Why Aviation Digital Marketing should drive your business’ momentum
Updated: Oct 24
...and the risk you take if you ignore its role.
Aviation is an innovative and ambitious sector
Known for pushing the envelope and for driving advancement…but has aviation marketing kept pace with other aspects of commercial aviation?
As an experienced aviation marketing agency, in this week’s blog we outline why it must. The picture of aviation was being re-drawn before COVID, but the gear-change to more rapid evolution during the pandemic was palpable. Businesses working within the sector require clients and customers to have awareness of the problems the sector faces - and then buy into your innovative solutions for addressing them.
Adopting new tech and new ideas takes time: but can be facilitated with strategic digital marketing.
Let’s break it down.
Sectors Selling Innovation Are Different
Social proofing is a huge deal when it comes to marketing: but what is it?
Social proofing is essentially the idea that the actions of others influence our behaviour or decisions. In marketing terms, we copy the behaviour of others - consumer reviews / feedback / comments steer choice and sales: 91% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase
In commercial aviation, passengers’ experiences and opinions are increasingly relevant and amplified: passengers often trust each other’s recommendations more than traditional marketing, and can reshape brand perceptions faster than ever.
But what if your product, service or even your central value proposition is UNTESTED? You have no feedback, as you’re innovating and pushing into unchartered waters - and are yet to have social proof. As an aviation marketing agency which has overcome this problem, we can share our solution.
Like you, we stay ahead of the curve: we deal in future social-proofing.
Because we assume they will continue in the same direction, trends don’t only tell us where others’ behaviours were and are, they also tell us where they will be.
Because it has been thus, it will be thus.
What does this mean for aviation marketing?
Well, if the solution you’re offering can be supported by data which shows a trend connected to it - popularity, others coming on board, proven data showing a growing necessity for it - then this trend should be a central feature of your messaging.
Your audience will presume the buy-in will continue, that the trend will continue on this trajectory and is then an indication of the future necessity of your product or service.
Not only that, but as you used future social proofing in your marketing strategy, your brand - above others - will be associated with the solution in consumers’ collective consciousness.
Let’s take a look at how we might use future social-proofing to work with brands and companies in some key areas of innovation and challenge in the aviation industry, ensuring customer and client buy-in and keeping ahead of the messaging curve.
1. The pivot to ‘preighters’
With impressive alacrity, many established airlines about-faced to respond to the cessation of international passenger travel, transforming aircraft in their fleet to freighters to transport PPE and more around the globe. Lufthansa, Emirates and LATAM are just a few who jumped to modify their planes - and profit from it.
Whilst for some this shift from passenger to freighter (hence ‘preighter) may well have intended to be temporary, the global uptick in e-commerce suggests that the move could be a lucrative (and necessary) longer term gambit. As XXX new cargo planes are predicted to be required by XXX - fleet management and ROI just got interesting.
How would future social-proofing support marketing for aviation companies working in this space?
Evidencing the upwards trajectory in e-commerce and the necessity of more cargo planes being required to meet demand will attain client buy-in to aviation projects which facilitate this future need.
2. AI in Aviation
Never has reliability been more crucial in commercial aviation.
After the sometimes chaotic cancellations and changing restrictions that marked travel at the height of the pandemic, passenger reticence and diminished confidence in flying is acute. The last thing that the sector needs is grounded planes as a result of unexpected maintenance.
Data from IFS Maintenix users over the last 5 years shows that 45 percent of all parts removals were unexpected: anticipating faults and defects to sustain operational ability is vital. Here AI can take the lead. Predictive analytics provided by AI which learns operational contexts, and maintenance history, will evolve airlines’ maintenance capabilities.
Use strategic aviation marketing to convince clients now:
Maintenance of aircraft could be more predictive and less reactive.
Prove the trend towards AI and evidence the necessity for it, making AI a regular part of your marketing conversation
A survey by McKinsey & Company of 5500 travellers in summer 2021 revealed emissions are now the top concern of respondents in 11 of the 13 countries polled, up from fourth in the 2019 survey. The IATA and its partners committed to making flying net zero by 2050 and it’s clear passengers are coming onboard to the changes the sector will undergo to reach this goal.
Almost 40 percent of travellers globally are now willing to pay at least two percent more for carbon-neutral tickets - and 36 percent plan to fly less to reduce their climate impact. The picture changes across markets: around 60 percent of travellers in Spain are willing to pay more for carbon-neutral flights, for example, compared to nine percent in India and two percent in Japan.
Is this the future social proof required to shape support for a paradigm shift for sustainable aviation businesses?
No airline has yet built a brand promise or business model which focuses on sustainability (above price, speed or connections)
However, the trend in many markets (the UK and Europe notably) is leaning towards rewarding those airlines that meet rising consumer demands for environmental sustainability. And, of course, with an eye on the power of social proof, accelerating support for these brands.
And people are proven to drive change in the skies, from the ground.
In November 2021 Australian airline Qantas - responding to feedback from passengers - launched a ‘green tier’ in its loyalty program to reward green habits in the lives of its frequent flyers.
Marketing showing aviation brand’s meaningful sustainable actions will be crucial in activating support for changing ticket prices or business models - and to ensure customer and client loyalty to sustainability champions in the industry.
Marketing with Momentum
Whilst we can predict some of the upcoming challenges aviation faces, it’s never more important to be able to adapt and respond to shifts and trends with nimbleness. And that goes for the aviation marketing landscape too.
If we ignore the role that the messages about your business have on your business, we ignore a vital component to every company’s ultimate success: their customers’ psychology.
The best aviation marketing moves at the momentum your business needs to shape your message: now and into the future. It should not only understand the way that digital marketing is moving, but how critical it is for your business’ ambitions to be realised.
Using social proof to future-proof your business and shape your message as your business grows and evolves should not be seen as an afterthought to your evolution, but actually the driving force behind it.
Build confidence about your product and position in the aviation industry with marketing - and with an agency who understands the sector and has experience articulating its complex messages on a human level.