People-to-People marketing changes the approach to customer relationships.
When working with companies serving the aviation industry that are transitioning to people-to-people marketing, I stress that marketing content should be centered around two things: 1) solving customer problems, and 2) the journey through the purchasing process – because these are the two main elements of creating brand preference. Yet many times after this suggestion is made there is resistance to change and a tendency to circle back and do things the way they are most comfortable with. This usually takes the form of reskinning their current website with the latest product iteration.
In the aviation industry, brands fall into three categories – innovators, challengers and laggards. Innovative brands take calculated risk; they think big, invest smartly and understand the power of marketing. Challenger brands are smart and agile they rely on new technology and materials to disrupt traditional business models. Laggards, well are laggards. Laggard brands practice “Random Acts of Marketing” a term my colleague Paula Willliams uses to describe marketing tactics without strategy.
Social media provides insight into the customer’s brand experience
The website technorati.com has lunched a podcast series, “Social Brands & Influencers”. Technorati interviews top thought leaders and decision makers in the social media and marketing world. Liz Brown Bullock formally of Dell Computer and now CEO of the start up SASI provided her perspective on getting employees involved in social media marketing. Below is my interpretation for aviation marketers.
Consideration decisions come from establishing an emotional connection
Most big-ticket purchases in aviation and related industries are considered purchases. It is the job of marketing to understand what is important to decision makers and influencers in terms of feature, function, and cost benefit. Those are the issues that will be weighted against the competition when the rational purchase process begins.
Social media offers an unadulterated view of issues and opinions that shape brand preference
When developing strategic communication plans for companies in the aviation industry, I always want to know what’s going on in the customer’s mind. Customer insight can be attained via several channels using different tactics. For example, insights can be gained from:
Knowing how and when to use hashtags can increase brand adoption
Lynne Serafinn, author of “The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sell,” wrote an article on how and when to use hashtags on Twitter and Facebook. Below is my interpretation for aviation marketers.
Aviation companies that are practitioners of people-to-people marketing spend their marketing capital wisely by defining their position and understanding their point of differentiation. This due diligence leads to delivering key messages in clear concise terms that are easily understood by the constituents with whom they wish to do business.
Our emotional connection with a brand is an unconscious decision
Product and service innovation in the aviation industry comes from improved features and functions. On the flight deck, it can be a chip-driven avionic component that replaces a mechanical legacy system, to the cabin, where passengers are plugged into inflight wireless connectivity while enjoying their lay-flat seats — these innovations are the result of engineering.