Private aviation is no longer a niche industry.
As the costs associated with air travel decrease, more and more private aviation companies are finding ways to offer personal and business air travel to more people.
It could be said that marketing for private aviation is still in its infancy. In previous years, the lack of competition meant that advertising for private aviation companies was not much of a concern – customers would seek out such companies instead of the other way around. Increased competition now means that companies are required to battle against their competitors for customers in order to survive. In addition, people need to be made aware that business and personal air travel is entirely viable, and is no longer available to only the rich and famous.
Private aviation companies need to get their marketing spot on, of course. A failed marketing campaign will fail to draw in customers and your company will end up losing precious revenue. Here are three common mistakes that private aviation companies often make in their marketing as well as suggestions on how to avoid these pitfalls.
- Failing to Focus on the Number One Consideration – the Passenger
- Ignoring Metrics – or Not Having Metrics Available
- Not Hiring the Correct People or Company to Shepherd Their Marketing Efforts
While your marketing will naturally focus on selling your seats to the people willing to sit in them, too much marketing for private aviation companies focuses on the ‘can do’ aspect of private aviation (i.e. that private aviation is affordable) rather than the ‘how’. Companies seem to think that the mere fact they are providing private aviation options is enough to entice customers, and so tailor their marketing accordingly. However, as there are an increasing number of options for private aviation customers – alongside traditional travel methods by road or sea – customers really want to know how they will be treated as passengers.
Private aviation companies are of course proud of their aircraft, but passengers will see the same aircraft as simply a means of getting from their starting point to their destination. They will only be interested in how comfortable their flight will be or if they have the ability to work on board with internet connectivity, and marketing efforts should be tailored accordingly.
Plans and ideas when it comes to marketing are all well and good, but nothing can be gauged without specific measures, or metrics, as they are commonly known. A metric is a method of assigning a numerical value to some aspect of a marketing campaign – for example, the number of visitors to a website that then go on to become customers, or whom at least make further inquiries.
Without measuring such aspects there is no way of knowing if a marketing campaign is working. Additionally, if only the end results of campaigns (i.e. sales) are measured, there is no way to work out why sales have increased or declined. For example, sales may decline because of something that is very easy to fix, such as a site having a slow loading time. Without this critical information an entire sales campaign may be scrapped when all that was needed was a tiny change.
Private aviation companies previously had the luxury of not having to focus on metrics because – as has been already mentioned – customers would simply come to them. Increased competition means that such a luxury is no longer a genuine aspect of the industry.
Private aviation companies tend to have small staff rosters. Running a fleet of private planes is an expensive business, so the lower the staff costs in total, the broader the margins.
Often marketing aspects are merged into other sections of a company, such as maintaining the company’s online presence, or other administrative tasks. This can lead to unsuitable people being placed in charge of marketing.
Marketing is a complex process that’s made to look simple – or at least it is if the correct people are in the correct roles. Marketing experts also tend to have very transferable skills from other industries as the process is broadly the same across all sectors – the conversion of leads into sales and the generation of leads via multiple marketing channels in the first place.
Saving money by combining marketing with other aspects of a business’s services is a false economy as the necessary skills will not be present in order to create an effective marketing campaign. Other skills are not transferable – a company would not expect the person taking phone inquiries to fly the plane as well – so why is marketing considered to be?
If you’d like to know more about marketing services for your private aviation company, then please feel free to reach out to us here at Offland Media. We are a team of marketing experts, aviators, and influencers that help the private aviation industry reach its goals. Call us anytime at 1-800-604-5193 or contact us using our convenient online contact form.