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Abstract: European municipalities, eager to increase the use of environmentally friendly forms of public transportation, offered bicycle sharing programs as adjuncts to their public transportation systems. This case focuses on the bicycle sharing systems in three mid-sized European cities: Mainz, Germany; Lille, France; and Antwerp, Belgium. The case describes the market segments within each city and lays out the marketing mix variables--the 4Ps (product, price, place and promotion)--to allow students to compare and contrast the cities' opportunities and challenges. The protagonist in each city is charged with using the marketing mix to help his or her city reach its goals: in Mainz, to reach breakeven; in Lille, to increase bicycle usage from 2% to 10%; and in Antwerp, to persuade drivers to commute by bicycle instead of by car.
Learning Objective: Introduces the concepts of customer segmentation and the marketing mix in the context of a public service/good. Helps students gain an appreciation for the use of customer focus and marketing tools in implementing government services. Demonstrates the importance of understanding the characteristics and needs of key customers to create a marketing mix to meet social or public goals. Shows challenge of meeting the needs of all customer segments with a single marketing mix.
Nathalie Laidler-Kylander and Steven Strauss
Pages (incl. exhibits):
Joseph B. Tompkins, Jr. Fund for Case Study and Research