Over 4 billion passengers flew in at least one of the 39,000 planes in the world in 2017. By 2036, almost 8 billion passengers are expected to take to the skies to reach their travel destination. One of the largest manufacturers of airplanes also estimates the need for 39,320 more planes in the next 20 years to accommodate the growing number of passengers and aging planes.
These growth trends illustrate an opportunity for airlines to improve their marketing plans and user experience. As airlines seize these opportunities they also can create a steady customer base by cultivating a sense of loyalty through user experience.
Keeping customers happy and engaged will also be an important component of updating an aviation marketing plan. Doing so will also benefit your aviation marketing budget by reducing costs. Quite simply, it’s less expensive to keep a customer than it is to get a new one.
So, how can we improve our aviation marketing to retain customers and acquire new customers?
Read on to discover eight tips to create the ultimate aviation marketing strategy.
8 Ways to Create a Successful Aviation Marketing Strategy
Marketing in the digital age makes reaching customers much easier. But, when we do get their attention are we capitalizing on this interaction?
Explore the following tips for successfully marketing and connecting with aviation customers.
1. Target Audience
The first step in creating an amazing aviation marketing strategy is to identify your target audience. Focusing generally on airplane passengers simply won’t be successful. Instead, hone in on a specific demographic and tailor your marketing strategy towards meeting their needs.
When done successfully, you will be able to capitalize on this market sphere and set your company apart.
Identify your target audience’s age range, location, and economic status. Then discover what digital and in-person places they frequent.
For example, where do they shop? What social media platforms do they use? And, what are their most pressing needs in the aviation sphere?
For instance, if you decide to target business professionals, then LinkedIn would be a logical choice to advertise your services. You can also tailor your products, perks, and loyalty programs to this population.
Once you’ve identified your target audience, it’s essential to accurately employ a branding strategy. Your brand needs to be consistent and focused on connecting with your target audience.
To start, make a list of your company’s business goals, mission, and beliefs. Consider how you want to present your company to the public to accurately display and enact these components. To do this successfully, consider how your company’s beliefs match the values of your customers.
These shared values and beliefs enhance your customer’s relationship and loyalty to your company.
Then, create an eye-catching logo, a relatable slogan, and a tone of voice your customers can relate to.
Branding strategies targeting business customers will be much different than brands targeting wealthy vacation travelers. So, throughout the process of creating your branding strategy always return to the needs and wants of your target audience.
3. Prioritizing Features and Perks
Traveling presents a variety of opportunities an airline company can capitalize on. Customers have to book their flights, check their bags, and wait at the airport. They also expect a certain flying experience. After they exit the plane, customers then have to pick up their bags, potentially rent a vehicle, and check-in to a hotel.
Your task as an airline company is to decide how you can integrate your airline into these common travel tasks. How can you improve your customer’s travel experience? How can you make traveling more exciting and less stressful for customers?
To meet these customer needs, you can offer them features and perks for traveling with your company. For example, you can team up with car rental companies and provide discounts for customers using your airline. You can also offer customers free drinks or a lounge to rest in while they wait for their plane.
Another option is to offer free wifi on the flight.
Consider what features matter most to your target and what perks fall within your budget. Think long-term and use perks to engage new customers and improve the user experience.
Another fruitful aviation marketing secret is to offer new customers a welcome package.
4. Social Media
Decide which social media platforms your target audience frequents. Create a marketing campaign on these social media platforms to advertise new products, promotions, and events.
Engage with your customers on social media. When marketing on social media remain consistent with your branding strategy and posting times. Use analytics such as likes, new followers, and click rates to measure the success of each campaign.
5. Advertising Mediums
Step outside the norm and meet customers in their daily lives. Get customers thinking about traveling before they even decide to book a plane ticket.
Be present at large events such as festivals and concerts. Consider hosting your own event in order to thank your customers for their loyalty.
6. Cultivating Loyalty
Cultivate customer loyalty by providing them with the best experience possible. Be transparent and willing to correct mistakes. Aim to have your company act and speak like a human would instead of a business.
Offer recurring customers special discounts, promotions, and perks. Create a loyalty program that offers customers free miles, upgrades, and discounted parking.
7. Digital Perks
Invest in digital technologies that enhance your customer’s flying experience. Utilize smartphones and e-commerce technologies to your advantage.
Consider simplifying your online booking process by creating an app and providing opportunities to bundle services such as car and hotel rentals. Allow passengers to check-in, board, and check flight status by integrating these features into your app.
Develop relationships with airports, destinations, and hotels in order to create a community of supporters and partnerships. Team up with other travel businesses to enhance your marketing efforts.
Doing so will also cultivate a belief that your airline provides a “one-stop” travel experience.
Ready to Perfect Your Aviation Marketing Strategy?
Perfecting an aviation marketing strategy will require being flexible.
When one strategy isn’t working, be willing to shift your efforts to another. Track your progress and always stay focused on connecting with customers and providing them with the best travel experience possible.
To learn more about how to boost sales, check out our blog post outlining eight proven ways to capture leads from your website.