Article | April 9, 2020
As we begin to hit what would be the peak season toward the middle of spring and start of summer, instead of reading stories of holiday go-ers preparing for their next big escape, we’re instead reading stories of two huge industries that may suffer huge losses following the coronavirus pandemic. As it currently stands, all major cruise lines have had major disruptions to their services as they’re forced to lay off thousands of workers indefinitely whilst ports to many countries remain closed for the foreseeable future - the first big disruption to the industry since 9/11. And whilst the extended period of time in which services aren’t running for, the issues that the cruise liners may suffer from most could be a damaged reputation following the spread of infections amongst a number of ships. With many different people from many different countries all coming together in one confined space, it allowed the virus to spread very quickly in some instances, such as the Diamond Princess, reporting over 700 confirmed cases .
Article | April 9, 2020
With rescue flights crisscrossing the globe and passengers keen to get where they are going as soon as possible, will we see the end of hub to hub travel? Has this current aviation crisis signaled the decline of the current model of aviation we know today? One reporter at Simple Flying gives his opinion.
Article | April 9, 2020
The airline industry has been an extremely tough marketplace. It takes a lot of effort to stand out from the competitors and to run business amidst everyday challenges to become top airlines in the country or worldwide. Yet, out of all this, the airline industry has maintained its dignity and has been successfully driven through market challenges.
Aside from the unique dynamics of the current COVID-19 crisis, marketers before used aviation marketing tactics in a standard way. But, the sudden outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic made aviation marketing exceptionally challenging for airlines worldwide to forecast demand and kickstart airline businesses in the future.
But, as of now (after a year and half months from the pandemic outbreak), there is a lot of excitement about airline branding, airline marketing strategies, airline advertisements, and more. As a result, businesses are becoming confident that revitalizing their strategies would now take off effortlessly. Yet some challenges and many other uncertainties need to be addressed regarding the fast-changing business models, travel demand, revenue generation, sales, stability, and a lot more in the restart period.
Let’s put some light on those uncertainties in the airline industry.
As per IATA (2020), the change in the airline business model creates additional uncertainty. It has been observed that the present state of the economy is the ultimate game of risk to airline revenue management and planning. This includes airline marketing strategies, airline advertising campaigns, and prospects of branding as well.
The recent shift in business patterns have been caused and triggered by various events such as:
A sharp decline in demand stimulation techniques applied by airlines
Signs of disruption entering the market in the wake of the COVID-19 situation prevailing in countries
Disruption of profitable plans for future
Changing consumer behavior
Missing data connections and collection
As a result, these uncertain events demand a call for action across the entire airline sector value chain. The call must be initiated based on creative marketing strategy, prioritizing personalization, sustainability, and profitability.
Now, the question ascends, why does your marketing team need to think out-of-the-box altogether to re-create airline marketing strategies.
Read about it next!
Why Airline Marketing Strategies Need to be Out-of-the-Box
With the changes occurring in airline market dynamics, airline businesses have to reshuffle their marketing strategies. They have to be quick as novel opportunities are continuously pouring in. Despite the current situation that has put the airline market under stress, it has provided the foundations for a range of new blue ocean opportunities. This is where you can hop on those opportunities to re-scale your business.
Therefore, the internal and external variables have to be considered in any forecasting activities of airlines, including revenue management, pricing, network, and marketing planning. In other words, game-changing strategies are born of thinking out-of-the-box—a leap into the unexpected.
Here, creating effective aviation marketing strategies will fulfill the need to pursue a new product differentiation and revenue management angle. Doing so will also instill confidence back into the base of your airline business, including stakeholders. This is how your business can become successful again.
By now, you must have understood that this is where the power of marketing in aviation can play a vital role in diminishing all the challenges. But before your marketing head towards creating robust aviation marketing strategies, you should first know about the approach of 3 Cs to make a successful marketing venture.
3 Cs to Consider While Marketing Your Aviation Business
Marketing, as per the current scenario, will require rock-hard strategic preparation. Similarly, in aviation marketing also, your team needs to ensure consistent preparation. This continuous process will help the business build progressively in a constantly changing aviation business environment and fluctuating demands.
Following this approach will help better in building innovative strategies and simultaneously exploring a wide range of possibilities.
Before your marketing team heads to the stage of the plan, consider the assumptions bracing up in the current airline industry’s status. Then, your strategists should get hands-on to identify the possibilities to come ahead along with its results.
Keep a look at the limitations stirring in the current airline market scenario. Then consider how the prevailing weaknesses can be converted into strengths to become successful among your competitors.
To create out-of-the-box airline marketing strategies, which include airline advertisements, airline advertising campaigns, and more, you should plan to have a different context to stand out terrifically among other airline companies. In addition, marketing this way will give you surprising insights and help you emerge afterward through challenges that occurred due to the pandemic.
Now that you are aware of the critical things to consider in creating airline marketing strategies. It is time to go ahead with creating strategically planned strategies.
Here are some effective strategies discussed that would help to revitalize your airline business.
6 Airline Marketing Strategies
Introduce Loyalty Programs
The airline business is known for its range of offers of loyalty programs according to the target audience. Nearly all airline businesses create their ways to cater programs to a particular audience group or in general. However, loyalty programs work the same at the core, but to encourage audiences in the current time, you can offer different perks to them. So, be creative in creating campaigns, and you will find that your loyalty programs are capitalizing on your revenue and benefiting customers together.
Distinguish your Brand and Position Yourself
Branding and positioning have become essential for businesses operating in this pandemic time, where the market is now hugely competitive. So you have got to be quick to get your company identified by your customer base as well as the target ones.
While proceeding in this manner, your best strength will distinguish you from your competitors serving in the same area. To make your brand image outstanding, you need to study customer demographics related to airline services.
On the other hand, depending on the brand image you want to cultivate, you may need to create airline advertisements accordingly. It is because your brand will communicate a message to the worldwide population. And it’s important to consider how you want your target audience to think of you before you brand and position yourself through advertisements, social media platforms, and more. This is how you will be able to position yourself in every day changing aviation market dynamics.
Be Creative with an Airline Advertising Strategy
Out-of-the-box airline advertising strategies can help your business outshine amidst insane competition arising. It is because now you have to adjust according to the modern world scenario. Here, creative content plays an important role. Moreover, as you must be working remotely, the idea of using content marketing will massively support your advertising strategy. It would engage and inspire customers to leverage your services, and, ultimately, your revenue will take off once again.
Introduce Paid Ads
Now that you have a planned airline advertising strategy, you can also consider introducing paid ads in it. Yes! With the help of paid ads, you can target a location-wise audience more precisely.
Paid ads also help in revenue generation and collaborations. These aspects are directly proportional to the profit earned out of implementing strategies. For example, paid ads may involve videos creation on YouTube to create brand awareness on your website, landing pages, or content (articles, blogs, etc.) page. By doing this, your brand value is going to skyrocket than what was it before.
Set a Strategic Social Media Campaign
Social media campaigns are the best ways to reach your customers and target audiences under airline marketing strategies. Spreading your brand voice through different social media platforms will help you humanize your brand and deepen relationships with a larger population. In addition, other airlines use social media to reward customer loyalty, so you can also indulge in activities for the same.
For this, your marketing team should study which platforms your customer base visit frequently. Then, based on your research, you can do promotions, provide updates, make announcements, expand services or give some behind-the-scenes look of your company to customers as well as targeted audiences. It is because they appreciate participating in such events and get satisfied by relying on your company.
During an interview with Media 7, Didi Horn, Chief Executive Officer at SkyX, made a statement. He told,
“We have found that Linkedin has contributed the most to brand awareness over the years. In our business, there’s a very specific and niche target customer that we want to reach, so we don’t hesitate to invest in doing what it takes to build strong, lasting relationships.”
Marketing leaders like Didi Horn and more are becoming successful with their marketing activities on LinkedIn. Similarly, you also use LinkedIn—as one of the most influential social media platforms to spread the word about your business activities and reach out target audience easily.
