Aviation Marketing: Budget Control is a New Survival Metric amid the Pandemic

Anusree Bhattacharya | October 13, 2021

Skift research shows that 90% of airline marketers have dropped their marketing budgets due to the pandemic. The pandemic brought massive changes in marketing. Due to this, CMOs navigated through restricted availability of resources and shifted airline companies’ guidelines for months.

CMOs find increasingly difficult to rely on conventional financial and managerial aspects like typical cost setting—the way profitability was being achieved, fuel consumption, accounting decision making, investments, manufacturing and more. Due to these challenges, airline brands are bound to sternly reevaluate their current and future marketing process to maintain a steady flow of income and increase ROI.

So, it’s quite possible that your marketing tactics also may have suffered due to the pandemic. Right? And now you must think, “How much should your budget be for marketing?”

It’s an important question. It’s because most aviation businesses do not have a considerable aviation marketing budget. The answer to your concern lies here, “spend the least amount that achieves your business objectives.”

A lot has transformed since the outbreak of the pandemic. Yet, there are novel opportunities in aviation marketing activities. So, let's take a closer look at some of the opportunities that might help control your aviation marketing budget.

Opportunity No.1: Invest in Paid Advertisements; they are cheap!

Paid advertisements are becoming cheaper. These are in higher demand when it comes to aviation marketing.

It makes sense because the way digital advertisements are making money is going to benefit marketers. First, the paid ads drive the cost per click (CPC), so investing here can increase the ROI. Second, as the pandemic forced companies to focus on all-digital processes, as it prompts the audience to spend more time online. Resultantly, traffic on the web is up, and there are lots of ads. It means ads are cheaper.

Even conversion rates are increasing now. It’s because the ads online are evolving at the same rate as it was before the pandemic. Therefore, you must take advantage of paid ads to start with controlling your aviation marketing costs.

Opportunity No. 2: Determine your Annual Customer Value

The key to having controlled aviation marketing costs is to have an average customer revenue. If you haven’t calculated yet, then you should begin with it. Begin tracking the effectiveness of your sales and marketing efforts. Once you begin with it, you will calculate how much money is spent on every customer or a new customer.

The other important aspect to consider is how wisely you spend the dollars in a limited budget. And that’s where a marketing plan comes into action.

A well-improvised marketing plan may include proper tactics, tools, and platforms. But to implement all these things effectively requires an adequate budget. However, how to use them requires a thorough analysis and experts’ experience. Usually, marketers make a mistake by spending too much on a single marketing tactic. And this results in a considerable loss.

So, to control your budget, be intelligent to concentrate on a selected marketing tool and platform. And then spend dollars on it. Tapping on this approach, you will create a cost-effective marketing plan, which will give better marketing results.

Besides, your customers might equally feel satisfied by getting worthwhile results. Well, in reality, it will be easy for you to determine the annual value of money spent on each customer.

Opportunity No. 3: Review Investment Plans

When looking at the aviation marketing budget, it’s advisable to review investment plans carefully. The investment plan is crucial when you need to control your aviation marketing. Having an in-depth knowledge of it can lead you to save big. Also, it might bring opportunities further for your airline business.

For example, in December 2019, JetBlue announced a marketing structural cost program. It aimed at producing $250-$300 million by 2020 through cost savings.  According to the company’s 2020 annual report, the program emphasizes these points:

Technical marketing operations
Planning, automation, and executing efficient activities online .(Like on a website, social media platforms, online campaigns, and more)
• Decreasing distribution costs
• Tax reformation

All these aspects demonstrate opportunities to propel business growth.

We are extremely excited about the potential for increased business demand with the costs and tax cut.

                                                                                      - Glen Hauenstein, President of Delta Airlines.

So, consider if you can reduce, delay and/or eliminate non-essential marketing tasks or not. Then, find opportunities to help you do a transition from costly, inefficient technological aspects to more cost-efficient technology, thus, driving more valuable results.

The bottom line is that you must understand where it makes sense to cut costs and where to make the proper investments because it's about bolstering your airline business. With the help of this, you can create value for customers, partners, and investors in no time.

Opportunity No. 4: Encourage Innovative Digital Engagement

Some of the top airlines like Delta Airlines and its marketing teams use innovative engagement methods through digitalization. Yes! After being hit by the deadly pandemic, Delta lost $60 million in cash each day. Delta CEO Ed Bastian revealed that Delta airlines reduced 80% of its operation.

“Delta will weather the storm by sticking to our shared values of honesty, persistence, and service to our customers and our communities. We encourage digitalization to the core. And that has helped our customers easy to connect us.”

- Delta CEO Ed Bastian

With this approach, Delta further forecasts its revenue to rise by 90% by the end of 2021.

So, you can see how investing in digital methods can help revenue rise without going out of budget or crossing the budget line.

When you introduce automation, AR, VR in your aviation marketing efforts, it will drive value from existing customers and engage potential customers. For example, you can create innovative videos for social media, visual online campaigns, presentations, and more.

Finally, remember to “Have Patience and Carry On”

It is critical to managing finance, especially in global disasters like coronavirus. However, today's marketing budget may seem exhausting when aviation businesses compete each day. But it is helpful at the end of the day!

Controlling your aviation marketing costs will lead you to increase your ROI. And this way, you will get valuable prospects, which is even more critical in the current scenario. Moving ahead with not-so-hard marketing budget control, you will require powerful leadership, top competency with courage and empathy, and the correct data, of course. So, having all these aspects and proactive measures in place, you will be able to outshine again.

So, which one of the opportunities are you going to implement first?

Frequently Asked Questions

How do airline businesses do marketing?

Marketing is the best practice to build trust among airline customers. The marketers offer rewards to customers so that they become loyal to an airline brand. They also run campaign activities, provide rich informational content, produce videos to educate and motivate customers. This is how engagement increases along with loyal numbers of customers.

What are the leading airline expenses?

The leading airline expenses are as follows:
  • The employment process expenses. These expenses are the most critical operational cost of an airline (33.5%).
  • Fuel expenses (19.6%).
  • Sales and marketing expenses. They are approximately 15.7% on the rise.

How do airlines control the marketing budget?

There are several ways the airline controls its marketing budget. A few of them are:
  • By conducting fuel-saving strategies
  • Operation procedure simplification
  • Introducing automation
  • Technology implementation


Sentient Jet

Sentient Jet LLC is the leading private aviation company in the nation, since 1999 Sentient Jet has been innovating the world of private aviation, including being the inventor of the Jet Card model. The Sentient Jet 25 Hour Card provides Cardholders with expert service and renowned safety.


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