Digital marketing has become part and parcel of any brand’s development strategy. Since the rapid expansion of online services across the globe at the beginning of the 21st century, physical advertising and marketing have lost their influence on the target user. As it may be understood from the title, digital marketing concerns approaches and strategies of advertisement executed through various digital tools and platforms (Mandal and Joshi, 2017, p. 5428). The worldwide recognition of digital marketing can be explained by its innumerable advantages. First of all, digital marketing campaigns are more cost-efficient in terms of both human resources and materials. Secondly, there is a higher probability of target customer noticing the tool via online platforms. Furthermore, the aforementioned target audience can be easily recognized with the help of precise data analysis.
The World Web is nowadays open for practically everyone, which allows both famous and small brands compete in order to gain the customer’s attention. Such rivalry leads to constant shifts in terms of modern marketing trends. Hence, some of the major tendencies nowadays include active interaction with the audience instead of passive product presentation as well as letting the customer control the market by giving constant feedback. Moreover, with thousands of brands eager to conquer the audience’s attention, it is not the quantity of advertisement but its quality that matters the most. In the course of this report, one of the most influential companies in today’s market, Tesla, Inc., will be meticulously analyzed on the subject of digital marketing strategies (Edison Electric Institute, 2019). Thus, in order to fulfill the major company’s goals, possible digital marketing strategies for the company will be provided.
Online market place analysis
While dwelling upon a specific digital marketing strategy, one should take into account the variety of environments and marketplaces in which a particular product exists. Quite frequently, marketplaces, i.e. emerging online platforms, develop according to the world market’s primary needs (Täuscher and Laudien, 2018, p. 330). Since one of the most significant issues facing the world community today is pollution and climate change it causes, many marketing strategies are focusing on this event. The brands of eco-friendly goods and organic food are one of the most discussed in today’s market due to their relevance in the context of the modern trade world.
However, among all the possible environment-oriented items existing today, most resonant are electric vehicles (EV). Globally, over thirty-six billion tones of CO2, or greenhouse gas, are emitted (Ritchie and Roser, 2019). In order to combat the issue, auto manufacturers across the globe decided to adopt the idea of electric vehicles, which are able to work without harmful emissions and petrol. Nowadays, when people hear of EVs, they almost immediately think of Tesla Motors and their electric vehicles. Such a parallel is, first of all, a result of a powerful marketing strategy following the company since its emergence in the 2000s.
In order to analyze the EV marketing environment, one should dwell upon the most significant representatives of the field. In the course of this discussion, such brands as BMW, Chevrolet, and Volkswagen will be compared to Tesla, Inc. on the subject of their most successful online marketing campaigns. Specific vehicles chosen for this strategy comparison are BMW i3, Chevrolet Bolt, Volkswagen E-Golf, and Tesla Model 3. All of the campaigns are relatively new, and for this reason, all the marketing campaigns are conducted with the help of websites and interactive online advertisements. According to the latest reports concerning EV use in the US, Tesla Motor 3 takes the leading position in total vehicle sales by model. Chevrolet and BMW take the eighth and the tenth place in these statistics (Edison Electric Institute, 2019). Volkswagen’s EV did not manage to get into the top ten most sold vehicles due to its obsolescence and lack of proper advertising.
All the vehicles mentioned above are focused on a specific target consumer. While they are all targeted at environmentally-aware audience, EVs like BMW or Tesla are available for well-to-do people (Kiser and Essery, 2017). Hence, their target audience in terms of digital advertising should be concentrated on the people who are ready to spend enough money on climate change prevention.
Thus, taking everything into consideration, one may come to a conclusion concerning online market place analysis. First of all, although Tesla vehicles are considered to be one of the most expensive on the market, they still manage to remain the most popular among the users. Secondly, as the issue of environment is rapidly growing in society, the competitiveness of the EVs on the market and, thus, their relevance, will remain steady for at least a few years from now. Finally, although the brands manufacturing EVs are quite famous, and there are more brands entering the market, Tesla’s digital strategy has some benefits, which will be discussed in the course of strategy description.
Digital Marketing Goals
Tesla, Inc. has been famous and discussed all over the world due to its controversial and popular CEO Elon Musk, who is renowned for his various side projects like SpaceX or the Boring Company. As Elon Musk is a quite optimistic and determined leader, the broad audience is already used to his projects’ utopian goals. However, the wise strategies in terms of marketing and finance make these unrealistic objectives come into life within measurable time limits. For example, one of the major Tesla’s goals in 2019 was to deliver 400 thousand vehicles globally (Wayland and Kolodny, 2019). Although at the end of the third quarter, the predictions for the company were far from optimistic, Tesla managed to deliver 112 thousand vehicles and make a 367 thousand sales figures total (Wattles, 2020). Such data provides an opportunity to estimate specific goals for the next 12 months.
