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Aviation Marketing CompetitionMany aviation business owners are really concerned about what their competitors are doing. They’re worried that their competitors will copy their features, their advertising, and many other things. It’s a legitimate concern.

But just as often, your competition really isn’t. You aren’t losing customers to them, you’re losing customers to the status quo.  In fact, working WITH apparent competitors can be amazingly powerful!

Transcript of Aviation Marketing – Competition that Really Isn’t!


Announcer: You’re listening to aviation marketing Hangar Flying. The community for the best sales and marketing professionals in the aviation industry.


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-to’s. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes so you won’t miss a thing.

Paula Williams: Welcome to aviation marketing Hangar Flying Episode number 22. Today we are talking about competition. Which usually isn’t competition, right John?

John Williams: You’ll have to explain that to these people.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Exactly. Okay, well this actually started, or the reason that we’re talking about this today, is because we had one of our copywriters, who’s in the Master Class, concerned about fishing in our pond, I guess we would call it.

[LAUGH] He said, would you be okay if I approached someone else who’s in the Master Class with an offer of my services on doing copywriting? And of course, the answer is yes, go right ahead.

John Williams: And that’s what’s the whole thing is about, right, is networking.

Paula Williams: Exactly. So if you’re in the Aviation Marketing  Master Class and you are not getting more business from it, I would be very concerned about that.

So that’s kind of the whole reason for the Master Class. And you know his concern, I totally understand because he does copywriting, ABCI does copywriting. He didn’t want to feel like he’s poaching in our forest, as they say.

John Williams: You keep using the word copywriting.

Paula Williams: I keep using the word copywriting?

That’s because copywriting is a good word.

John Williams: Well, but aviation people tend to not understand that word.

Paula Williams: Okay, well, what copywriting is, and I guess this is probably as good a place as any to explain that. It’s basically writing the copy. Or writing the words that show up in your marketing materials.

And that could be on your website, in your brochures, articles. There’s lots a places that copywriting happen.

John Williams: Most people will see it as content.

Paula Williams: Yeah, so content writing, copywriting, it’s really all the same stuff. If you want to get really nerdy about it, then there is a field called advertising copywriting.

Where actually the purpose of your writing is to sell something, as opposed to technical writing where the purpose of your writing is to explain something. But copyrighting usually encompasses both of those things, right?

John Williams: See? Now they know.

Paula Williams: Now they know. Okay, cool. So as much as I appreciate people being very considerate, being sensitive to other peoples’ territories, if we wanna call it that.

I am not as concerned about competition and I think that you share that opinion.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] I guess I shouldn’t presume. But competition, I think people spend way too much time worrying about it and way too much energy doing things that are to counter their competition.

When they really should be spending that energy working on things that are worth worrying about, right?

John Williams: Of course.

Paula Williams: Of course, okay. So to that end, we actually got an email yesterday from Mike Stodola who is the older brother of Jeff Stodola, who also happens to be in the Master Class.

You see how this is going here? Everybody is related to everybody, and everybody is in everybody’s business.

John Williams: Well, business related, at least.

Paula Williams: Exactly, right. So I’m going to read this to you because I think this is a fantastic explanation. And I don’t usually read on these things but this is so well worded that I think this is worth it.

So bear with me for just a minute. Think for a second about your favorite restaurant, got it?

John Williams: Of course.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Okay, now ask yourself when was the last you went there and have you been to any other restaurants since you last went there.

John Williams: Okay.

Paula Williams: Have you?

John Williams: Of course.

Paula Williams: Okay. For most of us the answer is probably yes. So, my next question is if that’s your favorite restaurant, why wouldn’t you always go there?

John Williams: Well, there’s a number of reasons.

Paula Williams: Exactly.

John Williams: We travel and so forth.

Paula Williams: Yeah. So the simple truth of matter is even your very best customers, clients, or patients are probably cheating on you.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Those with the greatest desire are most likely the ones who consume products or services similar to yours. No matter how many products services you offer, you will never be able to keep up with their desire to consume. At GKIC, we know that even that we have over 90 products, 7 events, 5 monthly publications, and 3 coaching groups.

Our very best members are also purchasing marketing materials or going to other events and getting publications from others. When I was a real estate agent working with buyers, I knew that they were very likely to also be stopping by homes listed as for sale by owner and new developments without me.

It’s a fact of life, and you have two choices. One, you can ignore it, fight it, and bemoan the fact that humans are about as loyal as a rooster in a hen house. I don’t find this option very appealing. Or second, you can create partnerships, joint ventures, and cross-promotional agreements with other businesses that serve your market.

