Social Marketing Plan for Vehicle Sharing Program

Social Marketing Plan

Vehicle Sharing Program for the Promotion of Public Transport

A Travel Demand Management Initiative

 

1. BACKGROUND

Management of public transport is a major issue when it comes to traffic on most roads of major towns and cities. It looks at the various ways of changing the trends in travel. This encompasses when people travel, the means of transport and how this can be accomplished, commonly known as the how of transport.

The main purpose enshrined in this particular campaign is to decrease the cases of having people travel in singles on our roads. This is a critical consideration especially during the morning and evening hours, which are the common rush hours. Therefore, this campaign will help to enhance the use of public means of transport. Essentially, this will be by the use of car-sharing services, which entails vehicles that are shared by everyone in town. Numerous surveys were carried out on the passengers and also on the available means of transport. This helped to outline the potential market for this venture (City of Saskatoon, 2013)

The challenge posed by congestion on major roads of our towns is very critical today. The vehicles are increasing on the roads day in day out. This can be solved by developing a model of infrastructure that will increase public transport on the roads. However, this may have its own demerits. The main disadvantage is experienced with the aspect of finances that will be spent on this venture (Gershgorn, 2016).

Adoption of carpooling will be the easiest solution to this problem.  For instance, there will be many vehicles that will be incorporated into a single system to help in sharing rides. However, this excludes the trips that are chauffeured, such as special journeys made by the drivers. It can be designed in many forms to achieve many goals in different contexts. In this scenario, carpooling is designated for large companies that will enhance solutions for the existing modes of carpooling such as Uber services. The other purpose of this system is to establish a good relationship among the service providers and consumers (Ipsos Reid, 2014).

The objectives are as follows: To establish the target audience. To create a strategy for marketing and also evaluate it, to apply the SWOT analysis in analyzing the current state of carpooling. To reduce instances of single occupancy in the cars on roads that have led to congestion.

2. SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS

Organizational factors

 

These are the factors that are anticipated to impact the operation and execution of this project.

Strengths

The initiative is well aligned with the other initiatives that were developed in transportation development and management. TDM had its own strategic plan.

Availability of funding from the government. The department of environment supports such a move that is tailored towards the betterment of the city and towns.

Easy management of the parking lots. The city has a system that overlooks the parking arrangements for all people in the town.

Corporate memberships are easy to achieve. So long as there is an association with the ACT, the transport team can adopt supportive frameworks of Transport development and management.

There is a wide range of experts available to help in various parts of the system. These people have a clear access to research resources and they can be reached easily.

The location of the town makes it strategic. There are many people with vehicles around the town. The main concern is how to make them form a joint unit.

 

Weaknesses

 

Parking services are offered at a fee. There is a lot of work involved to arrange for the parking of the vehicles.

SWOT ANALYSIS

Strengths of Uber services

The platform is easy to use. It has a low cost involved when using it. It a powerful application that can run on mobile devices that will enable booking, and other logistics.

Uber charges reasonable fees. In addition to this, it allows for payment with many modes of payment. A passenger can use a credit card, traditional taxis charge extra fees. This was prompted by the emergence of a large customer base throughout the world.

The services are varied. The mode of transport has been diversified. This was aimed at attaining the needs of the country at large. There is a provision for private rides as well as public transport at the convenience of the passengers.

The drivers are not employed on a permanent basis. This makes the company have a flexible schedule for expenditure. This depends on the revenue generated.

The high value of Uber makes people willing to invest here. Therefore, this implies that there will be a very high capital base for this company. It offers a convenient system for the drivers of their cars. The work hours are flexible and it allows for a part-time schedule. Sometimes there are clients who can pose a threat to the drivers. The company allows the drivers to reject the offer from those clients that seem to pose a threat in their own evaluation. There is a provision for rating the drivers. This helps to maintain a good record of services. It enhances the capturing of the markets and retaining the current market.

Weaknesses of Uber services

The idea for this company is easy to copy and imitate. There is no regulation available to prevent other people from adopting this idea.

