â€œMoovit believes that mobility is a basic human right for everyone. It is the lifeline to jobs, healthcare, school, and everything in between. We are here to help everyone get from A to B in a safe, convenient, and efficient manner, before, during and after COVID-19.â€
Back in 2013, Yovav Meydad, joined Moovit, an Intel company’s product team where he led the mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) provider’s product roadmap. Five years later, Meydad was handed over the mantle of chief growth and marketing officer to accelerate user growth, demand generation, marketing, brand, and corporate communications for the micro-mobility service company. In his 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, Meydad believes that the combination of strong user understanding, a data-driven approachOpens a new window , and transforming innovative technologies into products are the core contributing factors to Moovit’s growth to over 800 million users.
In this edition of MarTalk Buzz, Meydad addresses the core elements of the MaaS ecosystem that help MaaS providers to align with actual demand. He discusses why micro-mobility services have witnessed an unprecedented rise in metro and urban cities and how the pandemic has impacted micro-transit operators and the community at large. Meydad also opens about the shifting customer expectationsOpens a new window and opportunities that prompted Cubic and Moovit’s partnership at the start of 2020, and more.
Key takeaways on MaaS solutions as a disruptor in the subscription economy:
- It’s important to embrace multi-modality: The ability to plan trips and be provided with suggested routes that encompass multiple modes of transportation, in order to better connect people with public transit and take more cars off the road.
- A MaaS experience for users means plan, pay, and ride for any public transit, shared mobility, and micro-mobility option via one app.
- During COVID-19, many agencies and operators put their vehicle fleets out of commission, and instead turned to other options, such as our Emergency Mobilization On-Demand solution.
Here’s the edited transcript from our exclusive interview with Yovav Meydad:
1. It’s no surprise that micro-mobility services have witnessed an unprecedented rise in metro and urban cities. But what does closer examination of transit data reveal that might showcase more nuanced changes?
Great question! This January we released our Moovit 2019 Global Public Transport Report. We analyzed tens of millions of trip requests, combined with user research in 99 cities around the world to reveal valuable insights about how people commute in their cities using both public transportation and micro-mobility. What we found is that many people that use micro-mobility do so in combination with public transportation. For example, 45% of San Franciscans use micro-mobility in combination with public transit as the first/last segment, while the national US average is 35%.
That’s why it’s important to embrace multi-modality, the ability to plan trips and be provided with suggested routes that encompass multiple modes of transportation, in order to better connect people with public transit and take more cars off the road. Offering more alternative forms of mobility, like bikes or scooters, that can easily get people to their destination is critical, and allows people to enjoy a range of convenient ways of getting around town, especially in some of the most congested cities in the world.
2. From mass transit to Mobility as a Service (MaaS) transit, which are the core elements of the MaaS ecosystem that help MaaS providers to align with actual demand?
To align with actual demand, a MaaS provider needs:
- Data: This is key. Urban mobility analytics helps providers better understand the demand for mobility and match it with the city’s transit system supply. This helps plan and optimize routes, schedules, bus stop locations, and more.
Mobility analytics and data are also critical in planning transit on-demand operations. On-demand is a very convenient and cost-effective method to serve citizens in rural areas, as a way to connect to the transit hubs (first/last mile experience), and using analytics the operator can determine the areas where vehicles should be deployed, how many, and how frequent.
- Integration of a range of mobility providers into a single platform: On-demand is one, but there are more all public transit routes, all bikes, scooters, shared-cars, and ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft.
- Seamless integration of payment and mobile ticketing providers: This is less related to demand, and more related to the overall adoption of Mobility-as-a-Service by the population. Integrating a frictionless payment and mobile ticketing experience allows for a seamless Plan, Pay, and Ride experience.
3. With the coronavirus pandemic on the loose, how has it impacted micro-transit operators and the community at large? What lessons can you share from launching transit solutions for essential workers?
