In marketing, just like in business, everything starts with strategic planning. When it comes to general aviation marketing, strategic planning involves a continuous process that must take into account both the ever-changing aviation environment and customer demands.

What’s more, expanding your GA company internationally requires a disciplined approach to creating a truly effective aviation marketing plan, which can help you conquer both the sky and global markets. Now, we invite you to go through the following seven strategies our marketing professionals have compiled for you.

  1. Identify your target market.
    Facts or assumptions – the time has come for you to choose. If you’ve just tipped the scale toward the former, sophisticated data analytics tools enable you to collect, analyze and interpret the information you need in order to create complex customer profiles and make decisions based on facts instead of assumptions. The results speak for themselves: recent research from Harvard Business Review has found that marketing analytics tools can help a company build a better customer experience in a more personalized, compelling and rewarding engagement model. A unique customer engagement model can set your company apart from the competition.
  2. Develop a clear insight into why a customer would choose your company.
    So, you’ve already figured out the core needs your air charter solutions can meet. What’s next? You can start focusing on developing additional services and products that can enhance the overall customer experience. Based on a survey of 5,871 respondents in 17 countries, any business operating within the aviation industry, including Part 135 flight carriers, could leverage the customer experience by:
    perfecting the mobile versions of their websites; this way, customers can get live quotes within minutes, book flights via their mobile devices, receive real-time, round-the-clock notifications about departure dates, times and facilities, etc.;
    – making available different mobile applications customers can use to check things like travel and tour operators around the world, navigation charts, optimal routes, weather updates, airport facility information, etc.;
    – providing self-service and mobile check-in solutions that accelerate the check-in process;
    – offering exclusive menus and in-flight entertainment (e.g. allowing customers to stay connected to the ground and use their own devices on planes).

    Offering unique products and services can help you attract more clients and even turn an occasional traveler, who has missed his scheduled airline flight, into a repeat customer.

  3. Determine who your competitors are.
    Identifying your competitors is one of the key aspects of your aviation marketing plan. Make sure you take the time to study your competitors in depth. Also, determine the competitors outside your industry niche, but just as capable of luring your potential clients away. Knowing your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, and understanding how your products and services differ from what’s available on today’s charter flight market can help you find new ways to gain a larger market share.
  4. Increase your existing customer base.
    Before looking at new charter flight markets, think about how your company can get the most out of the markets it already serves. You could, for instance, try to figure out why some customers prefer your competitors over you and consider new ways of improving customer retention. After you fill all the gaps you can in your current market segment, it’s important to: review your company’s ability to serve new air charter markets; check whether potential markets are already saturated with competitors or not; and analyze the industry trends characterizing those markets. All these aspects are very important to determine if you can compete successfully in new market segments.
  5. Focus on market penetration.
    Entering new markets is the quintessence of global business expansion. With a global GA market projected to increase by 1.2 percent per year through 2036, it’s important that you adopt several aviation marketing strategies that can steer your company in the right direction. Some areas you should focus on are:

    • international branding and marketing programs, which allow you to advertise your company in new markets for air charter services via business-to-business promotions, consumer incentive programs, trade shows, conventions, industry summits, social media, email marketing, etc.;
    • sales efforts (e.g. publish press releases that build corporate and brand identity, etc.)
    • competitive strategies (e.g. building a competitive pricing strategy, matching or exceeding your competitors’ offerings, implementing a defensive competitive strategy, etc.).
  6. Adopt the right diversification strategy for each market.
    Once you’ve entered a new market, you’ll want to determine the right diversification strategy. There are two “paths” you can follow: 1) an offensive marketing strategy, which can help you grow your market reach and share; 2) a defensive marketing strategy that you can use to focus on extending the life cycle of stagnant market segments and prevent them from shrinking.
  7. Monitor results.
    Evaluating marketing results should be a logical extension of any aviation marketing plan. Marketing performance metrics are useful in determining not only what areas of your marketing strategy help you achieve your goals but also what areas you need to improve.

In today’s GA world, change may be inevitable, but growth is not. Business growth depends on all those “little” things you do to make it happen. Since you’re competing with many air charter service providers both in domestic and global markets, developing a strategic aviation marketing plan that can evolve along with your company is essential for achieving sustainable business growth. At Blue Sky Innovations, our marketing experts are ready to craft a personalized, end-to-end marketing solution that will take your business from local to global markets. To discover why more and more companies use our solutions to increase their global presence, please contact our friendly professionals today at (972)-294-5811.

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Ana Fontes is the Executive Vice President and co-founder of Blue Sky Innovations Group. Ana is a multilingual native of Brazil and an American citizen. She has been working in cross-cultural markets for 27-years providing marketing and consulting services to many international and US-based companies. Ana can be reached at 972-294-5811.

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