Detailed SWOT Analysis of ExxonMobil – An American Multinational Oil & Gas Corporation

Updated on: Oct 21, 2023
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Some brands have grown exponentially since their inception. ExxonMobil is one of them. How did they manage it? What did they do to increase their customer base? What did they do to keep their consumers coming back? We think ExxonMobil’s Marketing Strategy played a significant part in all this, especially its digital marketing strategy. This article analyses a few digital marketing strategies used by the company to give you an insight into what they have been doing.

 

About ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil is an American multinational oil and gas corporation incorporated in New Jersey, the United States. The company deals in the production and exploration of Crude oil, Oil products, Natural gas, Petrochemicals and Power generation. The company was formed through the merger between Standard Oil company of New Jersey and New York named Exxon and Mobil which was founded by John D. Rockefeller.

ExxonMobil has a strong market position with always holding its ranking in the top 5 largest United States corporations by total revenue. It is the largest refiner in the world and one of the world’s Big Oil companies. It operates in most of the countries and has explored every continent for crude and natural gas. As of FY 2015, Exxon has 23 refineries in 14 countries and has a distillation capacity of 136000 barrels per day.

Now that we are discussing ExxonMobil, let’s take a look at their marketing strategy too.

 

What’s new with ExxonMobil?

Here’s what was buzzing around ExxonMobil recently:

  1. ExxonMobil and Linde announce long-term commercial agreement for carbon capture and storage (CCS)
  2. ExxonMobil starts up one of the largest advanced recycling facilities in North America
  3. ExxonMobil invests in biofuels company LanzaTech
  4. ExxonMobil joins the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI)
  5. ExxonMobil publishes its first-ever Advancing Climate Solutions Progress Report
  6. ExxonMobil announces plans to reduce methane emissions by 70% by 2025
  7. ExxonMobil launches a new initiative to support STEM education
  8. ExxonMobil is named one of the “World’s Most Admired Companies” by Fortune magazine
  9. ExxonMobil is awarded a contract to develop a new oil and gas field in Guyana
  10. ExxonMobil’s stock price reaches a new all-time high

Let’s now understand the target audience of ExxonMobil better with the help of a buyer persona.

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Buyer Persona of ExxonMobil

A buyer persona generally refers to the detailed information of an ideal customer of a company. When it comes to ExxonMobil, people from India use it the most. This buyer persona will help you understand the attributes of regular a ExxonMobil user.

Buyer’s Persona

Name:

Evan

Place:

Illianoise

Age:

35 years

Profession:

Job

Motivation

  • High-Performance Solutions
  • Trustworthy Brands
  • Technical Information

Interest & Hobbies

  • Automotive Enthusiast
  • Environmental Concerns
  • Cutting-Edge Technology

Pain Points

  • Lack of Clarity
  • Environmental Impact
  • Misinformation

Social Media Presence

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Youtube
  • Twitter

 

From the table above we can conclude that an ideal ExxonMobil User is a forward-thinking individual who is concerned about the environment and seeks solutions that balance energy needs with sustainability.

Want to know about the current challenges of ExxonMobil? Read a detailed SWOT Analysis of the brand before moving on with marketing strategies.

 

 

 

Failed Campaigns of ExxonMobil 

ExxonMobil more than often grabs attention with its unique marketing. But, there have been a few times when the campaign failed to connect with the audiences and gained backlash. 

Here are a few examples of failed campaigns of ExxonMobil:

  1. Reenergize Exxon’ campaign

Engine No. 1, an investment firm focused on driving positive impact through active ownership and creating long-term value, launched the ‘Reenergize Exxon’ campaign. The campaign, announced on December 7, 2020, aimed to nominate four new, independent directors for election at ExxonMobil’s annual meeting in May 2021. The California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), a significant shareholder with over $300 million of Exxon stock, endorsed Engine No. 1’s slate of directors, emphasizing the need for a change in leadership to position the company for long-term success. The campaign’s focus on sustainability and environmental responsibility reflected the increasing influence of ESG considerations in corporate governance and investor decision-making.

Engine No. 1 asserted that Exxon’s Board had neglected its governance duties by failing to enforce financial discipline amidst declining returns. Additionally, the Board had overlooked the potential risks and opportunities associated with the industry’s transformation, which many, including their peers, deemed essential and unavoidable.

In response to Engine No. 1’s campaign, Exxon took measures to weaken support for the activist firm’s candidates. In February 2021, Exxon made a swift announcement, appointing a new Director, followed by two more in March. While these appointments did not appease Engine No. 1, they did succeed in gaining the endorsement of a prominent hedge fund, the D.E. Shaw Group, in favor of Exxon’s management. Despite this setback, CalSTRS reaffirmed its backing for the ‘Reenergize Exxon’ campaign, revitalizing the campaign’s momentum and ensuring continued support for change at the company’s top leadership.