Practice Influencer Marketing
Yes, you heard it right! Influencer marketing is booming in the current pandemic scenario. This is the best way of earning better ROI. Implementing influencer airline marketing strategies would help realize your business goals.
So, what goes under this marketing strategy?
The formula of storytelling through content is considered beneficial to increase airline business. Adding transparency in the strategies can also be one formula while practicing influencer marketing. Implementing this strategy will attract more audiences because they get influenced by interesting content, storytelling, company behind the scenes. This humanizes the brand altogether, giving audiences a factor of trust and loyalty.
As you have entered a completely different business scenario in the airline industry, your company needs robust marketing strategies.
It’s important to understand that change may be predictable, but growth isn’t. Business growth highly depends on all the little things you do consistently to make it happen. Since you’re competing with many other airline companies, developing a strategic aviation marketing plan can boost sustainable business growth.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an airline marketing strategy?
An airline marketing strategy is a well-planned method in action that businesses create to fulfill goals such as boost revenue, surge engagement with customers, create brand visibility, positioning, target potential audience, and a lot more. Companies invest time and money to create a robust plan so that businesses can run effortlessly.
Why is airline marketing strategy important?
Airline marketing strategies are important for airlines to stand out firmly among the competitors, position their brand, create awareness among the existing customer base and attract more and more potential audiences through various online platforms.
What are the top 3 marketing strategies for the airline?
Although the marketing strategies involved in a business are critical, the top ones can be the following.
Paid media advertising
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"name": "Why is airline marketing strategy important?",
"text": "Airline marketing strategies are important for airlines to stand out firmly among the competitors, position their brand, create awareness among the existing customer base and attract more and more potential audiences through various online platforms."
"name": "What are the top 3 marketing strategies for the airline?",
"text": "Although the marketing strategies involved in a business are critical, the top ones can be the following.
Paid media advertising"
Article | April 9, 2020
The unprecedented wave of Covid 19 created significant turbulence in the aviation industry that made the industry face daunting new challenges. However, as airlines continue to respond to the challenges, the marketers remain focused on paving the way for quick recovery.
Whereas, aviation experts admitted that this black swan event impacted the airline industry roughly. The impact of COVID-19 on airlines was forced to face bankruptcy, destruction of financial packages, and complete changes in the airline industry in terms of security. Therefore, while keeping the fact that COVID-19 will have longer-term repercussions, it’s imperative the airline industry would quickly reduce the impact on its stakeholders and operations. And for this, airlines need to go beyond conventional thinking and come forward in using technology to dig in for the long haul.
Airline Industry: Riddled with Challenges Amid COVID-19
Given the airline market behavior during the Covid-19 crisis, it has many opportunities to target different marketing segments through direct and indirect channels. However, some complexities that challenged building an effective marketing strategy were:
According to KPMG, commercial revenue has been a rich source of income in airline businesses; it contributed more than 50% of inclusive revenues in the airline industry. However, a large share of revenue is generated by marketing which has completely dried up with minimum footfalls. Reduced economic growth, absence of remote work arrangements, and loss of operational models have been some of the fallen parts of the airline industry to deal with this new reality.
IATA, at first, stated that airline revenues could fall by $314 billion in 2020 owing to COVID-19, which is a fall of 55% compared to 2019. However, further analysis revealed that it fell $419 billion more in the same year. Also, the second quarter of 2020 saw a nearby decline to $43.5 billion in revenues compared to the projected baseline, a reduction of more than 1%.
Impact on Future Investments
The impact of COVID-19 on airlines was much on the plan for future investments and asset building. These areas posed significant challenges for airline businesses and investors to monetize assets or repurpose them to create shareholder value. In other ways, competition from newer asset-light businesses also posed an additional challenge on asset building and profitability.
How has Airline Industry Retorted to the Pandemic?
Most businesses have reduced all new investments, freezing shares, maintenance, and partnership costs. These have been the extreme response expected in the war—COVID-19, which is even gimmer than war.
