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Your Guide to Develop a Marketing Plan

  1. Your Guide to Develop a Cost-Effective, Low Cost, ProvenTransit Marketing Plan Dennis Mochon | Livermore AmadorValleyTransit Authority
  2. Course objective: Today you will learn the tools to develop a creative marketing plan to make your transit agency the best way to go
  3. Outline ofToday’s Discussion  What is Marketing and Why is it Needed forTransit  Let’s Get Started –What, Where,Who,Why and How  How to Pull itTogether  Branding Exercise  Break  Marketing Planning – Seven Steps to Success  Group Strategy Exercise  Break
  4. Outline ofToday’s Discussion (continued)  How to Make itWork  Social Media In PublicTransportation  Group Planning exercise  How to Determine Its Effectiveness  Questions ?  Close
  5. What is Marketing? American Marketing Association definition - Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.
  6. Why is it Needed forTransit? Transit Agency challenges:  Increased budget pressures  Attract new riders and retain existing ones to maintain service levels  Importance of public image and quality communications
  7. Why is it Needed forTransit? General MarketingTheory applied toTransit  Product – service is developed and planned  Place – it is distributed (fare media, sales outlets)  Price – fares, discounts, etc.  Promotion- awareness campaigns, advertising, etc.
  8. Why is it Needed forTransit? Challenges faced in PublicTransit Marketing  Explaining subtle or “invisible” benefits (increased transit use equaling less pollution and congestion)  Calling attention to the beneficiaries (the environment, health care costs)  Explaining long-term benefits  Dealing with Public Scrutiny of taxpayers or elected officials
  9. Why is it Needed forTransit? Challenges faced in PublicTransit Marketing (continued)  Dealing with the multiple publics (the “public,” politicians, administrators, other agencies)  Dealing with limited opportunities for modifying services (routes, schedules)  Marketing the same services to a variety of groups (for example, seniors and students)
  10. Let’s Get Started  What is your product or service and what challenges do you face?  Where defines your service area – the community or boundaries in which your service operate  Who describes your target market and what they want  Why expresses the mission of your organization  How clarifies the core values of your organization
  11. What is your Product or Service? First do a Situational Analysis  What were ridership trends, by segment and in total for the past year or two?  Which routes/services are popular, and why?  Which routes and services need ridership, and which are capacity constrained?  How do customers learn about the system? What sort of materials are available, how are they distributed?  Who now rides the bus?
  12. What is your Product or Service? First do a Situational Analysis (continued)  Who doesn’t ride the bus and why?  Are there service plans which should be considered?  What sort of service amenities are there (shelters,Wi-Fi, etc.)?
  13. Where defines your service area? Continue the Situational Analysis  What is the population in the service area?  What were growth trends in the last year or two?  What are growth projections?  Where are the population densities high?  Where are they low?  What are the trends in travel?  What are the community’s goals?  What role does the transit system play?
  14. Do a SWOT Analysis Identify your Agency’s:  Strengths – Service levels, Recognition, OnTime Performance, etc.  Weaknesses – Opposition of above – low service levels, low recognition, etc.  Opportunities – Population growth, millennials, traffic, gas prices, etc.  Threats – Population aging, growing wealth, funding challenges, etc.
  15. Who describes your target market and what do they want? Primary or Secondary Market?  Transit dependent riders  Current choice riders  Potential riders within ¼ mile of bus route  Tourists/Visitors  Employers/Commute trips  School trips  Vanpools  Bicyclists  Other
  16. Who describes your target market and what do they want? Other important target audiences?  Public officials  Voting public at large  Car drivers  Property Developers  Non-users  Media  Non native language speakers  Religious organizations
  17. Who describes your target market and what do they want? What do they want?  Reliability  Frequent Service  Safety and Cleanliness  Service Hours  CoverageArea  Cost and savings  Other amenities
  18. Why expresses the mission of your organization  What is your organization’s vision?  BHAG – Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal  Mission statement – No more than 25 words  Clearly express why the organization exists
  19. How clarifies the cores values of your organization  Value efficiency more than service effectiveness?  Value customer service more than cost effectiveness?  Limit to most important five  Others include: financial responsibility, integrity, excellence, innovation, diversity, advocacy, stewardship and involvement
  20. How to Pull itTogether  Building an EffectiveTransit Marketing Program is similar to building a House  Mission, Vision and Values form the foundation  Objectives, Goals & Strategies form the frame  Programs andTactics make up the walls  Advertising and Promotions just paint the walls
  21. Focal Point of Strategic Marketing Plan  Branding – defines the personality of your service  Positioning - describes the place your service holds relative to the competition
  22. Laws of Branding 1. Branding is building a relationship with the customer 2. The brand is about value: tangible and emotional 3. Brands are about the customer’s perception of the service 4. The smaller your budget is, the stronger your brand must be 5. Brands are built from strengths 6. Awareness is not branding 7. If you can’t articulate it, neither can anyone else
  23. Pick a brand you thing is strong and which attributes make it strong
  24. Marketing Planning – Seven Steps to Success 1. Complete the Situational Analysis, SWOT and define mission and core values 2. What are your objectives? – four categories 3. What are your target markets? – primary or secondary 4. What strategies will you develop to meet your goals?
