Elon Musk, the prolific billionaire and serial entrepreneur, has captivated the public’s attention over the past decade. In addition to sending rockets to mars and building self driving cars, Musk is now turning his attention towards solving Los Angeles’ infamous automotive congestion problem using a schema of tunnels. The Boring Company, as the not-so-small endeavor is named, aims to “solve this problem of soul-destroying traffic.”
Los Angeles residents currently waste over 90 hours a yearstuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. To alleviate this growing problem, Musk says, “transportation transportation corridors, like the buildings that feed into them, must expand into three dimensions. One option is to “go up” with flying cars. However, flying cars have issues with weather, noise, and generally increase anxiety levels of those below them. The other option is to “go down” and build tunnels.”
Following this strategy, The Boring Company will dig low-cost tunnels that will enable rapid transit across densely populated regions, enabling travel from New York to DC in less than 30 minutes and amplifying the convenience of top travel destinations.
Though a heroic engineering accomplishment, the development and relative success of The Boring Company, to date, is in large part due to an incredible marketing effort. There are tons of micro and macro learnings to glean from their achievements thus far, cultivating an incredible amount of hype and attention from the technology community.
Here are four lessons marketers can learn from the Boring Company:
1. Test assumptions before making big investments.
While the whole concept is likely years away from implementation, investors, consumers and enterprises alike are already buzzing from excitement. Indeed, The Boring Company has since begun drilling in a number of cities, backed by a tremendous amount of support from early adopters.
Generating early sign ups, before even building product, is a great way to work efficiently and avoid wasting resources. Marketers can apply this lean-testing model across a wide variety of channels and strategies as it always helps to be data driven.
2. Leverage influencer marketing.
Perhaps the biggest determinant of The Boring Company’s relative success thus far has been Elon Musk’s personal brand. Musk, a multiple-time entrepreneur with several successful exits, has effectively become an influencer in the technology world.
Musk often uses his social media profiles, which have amassed millions of collective followers, to build excitement for his upcoming projects. He regularly tweets out videos and gifs in anticipation of The Boring Company’s progress. This is a prime example of successful influencer marketing, as Musk has established rapport with his audience.
Marketers can learn a lot from Musk’s advertising effort by similarly partnering with influencers in their given niche. Influencer marketing has proven to be an extremely effective and efficient channel to reach a targeted audience at scale.
3. Bring some comedic relief.
The Boring Company, spearheaded by Musk’s wit, presents an often humorous brand. Although the technicalities of their work is extremely complex, they ensure their mission is simple and ‘boring.’ They regularly do funny marketing stunts to stay relevant and appeal to their audience.
For instance, on a whim, they decided to sell company logo hats. While extremely simple, this marketing stunt ended up being a huge success, as over 50,000 hats were sold. Further, it brought awareness to their cause and rallied supporters from all over the world. Being able to present a genuine brand that end users can relate with is critical to accumulating a diverse audience.
As a marketer, your job is often to cultivate connections with thousands (if not millions) of fans who each have their own unique set of preferences. While it can be extremely challenging to customize the experience for each audience member, humor is a great way to make for broad appeal.
4. Pull back the curtain.
One thing that The Boring Company’s marketing team has done extremely well is provide a transparent view into the process of building their company
Almost bi-weekly, they provide the media with a number of pictures, press releases and videos detailing their progress thus far. This not only solidifies and validates their word, but also gives early supporters a sneak peek into how their team is doing.
“Documenting the journey” is a technique that marketers can use to build connections with their audiences. The Boring Company also has a feedback page, which encourages community members to step forward with suggestions, questions and concerns. Listening to your audience is a great way to make them feel important and show that you care.