Saying Elon Musk Is Marketing Savvy Is An Understatement
You won’t hear his name everyday and he doesn’t search out the spotlights. But as the co-founder of PayPal, the Father of Tesla Motors and the genius behind SpaceX, there are many marketing lessons Elon Musk can teach the everyday marketer.
5 Marketing Lessons
1. The Power of planning
Here is a guy who identified three critical industries that represented phenomenal growth and potential while he was in college – the Internet, Transportation and Space. He made his money in the Internet arena, which funded his efforts in creating the first all electric car with Tesla Motors, and his recent forays into space travel with SpaceX.
The simple act of identifying areas of opportunity, Musk was able to put himself in the game and to capitalize. Granted, he did all on a grandiose scale, but he wouldn’t have been able to accomplish what he did if he didn’t have a plan.
Lesson: Do you have a marketing plan for your business?
He left home at 17 to avoid compulsory military service. Why? Because:
“Suppressing black people didn’t seem like a good way to spend my time.”
Lesson: Knowing where to spend your time and resources is critically important to your business’ overall success. But more importantly is your conviction to spend your time on the things that really matter.
Musk taught himself how to program at the ripe age of 10 and drop out of Standford after two days to start his first business venture – Zip2.
Lesson: Good marketing requires focus – focus on a specific audience, what they want and a focus on how best to fill that want.
4. Dreams Bigger
Musk has injected big ideas into every industry he’s touched while following the basic marketing principle of delivering a product or service that people want.
People want a safe way to transact on the Internet. Enter PayPal.
People want to do the ‘green’ thing, but still want and need transportation to travel farther than 100 miles. Answer: Tesla.
Not only did Elon Musk create the first totally electric car, but Tesla is a design and performance stunner that can travel up to 300 miles on one charge. In conversations with the local Tesla rep, Musk’s marketing plan includes the creation of a national grid of electric power stations and an SUV model to fill family needs. As costs go down, the Tesla technology can evolve into commercial vehicles.
NASA was struggling and expensive. Enter the SpaceX Dragon.
Not only is Musk the only privately funded entity to fly into outer space, but he figured out how to fund his future space business by transporting cargo to the International Space Station. From there, his dream of transporting people to Mars is but a hop, skip and a jump away.
Lesson: Dreaming big isn’t limited to outer space or high performance cars. Every business owner can dream a little bigger and make a big difference to the bottom line.
5. Drive and Determination
When he ran out of money to fund SpaceX, he had to turn to banks and friends to keep his dream alive. According to Musk:
“If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it”.
Lesson: For most of you, your business is your life’s blood. It feeds you and you feed it. Drive and determination are what will keep you and your business going.
Elon Musk’s Tesla and SpaceX efforts may seem totally out of reach to many small business owners. But that’s not the point.
The point is that the characteristics Musk demonstrates – the diligent planning, the marketing savvy of filling wants and needs, the focus and determination that Musk displays in all of his initiatives – are not unique to him. These are available to all who are in business.
So the question is: How can you use these marketing lessons to make your business stronger?
Share your thoughts in the comments section below.Below is a over-the-top infographic of Elon Musk’s Iron Man feats created by: Online Graduate Programs. I think you’ll enjoy.