There is an ethical dilemma in the relationship that exists between Uber and the drivers. There is no clear connection between these two parties. So, the extent of loyalty is too low for the drivers towards Uber.

There is no clear bond between the clients and the Uber Company.

The costs of operating the vehicles are very high. However, this does not mean that the driver has huge earnings. The model of this business is really unpredictable. This is because of the trend of the passengers which is not is easy to trace. The passengers have to use this service even in the odd hours. The issue of privacy is compromised in this service portfolio. Usually, there is a record of the location of the customers. The clients may not have the trust that they are safe in this platform.

Sometimes local authorities can find the drivers for non-compliance with some regulations that are harsh on them. There is a reduction of the prices due to competition posed.

The services are limited to large towns only. In small towns, this services is not easy to penetrate.

The prices are high in the peak hours. Also, this is experienced when there is a large traffic on the roads.

External factors

These are the factors that impact the operation of this business that is out of the control of the management of this enterprise.

Opportunities

There a great opportunity for Uber because there is a chance that people love traveling in the modern lifestyle. There is a high chance or opportunity for this company to partake many collaborations with other companies. For instance, payment processing companies may be incorporated into this system to facilitate faster and convenient service delivery.

Threats

There are transport arrangements that are cheaper compared to this mode. This has been realized in the case of trying to suit the current trends in the industry. It also compels the company to lower its prices-which is a challenge bearing in mind the fact that the operational costs have to be met. The potential customers may prefer to use the already developed brands in the transport industry. Sometimes the passengers are disapproved. This is regarding the evaluation by the drivers. The drivers may offer a revolt in some parts of the world. This is especially where they have been cases of kidnapping of these drivers.

The employees are not certain of their jobs because they are not employed by the company directly. Job security is under question from this perspective.

There are other services that seem to be similar to this company. Therefore, the use of this service may be limited to those companies that have already established themselves in the industry well.

Prior and similar efforts

There have not been any proactive efforts to promote this system of transport. However, the passengers look at this idea of taxi services with a lot of positivity. This is portrayed by the requests that they send to the company showing their need for this service.

Competitive analysis in Uber marketing strategy

There are many players in the transport industry in which Uber operates. The major threat in terms of competition is the common means of public transport. This involves the buses and other vehicles that operate from one town to another ferrying passenger at various times of the day.

3. TARGET AUDIENCE

The following are the facts and descriptions of the primary target audience for Uber services. The analysis of the target audience follows the classification based on demographic data. The age is between 18 to 30 years. The gender involved in this market is both male and female.

This audience may involve the college students mostly. In addition to this, young professionals are the target audience. The major concept here is that some of these fellows are caught out at night. During weekends, these students are out of their rooms and they need a safe mode of travel (City of Saskatoon, 2016)

The other target audience entails those people who attend concerts and other sporting events such as MLB and NBA games.

Selection of the target audience

There are two main surveys that give a background on the existing mode of sharing the ride. This shows that current attitudes and practices. From the statistics of the Ipsos Reid, a city survey revealed the commuter trip sharing mode.

The following statistics were found out (Urban Systems, 2016)

Transit-3 %

Bike-5%

Walk-6%

Auto passenger-7%

Other-1%

Driver-78%

 Preference for the available options for commuter services

The survey posed some questions pertaining to the ranking of the five modes that are considered according to their preference. Carpooling came the best, showing that the solo drivers are accepted easily as compared with the automatic travel plan.

Solo driver’s options for consideration

The driver being the carpool had the weighted ranking of 26 percent.

For carpool as passenger, bike, transit and walk, they had the following weighted rankings respectively: 25 %, 17 %, 18 %, and 14 % (City of Saskatoon, 2016)

Ridesharing as the state of change

These driver sections were obtained from the Marketing Benefits to Employees.

Dedicated carpoolers- this is practicing the ridesharing program. This acts a solid evidence for the existence of the benefits of ridesharing.

