3 Lessons Marketers Can Learn as BMW i3 Production Ends

Aug 31, 2022Marketing Tips

Think purpose and passion through the lens of project outcomes.  

Every marketing action should be tied to a larger ecosystem of sales and operations goals.  The i3 was always a futuristic project that would serve to gather information from customers about their preferences when it came to electric vehicles in 2013 when it was breaking into the market. 

BMW produced an all-electric car as futuristic and eclectic as their sights on the future of this new car category. What they created was something that gained traction in the market year over year, endearing an entirely new car lover to the BMW brand.  

Every marketer must be a forward, futuristic thinker with an eclectic edge. Because knowing trends and customer desires before they do is the ‘sweetness’ of exceptional marketing campaigns with high ROI for clients and projects. What BMW always wanted was an all-electric SAV vehicle. But they needed a pilot or prototype so to speak to record business cycles, industry trends, and customer behaviors. Which is a prudent approach to adopt for marketing teams and entrepreneurs alike. 

Don’t throw away all the data that is gathered on smaller projects, simply because you had bigger desires in mind for your client. Of course, your client wants to host a 5,000-person event for doctors or engineers. But what if they are better served by having an intimate mix and mingle for the same demographic, limiting the attendance to 30 instead. What you do for the thirty as an annual or semi-annual event will assist you and your client, glean information that will ultimately build a sold out 5,000-person event.

Hence, as the BMW i3 is leaving the market, remember entering stage left is the new BMW iX1 ready to grab it’s part of the automotive industry market share, picking up where the i3 will essentially leave off. However, in this case and as is the case with your client and the 5,000-person event perspective is key understanding that retiring on one thing only gets you closer to another, such is the circle of life.


It’s Acceptable to End When Things Are Good

Go out on top! Stopping a marketing tactic that is effective for one that meets audience demand could be the right thing to do.  People are changing every single day. As a marketing professional or someone that is forced to handle the marketing responsibilities in your business, every second of every day you must keep this in mind. Nothing stays the same forever, heck, even you are changing every day.  But what is constant in life are successes and failures. Both experiences together give us positive outcomes, sometimes in the most unexpected ways during the most unexpected times. 

When BMW decided to end production of i3, it was selling more of the cars than they had in the previous ten years. The desire from the customers was there. The sales were there. The profits are there. And guess what? That’s what BMW decided to do. Leave it all right there. 

Marketing must be forward thinking if it is anything at all.  It must bring the thoughts of tomorrow into your today. And if you see the timing to implement your next phase of marketing makes sense in your overall marketing goals, it is imperative to leave your current tactic and move on to one that is going to push your company objectives forward, even if your marketing strategy is working right now.  

BMW knows that electric is the future of automotive. But it has, along with several other automakers, watched enough data to know that midsize sport utility (activity) vehicles are also the future. So, BMW understands that it can’t wait to make the shift. Yes, as the making of i3 stops people are scrambling to purchase the last cars that come out of production. However, the continued surge in popularity is not swaying BMW from its decision to move on from the model. It needs to allocate the resources that it has to move another car model into the future that it sees for the company.

Alternatively, your marketing efforts must do the same thing, move the business and brand into an endearing space in the hearts of your audience with the objective of securing a larger market share. 


Nothing is Wasted; Leverage the Lessons 

Lessons serve as launch pads for innovation. As referenced earlier, BMW gathered data that has informed its decisions where the end of production of the i3 and introduction of the iX1 is concerned.  But many marketers don’t move from the numbers and that’s just not always a wise thing to do.  Marketing is such a fluid concept that many times it needs something to steady it. The movement and flow are rapid and ever changing, thus marketing can seem like a scattered explosion of activity if not center aligned to you or your client’s goals. 

When things work out perfectly and everything you touch seems to turn to gold, take notes and lots of them. When things work out perfectly and everything you touch seems to turn to coal, take notes and lots of them. Gold and coal are both extremely valuable and must be mined in order to gather it. Two very different substances, each giving those who use them a better quality of life by having them function in the proper place. 

People don’t discard gold or coal, so don’t discard data just because they come from different sources. The fact is they are both valuable and useful for enhancing the quality of your marketing efforts, no matter what you aim to achieve. 

As an admirer of the BMW brand, watching the end of the i3 was bitter sweet. I was going to purchase one for a mobile business venture that I thought about starting a few years ago. Although the business never materialized, in the back of mind I always thought I would go back and purchase one. However, now that the option may no longer be there my hope is that those who get the opportunity to own one will consider it a sheer driving pleasure!

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