 

2. Expertly crafted propaganda’: ExxonMobil ad comes under fire for being ‘overtly anti-EV

ExxonMobil’s recent campaign has sparked considerable online backlash, with some critics viewing it as a deliberate attempt to undermine the electric vehicle (EV) sector. Launched for their synthetic motor oil brand, Mobil 1, the campaign, titled ‘Breaking Free,’ portrays a dystopian world where individuals are burdened by digital cables until driving liberates them from these constraints.

Despite claims by Mobil 1’s consumer marketing manager, Bryce Huschka, that the campaign targets driving enthusiasts, detractors argue that the ExxonMobil-funded initiative goes beyond that purpose. Critics highlight the campaign’s apparent bias against electric vehicles in favor of traditional oil-based alternatives, labeling it as ‘expertly crafted propaganda.

 

SWOT of ExxonMobil

A SWOT analysis of ExxonMobil, one of the world’s largest integrated oil and gas companies, can help identify its internal strengths and weaknesses and external opportunities and threats. Please note that the analysis is based on information available up to September 2021, and the energy industry is subject to significant changes and challenges.

Strengths:

1. Global Presence: ExxonMobil operates in over 200 countries, making it a truly global company. This extensive presence provides diversified revenue streams and access to various markets.

2. Resource Reserves: The company possesses substantial proven oil and natural gas reserves, ensuring a long-term supply of hydrocarbons and a competitive edge in the energy sector.

3. Technological Innovation: ExxonMobil is known for its continuous investment in research and development, leading to advancements in drilling, extraction, and petrochemical processes. This helps improve efficiency and maintain a competitive edge.

4. Strong Financial Position: The company historically maintained a solid financial position, allowing it to weather market fluctuations, fund exploration and development projects, and distribute dividends to shareholders.

5. Brand Reputation: ExxonMobil has a strong brand with a reputation for reliability and operational excellence in the energy industry.

Weaknesses:

1. Environmental Concerns: ExxonMobil has faced criticism for its historical environmental practices, particularly related to climate change and carbon emissions. This has led to negative public perception and legal challenges.

2. Dependence on Oil and Gas: The company’s heavy reliance on oil and gas markets makes it vulnerable to fluctuations in energy prices, geopolitical instability, and shifts towards renewable energy sources.

3. Regulatory Risks: Increasing environmental regulations and climate-related policies pose risks to the company’s operations and profitability, potentially requiring costly adjustments.

4. Aging Infrastructure: Some of ExxonMobil’s assets and facilities may be outdated, requiring significant capital investments for maintenance and modernization.

Opportunities:

1. Energy Transition: The shift toward cleaner and more sustainable energy sources presents opportunities for ExxonMobil to diversify its energy portfolio and invest in renewables and low-carbon technologies.

2. Global Demand Growth: Rising energy demand in emerging markets, especially in Asia, provides growth prospects for the company, particularly in liquefied natural gas (LNG) and chemicals.

3. Technological Advancements: Ongoing advancements in technology can enhance operational efficiency and open new possibilities for exploration, extraction, and petrochemical production.

4. Strategic Partnerships: Collaborations with other energy companies, governments, and technology firms can help ExxonMobil access new markets and co-develop innovative solutions.

Threats:

1. Climate Change Regulations: Increasing global pressure to reduce carbon emissions and transition to cleaner energy sources may impact ExxonMobil’s traditional business model and profitability.

2. Volatility in Energy Prices: Fluctuations in oil and gas prices, often influenced by geopolitical events, can significantly affect the company’s revenue and profitability.

3. Competition: Intense competition within the energy sector, including from state-owned companies, can pressure ExxonMobil’s market share and pricing power.

4. Geopolitical Risks: Operations in politically unstable regions can expose the company to geopolitical risks, including supply disruptions and legal challenges.

In summary, ExxonMobil has a strong global presence, financial stability, and a commitment to technological innovation. However, it faces challenges related to environmental concerns, dependence on traditional energy sources, and regulatory risks. The energy transition and evolving market dynamics present both opportunities and threats to the company’s future success. ExxonMobil’s ability to adapt to a changing energy landscape will be critical for its long-term sustainability and growth.

 

Top Competitors of ExxonMobil 

Here’s the list of top competitors of ExxonMobil:

  1. Royal Dutch Shell
  2. Chevron Corporation
  3. BP (British Petroleum)
  4. TotalEnergies
  5. ConocoPhillips
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Conclusion

As we wrap up our analysis of ExxonMobil’s impressive digital marketing strategy, it’s clear that staying up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques is key to success in the digital marketing world.

Whether you’re a marketing professional or just starting out, be sure to check out our free digital marketing masterclass to gain a solid foundation in the essentials of digital marketing.

Who knows, you might just develop the next big marketing strategy like ExxonMobil’s! Don’t forget to share your thoughts and comments on ExxonMobil’s strategy in the comments below.

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Aditya Shastri

Lead Trainer & Head of Learning & Development at IIDE

Leads the Learning & Development segment at IIDE. He is a Content Marketing Expert and has trained 6000+ students and working professionals on various topics of Digital Marketing. He has been a guest speaker at prominent colleges in India including IIMs......[Read full bio]

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