ABCI’s mission is to help people sell more products and services in the aviation industry.
We do this through consulting and our Aviation Marketing Master Class. We provide custom consulting engagements with a limited number of clients to help companies replace “random acts of marketing” with performance-based, results-oriented, measurable marketing systems that include components of inbound, content, and direct response marketing that are far more cost-effective than the brand-based marketing traditionally used in the aviation industry.
Our Master Class includes a consortium of aviation sales and marketing professionals, working together to share what works in the volatile aviation market.
Our clients include the very best aircraft sales, training, maintenance, management, charter and component manufacturers; as well as service providers like insurance, finance and human factors service providers.
How did we get into this business?
About ABCI – Who says you can’t have both love and money?
You know what they say –
“The best way to be a millionaire in aviation is to start as a billionaire.”
It’s true that most people in the aviation industry are here for love, rather than for money. This is true for me, too. But experience has shown us that love and money are certainly not mutually exclusive!
I married John Williams in 2006.
John has aviation in his blood – he started flying as a child and flew many fixed-wing and rotorwing aircraft in a long civilian and military career. Naturally, he introduced me to another great love – aviation.
I obtained my Private Pilot’s license soon after, while John was in the business of leasing aircraft to flight schools at the time.
My professional background of direct response marketing and copywriting for Fortune 100 companies was vastly different than most of the advertising and marketing we saw in aviation at that time. Where I came from, advertising and marketing were mostly of the “direct response” variety – managed with a considerable amount of discipline and organization; where each marketing step led to a next step in a rigorously-observed and obsessively-refined sales cycle. In aviation, however, it seemed that all that was important was to “get the name out there,” and to make it look good. Marketing professionals working for large aviation companies spend tens of thousands of dollars with no possibility of measuring the return on investment (ROI.) For someone from the obsessive-compulsive world of the finance industry, it looked as though the laws of finance, as well as the laws of gravity, did not apply to aviation.
But then, in 2008, something strange happened.
The aviation industry was hit by an epic financial recession, and again by a public perception problem when the Big Three automakers were lambasted in no less than a special meeting of the House Financial Services Committee in Washington DC.
Subsequent to that meeting, the phrases “corporate fat cats,” “executive privilege,” “criminal excess” and “private aviation” were somehow bundled together by an oversimplified, sound bite-crazed press and lampooned on the major networks and news outlets.
Weirdly, in spite of the overwhelming evidence that the economics and perception of the industry had changed, (and hence that it might be a good idea to start observing the laws of finance, as well as the laws of economic gravity!) the largest aviation companies kept running glossy “brand based” advertising.
They continued to advertise as recklessly as if nothing had happened. Aviation magazines kept charging the same high rates for advertising space, although their readership had diminished significantly. Trade shows charged the same high booth rates, although shows had proliferated and attendance had dropped.
Of course there were heroic efforts by NBAA and other organizations to tell private aviation’s side of the story, and aviation companies struggled valiantly against the economic impacts. Business owners in the aviation industry were forced to pay more for advertising opportunities; while realizing diminishing results.
We observed friends and partners in the aviation industry struggling with advertising, marketing and sales structures.
The practice of marketing without accountability had become untenable.
The efforts of marketing professionals in aviation companies seemed to gravitate to one extreme or another.
Some continued unrestrained excess in the pre-2008 style in limited, somewhat erratic “random acts of marketing;” hoping that an expensive social media “splash,” email “blast,” magazine ad or trade show appearance would prove to be the “magic bullet” that would bring in lots of customers and save the day.
Others abandoned sales and marketing altogether as “ineffective.” – They cut advertising and sales budgets as their revenues shrank; resulting in a downward spiraling loss of revenue.
The results from either extreme were disastrous.
John and I started our aviation marketing company, ABCI (short for Aviation Business Consultants International, LLC – you can see why we use the short form!) with the idea of bringing scientific, disciplined, direct-response style marketing to the aviation industry.
