Careem specializes in offering transportation services. The foundation of the company’s operation is an app for booking private cars. Its marketing strategies are based on centering on customers’ needs and providing services of exceptional quality. That said, the focus on constant development, choosing only the best captains (drivers), investing in differentiating types of available cars from economy to first class, offering different options for payment, and opportunities for planning a trip are the core values of Careem (Careem 2017). Operating in the fast-developing market of mobile app-based car services and being a start-up, Careem faces significant marketing-related challenges and should focus on developing unique strategies for increasing customer loyalty.
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To begin with, Careem founded in 2012 can be perceived as successful. During the short period of its operation, the company managed to launch its services in twenty-seven cities across the Middle East region (MacBride 2016). As for now, its market share is constantly growing as well as its presence in both big and small cities across the region. The major challenge is the risk of being outperformed by Uber, the company providing identical services. These days, Careem is more influential compared to Uber mostly because of offering an opportunity to plan trips and provide cash payments, but it is commonly criticized for copying Uber’s marketing strategies (Baaghil 2016; Think Marketing 2016). With more than two million registered users (in a region of 700 million potential clients and increased interest of Uber), Careem should pay special attention to customer loyalty (MacBride 2016). In this way, the central recommendation for Careem is to build a company that would become a brand associated with services of exceptional quality – one of a kind.
The focus on loyalty should become the foundation of customer relationship management (CRM) activities. To begin with, CRM is a tool commonly used for changing customer behaviors and creating the needed perception of a company among customers. It can be deployed for both managing and reinforcing customer behavior, thus increasing loyalty. To win more customers, it is essential to focus on their desires and needs (Riyad 2013). As mentioned before, Careem differentiates classes of available cars and considers differing payment options. Still, some new offers, such as planning all necessary stops during the trip or extra services and goods in the ordered car, are advisable to implement. Some of the new services might include beverages or food in case of lengthy trips as well as a Wi-Fi connection available for additional payment (beneficial for foreigners without local operators or Internet roaming services). It would guarantee appropriate care of customers’ needs and services.
Another recommendation is to develop a unique ladder of loyalty to assure that the customers return to using the company’s services. It can be achieved by implementing loyalty programs, which are a common CRM tool (Baran & Galka 2013). The idea is to differentiate bonuses based on customers’ history of orders and miles of taken trips – a system similar to that commonly deployed by airline companies. As for now, Careem has implemented a loyalty program with Emirates Skywards and a local mobile operator Etisalat. The idea for Careem is to invest in developing strong bonds with cinemas, restaurants, hotels, and clubs, thus involving them in a unique loyalty program. Offering discounts and bonuses for both transporting services and entertainment would attract customers. However, it is essential to differentiate customers, therefore creating a loyalty ladder mentioned above. For instance, a one-time client could get a discount for the next trip, while a gold or platinum customer could be provided with access to various bonuses available in different places. This step is possible because Careem services are usually more expensive compared to traditional taxi services. That is why customers would be interested in receiving some benefits for paying more.
Finally, it is imperative to recognize the power of digital marketing in developing strong bonds with customers and increasing their loyalty. It is essential to note that because of the specificities of the provided services – using a mobile app for ordering a car – the Internet should become the foundation of the CRM strategy (Baran & Galka 2013). Active promotion in social networks, such as Instagram or Twitter, would help to attract more customers because of the so-called pull marketing – making the customer interested in searching for information about the company (Think Marketing 2016). As for now, the social network accounts of Careem are poorly developed – they lack followers as well as posts or tweets. That is why it is recommended to promote social networks, pointing to the fact that they are used for sharing the latest news or the most interesting events. This information could be mentioned on the official website. It is paramount to note that the current strategy – creating separate accounts for different countries (differentiating accounts) – is an effective one because of the opportunity to share relevant news only. Nevertheless, making them more popular and publishing more news is a must.
Baaghil, S 2016, Uber and Careem: brand or commodity?, Web.
Baran, R J & Galka, R J 2013, Customer relationship management: the foundation of contemporary marketing strategy, Routledge, New York.
Careem 2017, Our values, Web.
MacBride, E 2016, ‘How a startup from the Middle East is beating Uber, and its lofty ambition for the future’, Forbes, Web.
Riyad, E 2013, Managing customer trust, satisfaction, and loyalty through information communication technologies, Business Science Reference, Hershey.
Think Marketing 2016, ‘Careem; jealous over Uber’s viral social media stories?’, Think Marketing, Web.