Borderline carpoolers- these represent those people who have an interest in this program. What they require is a form of motivation or encouragement to enable them to change the trend in commuting. This comprises those people who are already using this service in their transport needs.

Other factors for consideration

The social characteristics and carpooling traits have been started to find out the connection that exists between them. Only some little patterns have been identified to highlight this relation. This pertains to the low-income earners and those whose salary scales are high.

 

Target audience classification

The target audience can be classified as follows:

Borderline carpoolers- these are the people who are already using this ridesharing programme, passive solo carpoolers-this is the part of the audience that requires training on how to utilize this service. This will entail education on the benefits of this service and also the alternatives that will be offered under this programme (City of Saskatoon, 2016)

Other Classes of Audiences

The transit riders have the choice of carpooling in case they are informed of the availability of a driver and any other favorable incentives.

Pedestrians-they can also carpool and use this service if they encounter weather conditions that are not favorable. For instance, when it is raining. In addition, whenever they are injured, they can opt to use these services for they will not be able to walk while sustaining injuries.

4. PLAN OBJECTIVES AND GOALS

The main purpose of this plan is to decrease the cases of single occupancy in driving. This is especially in the peak hours that are presumed to be in the morning and in the evening. The following are the goals for the target market: To ensure sharing of the common commuter trips within the scope of travelers instead of offering driving solely. This will be focused on the reduction of the number of drivers’ trips by almost 20 percent in a span of two years.

This objective is founded on the knowledge that the people who will offer this in the city will promote the support services and the ride matching capabilities. This will be projected towards the registration of more than 10 percent of the target population in the first six months. Ridesharing helps to reduce the cases of parking costs hiked. Therefore, among the objectives of this marketing plan is to ensure that the target audience is able to witness the change in costs due to the carpooling program.

Another goal is to see that more than 50 percent of the target audience knows and believes that they are able to change their behavior of traveling. This is realistic because they will have many choices to select from. For instance, they may opt to drive the vehicles or to be driven.

The number of individual drivers in the year 2016 was 1, 240. However, the target sharing mode is about 52 percent. This aim needs more than two hundred employees so that a change in the travel behavior is achieved.

Regular basis traveling is essentially that which entails traveling more than three times in one week.

 

5. BARRIERS, BENEFITS, AND COMPETITION

Barriers

The survey that was held queried the drivers to choose the obstacles to this program of sharing of rides. From the study, the true obstacles will have to be managed with the help of powerful measures. The following is a summary of those obstacles as identified from the survey that was held in a careful manner.

The true barriers are time, connections, flexibility in the working schedule, and the flexibility in the time to commute.

The issue of time was attributed to the fact that an increase in the distance of traveled to an increase in the time needed to accomplish those trips.

Connectivity issues arose as there was no clear information on the people who would be willing to be incorporated into this carpooling system.

Flexibility in the work time is attributed to the demand for making local trips at the times of the day rather than during the night time. They, therefore, perceived this as a threat because night time is risky to operate. The barrier of commute time flexibility can arise whenever there is a need for trips at convenient times like after and before the end of the working hours for those who are employees.

             Perceived barriers

The inconvenience that pertains to the demand for adjusting the departure time to another person. This is not good for the clients. The reliability of passengers is very poor as it may lead to the annoyance of drivers.

Insecurity is also perceived to arise out of this program because in most time the people in the vehicles are strangers. This makes the drivers feel anxious that they might be robbed.

The freedom of driving is deprived of the drivers. The car is the ruler in this perspective and therefore ridesharing program will take away the initial freedom that was there regarding mobility function (City of Saskatoon, 2016)

Benefits

The survey on the target market inquired about the reasons that could make the clients to feel motivated and encouraged to take part in this project of sharing rides. However, those reasons pertain to those people already in the program and also in other trends of traveling. But this can be used as a basis for the benefits that will accrue to the target audience (U.S. EPA, 2001)

The expected benefits

Saving in cots will be anticipated as a benefit to the target audience. For example, they will pay less money for the fuel, and also maintaining the vehicles will be at a less cost because they are a reduced risk of wear and tear of the vehicles. The environment will be sustained under this program. The reduction in congestion on roads and also a decrease in pollution will foresee this. Also, this will accrue from the reduced fuel consumption, as it is a major source of pollution to the environment (City of Saskatoon, 2016)

The ridesharing program will be perceived as an alternative to transit. It will address the commuting of people from one town to another. This is more convenient than public transport.

