Marketing a service just to one generation tends to be the best strategy in retaining a customer base. On the other hand, it can get old pretty quick. Focusing on one audience is a miss opportunity for another. This is something that the business aviation industry has been doing for some time and for the most part, it has been successful. Yet, when you factor in how technology is increasingly advancing to improve the aviation industry, this is where the generational divide is painfully obvious.
How Times are A-Changing!
The Baby Boomer generation has had a hold over the business aviation industry for sometime now. However, this pool of resources is thinning out due to a couple of factors. Pilot shortage is one reason because many of them have started to fly for commercial airlines. The other reason may be due to technology. The older generations tend to always have the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” type of approach, but as technology continues to evolve at an increasing rate, the mindset of the newer generation is geared toward quickly adapting to change. This is something that younger generations have always been able to do—including Generation X, but millennials especially.
- Baby Boomer Generation – Ages 52 – 70
- Generation X – Ages 36 – 51
- Millennials 20 – 35
Millennials are the Future!
Today, it is the millennials who are propelling our society to greater expectations. The Pew Research Center projects that the millennial generation will surpass the Baby Boomer by the year 2028. Nielson reported that millennials are the top smartphone users. Ninety-eight percent of them own a smartphone while Generation X follow close behind at 97 percent. Even Baby Boomers come in third at under 90 percent.
So, what does all of this mean for the aviation industry?
The Need for Cabin Connectivity in Private Jets
The millennial generation is beginning to appreciate the convenience of flying privately. The cost of flying for business professionals oftentimes outweighs the cost of flying commercially. However, without cabin connectivity, many professional millennials prefer to take commercial flights just because they can get Wi-Fi access. The drawback to this is not having the privacy and security to fully conduct business onboard a flight.
The Expectations of Onboard Connectivity
Since the millennial generation reportedly accounts for 83 million people, it’s apparent that the business aviation industry provides the connectivity that has now become more of a required expectation than a luxury perk. Furthermore, the connectivity is expected to meet the same standards as if passengers were using their smartphone on the ground. Such demands have put the business aviation industry in a situation where they have no other choice but to comply in order to keep the business going. By installing top-notch Wi-Fi services with a generous amount of bandwith, the luxury and convenience of flying privately will be all the more appealing.
The Service of Providing and Experience
Apex stated in their article The Millennial Business Traveler that “Millennials prize value over cost, and experience over material things.” In an age where virtual reality and gaming is slowly integrating with general business advertising operations, millennials tend to appreciate services that cater to this type of technology and cabin connectivity plays a huge role in meeting such expectations. So when it comes to flying privately, anything that will enhance the flight experience will be a plus.
Not having cabin connectivity for the professional millennial is like no television for Generation X or a radio for the Baby Boomer. In order for the business aviation to thrive, it must supersede the experience of commercial travel while providing an immediate, seamless connection to the internet. With almost every passenger owning a smartphone, instant and fast Wi-Fi service is a necessity to meet millennial connectivity demands.
Why is On Flight Connectivity Such a Big Deal?
A lot of these onboard expectations are thanks to social media. At one time, the internet was mainly used for business and an occasional search query. Now, apps like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and dating platforms have changed the game for online users increasing the bandwidth usage at a considerable rate. This in turn, has prompted businesses to take advantage of a captive social media audience.
Does Cabin Connectivity Appeal Only to Millennials?
So do millennials only fly jets with cabin connectivity? If they had a choice yes, but cost can sometimes play a major factor in whether or not they do. Aircrafts with cabin connectivity may cost more to supplement for the installation cost. On the other hand, some passengers can pay for their connectivity by the hour. It really depends on the private charter company. The important criterion is that there is a choice. Also, such service is not specifically for the millennials either.
Again, marketing to one generation can pigeonhole your outreach efforts. While it is certainly strategic to target one demographic, it’s even smarter to broaden that audience since Wi-Fi services is something that appeals to almost every passenger.
Offland Media want to close the generational gaps within the business aviation industry. We believe by providing resourceful material that educates and informs people about the needs and accomplishments of this industry, we can thrive! Call and speak to one of our consultants to discover how you can be part of it all at 1-800-604-5193. You can even contact us online!