Airports have unique challenges based on geographic location. Airports based on islands tackle different problems than those situated in a desert. And airports that handle mostly business traffic are different than those located near tourist attractions. However, there are marketing challenges across the board, regardless of the specific attributes of the airport.
The experienced marketing professionals at Advance Aviation support small and mid-size airports with creative resources and ideas to develop effective marketing strategies. Here, we go over three different challenges you may encounter with airport marketing, and strategies to overcome them.
Customers View Airlines & Airports as Monolithic
In the minds of many customers, an airport is a largely undifferentiated service environment, except for a few individual airlines. It’s a place to park the car, navigate security regulations, check luggage, purchase food and beverages, and board scheduled flights. Staff members, whether they are employed by the airport, airlines, TSA, or vendors, are often perceived as one thing — airport service staff.
As airport owners well know, being identified with a complex of service providers has its downside when it comes to marketing. Customer complaints often fall outside your immediate control. And any service failures reflect on the airport as a whole.
Having a realistic picture of this dynamic can be helpful when crafting a marketing strategy for your airport. Airports can differentiate their services when it counts, for example, by showing an interest in all complaints and providing an avenue for customer feedback. Your airport can work with vendors and airlines to address complaints, as well. Since how passengers perceive these partners can affect their impression of you, it’s to everyone’s advantage to address recurrent problems. Developing a marketing strategy of positive storytelling around this kind of problem-solving is just one possible solution.
Airport Customers are Under Stress
Air travel can be exciting, and is often necessary for businesspeople, but there’s no denying it’s sometimes complicated. What’s more, many passengers are nervous about flying.
Customers may be leaving their home base and traveling to an unknown destination, without much experience flying. Conversely, they might fly frequently for business, but their job responsibilities make them more anxious while waiting in lines at the airport. Waiting times are unavoidable with air travel, even when schedules are on time, and can also cause nervousness among passengers. Regardless of the specific circumstances, air travel comes with a flood of different emotions.
The good news is that seasoned airport marketers, such as the marketing team at Advance Aviation, have a much more positive view of airports and their importance to people and local economies. We have the knowledge required to present your airport positively, even to customers weighed down with stress. There are so many advantages to customers when they fly through smaller, local airports. We’re proud to be a part of the success stories of many of these airports by crafting compelling content about the benefits of choosing their facilities.
Development of Brand Identity
What is your airport brand? Is it based on towns or attractions in the area? Is it based on the convenience you offer? Developing a brand identity may be one of the most challenging aspects of airport marketing. Customers may look toward the diverse services offered at your airport or have a favorite aspect of the facility, such as comfortable seating or free parking — not realizing who is responsible for arranging these amenities.
With professional marketers who understand how airports are structured and managed, it’s possible to creatively define an airport brand. This should be done by emphasizing the individual aspects of the airport and its contributions to passenger safety and pleasure. Depending on your airport’s situation, it may be possible to form brand partnerships with either vendors or the town or population center in the area. Alternatively, service providers at your airport might be able to join you in a cooperative ad campaign that promotes both brands.
Call on Professional Aviation Marketers for Assistance
You don’t have to meet these challenges on your own. The experienced, knowledgeable marketing professionals at Advance Aviation can assist you in developing a digital marketing strategy that addresses all the challenges you face. Our marketing capabilities can help you successfully showcase your airport and its services to prospective flyers. Contact us today.