Solo driving constitutes the major competing forces in this industry. This is because they are the most prevalent commuting trend.

The perceived benefits

It saves on time spent when driving because there is no need to share the vehicles with other passengers. Solo driving is associated with a high degree of convenience. The owner of the vehicle can travel at his or own convenient times whenever he or she wants to do so. Flexibility is another benefit. In case of a change of the schedule of an employee, he or she cannot be stuck on the road. He or she is therefore flexible on the schedule that may arise.

The value of prestige can be attributed to this solo driving mode. For instance, a person who has a prestigious vehicle will have a higher social class compared to those who are using this ridesharing program. Also, for the professionals, they can receive a higher pay because they can be associated with success when they ride very expensive vehicles.

There is a pleasure with the solo driving mode. A certain level of mobility is considered to be worthy of enjoyment. They can also add the number of trips to increase this enjoyment. This may not be the case with ridesharing (City of Saskatoon, 2016)

Perceived barriers of competition

Payment of too many amounts of money to park the vehicles. This may be a surprise as the expectation is always lower costs of parking and even the cost of fuel.

Lack of team play. When the other people have adopted the system, the solo drivers may remain to be considered as intruders because of failing to adopt this ridesharing program.

6. POSITIONING STATEMENT

For people of diverse age groups, Uber is the fastest means of transport. This covers all aspect of their traveling needs with minimum waiting time and user-friendly mobile application.

7. MARKETING MIX STRATEGY


This section outlines the development of the 4 Ps which contribute to the marketing strategy. They are product, place, promotion, and price. This will help to achieve the objectives outlined earlier in the plan.

Product

The main product is the sharing of vehicles among those people who have an urge to commute.  The actual products are an online matching of rides and also personalized planning for commuting. Introduction of a mobile application can help to increase the effectiveness of the services. It will also eliminate the existing inconveniences that are witnessed when calling for a cab to pick a passenger at a given time of travel. The company will maintain a credible quality service to the clients.

Price

The financial incentives are subject to authority. In addition, this is dependent on the bargaining that the clients may impose. Parking comes as a benefit in terms of taxation. Therefore, the wholesalers will have to modify the assignments regarding parking respective of the policies in place.

The monetary incentives are as follows:

The guaranteed ride back home. This will help commuters to have a free ride whenever they are is an emergency. This can also apply whenever there is an overtime for these people and they have stayed late at their places (City of Saskatoon, 2016)

Rewards: coupons will be introduced to reward those people who will be using this service on a regular basis. This can be accompanied by gift certificates being issued also.

Preferential car parking. This is an incentive that will foster convenience among the owners of the cars. This leads to the reservation of the parking spaces for this program. For instance, the desired locations may comprise the entry and exit to areas where the target audience is located on a regular basis.

Parking cash in lieu: the passengers who will receive the subsidy will be will also be given the incentive in terms of cash, in case they choose to use the alternative modes of travel.

 

Monetary disincentives

The costs for ownership of the automobile is very high. The drivers are not aware that there are recurrent costs in possession of vehicles. The parking pricing for the people who own the vehicles will also be removing the subsidies that are existing in the off-site parking for those people who are employed at various organizations and public parastatals.

There are other incentives that are not money based. They are as follows:

The oral agreements with the participants in the program in order to have an option of traveling can be recorded. The buddy programs to oversee the keeping of the participants in pared can be maintained.

Comradery. This entails meeting people and tarrying to make them friends and later translate them into clients. The prices that will be charged are to be affordable to the customers. This will be based on the place where the clients will be located. Depending on the mileage, the gas consumption and the number of drivers that are available to carry out the trip. The mobile application makes the customer aware of the price before he or she can confirm for the traveling. In addition, the payments are also made upon confirmation of the exact price. This eliminates the case of conflicts arising out the disagreements on prices as witnessed in the public transport segment.

