The State of Airline Marketing 2013

The State of Airline Marketing_a680x325

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By Raymond Kollau (airlinetrends.com) & Shubhodeep Pal (SimpliFlying)

Airline marketing is undergoing a phase that’s exceedingly exciting, unpredictable and creative. Faced with ever more experienced consumers, who routinely ignore the commercials and ads thrown at them, airline brands are finding new ways to break through the advertising clutter to reach and engage consumers.

Besides dreaming up experiental marketing and creative – traditional media-based – initiatives, airlines around the world are equipping themselves with the tools and know-how to conquer the digital marketing revolution, experimenting with new social media platforms and launching mobile campaigns that link the online with the offline world.

Airline Marketing Benchmark Report
In today’s fast-moving environment, it is important not just to be creative and innovative yourself but to be more striking than your immediate competition as well. However, given the speed at which things move in digital media, it is no easy task to stay on top of the latest trends, fads and innovations.

Over the last six months, SimpliFlying and airlinetrends.com have published a premium Airline Marketing Benchmark Report. Published monthly, the report contains a selection of 15 of the most innovative marketing and advertising campaigns launched by airlines around the world and assesses their impact.

Across the close to 100 innovative marketing initiatives that have been featured to date, we have identified EIGHT TRENDS that range from experiental to location-based, co-creation and social loyalty initiatives and which reflect the current state of airline marketing:

1. EXPERIENTAL
Faced with ever more experienced consumers, who routinely ignore the commercials and ads thrown at them, airlines are finding new ways to break through the advertising clutter and are turning to brand experiences in order to capture the imagination of today’s consumer.

2. SOCIAL CARE
Today’s traveler is always tuned in to his social networks via a mobile device while travelling. In times, when frustration with a product or service can be vented (and spread) in an instant, it is important for airlines to tackle the problem at the place where it occurs, building goodwill as well, since everyone can see the responses.

3. ON LOCATION
Brands want to reach customers where they are. Instead of pulling customers and users out of their comfort zones, airlines are increasingly “going to the customer”. And what better way to do this than to design initiatives based where you are located?

4. BACK TO REALITY
Airlines have woken up to the need to connect with “real” people. There is a growing focus on everyday people, away from stereotypes, supermodels, celebrities and professionally made pictures/videos and airlines are seeking user-generated content or for example feature airline staff that share their day-to-day life.

5. CROWDSOURCING
Airlines have used crowdsourcing as an effective means to a variety of ends such as product innovations, for a tablet application, loyalty tier rewards and for improving hand luggage respectively.

6. VIRAL VIDEOS
In today’s online arena, those brands that come up with a creative and compelling ‘traditional’ commercial will be rewarded for their creativity as their work will spread very fast around the world.

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.

8. MEME JACKING
An internet meme is a concept that spreads from person to person via the internet. It can be anything from an image to a video to a hashtag. The popularity of internet memes and their deep association with the “internet culture”, makes them an effective marketing tool for airlines to create buzz around their brands.

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