Aviation Marketing: How mobile application development drives people-to-people marketing

Blog_65_How mobile application development drives people-to-people marketingBrands are starting to realize how mobile apps can improve the brand experience.

Enterprise mobile development, the strategy and integration of mobile applications based on devise capabilities and user expectations, is becoming part of brand strategy. Applications that aid us in doing our work are providing a brand experience outside of the workplace environment.

In the aviation industry, airports, airlines and hospitality companies will benefit from understanding the when, where, and how of creating engagement and deployment apps that increase customer loyalty.

The tale of two apps – QR codes disrupted by NFC

Not long ago, QR (quick response) codes held the promise of integrating print advertising with the online experience. Large consumer brands jumped to add QR codes on packaging and point-of-sale materials. The strategy was based extending the engagement leading to an action or a monetary transaction.

B2B companies also started to add QR codes to their advertising but failed to consider the amount of time and resources needed to create meaningful content on the back end of the QR code transaction.

In the aviation industry, adoption of this technology has been slow due to the following:

  • No technology standardization
  • Users unaware of QR code technology and reader apps
  • Limited mobile bandwidth
  • Small size and low-resolution screens of mobile devices
  • Inferior camera software and lenses
  • Difficult keyboard response
  • Immature mobile operating systems

All of this resulted in a hit-and-miss user experience.

Contrast this with the emergence of NFC (near field communication) chips that are being embedded in Samsung smart phones running Google’s Android operating system. NFC technology is a communication protocol and data exchange format that is based on existing radio-frequency identification (RFID) standards. NFC builds upon RFID by allowing two-way communication between app and NCF tag.

Samsung TecTileTM is an app that lets you read and write programmable NFC tags.  TecTiles are the NFC tags that can be programmed for multiple actions such as:

  • Change phone setting
  • Launch apps
  • Check into places
  • Update social status
  • Make calls or send text messages

All these are done by swiping your smart phone in close proximity over the TecTiles.

This is a disruptive technology for QR codes based on standardization of application and chip contained in an open source operating system for mobile devices.

Airports, airlines, and the hospitality industry should consider implementing NFC branding in situations where TecTiles are in close proximity to customers. This technology holds the potential to enhance the user’s experience, increase brand loyalty, and extend the functionality of the brand outside of the intended workplace.

For more information on NFC, click on the following links:

Samsung TecTilesTM

Wikipedia Near Field Communication

Aviation Marketing: Social media extends your reach at tradeshows

Aviation component and system manufacturers can benefit from implementing social media and other online marketing tactics to engage with customers and prospects at trade shows.

In the aviation tradeshow world, most aviation component and system manufacturers find it next to impossible to compete for attention when the likes of Gulfstream or Honeywell dominate the landscape with giant displays and mega events.

Progressive aviation marketers are integrating inbound and outbound marketing efforts to achieve tradeshow objectives and standout from their competition.

Tradeshow strategy starts with show objectives

Determining your strategy requires identifying achievable goals that can be reached at the tradeshow. For example:

  • Generate and capture leads
  • Identify new sources of business
  • Increase social media following
  • Increase email or blog subscribers
  • Make contact with new suppliers
  • Gain customer insight for product improvements
  • Demonstrate latest product functionality

Preshow marketing sets the tone

As you are determining the show objectives, also consider preshow marketing activities that will help achieve the trade show goals. Such as:

  • Discover and prioritize customer and prospects’ social media preferences — Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest — and use these channels to spread your call to action for visiting your location at the show.
  • You can also use these channels to identify key prospects by their profile and group affiliations to send personal invitations.
  • Update your Facebook or Google+ page with a calendar or identify an event or breakout session you will be hosting.

During the show

  • Create an event hashtag (example – #ABCFlightMRO). Place this on preshow and at show materials.
  • Have a social media team member keep the twitter conversation going by tweeting updates, notable booth visitors, photos, and other informative show content for those in attendance and for those that could not make it to the event.
  • Recap the show with daily summaries and post to content sharing sites.
  • Use QR codes on display materials to engage smart phone users, leading them dedicated landing pages. Make an offer for free materials such as white papers, e-books or other relevant material.

Post show

  • Package and repurpose content obtained during the show and send links and summaries to booth visitors and key prospects.
  • Build a database of online visitors and social media participants for use as a prospect list and as an expanded list for the next show.
  • Update social media pages to promote your next event.

Using social media extends the reach of your tradeshow presence and provides new ways to engage with customers and prospects.

Why people-to-people marketing is replacing business-to-business in the aviation industry

In aviation marketing successful brands are creating loyalty and commanding premium pricing by connecting on a personal and emotional level with their customers. 

Historically, aviation industry component and system manufacturers have practiced traditional business-to business outbound marketing (push marketing model). The outbound model relies on bought media to push key messages to a mass audience, segmented by demographic, SIC code, business title or purchasing authority.

Tactical execution takes the form of:

  • advertising
  • direct promotion
  • trade shows
  • sales literature
  • web banners
  • micro sites
  • company websites

Often public relations tactics such as press releases and product stories in trade publications support out-bound efforts.

The push marketing strategy is predicated on disrupting the viewer to convey predetermined key messages that support product features, benefits and value propositions.

For many aviation industry manufacturers, this has been a successful approach to building brand awareness. However, outbound marketing requires a large invest-ment in bought media and advertising return on investment is hard to track.

Customers are disillusioned with the “about me” aspect of the creative product further challenging the advertising’s ability to disrupt the viewer in the work environment. In addition, outbound lacks the stickiness to build community and form a one-on-one relationship with the individual.

Enter People-to-People Marketing 

People-to-people marketing is predicated on building relationships with individuals and communities through conversations that nurture and build trust. Technology is at the heart of inbound marketing (pull marketing model).

One of the most intriguing aspects of people-to-people marketing is its not confined to the workplace. Personal computing power in the form of smart phones and tablets makes it possible to connect with customers in venues not traditionally associated with aviation marketing.

Social media outlets provide the means to listen and carry on conversations with individuals. People-to-people marketing requires aviation marketers to reevaluate and rebalance their marketing mix to achieve their marketing goals.

Successful people-to-people marketing shifts the focus from “me oriented” to “story telling” to create the personal and emotional bonds.

In addition, personal computing power opens up new venues for storytelling through video, slide share and other syndicated platforms. Inbound marketing also comes with a wide array of analytics packages to help establish data chains for measurement and marketing investment.

Finding the right balance

Today, successful aviation marketing requires an integrated mix of inbound and outbound marketing to tell the brand story. Aviation marketers are challenged to accomplish more with less, forcing them to reassess traditional marketing efforts and move towards more cost effective inbound marketing venues.

Many of these new venues are reaching maturity, offering integrated marketing and viable ways to reach prospects, establishing relationships and forming one-on-one connections with your audience.