Call them the partner of the year and it might be an understatement. From Banana Republic and Bud Light to Doritos and dozens of others, Uber has become a valuable partner for amplifying event marketing campaigns.
“They’re everybody’s darling at the moment,” says Bill Bergofin, svp-marketing at NBC Sports, which in August leveraged Uber to drive viewership for Barclays Premiere League soccer in New York City.
What does it take to make the most of an Uber partnership? We tapped Gabriela Neves and Zack Ashley, owner and cmo, respectively, at New York City-based Factory 360 for the seven-step plan.
1. Get Your Uber Contacts In Order
Uber marketing managers vary state-to-state, sometimes city-to-city; there’s a national manager and a global manager—and you may find that no one knows what the other is doing. From a marketing standpoint, the structure can be good if you’re targeting niche markets. Plus, Uber’s global status means you can take a national program international in a breeze.
2. Have a Targeting Plan In Place
Within the app, your partnership can be private-, public-, or semi-public-facing depending on your needs. Uber is able to swap traditional car graphics for branded imagery of your choice. Also, Uber can target specific users based on past destinations, which is extremely helpful in reaching a target demo. Also, don’t forget p.r. “Every time you work with Uber, you’re going to get press,” Neves says. “It’s a Silicon Valley success story, and Uber is the star right now.”
3. Factor In Some Freebies
Uber is usually more than happy to provide gift cards or coupons to attendees. This makes for a nice freebie, but it’s also a great way to measure the success of the event—and the partnership—based on the number of attendees that redeem them.
4. Don’t Get Too Complicated
Drinks, pillows, gift bags—the in-car branding possibilities are endless. But you have to think about what you’re able to control, and what a driver can safely, and thoughtfully, manage. “Instead of it being about product, maybe you incorporate cars you wouldn’t normally see in the Uber fleet, like a monster truck, that offers an experience,” Ashley says.
5. Order plenty of Cars
Try not to create the kind of demand that won’t be successful. One way to stay on the safe side: find a way to tie Uber in just for your key influencers, VIPs or valued customers.
6. Think Outside The Ride
Uber isn’t just an add-on to a brand campaign. Uber itself is headlining partnerships, as it did with Target in July with #UberLIVE, a program that offered consumers the chance to request on-demand live performances through the app. And on Oct. 23, Uber and Vaccine Finder launched the one-day pilot program UberHEALTH in select cities to deliver flu shots, administered by a health professional, directly to users.
7. Identify An Uber Partnership Need—And Fulfill It
Despite all the Uber events taking off right now, there is still ample opportunity for Uber to do much more. And that’s where you, the potential partner, come in. Think of crowded event spaces—trade shows, state fairs, festivals—where people might be leaving and requesting a ride on Uber, and consider how your brand can help make that process better.
See Also—An Uber Partnership Roundup: