Subscribe to the Aviation Marketing Hangar Flying Podcast on iTunes“Why bother with marketing campaigns? Why can’t I just sell my product or service all the time for the same price and the same terms and leave it at that?”

Several reasons, but the primary one is that it just doesn’t work. You won’t sell as much, you won’t make as much money, and you AND your customers will see your product or service as a commodity.


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In military parlance, a campaign is a short-term endeavor designed to produce a desired result.

In marketing parlance, a successful campaign also has to have an objective – perhaps to sell a specific number of a specific product, or to increase your prospect list by a specific number.

It also includes three primary elements – a list, an offer, and a presentation. All three have to be well-planned and well-thought out to be successful.

If you’re not doing planning, executing and measuring marketing campaigns, then you’re doing what we call “random acts of marketing,” – wasteful, pointless marketing activities that are not likely to be successful.



You’re listening to aviation marketing hanger flying. The community for the best sales and marketing professionals in the aviation industry. You can’t learn to fly just from a book. You learn from other pilots who know the tools, the skills, and the territories. Your hosts, John and Paula Williams, are your sales and marketing test pilots.

They take the risks for you, and share strategies. Relevant examples, hacks, and how-tos. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes so you won’t miss a thing.

00:00:46 Welcome to the Aviation Marketing Hangar Flying Podcast, episode number two. This episode is about campaign. And campaigns are a really important topic and not used nearly enough in the aviation industry.

So please do two things, first is get a pen because we’re gonna be talking about some things that you’re gonna wanna be doing and that you’re gonna wanna remember. And thing number two is make sure that your cell phone is turned off. Multitasking is highly overrated. Isn’t it John?



00:01:14 Absolutely.

00:01:15 Right. So I’m Paula Williams.

00:01:17 And I’m John Williams.

>> And we are ABCI. And ABCI’s mission is

00:01:22 To help all you good

00:01:23 Good folks out there sell more products and services and easier than ever before.

00:01:29 Exactly, it is not easy.

[LAUGH] It is not as easy as it should be.

So, why are we talking about campaigns? Why can’t we just sell our product for a flat price and just expect everything to work?

00:01:40 Because that’s not the way it works.

00:01:42 [LAUGH] We wish it did. If this were easy, everybody would be doing it, right?

00:01:47 So, campaign is actually a military term.

It is a short term endeavour ending in a desired result, right?

00:01:54 You were in the military, did you campaigns?

00:01:57 [LAUGH] We always do campaigns. Even when we were just training we did training as in campaigns. Exactly, so you didn’t just do the same thing every time, you had short term objectives and things like that-



00:02:11 Oh, absolutely.

00:02:12 Right. Fantastic. So we know a lot of folks in the aviation industry have been in the military so they’re familiar with this term, but in marketing it has a couple of different features. Every campaign should have three elements and those three elements are. The list, the offer, and the presentation.



00:02:31 Exactly. And if you’re missing any one of those three,

00:02:34 Its not going to work.

00:02:35 Its not going to work. Right. Exactly. So lets talk about objectives for a minute. What are some of the objectives we could have for our campaign? Sell more stuff or.

00:02:46 [LAUGH] That’s pretty obvious, we want to be specific though, right?



00:02:51 Yeah, or you may want to have more people on your prospect list.

00:02:54 Right and when we want to sell more stuff, we want to sell.

00:02:57 A specific number.

00:02:59 A specific number of a specific product.

00:03:01 You have to be very specific as to what you use as your goal.

Mm-hm. So did you have any rules for goal setting while you were in the military? Did you use SMART goals or anything like that?

00:03:11 No, but you always shoot for the moon. Actually you shoot for Mars and accept the moon. Start with plan A, go for plan B, probably end up at plan C.



00:03:22 [LAUGH] Exactly. And we’ve talked about SMART goals before. Those are basically specific, measurable Achievable, results-oriented, and timebound, right?

00:03:35 Absolutely.

00:03:36 Okay, so you can use that acronym SMART if you want to, to define your campaign objectives and that can help as well. So three elements one more time?



00:03:46 The list, the offer, and the presentation.

00:03:51 Exactly. No, some folks are more visual than others. We have a handout about this and you can download that at for episode two. So you can go ahead at download that. But here are some of the reasons to plan a campaign.

Obviously most people don’t have enough prospects, otherwise they wouldn’t be listening to this.

00:04:18 [LAUGH] If you have enough prospects and you’re making way plenty sales, then you don’t need us, but if you don’t, that’s a good reason to think about doing a campaign.

00:04:28 And you probably have a lack of urgency in trying to get some products or services sold.

Exactly. In the aviation industry, a lot of people will say, wow, that’s a great product and that’s a nice idea and let me put that on the back burner for about eight months and while I think about it and run it up the flag pole and back down the flag pole.

In fact, you’ve made some purchases of things in the aviation industry and you’ve taken a really long time to make up your mind. Why is that? Oh lots of reasons, light gets in the way, I like to do research, I want to make damn sure I’m getting the best product for the best price.



00:05:04 Exactly.

00:05:05 I’m that kind of guy.

00:05:06 Well and a lot of people, you know we use Tom a lot in our [LAUGH] in our examples because he’s the perfect demographic of the decision-maker in the aviation industry

00:05:16 And a lot of these folks have a very deliberate nature and they also are in organizations that have a process where they have to submit a budget request or get approval from so many people and things like that, and these things take time, so if you have a lack of urgency, nothing ever happens because it takes a lot of effort.

To change the way people do business.

00:05:41 As an example we converted all of our offices over using Apple equipment and it took quite awhile for me to actually believe that that was a good thing and that took a lot of testing to make sure that none of the business practices would change.

Significantly and that it would be better for us.

00:06:01 Exactly so these are very deliberate people that follow a structure. Another reason to do a campaign is if you are testing a new product or a new price, pricing structure or a new feature on your product you may want to introduce that as a short term campaign.

So that you are actually doing real market research and not just focus groups which as we know focus groups tell you what focus groups want to say, they don’t tell you what consumers are actually going to buy right?

00:06:30 You have to be very careful of focus groups and do a number of them if that’s what you’re going to do and do some correlation and some.

Other testing to make sure in fact you’re getting the right stuff out of there.

00:06:45 Right because if you do a focus group, they’re gonna tell you they love every day low prices, but that’s not the way people behave in real life when they’re spending real money, right?



00:06:54 absolutely not.

00:06:55 And another thing is that when you use a focus group, they will tell you that they love your product, but then when you ask them to put up real money for it, it’s a different story. Yes.

00:07:06 I think that’s one of those things that’s human nature.

People like to tell you what they want you to hear, but when it comes to real life, it’s a totally different story, so doing a campaign you’re actually asking people to behave in a certain way to see if it works and you’re not putting out the same kind of risk as if you change your product line forever.


00:07:27 All right. So moving right along, as we mentioned there’s a cheat sheet at that talks about campaign structure so you’re welcome to download that. So let’s talk about another example. JC Penny You may have one of these in your town. And you may actually have one of these in your town that either closed or almost closed, because in 2002 they just about lost the business.

They just about went bankrupt by basically changing their business model to not use campaigns, and specials, and coupons, and things like that. They decided to, that what people wanted based on some focus groups, was everyday low prices.

00:08:11 Right, and if you’re like most people and you go to used car lot or new car lot you don’t have to haggle any more we have an everyday low price.

And your immediate thought is, right, I don’t believe that.

00:08:25 I want at least x amount of dollars off or else I’m not buying.

00:08:29 Right, and there are end higher groups of women that I know, some relatives and things like that, who’d plan their whole holiday schedule around, and they would do social events, around the specials at JC Penney.

You know, they’d go shopping and then they’d go out to lunch and. That’s what they would do. And then when JCPenney stopped doing those specials, they stopped shopping there. They went some place where they felt like they could get a really good deal, and it was this sportsman-like hunting activity.

And they almost went bankrupt.

00:09:02 Exactly. So you can tell how well that worked. Now ou might be thinking well that’s fine for houses wives who shop for clothes and baby toys and things like that, christmas gifts. That isn’t the way it works in the business to business world or high tech world or the aviation marketing world.

But it absolutely is, in fact, in the business to business and aviation and high tech world we need campaigns almost more than you do in the household goods market or the retail market. And the reason this is is because most of these products have more to do with their timing than with yours.

And you know, you can influence that timing somewhat by having a time limited campaign with an end date.

00:09:48 And on top of that. Everybody that is selling something will negotiate to a degree. Even Apple will negotiate depending on circumstances, the company nature, and so forth and so on, numbers of products, there’s lots of ways to do it.

Cessna Aircraft raises their prices every year, even through 2008, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, they raise their prices every year. That doesn’t meant that you’re gonna pay that price if you negotiate.

00:10:25 But do they have campaigns actually, or is it just negotiation?

00:10:30 Oh, they always have campaigns.


00:10:33 [LAUGH]

00:10:34 Where you get and sometimes they do, rather than dropping their price, and we’ll talk about this in a later podcast. Rather than dropping their price, sometimes it’s about adding value or reducing risk or other ways of doing things right?

00:10:48 Well what they did when I bought my first aircraft was.

At the end of five years, they would take it back to you for a stated number of dollars, regardless of number of hours on it.

00:10:58 Wow, that’s a really good deal, and that actually is a really neat idea for a campaign.

00:11:03 Right, that would be toward the purchase of another Cessna aircraft.



00:11:07 Of course.

00:11:07 [LAUGH]

00:11:08 That’s like the lease deals, where you lease a car for two years, and then you turn it in and get another one. Same idea.

00:11:15 Right.

00:11:15 Yeah, it’s a good idea to copy things from other industries as much as we can.

So, in aviation marketing and business to business and high-tech, the person who’s making the purchase wants to be the hero of the story, right? In a lot of cases, when they make a purchase they want to show their boss how much money they saved the department.

00:11:35 And all of those things, and if you do a great campaign you give them the opportunity to be the hero of the story



00:11:41 Well that’s I think human nature in that comes starts all the way back when the first cave man shot the big buck and was trying to impress his partner to be, female, wife whatever

00:11:54 [LAUGH]

00:11:55 Say I can provide for you so you know I’ve got the biggest buck.



00:11:59 Exactly was it bucks or was it saber toothed tigers at that time?

00:12:03 Whatever.

00:12:03 Okay cool, I guess we’ll leave that up to the evolutionary scientists. Okay, so also in business to business high-tech aviation marketing and so on, people talk to each other and they’re not going to talk to each other about a regular product at a regular price, but they will talk to each other if they feel like they got a great deal.



00:12:24 Of course. Absolutely. So and then they also have the urgency, you know where they tell each other, you should get in on this deal as well. So that gives them an opportunity to talk to each other, be the hero of the story, and help you out by making referrals and things like that.

While you’ve the deal going on.

00:12:43 Again, human nature.

00:12:44 Exactly. All right, so let’s talk about campaigns versus random acts of marketing. If you’ve been following ABCI for any length of time, you know that random acts of marketing are kind of the bane of the industry in our opinion, right?



00:12:57 Absolutely, they do you absolutely no good other than if you get lucky once in a while.

00:13:04 Right, so campaigns are

00:13:06 Basically, I’m sorry, random acts of marketing are basically when you throw money at a problem. Where you have an ad sales person call your office and you decide, that sounds like a good idea, let’s spend a couple thousand bucks and see what happens.



00:13:20 Yeah, let’s give that a try. You don’t have an integrated, Plan. You don’t have an integrated campaign, you have nothing, you just try one thing and typically, the phone doesn’t ring and you make no sales.

00:13:33 Exactly. And in a lot of cases with those random acts of marketing you’re not really even measuring, you’re just running an ad for a certain amount of time and then a month or two later you look back and you go, wow, did we make any more sales because of that ad?

And everybody looks at each other and shrugs and says you know I really don’t know because you didn’t really measure the results of that ad or that campaign because it wasn’t a campaign it wasn’t measured out with a list, an offer and a presentation.

00:14:00 I remember the smart, one of those things is measure.



00:14:02 Mm-hm exactly. Alright, so this random flailing around of, let’s just try this for a while and see what works is really, really wasteful, and it’s actually dangerous.

00:14:14 Well, it’s expensive and on top of that you could actually deflect people from purchasing a product or service. Right.

In fact in a lot of cases you can do some really horrible things with those random acts of marketing where you reduce your price and upset people who just bought your product a month ago for you regular price and then you have to go, Go back and refund some money, or eat some crow, or have some unhappy customers, which you really don’t want.

So in some cases you do really need to think about this carefully so that you don’t do a random act of marketing that does you more harm than good.

00:14:49 Think about Cessna. They rise their prices every year, and those people that purchase

00:14:54 We’ll tell our buddies that yeah prices went up but I was able to talk them down to whatever.



00:15:00 Exactly, that human nature. Everybody wants to tell everybody what deal they got or what a great job they did.

00:15:06 Me too.

00:15:08 [LAUGH] Even you. [LAUGH] So let’s talk about trade shows as a random act of marketing. Now this is one of the really common ones in the aviation industry.



00:15:18 Yeah.

00:15:18 It’s a tradition in aviation to do a trade show and a lot of companies have done them every year since the beginning of time. And they are getting more expensive, right?

00:15:30 No

00:15:31 The numbers we’re gonna talk about are about two years maybe three years old.

And they’re expensive and prices go up on this every year and they are not negotiable.