  25. Marketing Planning – Seven Steps to Success 5. Set a reasonable goal for each strategy? – achievable?; measurable? 6. What tactics will you employ? – what specific media, timing and budget 7. How will you measure success? – program evaluation, research, sales, riders
  26. What are your Objectives?  Awareness/Identity – Making public aware of your agency and services  Image/Attitude – How people perceives your agency & services  Knowledge or Information – Education public and riders on system and how to use it  Action: Ridership or Support – Marketing plans should not only focus on ridership but community/funding support
  27. Divide your Markets into Primary or Secondary Primary Secondary Current choice riders Transit dependent riders Potential riders within ¼ mile of Tourists/Visitors bus route Commute trips Vanpools School trips Bicyclists
  28. What Strategies will you develop to meet your goals? Transit Oriented Categories 1. Accessibility-Related Projects 2. Community Events & Outreach 3. Cooperative Promotions 4. Customer Information 5. Image/Advocacy Promotions
  29. What Strategies will you develop to meet your goals Transit Oriented Categories (continued) 6. Internal Promotions 7. Introduction of New Service 8. Media Relations 9. Problem Solving Projects 10. PromotingTransit
  30. What Strategies will you develop to meet your goals Transit Oriented Categories (continued) 11. Rider Incentives 12. Seasonal Promotions 13. Social/Digital Media Promotions 14. Special Events 15.Target Group Promotions 16.TryTransit Promotions
  31. Strategies based on Four P’s  Product – service characteristics and information  Place – ticket sales and employer programs  Price – fares and targeted offers  Promotion- branding, advertising, events, community and public relations
  32. Accessibility-Related Projects: Public information campaigns provide instructions for using the service and also enhance the agency’s community engagement  TravelTraining promotion – brochure, advertising, community meetings – Capital Metro  TRIP –Transportation Referral and Information Program – directory, website – Wheels, Inc.  Promoting Fixed Route service for Medical Trips with Hospital/Doctor facilities – Wheels, Inc.  Madison CountyTransit Services Guide
  33. Community Events and Outreach: Demonstrate the place a transit agency has with the fabric of the community  DowntownTransit Center Awareness Campaign - IndyGo  Clean Air Challenge – Sacramento RegionalTransit District  Bike the Bay Promotion – HART  Poetry Contest – PierceTransit  Stuff a Bus -Wheels
  34. Cooperative Promotions: Private sector partnerships share costs and develop goodwill  Here’s the Scoop – Bloomington Transit  Riders Guide Publication – Kent State Bus Service  Co-op Program with Knoxville Museum of Art – Knoxville Area Transit  New Residents Program –Tri-Met
  35. Cooperative Promotions  Bus BookAdvertising – Citifare of Reno  Painted Shelter Program- Wheels  Rider Incentives –VIA  Bull City Connector Dining Guide – BCC  Weekend Shopper’s Shuttle – County Ride
  36. Customer Information: Provides essential information needed to access and use agency services  DCTA Home Page  TARTATracker  All in One Schedule booklet – Laketran  Rio Metro Home Page  New Mexico Rail Runner Express Magazine
  37. Image/Advocacy Promotions: Present a positive image of the transit in general and the agency  Bus Naming contest – People Mover  Video for Speakers Bureau – GoodWheels  “On the Move” Newsletter – GoodWheels  “Pledge to our Customers” & Customer ServiceTour – MARTA  Metro Maintenance and Operations Center  PublicTransit do it for your Health – FoothillTransit
  38. Internal Promotions: Provide an opportunity for an agency to enhance the organization from within  Blue Jeans for Needy Families –VIA  Wellness Program – UTA  Driver’s ExcellenceAward –Tangipahoa PublicTransportation  On-Site Child DevelopmentCenter –VIA  VIA for Life Health Fair
  39. Introduction of New Service  Free Fun-Filled Fridays – SORTA  Trolley Fiesta – City of AlbuquerqueTransit  Magic Bus Design – LeeTransit  Green Line Opening - DART
