Airlines are embracing people-to-people marketing
“The State of Airline Marketing,” published by Airtrends.com and SimpliFlying, takes a global look at innovative social marketing trends using case studies. The report identifies trends such as experiental, location-based, co-creation and social loyalty incentives. Below is my interpretation of their report with focus on people-to-people marketing trends.
1. EXPERIENTAL – Traditional branding tactics are becoming increasingly less effective when trying to reach a jaded flying public. Heretofore, “consumers,” once viewed as a target audience or demographic are now viewed as customers. This shift in perspective requires a people-to-people marketing approach as airlines are turning to the brand experience to capture the attention and imagination of people interested in their service offering.
2. SOCIAL CARE – Today’s traveler is connected to his or her social networks via a smart phone or tablet. These mobile devices provide a conduit for praise or bashing when frustrated with a product or service that does not meet expectations. It is important for airlines to tackle the problem at the place where it occurs, building goodwill and turning a dissatisfied customer into a brand advocate.
3. ON LOCATION – Aviation brands want to interact with customers no matter the location. From QR codes at taxi stops to scavenger hunts using twitter hashtags, airlines are increasingly “going to the customer.” This location effort puts a human quality to the corporate brand.
4. BACK TO REALITY – To connect with the customer, airlines are seeking and using user-generated content to open a window into the interworking of airline operations and the logistics involved with travel.
5. CROWDSOURCING – Airlines are using crowdsourcing to determine the priorities of the customer. Good ideas are not the exclusive domain of the airline. Customer ideas are being incorporated into variety of product innovations, loyalty rewards, and tablet applications.
6. VIRAL VIDEOS – Airlines are learning to be their own media outlets. Those that demonstrate creativity in their marketing are being rewarded with millions of views on social channels, thus reducing the cost of bought media.
7. SOCIAL LOYALTY & GAMIFICATION
Airlines are tapping into location-based services to track loyalty in terms of repeat visits as well as social advocacy. By offering real-world rewards to fans and followers who promote their brand online, airlines add an element of gamification to their marketing.
To download a copy of “The State of Airline Marketing” click here.
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