00:15:46 Exactly, well there is a certain amount of deal making that goes on with a.

00:15:52 With these things but usually for the larger booths. So, if we’re talking about a fairly small organization, the example that we’re gonna use is one from when we did a trade show when we were not as smart as we are now.


00:16:04 Well, and the negotiating power you have is when you buy

00:16:09 Rather than one 10×10 you’ll be a 40×40 or a 40×60 then you can talk to him because you’re throw in a couple more extra electrical outlets. Some Internets, some tables, versus what they was going to cost.

And they’ll talk like that. But on a single booth- 10 by 10?

00:16:28 Yeah.

00:16:29 Right. Though this is when we were very first getting started in the Aviation industry and we were not as seasoned, shall we say, as we are now. We did a trade show that we probably should not have done.

Looking back on it, and looking at the amount of money that we spent, and the return that we got on the investment, it was not a well planned campaign. So these.

00:16:52 Well now wait a minute.

00:16:53 Yeah.

00:16:53 You said we don’t do trade shows we do them every year, with just this one we had a booth.

00:16:58 Exactly, and we should not have exhibited at this trade show. And we’re not trying to talk anybody out of exhibiting at a trade show, what we’re trying to talk people out of is doing it in a planned, integrated, campaign, marketing campaign. So you plan it. Three months ahead of time, typically.

And then you follow through a month or two after it’s over.

00:17:21 Exactly. So let’s talk about the before. Okay, so we were brand new in the aviation industry. We didn’t really think about it in terms of a campaign. We didn’t think of list Offer and presentation. We thought about it as this is a magical thing that everybody does is they go to a trade show and then they get lots of customers and everything comes out great, right?

So booth rent, and I’m just going to throw some numbers out here that may or not be accurate but this is kind of what we remembered, booth rent was about $2,500 Furniture was three hundred and change.

00:17:56 Twenty-nine hundred for the food.

00:17:58 Right, carpet was one hundred and ninety.

Vacuuming was fifty dollars a night, so that’s a hundred and fifty. So, the amount that we spent directly on the trade show is about $3600.

00:18:11 That doesn’t count electrical, which is about another $165 so you can have a plug in.

00:18:17 Mm-hm.

00:18:18 And if you have a plug in and use an extension cord it has to meet certain standards.

You can’t just take one from the house you actually have to buy, And extension cord that comes up to their standards, and then you have to have a piece of rubber that goes over it so nobody will trip over it.

00:18:36 [LAUGH] So yeah they have all these rules that you’re not expecting.

In addition to those direct costs we have hotel of $190 a night, usually you want to be close to the convention center. So that’s about 570. I didn’t put in the rental car which you may or may not have. We had some talent that we hired, a magician who was fantastic, by the way.

But he was $1,800 dollars. We had materials that we had printed. Some pens that we had as giveaways and things like that. And we had a display that we had made so, you know, you’re coming into the neighborhood of seven or $8,000 at a minimum. You know, a lot of folks can spend even on their booth display, you know, in the neighborhood of six or $7,000 the first time they get it.

And, of course, some parts of that are reusable. But you’re gonna spend $2,000 or $3,000 bringing it up to speed every year because you wanna change some things about it and make it look new. So you’re talking about it’s not difficult to do at least a $10,000 investment in the smallest booth you can get when you’re exhibiting at a trade show.

00:19:50 Absolutely.

00:19:51 Right. That’s a real eye opener the first time.

00:19:53 Right. Results that we got that first year, we had a lot of attention at the booth. We did collect a lot of business cards, we had a lot of names. And we did know enough to follow up, but looking back on it with the experience that we have now it was a little more random.

Actually a lot more random than it should have been, And I am not absolutely sure that we got any new customers that we could not have gotten by not having a booth but just making appointments and meeting with people.

00:20:24 Absolutely. If you have a product, you got a better chance with a booth, but when it’s just a service, then you have to be very careful to make sure you get a decent ROI out of it.

Exactly, so depending on what you’re selling, a booth can be a fantastic idea. And we do have a trade show checklist that runs through a lot of these decisions and things that you can make. But you really wanna make sure that you think about it ahead of time, and you decide, do we wanna exhibit, or do we wanna float?

What is our list? What is our offer? And what is our presentation. And in this case, the list is, are the people who were at the trade show walking around at these booths, somebody who’s going to be attracted by our product or service. The offer, in a lot of cases you want to have a irresistible offer, that you can make at the trade show or within 30 or 60 or 90 days after the trade show.

Here’s what you can get as a special for having met us at the trade show.

