- Executive Summary
This project analyzes Uber, a company that offers taxi-ordering services via the mobile app and operates in 40 countries. The research shows that it is doing well now and is likely to increase its revenues in the nearest future. Further analysis shows that the company seems to have good times because the number of its drivers and customers is growing. Investments are on the rise too. The tendency is likely to continue in the nearest future due to the general strategy and positive environment of Uber. In addition, the company has also some problems, in particular, the ones with lawsuits. The project concludes that they do not seem to be serious enough to influence general performance negatively. Nevertheless, Uber should try to solve legal issues by being more careful with laws and regulations.
- Environmental Analysis
a) The Marketing Environment
The marketing environment of any company consists of the microenvironment and macro-environment. For the Uber Company, the first includes its customers, suppliers, distributors, and competitors. The firm offers taxi-calling services; thus, its customers are those who want to call a taxi using a mobile app. In 2014, it had more than 8 million users (Smith, 2016). The number of customers is growing. Currently, the company provides its services in 400 cities of 70 countries all over the world, and in average, one million trips are made every day (Smith, 2016). The company has distributors that are the same as its suppliers. They are drivers who work for Uber and offer their driving services to customers. The company has 160,000 drivers in the USA, and 50,000 are added to that number every year (Smith, 2016). The main competitors of Uber in the U.S. include BlaBlaCar, Easy Taxi and some others. They also offer taxi and car services via apps to customers in particular cities (CrunchBase, n.d.).
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The marketing macro-environment of Uber includes political, legal, ecological, technological, social, cultural forces and economic forces. Political and legal factors are various and individual for each country. For instance, they can include the taxation system that the company should follow, different laws regarding driving, car owning and taxi services, regulations of the use of mobile apps and operations of foreign companies among others. In general, political and legal forces include all laws and regulations that relate to the activities of Uber. In terms of the legal environment, the company has many problems currently. In the beginning of 2016, it was involved in nearly 50 federal lawsuits (McQueeney, 2016). This situation is negative for the company, because customers may fail to trust it, and it can lose much money to satisfy claims. Ecological forces influence Uber too. Currently, the tendency is moving to more environmentally friendly cars, including electric ones, and the firm tries to follow the green trend to represent its care for the environment and customers. In particular, Uber introduced an option of choosing an electric car for driving in several cities. In 2015, such service was tested in Chicago, and the company cooperated with Chinese auto producer BYD Co Ltd to provide 25 new electric cars for its drivers (Groom, 2015). Technological forces that influence Uber include different innovations in cars and software that are used by the firm. For the latter, it is important to follow the latest technological trends to attract more customers. Social and cultural forces influence Uber too. It is an app, and this way to order taxi is relatively new. Thus, Uber is likely to be more popular in cultures and social groups where new technologies are more accepted, in particular, among young people. Furthermore, economic forces that influence the business concern the use of taxi services in the USA. According to statistics, such conditions are positive, because total revenues of taxi and limousine services in the country grew from $9.4 billion in 2009 to 11 billion in 2014 (Statista, 2016). Thus, the economic situation is positive for Uber currently, and its revenues are likely to grow.
b) Target Market
The target market for Uber includes all customers who can use the app to order a taxi in their cities. Since it is represented by different groups of customers, this feature has helped the company to become popular. For example, people can choose from different cars when they call a taxi. Uber offers Uber X, Uber Black for customers who prefer black cars, Uber Taxi for those who need low prices, and Uber SUV for persons who want to travel in a luxury car (Deep, 2015). Prices vary depending on the car type, and it is convenient for different groups of customers. Therefore, Uber offers its services to people with various income levels considering their interests. The first group includes customers who do own cars but use them periodically and call a taxi if they need. The second part are those who cannot drive for different reasons or do not want to do it, but require a car periodically to reach somewhere. The third group includes customers who want to have a particular status (those who use luxury cars regularly or sometimes). The fourth type represents those who like convenient taxi services at their doorstep (Deep, 2015). Moreover, Uber offers special services to particular groups of customers. For example, Uber for Kids is a special option for parents who order Uber cars for their children to get home from school. Uber for Senior Citizens is one more service that is targeted at the elderly. It offers some options that are convenient for them, for instance, apps that are easy to use (Deep, 2015). As it has been mentioned above, the company also owns electric cars to satisfy the group of customers who prefer ‘green’ solutions. Thus, it can be stated that Uber can satisfy groups of clients differing in their age, income and lifestyle.
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It is also important to study the demographics of Uber customers. In the USA, most clients of the company are male (about 54%). By age, the largest groups are under 24 years old (30%) and from 25 to 34 years old (about 40%). Most customers have a medium income and live in urban and suburban areas (McGrath, 2015).
c) Current Marketing Objectives and Performance
Currently, the performance of Uber is quite positive. The revenues of the company are growing. From 2014 to the third quarter of 2015, the net revenue of Uber grew from $495 million to $1.16 billion (Rosoff, 2016). According to the release made by The Financial, the business doubled its gross bookings during one year, and in the first half of the 2015, it did about $3.63 billion rides as compared to total bookings of $2.93 billion in 2014 (as cited in McQueeney, 2016). In addition, Uber managed to attract many investors, and they invested about $2.1 billion during the funding round in December 2015. The company had stored nearly $9 billion by the beginning of 2016 (McQueeney, 2016). Good performance proves that the business is flourishing and the number of customers is growing. The marketing objectives of Uber reflect its general strategy, which is offering more rides to more locations all over the world. Thus, they are aimed at delivering and promoting taxi services in new countries and cities.