Aviation Marketing: Big data and creativity

Creativity needs big data to define the landscape in which the brand operates

Creativity needs big data to define the landscape in which the brand operates

One provides tactical insight, the other the emotional glue

Big data is the buzzword of the day. The techno savvy number crunchers are heralding big data as an “end all, be all” for tracking RIO and determining which marketing initiatives to fund. I’m in agreement that big data, when properly interpreted, can provide customer insight as to the purchasing habits and the media channel that culminated the sale. No argument – this is valid tactical information and should be considered when planning marketing initiatives.

Big data has limitations

Big data interpretation is also influenced by what the interpreter wants from it. We all know numbers can be twisted to justify decisions based on the interpreter’s bias and ultimate goal.

Big data also presents a one-sided view of the transaction process. Yes, it can isolate the channel that the purchase was transacted through, but it cannot measure the cumulative effect of brand value and preference across all the marketing channels that led to the conversion.

Big data lacks soul

Dissecting any purchasing process has to take into account the emotional decision to consider the brand in the first place. This is where big data comes up short.

Purchasing decisions start by pinging an emotional need.  These emotions are what make us human and drive our wants, desires, and needs. Emotions are the glue that create an attachment to a brand and pique our curiosity to investigate features and benefits to justify the purchase.

Creativity needs big data and visa-versa

Big data is automated. It’s a logical path that turns creativity into a commodity. From automated ad purchasing programs to social media sentiment, tracking these algorithms can not detect sarcasm, joy, empathy or any of the other emotions we humans employ on a daily basis to communicate, cope, and justify our purchasing decisions.

There was once a time when creativity was celebrated. Good advertising built brands and created brand preference. It could sweep the nation with catch phrases and imprint the brand message in the minds of millions of potential customers.

Creativity needs big data to define the landscape in which the brand operates. Big data can help creative thinking by providing comparative analysis, insight into purchasing habits, and models of what not to do based on different scenarios.  Ultimately, this tactical execution may be big data’s greatest contribution to the creative process.

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Aviation Marketing: What’s your media strategy for brand engagement?

Mobile people-to-people marketing

In the digital ecosystem, brand engagement is achieved by continuing the conversation.

I recently attended a seminar put on by the Digital Knowledge Centre in conjunction with the American Association of Advertising Agencies. The topic for the full day event was integrated digital brand strategy.  An excerpt:

First aviation marketers should fully grasp the explosion of media channels and how that is impacting the distribution of content. In the modern media landscape brand, engagement happens in three categories — bought, owned, and earned media.

Bought media is any media channel in which time or space is rented to display advertising.  Its objective is to drive people to owned media channels.

Bought media channels include:

  • Radio
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Online ads
  • Outdoor advertising
  • Television

Owned media are media channels that are controlled by the brand. These destinations provide a platform to drive marketing messages and tools to create earned media.

Owned media channels include:

  • Brick and mortar stores
  • Product websites
  • Corporate websites
  • Direct mail
  • Customer Relation Management technology (CRM)
  • Mobile websites
  • Campaign websites
  • Community websites
  • Email campaigns
  • Tradeshow displays

Earned media refers to first-person commentary and content about the brand posted and shared across a variety of social networks and channels.

Earned media channels include:

  • Video sharing – YouTube, Vimeo
  • Social networks  – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
  • Blogs
  • Subscription sites for syndicated social platforms
  • Personal pages
  • Multi Site Manager (MSM) sites – enterprise with a large number of subsidiaries in various countries sharing similar look, feel and common content.

Judging from the proliferation of owned and earned media channels, it is easy to understand how print newspaper advertising revenue went from $64 billion in 1999 to $20.7 billion in 2011. Naturally, the question that comes to mind is what happened to that $40 plus billion in revenue? One could conclude that print advertising was dropped in favor of online advertising.  However, the numbers reveal that with online advertising factored in, combined print and online advertising accounted for just $22.50 billion.

The answer I propose is that there was a fundamental shift in the way people gathered and interacted with content. The “one-to-many” distribution model of information dissemination was usurped by readers taking control and redistributing content on the web forming the foundation for people-to-people marketing.

For the aviation industry, it becomes clear that old school media strategies are not yielding the results required to justify continued investment. Developing a people-to-people content centered strategy of high frequency with permission drives brand value and keeps the relationship going.

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Aviation Marketing: Social Media is not going away

Like-minded people

The primal appeal of social media is the connectedness of like-minded people

In recent years, the emergence of different social media technologies has spurred a revolution in the aviation marketing. Today’s market necessitates that aviation manufacturers utilize these tools as an integral component to help build brand value.

“The Social Economy: Unlocking Value and Productivity through Social Technologies,” published by McKinsey & Company, presents a forward view on how social technologies impact value creation for manufacturing and service companies.

From the report, I have identified 5 separate areas where social media technologies can impact the value of aviation manufacturers.

Social Technologies today:

  • Have 1.5 billion global users
  • 80% of which interact with social networks regularly
  • Report 90% of all companies that use social media websites experience financial benefits
  • Show an average of 28 hours per week are spent online by knowledge workers — writing e-mails, searching for information, or collaborating internally

Take the time to look through an online aviation directory, and you will see that about 65% of aviation manufacturers have no links to any type of social media on their websites. I would presume this is primarily because:

  • Management has yet to recognize the power of social media as a collaboration tool
  • Misguided integration of social media into the traditional marketing mix
  • Some have yet to see the value in social media, and instead view it as a social fad that will eventually fade away

Five areas where social technologies add value to aviation and aerospace manufacturers:

1. Product Development: Social media serves as an effective forum to facilitate collaboration between customers and developers. This makes it easy to derive customer insights, and allows for the co-creation of better, more effective products.

2. Operations and Distribution: Aviation manufacturers can leverage social media platforms to help forecast and monitor product acceptance, and can see the effects of different applications on the market through unprompted and unfiltered conversations between customer groups.

3. Marketing and Sales: Social media platforms allow for interactive marketing between the manufacturer and customer. For example, a Twitter post immediately communicates information to the customer because of Twitter’s time-based information delivery system. That same post can then be accessed hours, days, or even months later on the manufacturers’ own page.

4. Customer Service: Social media grants manufacturers the ability to respond to customers in real time, and on the communication platform of their choosing. The collective knowledge of the entire consumer populous can be used to arrive at the correct solution or work-around if needed.

5. Business Support: Immediate communication between consumers and manufacturers speeds up the internal flow of information in the company, more closely connecting the task and talent. Lose the “dark matter” buried in the one-to-one nature of emails by reducing the amount of time spent retrieving data relative to the project or organization.

The level of utility of these social media platforms will depend on the number of people willing to transform culture and process to take full advantage of the collaborative potential these technologies offer. Achieving maximum utility depends on the determination of users to change the social landscape. The traditional applications of these technologies must be set aside, allowing for the discovery of new applications altogether.

To view the complete McKinsey report click the flowing article title: “The Social Economy: Unlocking Value and Productivity through Social Technologies

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