Airline Marketing Tactics: Thinking Outside of the Box

By January 24, 2019Marketing
32105389 - passenger in airplane using tablet computer. woman in plane cabin using smart device listening to music on headphones.

Multiple carriers are offering expensive and innovative travel perks to their customers such as personal assistants, full-flat beds, and virtual reality on airplanes in an attempt to take airline marketing strategies outside the box. But are these amenities and perks what customers really want, and are they willing to pay for them? If you’re not meeting the needs of your airline’s target market, even the most innovative features won’t create a great impact.

These days, you no longer need to guess at customer needs or hold countless focus groups to discover them. Instead, SEO for aviation can help airlines work with specific customer profiles and use facts instead of anecdotes to make important decisions. By using airline marketing campaigns with data analytics to understand your customers, you can increase revenue and stand out from the crowd of competitors. A 2016 research report from Sabre found that airlines with a data-driven customer experience stand a chance of increasing total customer worth by $227 per passenger.

Make the Customer Experience Personal

Passenger numbers were expected to increase to 4.3 billion in 2018, and airlines often make the mistake of approaching marketing as if all these passengers have the same needs, instead of realizing that not all travel customers are alike. By building customer segments and profiles, you can determine each segment’s needs and personalize your services and marketing materials to fit them.

Examples might be enabling expedited immigration clearance, providing country-specific SIM cards for cell phones, offering electrical converters after international flights, or arranging taxis to transport travelers to their destinations. You can take the concept of personalized service a step further by helping travelers connect with loved ones on the holidays or reminding them of their spouse’s birthday. Because these customized airlines marketing strategies are enabled by analytics, they’re more likely to pay off in increased loyalty and business.

Make Better Use of Mobile Devices

A study by the Pew Research Center states that around 29 percent of mobile phone users can’t live without their device. Sixty-seven percent of users continually check their phone, even when it doesn’t vibrate or ring. Therefore, it should be no surprise that the fastest growing flight check-in method is mobile and the 2015 Passenger IT Trends Survey by SITA shows that 67 percent of travelers want to use their device for in-flight entertainment.

Mass reliance on mobile devices has opened many doors for airline marketing campaigns, beyond the obvious check-in capabilities. Some airlines are now allowing passengers to order duty-free items, snacks, and drinks from their phones, while others allow passengers to access airline-sponsored content such as games, newspapers, and videos. The Netherland-based Arke airline found that up to 40 percent of their travelers were reading the country’s leading newspaper through this service, so they stopped carrying the paper edition. Based on positive reactions, they planned and expansion into magazines and e-books.

Effective marketing strategies for airlines make customers feel like an important member of the team. Customers want to be understood, so when you use data analytics to discover needs they didn’t even know they had, you earn a level of loyalty that goes beyond traditional advertising. Contact us today to learn more!