First of all, although the number of Tesla’s deliverables have increased by 50% over the last year, such a rise did not convince its investors. Previous annual Tesla’s reports show that the company has not reached any profit despite the impressive sales rate (Boudette, 2019). Hence, the first goal for Tesla’s digital marketing strategy will be to achieve sales figures 50% higher to the previous year in order to guarantee investors’ financial and promotion support.
Secondly, the digital marketing strategy will concern the expansion of the market and advertising campaigns on the market highly interested in the subject. Nowadays, the most significant number of EV users is concentrated in China, constituting approximately 45% of world users (IEA, 2019). Since in 2019, Tesla managed to open its factory in Shanghai, the second goal for the strategy will be to enter the top ten selling vehicles on the Chinese EV market.
The final goal will be to promote Tesla Models S and X to such an extent that they will be sold along with the most popular item on the market today – Tesla Model 3. As these models are newer and more expensive, the probability of increasing annual profit by the end of the year is also higher. These objectives meet the SMART criteria due to their major characteristics – measurability and realism (Ogbeiwi, 2017, p. 326). Hence, three goals on Tesla’s digital marketing strategy concern expanding the customer net and increasing probability of gaining net profit.
Digital Marketing Strategy
In order to develop a successful digital marketing strategy, one should analyze the current online marketplace, digital marketing trends, and the brand’s position on the market. Speaking of Tesla, the current marketplace is rapidly expanding in terms of growing eco-friendly segment. When it comes to the current tendencies in the digital marketing sphere, much attention is now paid to user-generated content (UGC) and targeting. Hence, regarding all these factors, the following digital marketing strategy for Tesla is presented.
First of all, the strategy will concentrate on sales figures increase with the help of digital advertising campaigns. The most significant factor that can potentially help the promotion is the fact that Tesla is launching its new vehicle Tesla Model Y in the first quarter of 2020 (Shahan, 2020). The launch of a new product is always a beneficial occasion for an overall brand advertisement. Along with the Tesla Model Y’s promo, potential customers will be able to look at other company’s items such as models S and X, which will seem relatively cheap compared to the new one. The vehicles promotion will be performed in two major spheres: targeting through social media platforms and implicit advertisement through public appearances.
Social Media Marketing (SMM) has become an important marketing tool over the past years. Speaking of companies like Tesla, two major communication channels to establish the company-customer relationship are Facebook and Instagram. These tools are, by all means, the best in terms of targeting advertisement, as both social platforms are transparent in terms of advertisement feedback and focusing on a specific audience. According to the statistics, 40% of annual digital display revenue belongs to Facebook (Newberry, 2019). Hence, all the advertising connected to the Model Y’s launch should predominantly focus on well-to-do Facebook and Instagram users who often search for information on environmental sustainability or the car market. In terms of SMM for the Chinese market with its specific communication channels, Tesla’s campaign should purchase advertisement spots at WeChat, as it is currently China’s biggest social media platform.
Besides targeting, UGC is a quite valuable tool for marketing in 2020. UGC is a tool that deals with active audience’s interaction with the product by giving feedback or using a ready-made hashtag (Kim and Johnson, 2016, p. 100). In the case of Tesla, satisfied vehicle users worldwide could create a series of feedbacks in order to keep the company’s name trendy. Another successful marketing tool is product placement and collaborations with various popular companies. As Tesla positions itself as an environmentally aware brand, its partnerships with companies like Apple or Nike, also being one of the most famous environment-oriented corporations, would be beneficial for both sides. Such collaboration may come in the form of green educational project or a VR-project dealing with environmental pollution.
The second part of the digital strategy concerns the exploitation of the Tesla CEO’s controversial image. Elon Musk has become one of the most outstanding and discussed personas in the world for many reasons. Some of them concern his genius projects like PayPal or SpaceX, which have commenced a new digital era for the global community. Some of them, however, are more focused on Elon Musk as a resonant public figure, whose actions integrate into the world’s pop-culture in the role of memes or quotations. For example, Elon Musk driving Cybertruck on Los-Angeles streets has become one of the most recent memes of 2020 (Ward, 2020). Moreover, many people remember him for opening a bakery because of some Twitter user or smoking marijuana during Joe Rogan’s podcast.
The reputation of a kind is a whole part of Tesla’s digital marketing strategy, as Elon Musk has already become the brand himself. During the first quarters of 2020, it is quite important for him to make a number of public appearances and make some collaborations with famous online creators. Being sincere with his customers, Elon Musk provides a high level of trust and respect towards his production. Hence, the sales figures will rise along with an increase in people’s interest in Tesla’s CEO.
Taking everything into consideration, Tesla, Inc. is now one of the most successful companies in terms of popularity. The company’s name has become so familiar to the users that it no longer requires full-scale advertising campaigns. The major acknowledgement for this could be given to Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, for being one of the most influential entrepreneurs in today’s market. For this reason, Tesla’s digital marketing strategy should be primarily focused on staying relevant due to the news, active engagement with the target audience, and expansion on the new markets. By doing so, Tesla, Inc. would be able to meet all the objectives set earlier.
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