Tesla Motors Needs No Ad Agency or Advertising to Sell Model S Electric Sedan
“Tesla Motors has no advertising, no ad agency, no CMO, no dealer network. And that’s no problem.”
That’s how AdAge opens a recent article on Tesla’s nontraditional method of “marketing” its Model S and it’s something we touched on awhile back.
Somehow, Tesla is capable of breaking the mold, while still being able to sell the Model S at such a rate both the Nissan LEAF and the Chevy Volt are trailing it so far in 2013.
How’s this possible? Well, while Tesla Motors may not advertise in the now-traditional way of print ads or on-screen spots, Tesla does do it the old-fashioned way, which is by word of mouth.
One way this word-of-mouth advertising is done is by getting journalists behind the wheel of the Model S. Most of these journalist are enamored with the Model S and then tend to write glowing reviews that are read by thousand or even millions. This method works to a degree, provided that the vast majority of the reviews are positive, which in the case of the Model S is most certainly true.
The other way in which Tesla advertises is through its “stores.” These stores, which number 35 in the US, allow potential buyers the chance to check out Tesla’s ware and to ask questions that are answered by Tesla’s highly trained personnel. There’s no high-pressure sales tactics used here.
As Tesla spokeswoman, Alexis Georgeson, told AdAge:
“Right now, the stores are our advertising. We’re very confident we can sell 20,000-plus cars a year—without paid advertising. It may be something we’ll do years down the road. But it’s certainly not something we feel is crucial for sales right now.”
The last part of the advertising equation for Tesla is CEO Elon Musk.
As Model S owner, Connie Charney, told AdAge:
“You feel like you’re part of something bigger, a new age of motor vehicles. … Elon Musk is my hero.”
He’s not just Ms. Charney’s here though. Musk is like the ultimate pitchman with his unmatched knowledge of the Model S and his personality that brings him down to the level of the average individual.
Here’s where the story gets interesting. According to AdAge, Tesla’s marketing department is only seven staffers strong. Its website for ordering the Model S is run internally by Tesla and the automaker has nothing on the drawing boards in terms of upcoming advertisements.
Tesla’s marketing budget is as close to $0 as it gets. Compared to the $25 million Nissan spent to pitch its LEAF alone in 2012, Tesla spends pennies, so to say.
But it all somehow works. Sales of the Model S say so.