneficial to attracting a younger demographic for their concerts, as well as an excellent way to "sing" their praises! 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Topic 2 - Marketing in the News

An article on the Ad Age website discussed a new ad campaign for Nationwide Insurance that features an extended version of the "Nationwide Is On Your Side" jingle. It debuted in August and the company hopes to convey to consumers that Nationwide is more than just an auto insurance brand.

Leslie Odom Jr., as Aaron Burr in Hamilton
The updated jingle is meant to show the many "sides" of Nationwide Insurance, i.e., "the mom side," the "just-be-calm side." The most recent star recruited to convey this message is Leslie Odom Jr., known for his role as Aaron Burr in the hit Broadway musical Hamilton.  Previous performers have been Rachel Platten and Brad Paisley. 

Founded in 1926, Nationwide consolidated its different brand offerings, (Scottsdale Insurance and Veterinary Pet Insurance) about 2 years ago into one single brand. The new ad campaign is intended to help reinforce this strategy.

According to Nationwide's Chief Marketing Officer Terrance Williams, the "Nationwide Is On Your Side" jingle is one of the brand's marketing strengths.  Last year, the company spent $278.9 million on measured media in the U.S. according to Ad Age's Datacenter.

For me, the main point of the article was to highlight the fact that star-power sells. Having a well-known personality as part of an ad campaign brings attention to the product.  Makes it unique and memorable. Gives it credibility.

I learned that Nationwide is more than just auto insurance company. It has other types of insurances under its brand. I was completely unaware of this fact. I guess the campaign is working.  

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Topic 1: Who's who in Principles of Marketing

Corvallis Repertory Singers Concert, First Congregational Church
Honestly, the reason I'm enrolled in Principles of Marketing (BA 223) is to complete coursework for the Digital Imaging and Prepress Technology certificate. I'm not a business or marketing major.

However, I have had an ongoing interest and desire to learn more about the field because of my lifelong involvement and passion for the performing arts. Currently, I serve as board president for the Corvallis Repertory Singers and in this capacity, I work hard to support the organization's advertising and promotional efforts.

Because I'm of a "certain age" most of the traditional forms of marketing that I'm most familiar with and have used in the past, continue to be costly and, it seems, are slowly becoming obsolete. This course is a great opportunity for me to learn about, and use, social media sources more efficiently and effectively.

In addition to my interest in the Arts, I'm a bit of a wannabe psychologist of sorts. I love to learn about people's lives and hear their stories. I'm always trying to figure people out, what makes them tick, what motivates them, learn about their trials and tribulations. Hearing these tales, affects my appreciation for them, their spirit, and guides my awareness of the human condition. It's really fascinating to just listen.