But, despite all the impact of COVID-19 on airlines, airlines have responded with alacrity. The crisis made them stand by quickly developing new business processes and operations, research models. In a longer time, changes in the airline industry weren’t so significant. Airlines are also witnessing a radical shift in their development priorities and unique opportunities to conduct research. The desire to provide additional pressure on revenue management systems to predict demand more accurately has also been the core force of development. Let’s understand more under the following points:
In a progressively evolving digital-only landscape, the technology carries more value if used well. Investing in the right tools and technology can help monetize assets better and significantly improve operating efficiency and customer experience.
Refocus on Cost-line
Innovations in marketing strategies, technology can suggestively change the cost of providing services for both airlines and airports. It can help give more pressure on both affordability and profitability. This area of transformation can stimulate significant savings in operating costs and could become the norm for the best performance of marketing.
COVID-19 has spawned the best inventions and innovations. The value of data and technology that you have access to today cannot be overstated. Yet, the aviation industry has shown the resilience to come back stronger and smarter. Therefore, there is a necessity for a thoughtful, analytical, and consistent approach to reforms to help the industry function at a newer and higher altitude and redefine its new normal. The changing geopolitical marketing scenario and impending operational shifts globally demand a swift and nimble approach. Advantageous changes in airline industrial policy in COVID-19 will be required to feat the opportunity, with accrete marketing strategic gains and create a better future.
In a nutshell, airlines had to reinvent how they looked at bookings, employee management, and revenue management, as the previous curves were no longer relevant, and the training data used for machine learning algorithms were no longer valid. Now, airline businesses are exploring novel ways to shorten the old methods used in forecasting, pick up on trends more quickly, and incorporate demand adjustments made by manual revenue management users.
Finally, the writing is evident on the wall—as airline stocks continue to falter (by 16 to 20%), the industry needs to go beyond conventional thinking and use technology to dig in for the long haul.
Airline Marketing: Path to Recovery with 3 Important Tech-Strategies
Inclusion of Advanced Analytics
In the next five years, airline businesses will proceed to develop their ability to install advanced analytics. Although the industry has been using advanced data and analytics, there are expectations that marketing leaders will expand the entire value chain of analytics more progressively. Data-backed analytics will render insights to pinpoint geo-specific interventions for maximum ROI.
While traditional sources of competitive advantage for airlines such as products, networks, technology will continue to gain importance, it is believed that increased usage of data science and advanced analytics will help the industry to augment these sources to deliver notable performance improvement.
Rapid Adoption of Data Science
The aviation industry is part of the change, too, in terms of technology development. Airline Technologies in Covid is radically varying the way businesses connect with their customers. The data required is allowing businesses to take informed steps towards operational efficiency. While embracing new technologies, changes in the airline industry are witnessing the addition of artificial intelligence (AI) to the maximum so that businesses can operate in the post-COVID-19 scenario.
Control of Digital Solutions
As airline market behavior during the Covid-19 crisis has incurred changes in the airline industry, the control of digital solutions has come to the rescue. The solutions are in need to shift resources and efficiently scale to maintain operations. Digital tools can help with a wide range of business efficiency, sales and revenue management, marketing, and network planning.
Opportunities to Reimagine in Post COVID-19 Era
Here are the significant ways in which it could be done.
Airlines today need a data-driven operating model with a mindset that pushes accountability across each touchpoint in the business journey. Marketing teams should be organized around journey stages keeping technological aspects on board. The operating model should be accompanied by KPIs that should be measured across the customer journey and regularly shared with every team member.
The airline industry could consider stepping up IT, digital, and automation investment now. The crucial strategies for digital transformation are driving data-driven platforms and personalization. Tracking business interaction at every touchpoint with the brands and their products enables better predictive analytics. This means integrating digital solutions with enterprise systems and making the data available at the point-of-sale for sales associates to view, interpret and recommend products accordingly will enhance the convenience of operations. In the case of point, airlines businesses can respond to the faster recovery of short-haul flights by investing in direct sales, owning the customer relationship.
