From Uber’s website, this is what they want the public to know about them.
“Movement is what we power.
It’s our lifeblood.
It runs through our veins.
It’s what gets us out of bed each morning.
It pushes us to constantly reimagine how we can move better.
For all the places you want to go.
For all the things you want to get.
For all the ways you want to earn.
Across the entire world. In real time.
At the incredible speed of now.”
I put those words up on twitter because it’s a prime example of corporate waffle.
I wrote: “And I thought people used Uber because they were cheaper than black-cabs.”
It’s a good example of how divorced marketing is from the real world.
Someone replied saying it was actually: “an ode to movement”.
I replied: “If it’s ‘an ode to movement’ it also applies to black-cabs, buses, cars, bikes, roller-skates, anything that moves.”
That’s someone in marketing who hadn’t understood the basic difference between MARKET GROWTH and MARKET SHARE.
On Uber’s website, their CEO complains that they presently have “Less than 1% of all miles driven globally”, he states their goal is to get a much bigger share of those miles.
So how to take share is to tell us why you are a better alternative to the competition, the other 99%, not to write an ‘ode to travel’, of which you only have 1% share.
This is when marketing doesn’t understand the basic difference between market share and market growth.
This is because they only see the world from their perspective.
WPP displayed a similar marketing myopia with their ‘Making Space’ initiative.
Their CEO, Mark Read, wrote: “We’re kicking off Making Space with a global, company-wide break from Friday 8th July to Monday 11th July”.
(Hoping no-one would spot that those 3 days include a weekend.)
So WPP are actually giving their staff just one day off, which they market as the ‘Making Space’ initiative, marketed via a long online video.
The video has Vox-Pops of staff saying things like:
“Space to rejuvenate, refresh, regroup, and reignite”.
“Realign, reset, log-off, step away”.
“See the world in new ways”.
“Fill our well-being jugs up a little more”.
“You can’t pour from an empty cup”.
Mark Read has an MBA and, from the boardroom, it probably feels like this:
“We’ve given the ENTIRE workforce a holiday to revitalise WPP worldwide, and it’s cost us a fortune”.
As an individual, however, at the bottom, it feels more like: “Is that it, I get a day off?”
But that’s the difference between marketing and the real world.
Marketing isn’t talking to the real world.