Place

The services will be offered in many countries throughout the world. An approximate of 500 cities will be catered for in this program. This will also see the company increase the driver base to cater to this growing demand for ridesharing services in those cities. This will help to reduce the time that is spent waiting for the cabs. The overall target here is to reach a wide customer base while ensuring that efficiency is also maintained. The physical location will be the city buildings entry points and exit points. Also, the office can be used as the picking points of the customers. The online platform can be used. This will facilitate the matching service for this program. Emails are sent to the customers pertaining to the arrangements for the trips.

Promotion

National advertising will be considered and adopted by this program. This is going to be the main method of conveying the information about this service. The famous social media sites such as Facebook will be used to convey this information too.

Barriers and Benefits

The following statements illustrate the barriers that are observable in the ridesharing program. Later on, there are solutions formulated to address these barriers effectively.

Time

Time is a barrier that impacts the operation of the ridesharing services by Uber Company.

The solutions to this are as follows.

There will be convenient and flexible points for picking up and dropping off of passengers.

This is centered on product core.

Preferential carpool parking can be implemented. This requires the monetary input. Price consideration is essential here.

 

Connections

The solutions are as follows.

Online service for matching the rides. This is under the product consideration.

Creation of awareness among the colleagues. It takes the dimension of place and promotion strategy.

Flexibility in the work time

There will be fleet cars. This lies under the product strategy.

Flex time can also help to ensure flexibility. It is under the product strategy also.

Inadequate parking passes can be implemented. This takes the dimension of the price. It involves monetary input by the company.

Product

The main product in this plan is the sharing of vehicles among the passengers. These are designated to meet the needs of the target audience. The following are the types of products on offer. Designated driver carpool-this entails one driver who ferries at most two passengers. The driver remits the monthly payment to the relevant department on daily basis. This is also done on a monthly basis. It is based on the expenses that are incurred pertaining to the fuel, parking fees, and the maintenance costs.

Alternating carpool. There is an alternating basis for driving of the vehicles. This implies that the costs that are incurred happen only when the driver is obliged to drive a passenger.

Employer carpool: This is a provision for the employees to use the vehicles from and to their homes at their times of travel.

On-demand travel arrangements.The vehicles can be shared with the clients when they need to go for their trips. This is done within a short notice. It utilizes GPS services on mobiles to locate the clients.

 

 

8. MONITORING AND EVALUATION PLAN

A formal model of program evaluation is essential to establish if the program can be expanded to other cities or not. A formal reporting procedure on this will follow. This takes the shape of a formal report. When the budget will be harmonized for this case, there will be circulation of another reporting documentation.

The logic model is applied then. This will act as a framework for the development of the plan for monitoring the progress of this project.

Resources

The inputs are time, creative marketing consultants, branded goods for raising the profile of those people on transit, printing of posters and reminder cards, online matching for the rides through the mobile application, display of signage and creative a consultant for doing the marketing. The following costs will be met in order to accomplish this plan.

Resources cost comments
Time Hours and dollars totaling to $20,000. The timesheet will be used to trace this will the help of the charge number indicated on it.
Consultancy $ 8,000 The general ledger will be used to keep track of this expenditure.
Printing of posters, and miscellaneous costs involved in printing $1,000 The general ledger records can consolidate this resource acquisition.
Signage of sandwich boards and signs for carpooling. $ 1,000 The job costs and general ledgers reference will help to trace this.

 

 

Process measures

There are numerous activities that will be carried out to evaluate how the market is going to perceive the influence. These are as follows:

Management of the Program.

This will be enhanced by the provision of updates on the schedules within 30 days.

The updates on quarterly based will also be maintained. Coordination for the transport services offered to the clients. The sessions for the planning of the commuter trips that are personalized will be kept in record. The number pertaining to the workshops and presentation done will be recorded.

