The power of advertising should never be underestimated. After all, it was a simple “Think Small” ad campaign that propelled the humble Volkswagen Beetle to super success in the early 1960s. All this, despite the fact that it had previously sold next to no cars in the US market. The same approach can be taken by public transit agencies of today, but instead, it’s suggested to “think big.” The more transit technology and services you provide such as the addition of ITS fixed route software solutions, the greater the need for marketing.
As this TCRP Report on Marketing Strategy shows, basic transit marketing serves an important function for transit agencies:
However, when it comes to transit technologies, you need to do more than simply inform riders, you also need to teach them how to use those new technologies. Fixed route software solutions such as mobile ticket faring or a passenger information mobile website need to be used correctly if they are to be their most effective.
The 1959 Beetle ad was targeted at exactly the right demographic: Americans whose shifting sensibilities were moving away from the pre-war, large car mentality. Transit agencies need to identify their target market and learn more about them:
Much of the new solutions in transit technology include an online or mobile component. This gives you the opportunity to not only provide products and services that are branded to your agency’s logo and color scheme, but also provide you a new advertising platform. From within a mobile site, for example, you have the ability to advertise other new technologies that riders are sure to love. And the benefit to all this technology is that you can access key analytical data, such as:
To provide an even greater amount of detail on this subject, we hosted a webinar on transit marketing. Our guests described the process that their agencies undertook to make the most out of their marketing dollars. Our discussion ranged from how to identify their key demographic to where it was best (and most affordable) to advertise. You should definitely check it out here: http://event.on24.com/wcc/r/1052491/036D7C3EF6DEF7F665067202BE698E40