Smart phone, E-reader and tablet adoption is providing aviation marketers with new ways to connect with a diverse audience.
In their Top Digital Trends Report, eMarketerTM predicts that there will be over 89 million tablet users, 53 million e-reader users and 148 million smart phone users in the United States by 2014.
If this digital adoption trend prediction is correct aviation marketers will have numerous platforms and networks with which to engage customers and prospects through out the purchase cycle.
The challenge aviation marketers face is now one of learning how to use digital platforms and cloud based delivery systems to enhance the customer experience.
For example: instead of charging passengers for internet access in the airport environment what if internet access service was branded and offered for free? This is contrary to the current revenue generation thinking pattern of charging for every ancillary service, but customer loyalty could be cemented by offering free access to deals and incentives provided by merchants serving the airport ecosystem.
Taking that idea further, what if airlines streamed their own brand of entertainment to travelers in the waiting areas, and then utilized a cloud system to make it available to the traveler on their smart phone or tablet or once seated on the plane above 10,000 feet?
Forward thinking aviation marketers are already experimenting with these concepts. Singapore based, Scoot Airlines is offering iPads to long-haul budget travelers loaded with movies, music and games. This innovation occurred after ripping out their aircraft entertainment systems to reduce weight and increase fuel efficiency.
Jetstar, Quantas Airlines ltd’s low cost carrier is now offering preloaded iPads on domestic and international flights lasting longer then 90 minutes.
Both airlines plan to roll out wireless internet access in the near future, further enhancing the traveler’s experience.
People-to-People Marketing is Digital and Mobile
As users of mobile digital devices become more familiar cloud based delivery, their expectations for higher quality content will rise, as will their demand for the capability to engage in mobile commerce.
We are already seeing the trend for higher quality content in action through video ads.
Video ads are designed to support, rather than replace online and offline advertising. This form of marketing is a hybrid approach — drawing in the viewer by making a connection through a sponsorship, event or video game.
Mobile commerce will be influenced by getting customers to use their devices to check out at the register, rather than checking in at the location. Yankee Group expects point-of-sale transactions in increase to $40 billion by 2014 up from $27 million recorded in 2010.
These are fascinating trends that open up new avenues for forward thinking aviation marketers.
To purchase the eMarketerTM report click on the following link: “Top Digital Trends for 2012.”