Recognition and awards: The profiles that are finished and the total number of rewards made. The mobile application will provide the following statistics:

The number of people who are incorporated in the system, the extent of registrations effected in a day, the request put forward by prospective partners pertaining carpooling and also the online matches made online.

Materials for product promotion: The number of materials that are printed and given out concerning the promotion of the project, the incentives that are input and this bears the number and frequency of issuance of those materials.

 

Measures for the results

The survey on the target audience and other participants will be useful in measuring the outcome of the project.  A shift in the behavior of the target audience: This will be observed in term of the number of single occupancy in the vehicles during the trips.

The shift of the trend of the intent of the behavior: The number of people who have been incorporated into this system of carpooling. This will be shown by the web platform application.

A change in the audience beliefs: There will be a record of the percentage of the audience that believes in changing the behavior of traveling.

The levels of clients’ satisfaction will be evaluated by the following key indicators:

The number of vehicles that are shared within the towns where this project will roll out.

The monetary incentives and the ride home arrangements.

The online service for matching the ridesharing program.

Measures of the impact

The major purpose of the plan is the decrease the cases of single occupancy in the vehicles. This will be in the morning and evening hours.

The following measures will be used to quantify the impact of this project.

The amount of savings made among the participants of this program. This uses the costs that are estimated by the survey which was benchmarking the responses of the people who have adopted carpooling.

Reduction in the emissions

This is also referred to as sustainability of the environment. This is founded on the emissions that are calculated by the benchmark survey responses.

Comradery: this will take the dimension of assessing the morale of the respondents as observed through the benchmark survey.

9. BUDGET

The estimated budget covers 18 months. The time for the operation of the program will be done along with the scope of the operational budgets. This is not entailed in the cost estimation of the project.

 

Strategies Cost
Product $40,000
Price $2,000
Promotion $8,000
Total $50,000

 

10. IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PLAN

The work plan

Preparation for the plan

This encompasses the following phases of tasks execution

 Coordination and oversight of the project: It will be carried out by the Transport development and management team. It will meet the monthly schedule as required by the management,

Preparation of minutes and reports will be implemented. Monitoring of the project on a monthly basis will be done. Adjustment of the strategies as needed.

 Development of the product

Product development will encompass the following tasks.

Matching of the ride-sharing through the online platform: It will be done by the overall transport development management team, plus the IT services and purchasing segments of the project.

The following activities will be carried out: Doing research and comparison of the available options, initiation of the service, and selection of the most appropriate vendors for this service and choosing of the winning bid.

Plan of commuting

It will be carried out by the TDM team and the human resources department.

They will do the following tasks:

Creation of the job details. This will act as a guide for the role of those who will do commute planning and management.

Preferential carpooling

It will be carried out by the parking services department and TDM team in general.

They develop the program and the relevant policy. Furthermore, they will be tasked with the assessment of the parking supply and the necessary conditions for this arrangement.

Designation of the spaces for parking, with the relevant signs.

Initial engagement of the stakeholders

This will be conducted to establish the best rewards that will suit this project. A pretest strategy will then follow. Moreover, the pretest products will be available.

Campaign

The launch of the program

The events for product promotion will be concurrent with the spring leadership forum.

Consistent promotion strategy

This will entail monthly draws of prizes, recognition of the stakeholders and other participants on a quarterly basis and also recruitment of the drivers at the major events.

Expansion of the Program

The program of ridesharing may be expanded to encompass those people that live outside the city environs. Therefore, feasibility studies should be done to establish the monetary inputs required for that matter.

Potential Risks

There are certain issues that may derail the implantation of the plan.

They are categorized as follows:

Internal pressures: this is a common situation in which the other members of the project will abandon the initiatives so that they are tackled by the assigned team only.

Shortfalls within the budgets: this will be witnessed in the provincial budget and it will lead to a reduction of funding in some sections of this project.

Abuse in the incentives: parking services may be misused by some of the participants of this project. This will lead to miscellaneous expenditure that has not profitable outcomes.

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