  40. Media Relations: Promotes understanding, goodwill, and acceptance of transit by the public  Radio Shows – Citrus Connection  “Smile on Monday” – Citrus Connection  The BigWheel Contest – Wheels Transportation Services  MediaTrade-outs – Rockland Dept. of Transportation  Media Bus Drivers - SporTran
  41. Problem Solving Projects: Addresses problem by letting people know it to retain the confidence of riders and public  Bus Line Promotion Postcard – COTA  Promotion ofTeleride – CalgaryTransit  Customer Behavior Program – CalgaryTransit  Bus Stop Blitz – DART  Park-N-RideCampaign – RTD
  42. PromotingTransit: Essential to the success of a agency  Transportation Fair Booth – AuburnTransit  Advertising and Brochure Promoting Ridership – BladenArea Rural Transportation System  “I Have Connections” – Kalamazoo MetroTransit System
  43. PromotingTransit (continued)  “FoundTime” –Transit Authority of River City  “As the Bus Stops” –TriangleTransit  Rail Love AffairVignettes –Tri Rail  The Breakup Campaign – LebanonTransit
  44. Rider Incentives: Adds value to the transit experience or core ridership to maintain a loyal customer base  Free RideWednesdays and Saturdays – Ben FranklinTransit  “Ride to Rewards” – MetroTransit of Minneapolis  Regional Guaranteed Ride Home – MetroTransit of Minneapolis  Class Pass – FoothillTransit
  45. Rider Incentives (continued)  Red Carpet Saturdays – Citrus Connection  Route 51 is Free – dart  DCTA SummerYouth Pass  CARTA Have a Ride on Us
  46. Seasonal Promotions: Few other times of the year can create as much transit ridership  First Night Festivities Service – CT Transit  Holiday LightsTour – JacksonTransit Authority  Metrolink –The Joy of Giving  Take AVTA to the Fair  We Drive you Celebrate – Mountain Link
  47. Social/Digital Media Promotions: Provide a direct, positive real-time connection to customers  BART’s Blog – BART  Union Station Grand Opening Facebook promotion - RTD  Tri-Rail Ride and Play Day Mobile Ad Promotion  KCATATweets  Casual Commute Day – Social media posts – Pace  Win a Bike Facebook promotion and Survey/iPad promotion –Wheels  LYNXTwitter Public Service Bus Campaign
  48. Special Events: Agencies participate in community events or create their own to build ridership and goodwill  Special Events Service – Maryland MassTransit Administration  Off-Peak Promotion – NJTransit  Earth Day Celebration – Sacramento RegionalTransit District  State FairTraditions – MetroTransit of Minneapolis  State Fair –TRE  Corpus Christi ZombieWalk – CCRTA
  49. Target Group Promotions: Increase ridership, reward current users and educate population segments in the use and value of transit  “Behind theWheel” Campaign – AthensTransit  “Riding Isn’t” Campaign – CyRide  Transit Brochure Distribution – RuralTransit  Summertime Days – Laketran  The RTTA Senior Game – Red RoseTransit Authority  “Garage Sale” Cruise – KosciuskoArea Bus Service  Bus Service Guide in Hotels near an Airport – Pace  TheTransit Connection – Connecting theWork to theWorkplace –TriangleTransit Authority
  50. Target Group Promotions  TravelSmart –TransLink  Metrolink School GroupTrip  TheTransit Connection –TriangleTransit Authority  High School Ambassador Program- Wheels  “The Pass” –Tri-Met  Route-Specific Information Campaign – GPTransit  Colma New Move-In Mailer - SamTrans
  51. TryTransit Promotion: Helps identify the benefits of using transit to current and potential riders  TryTransit Day Promotion – South Oklahoma RuralTransportation System  CarFree Days of Spring – Boise Urban Stages  Try METROWeek – METRO Houston  Free Ride Coupon and Letter to the Editor – CountyTransit Authority  TryTransit to School -Wheels
  52. What is your goal to achieve for each target market? Primary Current choice riders – Increase Ridership by xx% Potential riders within ¼ mile of bus route – Increase Ridership by xx% and Awareness up xx% Employers/Commute trips – Increase Support and Ridership by xx% School trips – Increase Ridership by xx% and Support
  53. Let’s break into groups of 4 and come up with strategies for each category
  54. How to Make itWork How should I allocate my marketing budget?  Between radio,TV, newspapers, direct mail and other media  Between creative, production, and media  Between advertising, public relations and special events What Programs andTactics are needed?  Programs consist of campaigns using strategies  Tactics are the message and media targeting your audience
