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Zipcar Marketing Plan

In: Business and Management

Submitted By Mbrewski
Words 3112
Pages 13
| Mayumi BrewsterUniversity of Maryland University CollegeNovember 29, 2010 | | | | | | |

Marketing Plan * II. Description of Service
Core Customer Value * Automobile rental service by the hour or day on short notice. * A degree of freedom, “low-car” diet. * Car-sharing alternative to a cab service, renting or owning a car.

Actual Product * Zipcars are available in 67 cities/metros in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. * Members are given a “Zipcard”, an access card containing a wireless chip that will open the vehicle they have reserved only at the time they have reserved it and the keys stay in the car at all times. * Reservations include driver’s insurance, gas card for the car, reimbursements for fuel obtained at gas stations that do not accept the included gas card, and up to $15 in reimbursements for typical car maintenance items like car washes and window wiper fluid refills. (Zipcar)

Augmented Product * Website offers easy account access to pay memberships fees, add money to Zipcard and change driving plan. * Zipcar has teamed up with universities and colleges to offer the convenience of car ownership without having a car on campus.

Product Life Cycle * Zipcar, European car-sharing, occupies the Growth Stage of the Product Life Cycle. In 2000, Zipcar was founded by Cambridge, Massachusetts residents. In October 2007, Zipcar merged with rival Flexcar and in April 2010 Zipcar bought London-based car-sharing firm Streetcar in its latest bid to expand across Europe. By 2009 Zipcar became the world’s largest car-sharing service in 49 U.S. cities, Vancouver, Toronto and London and continues to expand with gaining more members, locations and vehicles. (Wikipedia, 2010)

Value Proposition (MORE FOR LESS)

* You are able to share a car with insurance, gas, maintenance, and upkeep for a low fee whenever you need it. Having a second family car without the burden of an additional car note. * III. Marketing Situation/Marketing Plan Geographic | * Available in many cities and metros in the Unites States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. | Demographic | * Zipcar targets are millennials who drive less and worry about the cost of car ownership, urbanites within 10-minute walking distances of its cars. (Zipcar) (Patel, 2009) | Psychographic | * Consumers are dedicated to sharing and swapping rather than grabbing and buying during the loss of financial and emotional resources. (The Washington Post, 2009) | Behavioral | * Satisfies consumers in search of a low cost car with all the benefits of ownership all while reducing carbon emissions. (Kuang, 2010) |
(Kotler & Armstrong, 2010)
Marketing Plan

Zip car marketing strategy is undifferentiated in that it ignores the differences in market segments and focuses on the need of transportation at a low cost at the convenience of the consumer. Furthermore, Zipcar cannot satisfy every need of the consumer but will place all efforts in satisfying the common need that will appeal to the largest number of buyers. (Kotler & Armstrong, 2010)

* IV. Current Marketing Situation/Service Review
Current Marketing Situation

* January 2000 Zipcar was founded * September 2001, first Zipcar hit the road in Boston, MA * February 2002 Washington. D.C. office opened * February 2003 New York City office opened * April 2005 Zipcar partners with XM Satellite Radio to provide satellite radio in all Zipcars. * July 2005 Zipcar secures $10 million in funding by Benchmark Capital * August 2005 San Francisco office opened * May 2006 Toronto office opened and General Electric’s Commercial Finance Fleet Services gives Zipcar $20 million in lease line financing. * September 2006 Toronto market is named fastest growing new market in company history. * November 2006 London office opened * April 2007 Vancouver office opened * October 2007 Zipcar and Flexcar executives announce the merger, with Zipcar brand and headquarters replacing Flexcar. * July 2008 Zipcar announces its’ doubled membership in past year, including Flexcar members it acquired. * August 2008 Rice University announced the introduction into the program in their goal of achieving as low of a carbon footprint as possible. * April 2009 announced a partnership with Zimride to allow Zipcar member to automatically post rides for carpooling. * June 2009 announced iPhone application at the Apple World Wide Developer Conference * December 2009 announced the acquisition of a minority share of Avancar, a car-sharing company in Spain. * April 2010 announced the obtaining of UK car club, Streetcar * June 2010, filed with the SEC to raise $75 million in an initial public offering.

