Hello!

I've already applied to the Marketing & Business Development Manager opening for Bucharest, but then I thought: Why not make it easier for you to pick me? Why let you spend a lot of time sifting through CVs when you can see my thinking? So here it is - my opinion on how BlaBlaCar should go forward in Romania.

The Opportunity

We are roughly at the same train speed as in 1950s.

We are roughly at the same train speed as in 1950s.

You can find cheaper tickets to London, Munich, Paris or Madrid

You can find cheaper tickets to London, Munich, Paris or Madrid

The train travel experience is one of the worst possible.

The train travel experience is one of the worst possible.

Quite enough if you can afford the fees - even multinationals prefer to send employees by car than by plane for budget's sake.

Quite enough if you can afford the fees - even multinationals prefer to send employees by car than by plane for budget's sake.

SNCFR abandons 30% of tracks for lack of money to repair  (2015)

SNCFR abandons 30% of tracks for lack of money to repair  (2015)

Air traffic increases despite the price.

Air traffic increases despite the price.

So how are all these people going to travel? Train traffic is at 10% of what it used to be and air traffic is still prohibitively expensive for most Romanians. So they got to their cars and minibuses. The minibus, regional transportation businesses are booming, chipping away at train travellers. Yet, the experience they offer is uncomfortable at best and frightful at the worst. This leaves us the cars. 

Now, you probably know all this since you already entered our market. What you might not know is how Romanians feel about sharing their car.

The Hurdle

Nah, would love the company but what if I don't like it after all? By the way, Romanians don't have the hitchhiking culture other countries do.

Nah, would love the company but what if I don't like it after all? By the way, Romanians don't have the hitchhiking culture other countries do.

Why would I share my care since it is part of my status and achievement in life? Most Romanians identify with their cars instead of seeing them as pure functional items.

Why would I share my care since it is part of my status and achievement in life? Most Romanians identify with their cars instead of seeing them as pure functional items.

Damn, I wish I could took the train - slower but safer.

Damn, I wish I could took the train - slower but safer.

What needs should BlaBlaCar communication address?

On a rational/functional level - BlaBlaCar should make travel more fun, more accessible and more affordable. On an implicit/psychological level - BlaBlaCar has the great opportunity of making Romanians more trustful, more open and thus happier. On a side note, I think succeeding big in Romania would do a world of good because Romanians still carry some of the Communist legacy anxiey. Youths less so, but we need to cure more generations :)

Ok....so which Romanians?

Of course - you can target also occasional travellers but it's more efficient to build trial and routine at the same time.

How should we address these people?

Think partnerships that lend credibility, trust and fun!

One thing is for sure - young people (frequently called Millennials) do not like being sold to. Or harassed with ads. They love serendipitous surprises and helping hands. So how do we do that? By speaking to them in a context where people naturally think about transportation and by building word of mouth. And at the same time, work on the psychological level by addressing the fears they might have. So here are some of the partnerships that I would build:

oh...and one last thing that popped into my mind after this beautiful slide was done: team up with marathon organisers (we have several marathons all over Romania) and bikers that go mountain-biking at the weekend. Why not offer these people a chance to talk about their passions while on the way? Also, a rich source of WOM are tech communities.

Beyond that, there are tactical partnerships such as telecom companies (Orange), pizza deliveries (Jerry Pizza, Fabio) , movies tie-ins.

How Would I fit in at BlaBlaCar

In the Marketing And Business Development role of course, but beyond that?

Creativity, Novelty and Adventure - I keep my energy up by going horseback riding and skiing, keep my mind fresh by learning something each day, exercise my creativity by finding new ways to grow businesses. Yes, yes, I am T-shaped personality.

I am an entrepreneur - I built 2 companies in 5 years while holding various marketing positions. One company is fine, the other is a lesson. I also polished my marketing approach in a SaaS business growing its marketing team and processes from scratch.

I love your mission - make travel fun and affordable, protect the environment and help people connect. Might I also add changing the fabric of the economy from corporation-driven to socially-driven?

The world is my playground - kidding but not very much: I've coordinated multi-national teams, built digital marketing campaigns and outreach campaigns in several countries and studied as much as I could abroad.

Build, try, tinker - I live for this stuff and I deeply enjoyed building this report and this page.

Sharing is caring - In all my previous roles I built teams, hired, despaired and then succeeded in making it work. 

Psychology and design - deeply crazy passionate about these things that will pretty soon make all the difference in a world eaten up by technology.

About the data: Air traffic data is taken from Wikipedia article. Rail data is taken form the Romanian National Institute of Statistics