Friday, February 24, 2017

Power of earned marketing and the negative impact - Uber's recent fiasco

We'd learned in the core marketing class the concept of earned marketing, where the fans or customers drive the marketing message through social media. However, this same concept need not be used just by fans but also by people who hate a product or brand.

A recent example of this can be seen with what's happening with Uber. It first started when Uber sent a Twitter message that they will not have surge pricing at airports where people were protesting the travel ban order and NY Taxis joined the protest. Uber's message was meant to reduce travel issues for the customer and not profit out of it. However, some consumers thought Uber is trying to support the travel ban. This started the #deleteUber hashtag to go viral. This made Uber take more steps in clarifying their position as well as their CEO deciding to step down from the President's economic adivsory council A few weeks later, Uber received a second huge blow when an ex-employee's blog went viral. The blog described the sexist culture at Uber and who she was harassed by her supervisors and there was complete inaction from the HR department. The customers again reacted to this and the #deleteUber campaign by the customers had a second surge.

The above is an example of a perfect storm - poor/ambiguous marketing message by the company, poor leadership and culture in the organization, driving customers to spread a campaign that can deal a serious blow to this once loved company. 

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