*All information retrieved from (Wikipedia, 2010)

Service Review * Low-cost car-sharing service charged by the day or hour without the hassle of the responsibilities that come with car ownership such as car note, insurance, gas, maintenance and upkeep. (Zipcar) * Zipcar fleet consists of approximately 70 distinct models that have its own parking space located on the street, driveway, or neighbourhood parking lot. (Wikipedia, 2010) * Zipcars are available in 67 cities and metros in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. (Wikipedia, 2010)

* V. Needs and Corresponding Features/Benefits Chart Targeted Segment | Customer Needs | Corresponding Feature/Benefit | Students | * A means to get around off campus at a low cost and without having a car on campus. | Car-sharing charged at an hourly rate in addition to student discounts to member universities that participate in the Zipcar program. | Corporate Users | * A means to get to company meetings and hotels from airports in style at a low cost. | Zipcars are available at many airports and train stations that offer a luxury fleet of cars such as BMW’s and Audi’s to transport that top executive in style and comfort. | Someone who does not own a car | * A means to get to places that are not public transportation accessible. | Zipcars can be rented for a few hours to do grocery shopping and also enjoy the convenience of not having to carry heavy groceries on the bus or train. | Family | * When there is a household that needs the convenience of an additional car but cannot afford the cost of owning another one. | Zipcars can be used when the family car is not available to run last minute errands at short notice. |

* VI. Competitive Review Competitor | Features | Price | Enterprise Rental-A-Car/Alamo/National( | Provides car rental for consumers who need a replacement car because of an accident, mechanical repair, or theft. Want to take a short business or leisure trip or who need a different car for a special occasion. A rental car for in town or business purposes as well as a seller of vehicles. | Economy car $40.99 USD/day | Hertz Car Rental( | Provides car rental for consumers who need a replacement car because of an accident, mechanical repair, or theft. Want to take a short business or leisure trip or who need a different car for a special occasion. A rental car for in town or business purposes as well as a seller of vehicles. | Economy car $45.49 USD/day | Dollar Car Rental( | Provides car rental for consumers who need a replacement car because of an accident, mechanical repair, or theft. Want to take a short business or leisure trip or who need a different car for a special occasion. A rental car for in town or business purposes. | Economy car $39.49 USD/day |

* Enterprise Rental-A-Car has more than 6,000 offices in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and Ireland. Enterprise also has additional service brands and divisions such as Alamo and National Car Rental. “In North America, Enterprise Rent-A-Car is part of a global strategic alliance with Europcar, creating the world’s largest car rental network.” (Enterprise Rent-A-Car)

* “The Hertz Corporation, a subsidiary of Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: HTZ), is the world's largest airport general use car rental brand, operating from approximately 8,500 locations in 146 countries worldwide. Hertz also operates one of the world's largest equipment rental businesses, Hertz Equipment Rental Corporation, through approximately 320 branches in the United States, Canada, France, Spain, China and Italy.” (Hertz) * Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc. provides services in more than 640 worldwide locations in 53 countries, including 350 in the United States and Canada. * Zipcar holds the competitive position of the market challenger. Though these huge car rental corporations have been around for many years the idea of car-sharing is an up and coming trend for our society now. Zipcar is a runner up firm that is battling to increase market share in an industry. (Kotler & Armstrong, 2010) Though all of these companies offer car sales, many consumers are staying away from such financial responsibility and opting to car-sharing and car-pooling at a much lower cost. This service is hassle and worry free for its’ consumers. (Commuter Page)
*Competitor prices and holding information retrieved from their websites: (Dollar) (Enterprise Rent-A-Car) (Hertz)

* VII. Distribution Review * Zipcar offers direct and indirect marketing channels in which it has no intermediary levels to one or more. (Kotler & Armstrong, 2010) You are able to apply for membership, change driving plan, reserve cars directly from their website Call in reservations or locate and reserve Zipcars by downloading certain applications to your iPhone or Blackberry device. These applications work together with Zipcar to better serve their consumers. (Time in Partnership with CNN, 2009) * Zipcar practices intensive distribution in providing services in as many outlets as possible. (Kotler & Armstrong, 2010) There are constantly placing cars in many new street parking spots, public transportation stops, and garages that are quickly accessible for their consumers. Adding more cars to Zipcars fleet and adding cars in hot spot locations is the best way for the company to meet the needs of many customers. (Zipcar) * VIII. Strengths/Weaknesses Strengths | Weaknesses | * Low cost * Modern technology available for the technology savvy person. i.e., Zipcard, iPhone & Blackberry Application, Online reservations and account management. * Responsibility free on car ownership. i.e., car note, insurance, maintenance, gas and upkeep. * Car-sharing has increased due to the decrease in financial stability of consumers. * Fleet of cars | * High cost to keep the rental for a long period of time. * Difficult for the not so technology advanced person. * Have to return car where you picked it up. You cannot drop car off at another Zipcar location |