Also, relationships with IT and its providers could be re-considered and explore from a technologically perspective. Beyond this, other initiatives which involve efforts like using data in smarter ways to enhance decision making, requiring some investment to yield significant payoffs, are in the line of digital investments.
Gone are the days with COVID-19, when customers were physically involved in the airline business and running it successfully. Unfortunately, the panic of the pandemic is here to stay as a part of our life. So, companies will need to think out of the box. Several tools are available in the market today to avoid physical interactions. Brands have introduced their own ‘Virtual test and try’ tools for marketing and sales purposes.
For instance, Guerlain invested in gamification and launched a mobile game called ‘WeChat’ to promote its sales deck. Similarly, to enhance the operational desk, Lancôme introduced ‘Virtual Mirror’ - an augmented reality virtual makeover app.12 ‘Modiface’- a Canadian AR and AI company, was purchased. Its product performs virtual try-on simulations and is enabled to support live video for all airline operations.
So, the crisis and issues the airline industry facing in the Covid‑19 on revenue generation will still be intensely felt in 2021-2022, as it was earlier. But it is expected that the coming quarter of 2021 will show improvements compared to the previous. This means the industry, which was moving from a decline of 7% in the first quarter of 2021, will see a decline of 35.2% in the fourth quarter compared to the projected baseline.
How to Plan a Marketing Strategy for your Airline Company?
Being in the market already, you can understand where the roots of a marketing campaign come from. Nearly all the airline businesses arise their marketing activities from their vital target group or according to the demand to promote a new product.
There is no solitary way to create a marketing campaign because it involves many company-specific details. Here, you will need to understand how you can stay ahead of your competitors in the marketing field to yield revenue.
Here is a brief sum-up of some valuable points that can help you.
Stick with your Customer Segment: Business or corporate travelers differ in their travel behavior and priorities. So, while you run a marketing campaign, it should highlight this factor as a prime concern.
Focus on the Product you will Market: This point covers that you need to consider that all the product dimensions (digital, physical, service) to market should consider on parameters like how do you want it to market, what are your secondary aims, and how can you benefit from customer actions.
Foster Interaction: So, try to keep as much interaction with your customers as possible. It does help to build loyalty, establish relations with your brand, and source valuable data about your customers. By doing this, you will be able to create a personalized experience for them in the future.
Be loyal: As long as you are not an ultra-low-cost airline operator, you will perhaps have to reward the loyalty your frequent customers give you. Special offers, discounts, and loyalty programs make your brand a company to stick with forever.
Keep an Eye on Competitors: As the airline market has high competition and competitors, your team creating a marketing strategy must include two key elements: your market position and your competitors.
And the last, you must maintain a balance between competition and customer loyalty at any cost.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the top three issues the airline industry is facing in the Covid‑19?
Although the airline industry faced several challenges, the worse challenges were:
Sluggishness in travel/travel bans
Loss of revenue
Which airlines have been most affected by coronavirus?
The list of airlines worst affected by covid-19 goes as:
Korean Air & Asiana
What is the future of the aviation industry after covid-19?
From the perspective of the COVID-19 scenario, the aviation industry needs to pick itself up and begin rebuilding. From hygiene and health standards to aircraft data management to monitor an aircraft’s components and onboard equipment can transform airline operations.
"name": "What are the top three issues the airline industry is facing in the Covid 19?",
"text": "Although the airline industry faced several challenges, the worse challenges were:
Sluggishness in travel/travel bans
Loss of revenue
"name": "Which airlines have been most affected by coronavirus?",
"text": "The list of airlines worst affected by covid-19 goes as:
Korean Air & Asiana
"name": "What is the future of the aviation industry after covid-19?",
"text": "From the perspective of the COVID-19 scenario, the aviation industry needs to pick itself up and begin rebuilding. From hygiene and health standards to aircraft data management to monitor an aircraft’s components and onboard equipment can transform airline operations."