The Marketing Tool Box – Which Tactics Are Best For Aviation Businesses
There are numerous tools available in a marketing tool box to promote your aviation business, and it seems more are invented every day. In this article we have summarized the best tools that have a proven track record in aviation marketing.
However, before investing hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a magazine advertising or trade show, you should map out a clear course toward future success.
Developing a strategic marketing plan should be the first tool to use in your marketing tool box. Your plan will include your company’s business goals, customer profiles, competitor analysis, timeline, sales message and budget. It may seem like a daunting task to pull this together but don’t overlook this critical step in your marketing endeavor. Doing a deep dive into your industry and the products or services you offer will lay the foundation for a successful marketing campaign. The game plan may change and evolve over time so don’t stress that you have to get it right the first time.
So How Do You Know Which Tools To Use In Your Marketing Tool Box?
Now that you have a clear idea of where you want your business to go, how do you get there? As mentioned, there are many options available in your marketing tool box that you can deploy to promote your aviation business. However, creating excitement is the secret sauce that turns a marketing message from sufficient to successful. Once you’ve perfected your messaging, distributing your campaign in the appropriate platform for your strategy and target audience is one of the most important decisions you will face. Reaching an audience at the right time and in the right place will increase your chance of creating brand awareness, engagement and initiating a relationship with the ultimate goal of converting a potential customer into a client.
We have summarized the best marketing tools with a proven track record for aviation businesses and assembled them in two groups in your marketing tool box: Traditional (or Legacy) and Digital.
Digital Marketing Tools
Digital marketing is a broad term for the design and implementation of sales and informational messages on the internet. It includes websites, search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, banner advertising, mobile marketing, and email marketing.
The array of options in internet marketing makes it an incredibly flexible medium, allowing businesses to provide and capture information, build brands, generate leads, offer promotions, and close sales.
A website provides a low-pressure environment for customers to learn about your company, products or services and to decide whether they should do business with you. For businesses, the web provides a relatively low-cost shop window to the world. Not only do websites supply information, they generate leads and can close sales if your site enables e-commerce.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This is the use of specific keywords in your website copy to draw traffic from search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. How high your website appears in search results depends on your keywords’ relevance to algorithms and other criteria that search engines use to rank the importance of websites. This rank is affected by more than a hundred top-secret factors, among them quality of content, usability of pages, expertise of sources, freshness of content, location and context.
Google AdWords & Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
Advertising in which you bid against competitors for search keywords/phrases that appear at the top of search engine results. In addition, search engines assign “quality scores” that measure an ad’s relevance and performance. The bid amount and quality score combined determine how high your ad will appear in the search results. As the name implies, you only “pay” for this advertising when someone “clicks” on your advertising.
Remarketing is a feature of Google AdWords that allows you to continue to reach people who have previously visited your site, and show them relevant ads when they visit other websites across the internet or when they initiate another search on Google.
Banner ads come in numerous shapes, sizes and formats. Some use static images and text while others use animation, video and audio to get your attention. Banner ads can be combined with Google’s remarketing capabilities to improve their effectiveness.
Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms to connect with your audience to build your brand, increase sales, and drive website traffic. This involves publishing relevant content on your social media profiles, listening to and engaging your followers, analyzing your results, and running social media advertisements. The major social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and Snapchat.
Email marketing helps you connect with your audience to promote your brand and increase sales in a very cost-effective way. Emails can be used to drive website traffic, share company and product news, improve your cart abandonment rate or tell your brand story. Thanks to the growing number of email service providers such as Constant Contact, iContact and Mail Chimp, programs are easy to set up and inexpensive to maintain. You’ll see the highest ROI when you build and maintain an engaged subscriber list made up of people who want to receive your messages and have intentionally opted in.
Creating a blog with regular posts about topics and issues relevant to your industry positions you as an “expert” in your field. In addition, it provides fresh content for your website, which helps with Search Engine Optimization. Blog posts can be taken to another level and expanded into “white papers,” which again reinforces your expert image and can be offered as a downloadable document accompanied with a contact form on your website.
Increasingly more consumers are interacting online through their smartphones and tablets, and many businesses are including this growing segment in their marketing mix. For instance, they may create scaled-down versions of their websites that display well on these mobile devices.
Other businesses have developed self-contained applications (apps) that bypass a website completely. An app provides the user experience within a contained environment—be it games, music, news, weather, stocks, etc.
Traditional (or Legacy) Marketing Tools
Advertising is the creation and placement of sales messages (ads) in a medium that your customers see or hear. There are numerous advertising media: television, radio, websites, magazines and newspapers, to name a few. Within each medium, there may be hundreds of television stations, thousands of magazines, or millions of websites in which to place your advertising.
Public Relations, aka PR, highlights your company news and places them in the media your customers see and hear. It’s meant to generate awareness, not to direct sales. These messages can be powerful because they have the appearance of an endorsement by the media. In addition, public relations is relatively inexpensive compared with other forms of marketing.
Trade Show/Event Marketing
In aviation and aerospace, trade shows are an important component of most companies’ sales and marketing. Trade shows provide opportunities to meet prospective customers, vendors, and associates all in one place at one time, allowing you to conduct face-to-face meetings in a few, albeit long, days. They are also an excellent means of building contacts, generating leads, closing sales and conducting your own market research by checking out the competition! You will want to update your exhibit booth, product mock-up and print material months in advance. If it looks the same as last year, then go back to the drawing board and refresh your photos and incorporate the latest industry trends and phraseology.
This is a catchall phrase that encompasses all the various types of promotional, sales, and corporate literature a company may use in its sales and marketing efforts. These include brochures, data sheets, annual reports, press kits, newsletters, etc. Marketing communications may be printed or delivered electronically as a PDF.
By using sophisticated database information and techniques, you can craft a sales message specifically to a target audience with a high predisposition to purchase your product or service. The offer is sent directly to your target customer, usually by mail, with an immediate offer to purchase. This type of marketing can generate immediate sales and is excellent for niche markets.
Generally, sales promotions refer to in-store, trade show or point-of-sale materials. These items assist the salesperson or merchandiser in selling your product or service. These promotions often include incentive programs to the merchandiser as an inducement to spotlight a particular product.
Point-Of-Sale (POS) materials include exhibits, displays, posters, rebates and special giveaway items. They may also include coupons, contests and sweepstakes. The latter group is easily incorporated with e-commerce sites. Other items that fall loosely into this category are advertising premiums, including the numerous knickknacks (e.g., pens, hats, coffee mugs, t-shirts) to promote your brand. I even received a pan scraper once so have fun with this one and stand apart from the rest!
Integrate Your Marketing Campaign
The best strategy will utilize a mix of the tactics above from your marketing tool box, as each tool will support and enhance the effectiveness others. Also, be sure to track and monitor your campaign. A set it and forget it strategy rarely works, so plan on assessing outcomes and changing course if necessary to strike the right balance.