* Strengths: Zipcar offers a new twist to the car-sharing realm which serves as a unique cross between a rental car and cab service. (Commuter Page) The fleet of cars is also a strength which allows members to reserve luxury cars at a much lower cost than competitors. In addition, Zipcar uses the convenience of technology where account management, reservations and membership can be conveniently accessed through their website directly. With just a simple phone call, click of your mouse or phone you can reserve a car for use that includes the cost of gas and insurance. * Weaknesses: Zipcar caters to the millennial generation and those that are not technology advanced will not be able to keep up with Zipcars technology innovation. If you are in need of a vehicle for a long period of time, the Zipcar option may not be the best for you. * IX. Opportunities/Threats Opportunities | Threats | * Increased need for car-sharing. * Expected growth of memberships since the recession set in. | * Increased competition | * Opportunities: The recession has renewed the desire to share amongst Americans which has increased car-sharing services memberships by 70 percent since the recession set in. (The Washington Post, 2009) With Zipcar being one of the world’s largest car-sharing companies in the fast lane to advancement, Zipcar quickly climbs the ladder to success by keeping things simple. (MSNBC, 2010) * Threats: With the quick advancement of Zipcar, competitors will arise to attempt to partake in the success. More companies similar to Zipcar will enter the market with the “going green” or car-sharing consumer in mind. * X. First Year Marketing Objectives/Issues * During the first year, Zipcar should aim to increase awareness and membership. In order to accomplish these goals, they must dramatically raise on-street visibility of Zipcar designated parking spots and vehicle availability. (Commuter Page) * Provide safe, convenient pickup and drop off locations. * XI. Positioning Strategy * Zipcar does a superb job in differentiation and positioning its strategy. Zipcar differentiates its offers by building up a service that provides unique benefits such as paid gas and insurance that appeal to a significant group within a segment. In addition, Zipcar positioning serves the desires of well-defined target markets. (Kotler & Armstrong, 2010) * The company’s positioning strategy is “more for less” because it offers an unique service at the lowest price compared to local competitors. Why buy a car when you can rent? Why buy a car and pay for parking when you can rent one whenever you need to with paid parking? Why buy a bike and risk having it stolen? (The Economist, 2010) With the increase on car-sharing, consumers need a low cost alternative to car renting and a cab service that mirrors the convenience of both. * XII. Service Strategy
Zipcar can influence the demand for its services by focusing on satisfying members as well as making others aware of the service they offer. Increased advertising and promotion will be vital to this strategy. This can be done by: * Placing more highly visible, orange signposts that are able to depict information on car-sharing at each designated official car-share parking space, standard “No Parking” and standard towing signs affixed to the poles, additional “Towing Enforced” signs to include, “If towed please call…”Stencils on the pavement are added to the parking spaces indicating, “No Parking Except Zipcar”. (Commuter Page) * Zipcar has a national branding strategy. By sustaining a national brand, Zipcar is able to form other subsidies under its brand name.
XIII. Pricing Strategy * Zipcar adheres to both the geographical and discount and allowance pricing. Geographical because insurance coverage may vary depending on the region of use. Additional or special insurance coverage causes higher premiums which can increase the membership fees. Discount and allowance pricing because prices are reduced to reward the customer that drives more frequently and can commit to a larger amount of monthly. (Kotler & Armstrong, 2010) * Depending on the type of car reserved and the driving plan you are enrolled in you can look to pay anywhere from $5.95-$7/hour or $58.65-$77/day. (Zipcar) * XIV. Distribution Strategy
Consumers can reserve a car via the official Zipcar website, telephone or iPhone and Blackberry applications in increments as short as one hour and pay only for time they reserve. (Fast Company) * Direct Channels: Zipcar began promoting its brand though direct channels only. All members are familiar with reservations and how things are run at Zipcar. With the convenient access to all important account information via its easy navigational website, members are provided with a pristine car-sharing experience quickly and effectively. This channel has been used by Zipcar efficiently and no such changes should be made. (Kotler & Armstrong, 2010) * XV. Marketing Communications Strategy
Zipcar plans to implement the pull strategy by being in tune to the needs and wants of the consumer. If more pickup and drop off locations are needed this can be found out by the consumers first, that will in turn induce consumers to purchase services. * Zipcar will extend and expand services to more corporations for business use. Having a business fleet of cars available for corporate accounts only to ensure availability. * Continue to expand services to universities and colleges so that Zipcar parking spots can be placed on campuses. Many educational institutions require student to get prior approval to bring their personal vehicle to school due to lack of space, which in turn causes high parking fees and minimal parking spaces. Zipcar on these campuses or on well lit streets bordering these campuses will be beneficial. (Zipcar) * Zipcar will continue to partner with different cities to offer and promote a new fleet of vehicles such as the launch of the pilot project in the San Francisco Bay Area to promote plug-in hybrid vehicles. (Wikipedia, 2010) * XVI. Creative Approach
Since the economy reflects how consumers cut back on spending, consumer must adapt to this cost efficient lifestyle. By this the idea of car-sharing has increased membership for Zipcar by 70 percent. Members are joining Zipcar at an exponential rate which charges a much smaller fee. (The Washington Post, 2009) In addition, many car manufacturers are producing more fuel efficient or hybrid vehicles that are included in Zipcars fleet of cars. (Zipcar) * Zipcar has taken advantage of this car-sharing trend by expanding nationally and internationally. * Zipcar should plan on partnering with organizations such as Global Green USA or Go Green Initiative to promote the use of electric and hybrid vehicles that take up the majority of Zipcars fleet to keep the environment cleaner for us all. * Zipcar should expand partnerships with local businesses such as dry cleaners and coffee shops to lure potential customers in these neighborhoods.

* References
Commuter Page. (n.d.). Retrieved November 24, 2010, from Communter
Dollar. (n.d.). Retrieved November 24, 2010, from Dollar Car Rental:
Enterprise Rent-A-Care. (n.d.). Retrieved November 24, 2010, from Enterprise:
Fast Company. (n.d.). Retrieved October 12, 2010, from Fast Company:
Hertz. (n.d.). Retrieved November 24, 2010, from Hertz Rental Car:
Kotler, P., & Armstrong, G. (2010). Principles of Marketing. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Kuang, C. (2010, November 24). Transportation.
MSNBC. (2010, October 17). Retrieved November 24, 2010, from Learning from the Pros: Zipcar:
Patel, K. (2009, November 16). Advertising Age. Retrieved November 24, 2010, from Zipcar: America's Hottest Brands Case Study:
The Economist. (2010, October 14). Retrieved November 24, 2010, from The Business of Sharing; What do you do when you are green, broke, and connected? You share:
The Washington Post. (2009, July 17). Retrieved October 12, 2010, from Recession Lesson: Share and Swap Replaces Grab and Buy:
Time in Partnership with CNN. (2009, November 02). Retrieved October 12, 2010, from The Best Travel Gadgets of 2009:,28804,1933520_1933522_1933468,00.html
Wikipedia. (2010, September 30). Retrieved October 12, 2010, from Zipcar:
Zipcar. (n.d.). Retrieved November 24, 2010, from Zipcar: About Us:

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...Submitted in Partial Fulfillment Of the Requirements for Journal Critique #3 SM 325: Sport Marketing, Promotions, and Fundraising Instructor: Wooson Kim Michael Cassidy (Student) The Byron Nelson Championship is a very prestigious Pro Golf Association (PGA) tournament on tour. The Dallas, Texas tournament tends to draw more of an older crowd and now is trying to reach the markets of eighteen to thirty-four year olds (Smith, 2012). The PGA event will team up with ProPac Marketing as they introduce a marketing plan they are call “Argyle Army” (Smith, 2012). The campaign will hit many common areas around Dallas including a meet and greet and a Texas Rangers game (Major League Baseball) (Smith, 2012). Dallas is a very good area to advertise the PGA Tour event in because the city attracts close to 20,000 people per week (Smith, 2012). One of the things that the Byron Nelson Championship did was use its internal data sources to find out the age demographics of the crowd that attends their event. By using their data-base they were able to figure out that the majority of their crowd was in the older population, and they needed to reach out to the younger age demographic. Internal data sources can include sales records, inquiries, accounting records and website registrations (Hardy, Mullin, & Sutton, Data-based Marketing and the Role of Research, 2007, pp. 110-112). They are very easy sources to gather quick information about the people that are......

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...Thinking... The conceptual background to strategy, marketing and planning Stephen Cashman, February 2003 This online background paper provides a review of some of the definitions, theories and concepts underpinning strategy. As such it is intended to introduce the key concepts involved, or to form an overall reminder of the various issues relating to these areas. 1. What is strategy about and why is it so important? ‘Every company needs a strategy – either explicit or implicit.’ Costas Markides (1995) ‘An effective strategic management process has become the essential norm for businesses.’ Richard Hanscombe and Philip Norman (1993) ‘Effective strategic management is the ultimate aim of all managers.’ Financial Times, 1997 ‘The survival, growth and prosperity of any organisation depends on the quality and viability of the strategy the organisation is pursuing.’ Andrew Kakabadse, Ron Ludlow and Susan Vinicombe (1988) Indeed, such is the importance attached to the subject of strategy that one commentator on the subject, Richard Whittington (1993), reports that ‘there are thirty-seven books in print with the title Strategic Management’. Similarly a leading strategy thinker, Henry Mintzberg, and his colleagues (1998) note that ‘The literature of strategic management is vast – the number of items we reviewed over the years numbers close to 2,000 – and it grows larger every day.’ However, despite the importance given to them, thinking, writing and talking about......

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