Our first clients, including Dallas Jet International, Special Services Corporation, and AeroStar Training Services, were surprised by the number of “inbound” leads they acquired. These leads found our clients through high-quality “information bait,” such as ebooks and articles that we had carefully set up in custom, campaign-based marketing systems. Their salespeople had a reliable inflow of leads acquired through advertising with measurable “calls to action.”
ABCI now includes a systematic approach that combines the most applicable practices and tools from several partners, including
- GKIC (the Glazer-Kennedy Inner Circle – an innovative marketing group specializing in “Magnetic Marketing.)
- Sandler Sales – the leader in low-key but effective business-to-business sales training and systems.
- Infusionsoft – the best customer relationship management (CRM) system for small and medium-sized businesses.
We control and change the odds for aviation companies that implement our systems. There is no magic here – it logically follows that if you consistently acquire a reliable pipeline of prospects interested in your topic, educate them and treat them respectfully by providing them with an array of intelligent content delivered in ways they like and appreciate, you’ll have more opportunities to make sales.
This approach is proven in other industries, such as finance and education, but it’s still considered innovative in aviation. And we’re the only company that provides the whole array of services required. Depending on the client, this might include website development and implementation, search engine optimization, email marketing, books, articles, press releases, trade show appearances and more.
Through limited consulting engagements with selected aviation clients, and through our Marketing Master Class, we engage in our mission:
To make business aviation profitable again, one company at a time.
Put even more simply, we help people sell products and services in the aviation industry.
Your Marketing Team
Paula Williams, MAED, PMP – President & VP Marketing
Paula writes great web content and is an expert at getting web traffic and turning web site visitors into loyal buyers. She has worked as a marketing consultant, product manager, staff writer, ad designer, marketing manager, process engineer, and trainer.
She has recently received her Private Pilot Rating and plans to move on to Instrument training soon.
Her education includes a Masters in Adult Education and BA in Mass Communication.
She holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) credential from the Project Management Institute. (PMI)
Paula is active in the Tooele Valley Rotary Club and serves as the Communications/PR Officer.
John Williams, MBA - Chairman
John has been in the consulting business for twenty years. He has managed startup companies and started major divisions of large international corporations.
He has spent forty-five years in the aviation industry, several as a Part 135 pilot. He recently retired as a Senior Aviator from the United States military, where he served as a helicopter pilot in the Air Force and the U.S. Army.
John has an Executive MBA from the University of Utah with an emphasis in International Business and Finance, and a degree in Business Administration from Golden Gate University in Business Administration with additional studies in Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Mathematics and Physics.
John serves as the Tooele Valley Rotary Club Treasurer and President-Elect.John.Williams@AviationBusinessConsultants.com
Mike is a sales and marketing executive with over 20 years of sales, sales management, and marketing experience is the owner and exclusive licensee of Sandler Training in Utah.
Mr. Neklason started his career with a Fortune 100 company where he held positions that included Marketing Product Specialist, Territory Manager and Area Sales Manager.
Since that time he has held executive management positions at 3 firms in the $100 million revenue range.Throughout this experience, Mr. Neklason has developed, coached and led sales teams throughout North America in several different industries.
Mr. Neklason holds an MBA in Marketing from Westminster College of Salt Lake City and has been a member of the local community since 1993.
Accomplished in partnering with senior business leaders to improve aviation operational effectiveness, regulatory compliance and risk minimization.
Leader in aviation safety and security management, enterprise integration, best practices, standardization and aviation value contribution to enterprises.
Excellent organizational, influencing and communication skills.Master Business Administration for Aviation Professionals majoring in Applied Aviation Management 2007-2008.National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Certified Aviation Manager (CAM): CAM Governing Board – Director; CAM Testing – Committee member.13,000 hour Airline Transport Pilot type rated in biz jets and regional turboprops. Flight instructor ratings for multi and single engine instrument instruction.
Muhammad Farooq – Technology and Information Design
Muhammad has over twenty five years of combined senior management and technology experience.
