Tesla is still a young but rapidly growing manufacturer, to the point of already being a major player in the industry. In 2018, Tesla sold 245,240 cars, it may not seem like much, but the reality is that it sells almost as much as Porsche, for example. The German manufacturer sold 256,255 cars worldwide that same year.
How could a brand grow so quickly that it started, basically from scratch, in more or less a decade? What are the keys to their success?
Despite its short history, there are two elements that Tesla and his captain Elon Musk dominate like no one else. On the one hand, Tesla has a huge advantage over its rivals in one of the key aspects for electric cars, autonomy.
It is not just a matter of battery capacity, Tesla dominates the competition in terms of energy management and consumption of its cars. So much so that only the Hyundai group has been able to reach the Californian brand in that regard. No other manufacturer comes close to the consumption and autonomy of their cars. At least not yet.
And on the other hand, Elon Musk, although sometimes he can speak more of the account and have some slip, is basically a genius, we like his character well or badly. In addition to having created PayPal and started a new space conquest on his own with Space X, he is also an ax in matters of digital marketing.
From the outset, Tesla presents us as a technology company, but the weight of the area of solar panels and batteries in the company’s results with respect to the weight of the automobile branch contradicts it. Tesla is primarily an automaker. And it is the aspect that we will focus on.
If we look at the company’s trajectory, its online and offline behavior, we will see that Musk and his teams have been applying the fundamentals of digital marketing without spending a single dollar on advertising, because digital marketing is actually much more than buying advertising on Facebook.
First of all, it must be clear that not spending a dollar on advertising is a way to optimize expenses. There are three types of marketing media:
The acquired medium (via advertising, advertorial, sponsorship, influencers, etc.)
The medium itself (the website, the blog and the videos of the company itself)
The earned medium (independent blogs, news portals, newspapers, magazines, influencers, etc.)
The most effective and trusted by people is always the earned medium, that is, the independent one. It is also the one with the best return on investment. And that is precisely the medium over which Tesla dominates.
An obvious example in our sector is from the car tests carried out by the media. Yes, they have a cost for the manufacturer or importer (car purchase, maintenance, insurance, possible resale value, etc.), but if the test comes out positive, it potentially has more impact on public opinion than an expensive advertising campaign.
Every time a media outlet, a blogger, an influencer or anyone talks about the brand, its impact on public opinion can be much stronger than an advertising campaign. A technology company like Tesla, it is not enough to just rely on the power of technology. It must combine all resources to sell better.