International <a class=In this episode, John and I discuss international aviation marketing – specifically, some of the major factors that might make a U.S. aviation company deciding to sell their products and services to an international market.

We talk about:

  • Why – have a competitor that’s cornered the US market? Or have you saturated the US market yourself? Congratulations! But now what do you do?
  • Where – what are some growing markets to consider?
  • How – Trade shows, digital marketing, and SEO/website translation are some of the easiest ways to get started.


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Transcript – International Aviation Marketing

Paula Williams: Welcome to aviation marketing Hangar Flying Episode number 93, International Aviation Marketing, Why, Where, and How, right? [LAUGH]

John Williams: 94?

Paula Williams: Yeah, that’s a lot of episodes.

John Williams: That’s dang near two years worth.

Paula Williams: Yeah, so I’m Paula Williams.

John Williams: I’m John Williams.

Paula Williams: And we are ABCI and ABCI’s mission is-

John Williams: To help all you ladies and gentlemen out there in the aviation world sell more products and services.

Paula Williams: Absolutely.

John Williams: Internationally.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Yeah. ABCI, we do have an I in our name, right?

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: We’re international. So wherever you are in the world, use the #AvGeekMarketing. We look for those comments, and tweets, and remarks, and other kinds of things and we try to respond to every single one of them. So, that’s Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and so on. We’re not doing that Snapchat yet, heaven forbid [LAUGH] .

John Williams: They have, right?

Paula Williams: You need one more thing to do. But yeah, we’re on most of the social media, and we do watch for those things. So if you have comments or anything else about this episode or any other, we’d be happy to hear from you.

U.S. Companies Doing Business Overseas

Paula Williams: All right, so the big ideas for today’s episode. Mainly, we’re gonna be talking about reasons that U.S. Companies might consider selling their products internationally. I know there’s a lot of international aviation marketing that goes the other way or that excludes the United States and just goes between two other countries and things like that.

And those may be topics for future episodes, but we wanna talk about what we know, right? And mostly, what we’re involved with in international aviation marketing is, well, other companies trying to sell products inside the United States. Or, U.S. Companies that are established in the U.S. That want to expand their marketing elsewhere, right?

John Williams: Of course.

Paula Williams: Okay, so that’s thing number one. Thing number two, we’re gonna talk about places to consider marketing your products. If you’re thinking about testing an international market or you want to expand your market for whatever reason, some places to consider for that. And then the third thing is methods that we have used successfully in one way or another, with clients or for ourselves, in international markets.

John Williams: So what do you mean places?

Paula Williams: Places, regions, locations, continents, countries.

John Williams: 7/11 store?

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] I was thinking more along the lines of Australia.

John Williams: Okay fine.

Paula Williams: Africa, or even maybe cities. Maybe some regions and other things like that.

John Williams: Antarctica?

Paula Williams: I don’t think there’s a whole lot of market going on in Antarctica.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: But there might be. That’s not one I’ve heard of, and that’s not one in our slides-

John Williams: Good.

Paula Williams: For today. [LAUGH]

John Williams: Possibly good, somebody will tell me.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Yeah, exactly. So why might you sell outside the United States?

John Williams: To make money?

The Market in the US

Paula Williams: To make money, right. The market in the US has actually been improving a lot. But in some places in the world, it is growing faster for certain products and services. And there’s been a lot of talk in the news about how there are emerging middle classes and upper classes in different parts of the world including Asia, and Latin America, probably most notably, right?

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: And of course, there’s always been a market in the United States and in Europe. And Canada and Mexico, of course, are always big items because they’re connected to the United States. Alaska, it’s almost like international marketing because it’s far, far away. And they have a culture of their own as far as aviation goes, right?

John Williams: Yes, they do.

Paula Williams: So, all of those things are really cool. And depending on what you’re selling, if you sell, for example, older aircraft or products and services for older aircraft, you might look at some of the markets outside of the United States because you have what we’re looking for.

The classic ideal situation in marketing is having lots of potential customers and not much competition. So you look at some of the data, and this actually is from JETNET, about business jets sold at full retail or full lease transactions. One of the top 10 countries for that, in most cases, it’s the USA, but those are followed by other countries.
And they noted that Brazil was, across the board, a really good market for aircraft, and we know has a lot to do with that.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: There’s some different countries in here that you wouldn’t expect to see like Germany, Mexico, France, Switzerland [LAUGH] .
There were some surprises in here when I was looking at this data.
These are really small countries with kind of relatively a lot of aircraft going on.

John Williams: The particular countries you’ve selected, there’s a lot of revenues generated per capita.

Paula Williams: That is true. And also, some of them may have tax advantages for aircraft. So they may not actually use the aircraft in Switzerland, for example, but that might be where the purchase is taking place and so on.

So there’s a lot that goes into these calculations. But if you sell older aircraft, you might look at some of those emerging markets where there is more activity going on in the market, where it might be slow here for a particular make and model of aircraft. And once again, you’re gonna want to look at all the data before you make a decision.

But what follows from that, besides aircraft brokers who know a heck of a lot more about this than we do. Because they look at the data every single day for every single make and model of aircraft that they sell. If you sell products or services for older aircraft, this is where those products and services are needed because that’s where those aircraft are potentially flying.

John Williams: Yep, absolutely.

Paula Williams: So yeah, some of those consulting services, some of those maintenance services, some of those maintenance products, avionics upgrades, they’re suitable for older aircraft. Lots of things that might be really a good opportunity for you somewhere other than United States. So older turboprops, same thing.

Not just the airplane themselves but also the services and products that go along with those. These are some good places to look for markets for that. Another reason you might look outside the United States is because of competition. So if you’ve got somebody that is eating your lunch in the U.S., you can do one of two things.

You can either adapt your product or service so that it’s different. You can outspend them in marketing. Or you can look outside the US, right?

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: And those are all options for you. So those are reasons that you might consider international aviation marketing. And again, we’re not getting into a whole lot of depth here because this is a podcast.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

An Overview – Reasons to Consider Foreign Markets

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] This is not a research paper. And this is not a case study, and this is not a lot of things that you probably are going to want to use to make your determinations about what to do and how to do it. This is just sparking some ideas of things you might want to try in your marketing plan for next year, right?

John Williams: And consider the integrating.

Paula Williams: Exactly. So this is just a starting point. There’s a whole lot more research that you probably should be doing. And this is actually from the MRO market forecasts from their magazine. They have a nice slideshow that will link from our website, talking about the aircraft that are in use.

And these are civil aircraft in use and of course, North America being the largest, but Asia Pacific has a pretty large market share, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa. So if you’re looking at Asia Pacific as an example of a growing market, a place where there’s a lot going on, that might be a good place to look for places to sell your product for service.

John Williams: Yes, it should.

Paula Williams: Exactly. Okay, now all of this is pretty intimidating to people who have always done their marketing inside the United States and have never considered going elsewhere. So we’re also gonna talk about methods to consider. But one thing I want to really emphasize, and this is above and beyond methods.
No matter what method you use, you’re going to want to have some kind of relationship with someone in, or affinity for the place that you’re considering marketing. And whether that is somebody that works for your company that maybe is from there or has a clue [LAUGH] about the culture and about some of the things that happen there.

Or whether that is somebody that you can form some kind of a partnership or a joint venture with or any number of things. It is always advisable to have a local that you know, like, and trust anywhere that you’re considering doing this.

John Williams: And some circles these guys or girls are called handlers.

Paula Williams: Yeah, handlers.

John Williams: Yeah, seriously.

Partners and Joint Ventures

Paula Williams: Or even partners, a company there that has a non-competing product or service, but is willing to do some sort of a joint venture with you. That’s often a good way to break the ice and get into a place that you’re not familiar with.

So, methods to consider and trade shows. You may want to visit one of the trade shows in the location that you’re researching as a really good way to potentially identify some of those partners, and opportunities, and other kinds of things that we’re talking about here. Because most of these relationships in a lot of these places, especially in Asia and Latin America, as far as I know, India is the same way.

Most business transactions are very dependent on personal relationships, so being there in person, and shaking hands, and having tea or whatever with people is incredibly important. Having a meal with someone is more important in most places in the world other than the United States, I would say.

John Williams: Pretty much.

Paula Williams: Yeah, but you’ve done a lot of business in Europe, right?

John Williams: Well, I don’t know about a lot but I’ve started a company over there for some folks. Spent a year playing with it. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: And it wasn’t aviation but nonetheless, it was quite interesting conceptually on what you have to go through to get to the point where you can have a meeting about a given topic.
It’s not exactly as straightforward as it is here.

Paula Williams: No. Did you go to any trade shows, or conventions, or events while you were there?

John Williams: [COUGH] [LAUGH] Yeah, I flew back to the states to do it. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Great.

John Williams: That’s really wanted me to,

Paula Williams: So you’re doing the opposite marketing here for their,

John Williams: No, we are marketing there. But they want me to come back here to get the latest.

Paula Williams: Okay.

John Williams: Create new information to take back over there.

Paula Williams: Cool. Right, so that’s a good place to maybe test run some things in terms of finding partners, finding opportunities in other kinds of things, exploring a market, and seeing if the possibilities seem good and acquiring some data, and maybe starting some relationships with human beings in person.

What a novel concept. Another thing that we have done a lot of is digital marketing and we’ll talk about that in more detail. Some of the things that can be done with digital marketing that are pretty exciting from an international marketing standpoint. And search engine optimization and aviation website translation which we’re kind of lumping together for this purpose because it’s about words on your website however you want to put that, right?

John Williams: [LAUGH] Yes.

International Trade Shows

Paula Williams: Okay, so trade shows. here are a lot of trade shows internationally. There are hundreds of them around the world in different areas about different topics. And some of them have a military specialty, some have a civilian specialty, some have an airlines specialty.

John Williams: You have to really take a good look because last time I looked about a month ago,

Paula Williams: Mm-hm.

John Williams: At the time, I think there were 265 aviation trade shows when you consider. And I mean, there’s probably more than that, but that’s what I came up with for worldwide.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

John Williams: Yeah.

Paula Williams: That’s crazy. And again, you could spend all of your time and money going to trade shows and zero time and money getting anything done.

John Williams: Yeah, I mean you couldn’t possibly go to all those. In fact, if you can pick two to four, and actually attend them and do them justice, you would be doing an outstanding job.

Paula Williams: Right, yeah.

John Williams: So selection process needs to be very detailed.

Paula Williams: Right. I think for most of the small to medium sized aviation clients that we have, we usually advise that they not do more than four trade shows, maybe six per year.

Just because of the amount of preparation and follow-up that has to go into doing trade show as well, right?

John Williams: Yeah, I mean, I don’t know how they do six.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Yeah, the larger organizations.

John Williams: Makes me tired to think about it.

Paula Williams: Yeah, if you’ve got two different teams going to trade shows, then you can do as many as you want, or if you’ve got enough personnel to do that.

But if you’ve got the same people going to trade shows, we really don’t recommend over extending on these and being very, very cautious. We’d rather have you do the heck out of a few than do a lot of them and do them badly, right?

John Williams: Yeah. I knew one larger company that did tag teams where they would, every other trade show was with a different team.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

John Williams: And then they did multiplied it I think six or eight a year.

Paula Williams: Great, and I’ve been part of that type of organization. Some companies actually have two entire booth setups.

John Williams: Yes, that’s what I’m talking about.

Paula Williams: Right, and two entire crews that alternate between shows which is-

John Williams: So if they do six, that means that each crew is only actually doing one every four months.

Paula Williams: Yep, something like that.

John Williams: And that gives you plenty of time to do a campaign prior to and follow up.

Paula Williams: Right, and once again, these are about building relationships, so this is not speed dating.
You wanna make sure that you’ve got The time to make the appointments ahead of time, meet with people, be relaxed, spend the time you need to while you’re there. And then do the follow up afterwards and not scrimp on the time and money required for all of that.

John Williams: Right.

Digital Marketing and the Internet

Paula Williams: Yeah, okay so that’s trade shows. Let’s talk a minute about digital marketing. Now, this is actually the ads manager for Facebook which is probably the most detailed. And you can see some of the selections that you can make here. And you can make selections within a one-mile radius of a location.

You can do, actually what they call geotargeting, which would be for certain places like the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. If somebody walks into that building and has location services turned on on their mobile phone, they get what they call a geo tag, so that when somebody walks into that location, they get served an ad.
Or they become eligible for your advertising marketing.

John Williams: I don’t want to sound too redundant, but those of you that listen to everything, will hear this again. And that is that this approach with Facebook is the closest thing the individual or small company will ever get to accessing quote big data.

Paula Williams: Exactly, so and this can cost you as little as $5 a day, depending on how you setup your ads and make this work? But, for international advertising and international marketing, if you’re wanting to target people in a specific country. Because maybe they have a tax situation that you can take advantage of because of some consulting that you do.

Or there’s a particular product that you sell that is specific to a particular area. This is a wonderful way to not waste money on advertising you don’t need.

John Williams: And we’ve discovered through the various clients that Facebook is used for this sort of thing a lot more outside the US.

Paula Williams: Right, and part of the reason is because phone calls are so difficult. You got the timezone issues with doing business internationally. The digital marketing can be set for any timezone so you’re serving us while you’re sleeping. You’re getting responses while you’re sleeping, you can set up your aviation Facebook marketing to do messaging advertising nowadays, so that when someone messages your Facebook in response to your ad.

They get a specific set of messages based on an outline that you put together. There’s lots of thing that you can do with digital marketing internationally to really make it a whole lot easier to overcome some of those obstacles like the language barrier, like time zones.

John Williams: If it makes you tired thinking about doing this, just give us a call, we can help.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Absolutely yeah, our digital marketing packages do a lot of this in a done for you sort of way. So that we’re setting this up for you in addition to the location, of course there are going to be other things that you want to select. So maybe only men between the ages of 45 and 65 who have a college education who have an income above X.

John Williams: Pick a number you like.

Paula Williams: Dollars or yen a year, whatever the currency is there. That have an interest in Moony Aircraft. There’s lots of things that you can get really detailed.

John Williams: And they also own a Tesla.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Exactly and they’re left-handed. Well I don’t know if they have left-handed, but-

John Williams: No, but I mean they do have the information on where they leave How they live, what they drive I don’t recall? Sports they’re interested in so there’s so much in the bottom of the mind.

Paula Williams: Right, that’s exactly right and you can exclude people from your advertising as well.
So you know, I don’t want anyone who already is doing business with one of my competitors or something like that, or who already likes my competitor’s page, you know, something along those lines. So there’s lots of selections you can make here that really make it a lot easier to do business internationally and make it a whole lot easier for them to respond to you.

Internationally without it being a pain in the neck for either of you.

John Williams: Right.

Search Engine Optimization

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Okay, yeah so let’s talk for a minute about search engine optimization. Once again, this is really high level stuff here. With our clients we often get into discussions that last for hours on one of these topics.
Which is fine as well or if they still want to handle it for them that we try to keep that to a minimum and really respect your needs and wishes on that.

John Williams: And because he said that three words don’t go and say no my god now we got.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

John Williams: She’s not gonna go deep because I won’t let her.

Paula Williams: Exactly, not in the podcast.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Okay so search engine optimization and website adjustments. If you are seeing something like this in your Google Analytics, where you’ve got a pretty large number of people from one country.
So let’s say you have 4,000 almost 5,000 from the United States, but then you have 1,000 from the Philippines, which is actually a very small country. This is a time, when you want to do some-

John Williams: Analysis [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Yeah, and go is there some reason these folks are interested in my product or service.
And we’ve had a lot of companies whose analytics we dig into every month for one reason or another, find surprises like this, and say wow, there might be something to this that we might need to look into a little bit more carefully. So another thing that I would notice about this, and this is a page from Google Analytics.

Is that even though there’s a lot of people visiting from the Philippines, if you look at the last column, the average session duration-

John Williams: 18 seconds.

Paula Williams: People from the United States are looking at this website for two hours, sorry.

John Williams: Two minutes.

Paula Williams: Two minutes and seven seconds [LAUGH] two hours?
Two minutes and seven seconds, which is actually a pretty decent amount of time for a web visit, right? People from the Philippines, though, are obviously not finding what they’re looking for, so they’re coming to this site, but they’re only staying for 18 seconds. So if I saw this on a client’s Google Analytics, and I did, my advice to them would be to translate a page Into the language and whether that’s a full page, whether that’s just a video where you got a translator speaking or an audio where you got somebody’s speaking, something like that.

These people are not finding what they’re looking for or they’re not able to understand it. So for some reason, they are attracted to this product or service but they are not Finding that it’s relevant to their needs or they’re not understanding what’s on that website.

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: And they’re going it 18 seconds and they’re off to find something in their language.

John Williams: Your language is not their primary.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

John Williams: They say to heck with it.

Paula Williams: Yeah, this is too hard, I’ll go get it somewhere else so, you know this would be an opportunity, potentially, to explore is there a product or service that we could delivery to the Philippines.

That would be interesting to these folks, and if so, is it worth the time and energy to maybe translate a page on our website and maybe see if we can increase the amount of time that people are spending and, maybe make connections with some people and see what.

It is that they’re finding that they’re interested in and why you know.

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: There may be a market we haven’t discovered yet, right?

John Williams: Yeah, I mean that’s kind of interesting too because you get all of these things and you get all the way down to the last slot on this particular page, and they’re there for three almost four minutes.

Paula Williams: Yeah, people in Kenya, there’s not very many of them, so it would be close.

John Williams: Not very many of them. But that means that they are looking at it seriously.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Right. So 117 people, the average of whom looked at this page for three minutes.

John Williams: And 53 seconds.

Paula Williams: And 53 seconds, so either people in Kenya are very slow readers, or they’re very interested, or they’re very.

John Williams: Further analysis is required.

Paula Williams: Yeah, exactly. And they’re missing a lot of pages per session, so they may be watching the videos or doing something else. But this definitely bears some closer scrutiny and potentially some experimentation to figure out what is going on here and how best to make money from it.

John Williams: Respond to it.

Paula Williams: Yeah, exactly. How to sell more products and services based on this information, okay? So worth looking into and think about translation into languages, and once again. If you got somebody on your staff that is volunteering to translate all your pages into Spanish and this is what you’re looking at on you google analytics.
I would say don’t bother, because none of these people speaks Spanish.

John Williams: That’s right.

Paula Williams: Okay, so you know when you’re thinking about paying for translation services and other kinds of things. First, you wanna look at where you’re getting the traffic from and is it worth it? So in this case, I would think more about Tagalog, is that the.

John Williams: Yeah, for Philippines, yeah.

Paula Williams: Right. Or some of the languages in India, there’s a bunch of them Indonesia not even sure what that would be, United Kingdom, what do they speak there?

John Williams: [LAUGH] Well we thought it was English until we went over there.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Until we went over there and we realized we don’t speak the same language that they do.

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: Right, so anyway some really interesting stuff that you can find out for what digging into your analytics or having us dig into your analytics, right?

John Williams: Yep.

ABCI Clients Doing Business Overseas

Paula Williams: Okay, cool, so let’s talk about some ABCI clients that market internationally. And some of the things they do that we know about.

That are kind of interesting things to consider. So Yvan Boniface, he does the Aero Expo Panama Pacifico, largest Latin American expo North of Brazil and,

Paula Williams: Good opportunity if you looking at exploring Latin American market which is booming. That is every year in April?

John Williams: Panama, no, yeah, April, right.

Paula Williams: And in Panama. So consider that one, that might be a good way to dip your toe in. And also a really nice introduction into international marketing. Hal Stephens is up in Canada and he does Sapphire Aviation Solutions. He’s flying all over the world doing research on aircraft and other things for maintenance.

John Williams: Related issues.

Paula Williams: Related issues and things like that. C&L Aviation, they do a lot of maintenance work, they’re based in the United States but planes come in from all over.

John Williams: And they attend trade shows internationally.

Paula Williams: Yes they do, absolutely. WX24 Pilot is an application, a weather application for Pilots all over the world and one of the interesting things about that is, if you sell an app or if you sell software, of course there’s no delivery problems with delivering it internationally, but Paxton has made some really interesting adaptations to his pricing and to the application itself.

And where it gets data from because of the fact that he sells internationally, so you know obviously FAA weather data or NOAA weather data is not gonna do any good for.

John Williams: The guy in South Africa.

Paula Williams: Exactly [LAUGH], so there’s different sources that he’s gonna have to get weather data from.

John Williams: And he does.

Paula Williams: And he does. And in some cases you have to adapt your product to be able to sell it internationally, so whether that’s worth it to you or not is a question that only you can answer.

John Williams: Um-hm.

Paula Williams: Airline Pilot Gateway. There’s a huge market for training, flight training and training pilots.
Internationally of course, to respond to the global pilot shortage.

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: Francis Aviation they do a lot of US to Mexico, Mexico to US. Because of where they’re located they have a King Air charter operation out of the El Paso area, the border area there.

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: And do a lot of international business, XSpec Aviation, they do some really interesting refurbishing of.

John Williams: Simulators.

Paula Williams: Simulators for flight training. So they have this similar situation to Airline Pilot Gateway in terms of market for their products and services, and the things that they can do there.

So, lots of things going on. And every situation is different. A lot of people ask us, what are some of the main things to think about in terms of international aviation marketing, and if we summed it up into those three things, you wanna think about why? [LAUGH] Are you responding to a competitor?

Have you discovered a market? Are you looking for another place to expand into, because you’ve saturated the market in the US? Lot’s of reasons to do international marketing. You want to look at where in terms of where is it gonna be easiest for you to do that and you’re also gonna wanna look at how.

What are the methods you could use such as trade shows, digital marketing and website adjustments, right?

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: Okay, so subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play or whatever you find podcast are distributed, right?

John Williams: Yeah, they’re not sold, so.

Paula Williams: No they’re not. Wherever fine podcasts are sold.

But please do subscribe on iTunes, and please do give us a rating. That helps a lot more people find our podcast, and helps us do better marketing in the aviation industry, and stop random acts of marketing and having the industry do better is better for everyone, right?

John Williams: Yeah, absolutely.

Paula Williams: So spend less money on bad advertising and more money on good marketing, and everybody wins, right?

John Williams: Yes, they do.

Paula Williams: Okay, have a great afternoon and we’ll see you next week.

John Williams: See you, ciao



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