00:21:24 And the 8 to $10,000 cost on that particular one did not include any airline tickets or any meals because we just didn’t put that in, one. And two, we didn’t fly at this particular one within driving range.

Exactly. So there was your list and your offer and then the presentation at a trade show is of course your booth and how you present your product if you do product demos, if you do a contest, if you do some other form of getting people to your booth and making sure that they have a good experience there.

00:22:07 Alright, so assuming that you’re spending a whole heck of a lot of money on a trade show, rather than doing it as a random act of marketing, what we have learned we’ve put together into a package that really turns a trade show appearance from random act of marketing into a campaign.

And this package basically is we have you fill out a questionnaire. We listen to you about your product or your service. We learn that really, really well so that we can help you come up with a great offer For the list of people that you’re planning on meeting at this trade show.

And putting together a great presentation for you, given what you have to work with. And then based on that, we help you put together invitations for Your booth. And as you know, people don’t just show up at your booth. There’s a lot of things to see at these trade shows.

So unless you give people a reason to stop by your booth, they tend to just walk on by.

00:23:07 Which means you have to do marketing ahead of the trade show.

Exactly. And what we did in one of our trade shows is that we had a magician at our booth who attracted people to our booth in a really cool way.

Well and that was something we tried because we weren’t quite sure how to do things and it worked really well because,

00:23:35 The first day people were just walking on by and finally the magician looked at us and said, I’ll get em in here. [LAUGH] So he starts shuffling cards and made a mistake and sprayed cards over about five people that were walking by, and got them to help and pick up the cards, talked to him, brought them over and.

After he did that, then everybody started stopping by and a matter of fact, the folks that were running this particular trade show came by and asked us how come we were the most popular booth at the trade show.

00:24:09 And it was because of this magician so it wasn’t because of any campaign magic at that time but there are ways to.

Make sure that you invite people to your booth by having a good contest or having a good product demonstration or a good offer that gets people to come to your booth and participate with your product. So we do the invitations, we do a press release, we do social media invitations All of those things in an integrated sort of way.

And we’ve found that overkill is highly underrated. And then during the show, of course, we want to do some social media updates and things. We have talked in previous blog posts and other things about hashtag and how you can use those during a trade show to get people to notice some of the events that are going on at your booth and get them to come over.

And e-mails during the show. Everybody has their devices these days so they get those. After the show we like to plan a 90 day follow up program. So those names and contact information that you collected at the show You wanna make sure that you’re following up with those folks, with a variety of media.

Including phone calls, of course, to people that had specific questions. Emails. Postal mails. Other kinds of things. Mixed media. You know, connecting with them on social media. And in every other possible way. Again, overkill is Is under rated. And most people under estimate the amount of effort that it takes to meet somebody at a show and then actually get them to buy your product.

So that’s a 90 day follow up program.

00:25:45 To sum it up, you need to have an integrated marketing plan,

00:25:52 And you’ve gotta start, to be successful and get any kind of ROI, at any trade show, you have to start at least 90 days before the trade show and follow up 90 days after and follow the plan.

00:26:07 Exactly, so that’s basically campaigns and we talked about trade shows as an example but there are lots of examples whether or not you use a trade show. In some cases, you’ll only use direct mail and.

00:26:21 Social media and email. You may just use those three so other times of year you may plan one around a holiday.

You can plan them around a particular product launch or a particular change in the law or something like that. So there’s lots of reasons to do campaigns. This is just one example but you always want to make sure you have those three things, right? Absolutely.

00:26:45 The list, the author and the presentation so yeah that’s pretty much it for this week but we do want you to go ahead and take a survey online at that’s how we know what you’re going to want to hear about next year in 2016.

We put together a syllabus. Based on what people tell us they need to learn and want to hear. Our next event is going to be the eleventh of November. Designing campaigns. And that’s our webinars. So, you know, you’ll want to make sure that you follow up with this podcast with the webinar, because we’re going to be going into some more details.

And its also going to be Visual rather than hearing us. And then please do come see us at MBAA if you’re going to be there. We’re going to be there on the 19th at 10:30 in the morning, that’s a thursday, talking about social media in a workshop.

00:27:42 And MBAA ask us to do for them.

00:27:47 Exactly, so,

00:27:48 Tune in every week. Thank you for joining us this week to Aviation Marketing Hangar Flying. Make sure that subscribe on iTunes and please do leave us a review.

00:27:59 Have a great day and we’ll talk to you later.

00:28:01 Thanks for joining us for Aviation Marketing Hanger Flying, the best place to learn what really works in sales and marketing in the aviation industry.

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