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Customer Experience and the 3 P's:

Product, Price, and Promotion

Transit Marketing and Communications (MarCom) staff are often drawn to Customer Experience (CX) because they relish opportunities to promote high-quality products or services that riders love.

Unfortunately, the reality is that MarCom staff are sometimes asked to promote a product that has major flaws or has an unattractive price.

Diagram with three boxes - Product, Price, and Promotion. X marks over Product and Price.

For example, a new service may have long headways and wait times, a new app might not be user friendly, or perhaps a service feels unsafe to riders or is overpriced. MarCom staff can often anticipate when products or services will fail because they are in tune with customers from surveys and focus groups they have done, or from customer comments and social media posts.

photo of train car interior with trash on the seats and floors

MarCom staff know that no amount of promotion will succeed if the product or price is flawed. Conversely, the ideal situation for transit MarCom staff is when a product is high quality and the price is attractive, and it just needs to be promoted to increase awareness:

Diagram with three boxes - Product, Price, and Promotion. Check marks over Product and Price.

In that case, the product or service is like a "hidden treasure" waiting to be discovered! MarCom staff can then target markets to tell that story in a creative way.

Treasure Chest with Gold Nuggets

When the three P's - Product, Price, and Promotion - are all top notch, transit can flourish. Ridership grows, community support swells, and transit can secure the funding it needs. It's a simple recipe, but often forgotten.

Diagram with three boxes - Product, Price, and Promotion. Check marks over all three boxes.

Here are a few tips from Transit CX:

  • When you are in meetings with colleagues talk about the three P's and make it part of business literacy in your organization.

  • If Product or Price is sub-par, do not waste money on Promotion. Recommend that your organization "fix it first."

  • Establish User Experience (UX) testing as a core service your department offers to other departments. And consider bidding out on-call UX testing so that you can quickly and efficiently help product managers test and refine new products while helping them stay on time and within budget.

  • When Product and Price are ready for prime time, go full steam ahead with Promotion and celebrate the benefits!

Woman walking on train platform and smiling


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