He has managed large scale government and banking projects. He has managed teams consisting of one hundred technical resources. He has designed and developed complex databases.
Muhammad has in-depth user’s perspective and expertise in designing technology solutions for business problems and opportunities.
He has a BSC with honors from Wolverhampton University in the United Kingdom.Muhammad resides in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Michelle Wiiliams, Operations Director
Michelle has held management and operational roles in small and large companies, including Federal Government Contracting for the Department of Defense.
She is familiar with the, shall we say, complex RFP/bid process; and is equally intrepid with making sense of complex processes, data and software.She holds two Bachelor’s degrees – one in Geology and the other in Education; making her a well-rounded and widely informed team member who provides us with great insights in the growing intersection between the aviation and environmental industries.Michelle is located in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Public Appearances & Publicity
Paula Williams explains blogs during the Social Media Panel discussion at NBAA 2010 in Atlanta
“In November of 2009 I hired Paula as a business consultant for my aviation photography. She has a wealth of knowledge that I feel is unmatched in her field. I have seen my business grow into something that my thoughts couldn’t even conceive a year ago. The credibility that her work has given my business is wonderful and I couldn’t be happier. Once a month we get together over the phone and brainstorm about what we’ll do with the up coming months and see what kind of ideas and great things we can bring to the website and blog. I’m truly grateful for everything she has done for my business and her continuous hard work.”
Taylor Greenwood, Taylor Greenwood Aviation Photography
“Paula is an incisive speaker who demonstrates proficient knowledge in both aviation business and electronic marketing. She is engaging, articulate, and most importantly, she is genuine. I look forward to working with Paula in the future and continuing to learn from her how to best utilize the time and effort I put into my social media initiatives.”
Brad McAllister , Editor: Airport Business Magazine , Cygnus Business Media
“I have read Paula’s business proposals and received email communications from her. I think her writing is crisp, clear and to the point.”
Vasundhara Sanger, Special Correspondent, TimesofIndia.com
“Paula can pull together any kind of document quickly and effortlessly that is easy to read and understand. And she has the amazing ability of being able to portray in picture the written word, whether that is through graphs or a flow chart.”
“Paula was writing training material and process documentation for our group. I found her writing to be clear, concise and easy to understand.”
Frankie Pun, Technology Manager, Internet Applications
“Paula is an effective and organized consultant. Her success is due to her impeccable communication and organization skills. I very much look forward to working with her again”
Jerome Abregana, Technology Manager, Wells Fargo Bank
“Paula has acted in the capacity as a manager and has twice provided a beginning-level business plan and writing for two start-up companies on which I was beginning Due Diligence, the most recent Global Writers Group or GWG. In a managment capacity, she is one of very few managers to whom I’ve reported over the last 12 years that can truly empower and lead on a daily basis.It seems she has attained a wonderful balance of wisdom and self-confidence. As to her skill and quality of writing, she has a powerful ability to combine imagination and technology to form a style that is in increasing demand as companies attempt to expand their domestic base to a more powerful and profitable global one. Would I retain Paula in the future for further writing projects? Absolutely, yes!”
Julie Jacobs, Owner, Jacobs & Associates
“Paula brought intelligence, commitment, insight, and common sense to her projects at Franklin. Clients and team members respected her and enjoyed working with her. She exceeds the requirements of her current projects, while also building long-term professional and personal relationships, and is one of those rare individuals who can approach projects strategically, tactically, and technically.”
Shauna Bona, Manager of Online Development, Franklin Quest Consulting Group
“Paula is not only a terrific writer and marketing thinker, she’s the real deal when it comes to knowing the aviation market! Her experience as a pilot makes her the perfect guide for aviation companies looking to boost their marketing efforts online and offline. I highly recommend Paula for any aviation marketing consulting and writing work if you’re looking for results.
Pam Foster, Sr Copywriter, Web-SEO Writer and Consultant, ContentClear Marketing