What are the aviation marketing questions people are asking in 2019?

If you’re a doctor at a cocktail party, people tend to ask you how to lose weight or fix their trick knee. If you’re a marketing consultant, people tend to ask you questions about marketing trends, methods and problems.

We’ve been keeping a notebook of questions that we’re asked during our Free Consultations and Office Hours, as well as at networking events and cocktail parties.   And most of these questions we’ve been asked many times over.  So we thought we’d create an episode to share the answers.



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Aviation Marketing Trends- What’s Working in 2019?

We’re finding that the most effective marketing channels are complete campaigns (with a well-defined list, offer and presentation plan)  that take advantage of the most powerful new marketing tools and changes in technology.

There have been huge increases in the number of people who have access to high-quality cameras and microphones.  We have also noticed that most aviation and B2B prospects have healthy broadband connections.   This makes video, podcasting, and webinars MUCH more effective.   We’re also noticing that as digital marketing and social media channels are getting flooded with ads, only the best ones are working.   The best ones are ads that are “native” to the social media audiences they appear to.

The most effective ads don’t look like ads!

So, in short, here’s what’s working in 2019 – the short list!

What Pricing Strategy Works Best for Aviation Marketing?

There are two pricing strategies that can work effectively in aviation marketing.   The first is a premium pricing strategy, best described as “price high and justify.”

No one wants to pay more than they need to.  But most aviation-industry, B2B decision-makers, and high net worth and ultra high net worth individuals are willing to pay for convenience.  They realize that their time is worth money. They’re willing to pay people who have solutions that help them save more of it.

Since private or business aviation is the “ultimate time machine,” this is your most compelling marketing position.

There is also a strong contingent of customers who are looking for a value pricing strategy.

These are folks that would rather charter a King Air or Cirrus than a Gulfstream. They feel it better reflects their financial considerations, and is easier on the perceptions of their key stakeholders.

Are People Hiring Aviation Marketing Companies or Internal Employees?

Another aviation marketing question is asked by executives and HR folks – Should we hire or contract to get access to the skilled marketing help we need?

The answer – there are pros and cons to both options.

  • It’s nice to have someone on-site.   We love having an on-site “digital citizen” to work with. A savvy local an keep us informed about business decisions and priorities, local and seasonal happenings. It’s also great if this person has a good camera to capture photos, video clips and other media we can use.  (A good cell phone camera is usually adequate.)
  • Companies find it difficult to hire someone in-house with all of the marketing skills you need.   It’s a tall order to expect someone to create and execute a marketing strategy and calendar.   This would include the skills and tools  update your website, implement an SEO strategy, plan and execute a direct mail campaign,  shoot and edit audio and video media, and execute a trade show campaign.
  • The best option for many companies  is to have an on-site point person who then manages an off-site agency to execute the technical, seasonal and labor intensive tasks, as well as provide skills, tools, resources, training and strategy support. Our Marketing Lab is designed to help companies that need a little help.  We have full-service marketing options for companies that need a whole marketing department without the expanded staff and payroll.

Are Aviation Businesses Doing More or Less Marketing in 2019?

We’re finding that companies are doing more “direct marketing” and less “brand advertising.”  BDN Aerospace mentioned this in their Four Trends that Might Surprise You, and we’ve seen this in our practice as well.

Sales and marketing managers are demanding more and better metrics (as they should!)

Many companies that had previously outsourced marketing to a glossy agency are bringing more of their marketing (and the oversight of it) in-house.

Those in-house marketers are frustrated by inadequate resources and growing demands.

What are the Best-Performing Aviation Marketing Campaigns?

The most common aviation marketing question we’re asked – what are the best-performing  campaigns and strategies?

The best campaigns are multi-part, multi-media campaigns.  Particularly those that target microniches. (Such as people who fly or manage aircraft with PT6A-20 engines.)

These micro-lists are less expensive and more effective to market to.  Because you can surround a small group of people with good advertising, including direct mail, social media, and small events.

What Marketing Strategies are Underused in the Aviation Industry?

And people ask great aviation marketing questions along these lines – what are we NOT doing that work in other industries?

One great trend we’re seeing in the rest of the world and would love to see more of is newsjacking.

This is where you take whatever people are ALL TALKING ABOUT already.  When we recorded this episode, the world was in a full-swing Game of Thrones obsession, as the last episode of the epic season  had just aired.

We can tell from the Audience Interests in our Facebook Ads Manager that our own audience is no exception. There are PLENTY of Game of Thrones fans in aviation!

We wish we’d jumped on the bandwagon for our clients or ourselves, but we underestimated the frenzy.  (Or thought it was just Paula.)

Plenty of other companies jumped on the bandwagon, including birth control brands and the London Underground.




What are the International Marketing Trends?

One category of aviation marketing questions – what international trends are we seeing?

Some older planes are leaving the US and other airspace that will fall under the ADS-B regulations.  So, some brokers and service companies are building relationships in South America and Asia that they haven’t considered before.

Our friends at SimpliFlying report that international aviation companies are adopting more marketing campaigns that involve great storytelling- talking about customer stories, team member stories, and other authentic human-interest campaigns than a mere presentation of facts and figures about a product or service.

And, newsjacking!  We think this campaign by AeroMexico is perfect.

  • It  nods to the news story of the U.S. immigration debate, entering the conversation already happening in offices and bars.
  • It offers a discount for passengers with “Mexican DNA.”
  • The ads themselves are hysterically funny, taking the sting out of a controversial topic that anyone can enjoy.


I know there are aviation marketing questions we didn’t cover in this episode – ask yours in the comments section!