  55. Media Selection Print Newspapers Magazines Directories Newsletters Maps schedules Broadcast Radio Television Cable Out of Home Billboards Bus Ads Shelter Ads Theater Ads Direct Mail Flyers Postcards Letters Mailed Brochures New Media Websites Banner Ads Digital Ads Social Media Event Marketing New Service Milestone Event Public Support Event
  56. What Media to Use forWhat Marketing Purpose Media Awareness Information Excitement Influence Price Print Weak Excellent Satisfactory Satisfactory Excellent Broadcast Satisfactory Satisfactory Excellent Satisfactory Satisfactory Out-of-Home Excellent Weak Satisfactory Weak Weak Direct Mail Excellent Excellent Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory New Media Weak Excellent Weak Weak Satisfactory Event Marketing Satisfactory Weak Excellent Satisfactory Weak Public Relations Satisfactory Excellent Excellent Excellent Weak
  57. Social Media in PublicTransportation  Blogs orWeb logs  Social and Professional Networking Sites  Micro-Blogging Sites  Media and Document Sharing Sites  Geolocation Applications
  58. Blogs orWeb Logs 1. Individuals post commentary or news, frequently on a particular topic, and often invite comments or feedback 2. General Manager Blog 3. Transit Ride Blog 4. Community Support Blog 5. Positive and Negative
  59. Social and Professional Networking Sites 1. Encourages members to connect with one another 2. Facebook 3. LinkedIn 4. GovLoop 5. Positive
  60. Micro-blogging Sites 1. Allow uses to post comments and weblinks in limited format 2. Twitter 3. RealTime Updates 4. Timely 5. Positive
  61. Media and Document Sharing Sites 1. Members post and share video clips, documents and photographs 2. YouTube 3. Flickr 4. Instagram 5. Positive
  62. Geolocation Applications 1. Enable users to share their location with other members of their social network to earn virtual “Badges” for checking into sites 2. Foursquare 3. BART andTranslink use 4. Mixed benefits
  63. Comparison ofTraditional Media and Social Media Traditional Media Social Media Customer Collaborator Talk to Talk with Voice=Company Voice=Citizen More expensive Less expensive Professional media outlets User-generated content Push marketing Pull marketing Broader market Targeted markets Static content Evolving content Longer life Short lived One-sided Multiple opinions
  64. Why Use Social Media? 1. Timely Updates 2. Public Information 3. Citizen Engagement 4. Employee Recognition 5. Entertainment
  65. Type of Information Provided and Social Media Used Platform Twitter Facebook Blog YouTube LinkedIn Agency News 86% 80% 37% 23% 3% Service Alerts (real-time) 69% 49% 9% 3% 0% Contests and Promotions 69% 77% 23% 17% 0% Meeting and Event Notices 66% 71% 31% 3% 3% Service Info (static) 63% 69% 29% 20% 9% Press Releases and Statements 63% 60% 23% 9% 3% Other News 57% 63% 31% 14% 3% Feature Stories 31% 57% 40% 29% 0% Job Listings 20% 23% 3% 0% 14% Public Hearing Comments 11% 26% 20% 9% 0% Other 11% 17% 6% 14% 3%
  66. LinkTransit Marketing Plan - Handout
  67. Creative Message Development 1. Consistent 2. Benefit 3. Facts Support Benefit 4. Unpredictable 5. Positive
  68. How to Determine Its Effectiveness A well planned evaluation can help you accomplish these:  Measure program success  Determine if the campaign was implemented as planned  Test or improve the efficacy or efficiency of campaign elements
  69. How do you Evaluate your Marketing? 1. Clearly state what you want to accomplish 2. Build a quantifiable measure into the campaign or promotion 3. Monitor and analyze the results you are achieving 4. Calculate the Return on Investment for the program and how it affects the overall marketing strategy 5. Make adjustments to the market strategy, tactic, or planned programs as needed
  70. Appendix  TCRP Report 50 – A Handbook of Proven Marketing Strategies for PublicTransit  TCRP Synthesis 99 – Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation  American PublicTransit Association –AdWheel Award Winners  LinkTransit Marketing Plan – January – December 2007