And that’s really what the Master Class is all about. Of course ABCI offers maybe 15 products, 1 membership program, 1 publication. Actually we’ve got a couple of books and one newsletter. But we know that people who need marketing services and marketing advice are going to get them from us and from other people.

And you’ll notice like in our book club, we include other books besides the one that we wrote.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Right? It would be fairly narrow if we didn’t!

John Williams: But those guys have been in business for 30, or 40, or 50 years more than we have.

Paula Williams: Exactly, and even GKIC, John and I have probably spent?

John Williams: You don’t wanna know how much money we’ve-

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

John Williams: We couldn’t justify that if we didn’t have a company of a lot of clients to help us to afford that. So I mean, it would just.

Paula Williams: Exactly, and GKIC is just One of those places that we are members and we get information from. And we’ve been in a lot of their groups, we’ve bought a lot of their publications and things like that. But we also use Sandler sales, we use Infusionsoft University. There’s a lot of places and as you know, I probably read three or four different marketing books a month, new ones.

As well as the ones that we have in our book club so.

John Williams: And the Pacific Institute, there’s a whole laundry list of sales and marketing organizations and associations that we are or were members of.

Paula Williams: Exactly, so do we see those guys as competition?

John Williams: Hardly.

Paula Williams: Hardly, exactly.

So we don’t feel like we’re precisely in competition with those folks and with this particular copywriter who’s in the Master Class. We may be in direct competition for one of our products, but in the vast scheme of things, copywriters are so different from each other. When we are working with a client on content, it’s often that our style is not exactly perfect for them.

We need somebody who has more of a history background, or more of a military background, or more of a news background. Or whatever style is needed for that client so-

John Williams: Or even depending on the particular writer’s associations. We have a writer who works for Forbes, as an example.

Paula Williams: Exactly, and some write for other aviation publications. And depending on the type of client, we can’t serve everyone, we can’t be the best solution for everyone. So we like to spread the love a little bit and make sure that everybody’s getting the best service, whether that’s from us or from someone else.

So, another example of that, is we just put together for, a response for the call for speakers for NBAA. Several companies who create products that look like they may be in competition with each other, if you don’t look hard enough. V-Log does aircraft digital logbooks. SynapseMX, that’s Shane Ballman’s company.

Does aircraft maintenance software designed for shops to be more efficient and effective. Eagle Cap Software has this Squawk App which is, it has a completely different purpose and emphasis. And ATP has their compliance navigator for ADs and other kinds of publications that people need. So, are those things in competition with each other?

John Williams: Probably not.

Paula Williams: Probably not, they really have a different audience and a different purpose. And even when you look at other aviation marketing companies, heaven forbid. BDN does a really great job on booths, trade show booths. In fact, I just commented on the Robertson’s Fuel Systems booth that they did for HAI.

They did a really nice job, and it’s a beautiful booth. That is not our forte, and [LAUGH] we’re happy to praise a competitor or somebody that looks like a competitor when they do a great job. Greteman Group is local to Wichita, so if somebody needs a group that’s local to Wichita and is really tied in with the local media there, the Greteman Group is a great option.

Rocco Cipriano, he’s in New York, also a great guy, if you can handle his accent. [LAUGH] We make fun of East Coast accents, but that’s just us, I’m sure they make fun of us as well.

John Williams: Course they do.

Paula Williams: Of course they do. So our biggest competition is not these guys, BDN and Greetman Group and Rocky.

It’s aviation companies that try to do it themselves and do random acts of marketing and do them badly. Or companies that don’t do enough marketing at all. And those are the people that we really want to get as clients. So we don’t see it as directly competing against those other marketing companies.

We see our best opportunities as people who are not doing enough marketing, or people who aren’t using anyone. And, are trying to handle all of these tasks and do the best they can, with all this expertise, in house, which they may not have, right?

John Williams: See, but the random acts of marketing, every act of marketing is random unless its integrated with others.

Paula Williams: Exactly, right? And we’ve talked about that a lot. No matter who you get to do a fabulous website or a fabulous brochure or a fabulous whatever, if it’s not tied in with the marketing system and not measurable and you’re not getting great results from it that you can see.

Then that would be call what we call a random act of marketing. All right, well thank you for joining us. We had a great time, and you can see if you are watching this on the web, you can see that we’re on camera this time, which is unusual.

John Williams: We were just trying something different. See how it works, or doesn’t. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Exactly. Actually we set up for a client last week, or this week, depending on when you’re watching this podcast. And thought well, we have the set up going on, we tried doing this live instead of using slides.

So, let us know what you think, leave a comment and subscribe to us on iTunes.

John Williams: See you next time.