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Case Study Popcar: Winning New Customers with Marketing
Marketing as a Shared Mobility Provider
5 October, 2023 by

As a sharing provider, you are probably always thinking about how to retain existing users and attract new ones. A good marketing strategy is needed, and it must also be within budget. We looked to Australia to see how MOQO partner Popcar has managed to achieve impressive growth with the help of effective marketing.

Popcar Car Share: carsharing in Sydney & surroundings

Popcar wants nothing less than to change the way Australia is mobile. To this end, it operates carsharing services in several locations on Australia's east coast, the majority of which are in Sydney.

The approximately 250 vehicles are a mixture of small cars, SUVs and vans. These are parked at fixed stations and are returned there at the end of the trip in the sense of round-trip sharing. Popcar has been using the MOQO platform since 2021, as well as some of its special marketing features. In an interview, CEO Anthony Welsh gave us more insights into the carsharer's marketing strategy.

How to choose the right location for your vehicles →

After all, Popcar has managed to achieve a stable utilization of its vehicles in the past year and to continuously increase the number of active users. As a result, revenue also more than doubled from January 2022 to December 2022. This success is probably due in particular to the fact that the provider was able to reach the right people with the right marketing.

Popcar's Marketing Strategy

When it comes to marketing, Popcar relies mainly on online advertising, with the social media Facebook and Instagram as well as Google as a search engine being particularly relevant. In addition, (new) customers are regularly encouraged to use the vehicles through targeted discount campaigns.

Social Media

On Facebook and Instagram, Popcar publishes about 2-3 organic posts per week, which, in addition to news, offers and general information about the offer, also include tips for trips and events in the vicinity. For this purpose, the company uses a monthly calendar to schedule posts accordingly.

In addition, Popcar runs paid ads on Facebook for greater reach. Collaborating with influencers on Instagram has a similar effect. We'll explain what this is all about further down in the article.

Search engine advertising

Search engine marketing is also based on a mix of organic and paid marketing. For organically achieved clicks, Popcar uses SEO, search engine optimization. Website content is thus prepared in such a way that it is positively evaluated by the search engine algorithm and placed higher. Paid Google Ads are listed above the organic search results. Popcar bids for relevant keywords so that its own ads are displayed for the corresponding search queries.

Promotions and advertising campaigns

In addition, Friends Referral and discount codes are used. With such promotions, Popcar tries to create incentives for non-customers to test the offer and rent vehicles again in the future. However, registered users also receive discount codes from time to time to motivate them to book again. Depending on the campaign, these are sometimes aimed at those who book infrequently or those who do book frequently - in the latter case as a thank-you for loyalty.

Marketing tools on the MOQO platform →

In addition, there are often seasonal offers where new customers can save on the registration fee, for example, or receive credit for their first journeys when they register. Popcar uses the subscription groups feature on the MOQO platform for this purpose. These promotions have also proven to be very valuable in expanding the circle of registered users.

Attract more users with different subscriptions →

                  Who is responsible for marketing at Popcar?

                  One question that many sharing providers probably ask themselves is: Who should do the marketing and how many people does it take? Of course, this is also a question of budget.

                  Popcar has also gained some experience in this context and, based on this, has found a model that works well for its own requirements.

                  In the past, the provider cooperated a lot with agencies for various purposes, besides PR and advertising also for general marketing purposes. Today, Popcar only hires one agency for SEO and another for Google Ads. The rest is done in-house by one employee. 

                  The realization was that although agencies bring a broad range of expertise to the table, in Popcar's experience they often neglect the personalization of a brand. However, this was precisely what the provider had at heart - and is without question also an important success factor for a sharing provider.

                  The Australian provider's tip is therefore: Outsource where the competencies are lacking internally and do everything else yourself with optimized structures and processes. 

                  Strategy example: Create new campaigns

                  Some time ago, Popcar analyzed which keywords people on the east coast of Australia typed into search engines particularly frequently in relation to its own offering. The keyword ranking tool used for this purpose produced the result that "vans" and "moving vans" were particularly in demand.

                  Popcar didn't need to be told twice and launched an offensive: Its own sharing vans were offered at very favorable rates, and the website was optimized for the relevant search terms.

                  The idea behind it: New drivers who register in this course can be converted into regular users with targeted promotions.

                  Influencer Marketing for Carsharing?

                  The above example already shows that Popcar has definitely shown courage in terms of marketing and seems to be doing well with it. The same applies to influencer marketing, which has already been mentioned.

                  What is Influencer Marketing?

                  Influencer marketing is a type of multiplier marketing. Influencers are people who have managed to build up a good reach in one or more social networks and have established themselves within their own community as experts and opinion leaders.

                  For some years now, companies have been increasingly entering into partnerships with selected influencers in order to gain access to their reach. The decisive factor here is that the influencers enjoy a trust bonus among their followers, from which companies would like to profit. Influencers receive monetary or material compensation. 

                  Popcar also expects to gain access to a larger audience through this approach. Another advantage for the provider is cost efficiency. The costs are controlled by the offer made to the influencer. In return, he or she receives not only reach but also qualitative content in the form of photos and, if applicable, videos. Depending on the agreement, he or she can then use this content on his or her own channels.

                  How exactly does Popcar go about this?

                  The first step is for Popcar to look for influencers who fit its brand based on their geographical location, interests and lifestyle. The company then offers them the use of a vehicle free of charge and, in return, they report about it on their channel. Popcar refers to general guidelines regarding the expected content.

                  In some cases, influencers also receive a discount code that they share with their followers and may receive a commission from Popcar for successful referrals. 

                  Popcar measures whether a cooperation was successful by the quality of the content, the engagement under a post and - if relevant - the redemption of discount codes.

                  In retrospect, the provider reserves the right to share the content on its own channels for further use.

                  Be creative

                  As the example of Popcar from Down Under proves, you don't need a team of several employees or a large budget for marketing measures to make a difference. With approaches that are sometimes seemingly simple and sometimes creative, the carsharing company shows what the marketing of a shared mobility provider can look like in order to ensure success. With this in mind, be bold!

                                                        MOQO 5 October, 2023
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