When a company is valued at $3.76 billion, it can be a challenge to relate to and learn from their journey to success. For app-based transportation network and taxi company Uber, however, this is not the case. In just five years, Uber has grown substantially from its (not so humble) beginnings as a luxury car service in San Francisco in 2009, and now operates in 35 countries, employs over 300 people, and is valued at $3.76 billion.

One tap of the app and Bob’s your uncle, Uber hails your taxi and delivers it to you in under 8 minutes, eliminating the usual transportation troubles. What is it that has fuelled Uber’s success and what digital marketing lessons can be learnt? We take a closer look in this blog…

1.Tailor your marketing to your audience

While Uber was founded as a luxury car service in San Francisco, the company understood from the offset that they would need to take a tailored approach in order to expand in other cities – acknowledging that one size does not, in fact, fit all.

Talking with GrowthHackers, Co-Founder and CEO Travis Kalanick explained how Uber would only work if it was intensely local, “it requires us to take a very local approach to how we go after a city… I like to say they drop in with parachutes and machetes [and] get highly involved with the suppliers, people who own cars and run car services, and really just make sure that we can launch a service that is high quality from the start.”

Analytics can provide great audience insight, identifying your customers’ needs and interests and even their location. Don’t ignore this data – use it to your advantage to tailor your digital marketing accordingly. Make the most of online tools such as A/B testing and landing pages, and continue to experiment to find what generates leads.

2.Seek out new angles

Marketing can become stale quickly, especially for a company promoting a single service or product. To keep things fresh, it’s vital to seek new angles and explore potential avenues that may complement your business strategy. Is there a new and refreshing way to publicise what you do?

In Uber’s case, the company entered an ‘experimental phase’ to unlock the true potential of their business. As well as ferrying customers from one place to another, Uber has experimented with delivering Uber Ice Cream, roses for Valentine ’s Day, barbecue in Texas, and have even offered DeLorean rides in San Francisco.

3.Never underestimate word of mouth

Social networking plays a fundamental role in digital marketing, and with every social networking platform comes a torrent of active voices.

According to Kalanick, much of Uber’s success is attributed to word of mouth. “I’m talking old school word of mouth,” he told GrowthHackers, “You know at the water cooler in the office, at a restaurant when you’re paying the bill, at a party with friends – ‘Who’s Ubering home?’ 95% of all our riders have heard about Uber from other Uber riders.”

Approach your digital marketing with this in mind. Can you ensure that every interaction with a potential customer is a positive one? And what can you do differently to get chins wagging? We want to hear your thoughts – let us know in the comments section.

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