Moovit believes that mobility is a basic human right for everyone. It is the lifeline to jobs, healthcare, school, and everything in between. We are here to help everyone get from A to B in a safe, convenient, and efficient manner, before, during, and after COVID-19.
As cities shut down during the pandemic, we saw first-hand public transportation ridership decrease significantly in major cities around the world. We released a reportOpens a new window , updated daily, that reflects the decreased ridership as a result of the pandemic. Transit agencies, operators, and municipalities were faced with new challenges: how to quickly and effectively deploy and communicate thousands of service changes for the essential workers still relying on public transit, and what to do with the majority of fleets now out of commission.
In response, we quickly created and deployed several new solutions tailored to solve their needs, including our Emergency Mobilization On-Demand solution, which enables agencies and operators to redeploy their unused vehicle fleets, and create new transport services for frontline workers. This shared mobility solution transforms unused vehicle fleets into an on-demand transit solution that safely transports essential workers, while adhering to local health ministry’s social distancing regulations.
We have also partnered with hundreds of transit agencies around the world and received updates from them about canceled and/or changed lines. Our global data operations team quickly and swiftly updated the transit dataset with all the recent changes so that Moovit users will have the most updated and accurate information. In addition, we alerted our users via push and popup about changes and sent tens of millions of push messages as a result.
What we gathered from launching these solutions is that even during a crisis, public transit remains a lifeline for those who need to travel, therefore cities, public transit agencies, and operators need to adapt quickly, and pivot to a more flexible service model without missing a beat. The response to COVID-19 (or any situation that may cause ridership to decrease on a wide scale) requires a multi-tiered approach that supports public transit riders, agencies, and their communities. This includes having the tools to communicate accurate information to the public quickly, in addition to reflecting the changes in transit schedules and lines swiftly.
4. At the start of 2020, Cubic and Moovit announcedOpens a new window a partnership to amplify MaaS solutions, what are the shifting customer expectations and opportunities that prompted such a move?
Our mission has always been to simplify urban mobility around the world, which we now do for hundreds of millions of riders in 3,200 cities across 103 countries. In a nutshell, a MaaS experience for users means plan, pay, and ride for any public transit, shared mobility, and micro-mobility option via one app. This offers frictionless and seamless experience where users no longer need to fumble for change or stand in line to top up monthly passes.
The partnership with Cubic, the leading ticketing, fare collection, and management solutions company for public transit systems, will empower public transit riders with the ability to plan journeys that are each optimized for cost, duration of trip, with filtered modes of transportation, and pay for that journey too, from the ease of a single platform. We believe that this all-in-one MaaS experience will shift people from using private cars to public transportation and micro-mobility options. It will offer a highly differentiated user experience.
5. The aim of MaaS is to be the best value proposition for its users, how does Moovit integrate end-to-end trip planning?
We want to simplify urban traveling for riders by providing them with all possible mobility options to get from point A to point B. With many options, users can choose the best trip plan for them based on trip duration, affordability, and convenience. That’s why we have integrated complete and accurate data sets of more than 7,500 public transit agencies (all lines, routes, stations, and timetables) and 360 shared-mobility providers (including ride-hailing, car-sharing, station-based bike-share systems, dockless bikes, scooters, mopeds, and carpooling) into the Moovit app.
We have also connected a massive amount of real-time arrival data, and service alert feeds into our app so that users will know exactly when the bus will be arriving, if there has been a disruption. In addition to all of this, the Moovit app also includes information gathered by Moovit’s community of more than 685,000 local editors, called â€œMoovitersâ€, that make Moovit the â€œWikipedia of Transitâ€. These passionate volunteers help map and maintain local transit information in cities that would otherwise be unserved.
Combining all these sources of data with our cutting-edge technology and algorithms enables Moovit to offer users a world class multi-modal trip planner so they can have the best suggested routes to get to their destination. Riders have all the information they need via these important elements to make the best decision to get to their destination with peace of mind and confidence using public transit.
6. How often did Moovit review its marketing strategy and which benchmarks did you use to gauge its effectiveness?
We review our marketing strategy once a year, typically each December. Generally, Moovit’s management team defines annual company targets and goals each November as part of the next year’s plan. Following that process, each executive establishes their team goals, and the strategic and tactical plans that will help them reach those goals.
We also make sure that all necessary measurement techniques and tools are in place. We measure results on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. We also establish a checkpoint at the end of every quarter to check in and make sure that we are on the path to success.
With respect to user growth (B2C) activities, all our activities are organic, and we do not spend a dollar on user acquisition. What we do is to attribute every install to its organic source: Web Search, App Store Optimization (ASO), content, partnership, etc. This helps us understand where our efforts are being effective, and where to double down and increase allocated resources.
In our B2B lead and demand generation activities, we measure and attribute every lead to its source campaign (organic, paid, webinars, content, sponsorship, events, etc.). This is critical to plan our budget and allocate resources.
7. What lessons can legacy brands learn from the changes in user preferences in 2020 and beyond?
Based on changes in user preferences, brands can learn to:
- Use a data-driven approach: Using data is critical to understanding user needs, desires, and future behaviors. With a better understanding of a target audience, brands can develop better-suited products for them, and personalize the user experience even further.
- Test, optimize, and iterate over and over: Whether changing the size of an icon, copy, color scheme, or testing a new feature, brands must apply a methodology of constantly A/B testing, optimizing and reiterating this over and over again.
- Engage with users: Understanding customers, their needs, challenges, and pain points cannot be emphasized enough. Listening to user feedback and understanding the root cause of it is one of the values we pride ourselves on at Moovit. Such was the case with a loyal Moovit user that recently left her feedback on a humorous Facebook page, garnering lots of attention: â€œA feature that I need for Moovit: Cross the street, stupid. This isn’t the right side.â€ We took this feedback seriously and created Way Finder, an AI feature that places digital directions and signs on top of a live camera view to make it even easier to locate correct bus stops, subway station entrances, and provide overall extra guidance.
- Hire employees with a diverse skill set and establish cross-sectional teams: Employees with a variety of skills that can work independently and quickly enable us to drive growth forward at Moovit, fast. It also gives the team and the brand a competitive edge and increases productivity levels by not having to rely on a single person to complete a task. Lastly, forming teams of employees with a diverse amount of skills and experiences that are working together to achieve a shared goal bring a more creative pool of experience and ideas to the table, and allow the entire team to move forward independently.
8. What does 2020 have in store for the mobility industry?
We have noticed a shift in more alternative options of getting from A to B being used. During COVID-19, we’ve seen many agencies and operators put their vehicle fleets out of commission, and instead turn to other options, such as our Emergency Mobilization On-Demand solution, to grapple with the dramatic decline in public transportation. This is already being used by Bank Hapoalim, Israel’s largest bank. It will be exciting to watch the future of urban mobility unfold when we slowly ease back into working from the office or going to school. Public transportation will always be that backbone of societal life, but it seems that there has been a wider path paved for On-Demand transit services to take on a greater role in 2020 and beyond.
About Yovav MeydadOpens a new window :
Yovav Meydad is Moovit’s chief growth and marketing officer, responsible for growth, demand generation, design, branding, marketing, and corporate communications. Meydad joined Moovit in 2013 as Vice President of Products where he built and managed the product team, led the company’s product roadmap, and was a core contributor to Moovit’s growth from 1M users to over 800M.
About MoovitOpens a new window :
Moovit, an Intel company, is a leading Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) solutions company and the maker of the world’s #1 urban mobility app. Moovit was acquired by Intel in May 2020 to join forces with Mobileye and advance its MaaS strategy. Together, Moovit and Mobileye will accelerate the global adoption of Mobility as a Service and autonomous transportation.
About MarTalk Buzz:
MarTalk Buzz is an interview series where marketing leaders and marketing technology companies that are making a difference, connect with us and share their stories. Join us as we talk to them about their product journeys, insights on the categories they serve, what works for them, and some bonus pro-tips.
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