This week we’re talking about aviation advertising opportunities with Stephen Linebaugh and Adam Usina of PartsBase
Now, we’ve talked in the past about how its a great idea to have a product on Amazon, especially if you are an aviation professional or specialist who has written a book on a particular topic, or if you have some version of your product that would be popular in retail.
The reason this is such a great idea is because Amazon is where people go to shop.
But what if there was an Amazon for aviation?
There actually is one!
There are a few, but today we’re talking with some folks from PartsBase, which has been called the “Amazon of aviation” since it’s where people go to look for the parts and components they need. Of course if this is where your market is hanging out, you can also advertise other products and services there as well.
So, our guests are Adam and Steven:
Senior Sales Executive and Operations leader with a proven track record in creating bottom line growth through process automation while eliminating inefficiency. Putting the customer needs ahead of your own is a great way to repeat business and maintaining a satisfied customer base. A strong financial acumen and relationship building skill-set gained from success within any industry.
A true leader with a passion for the aviation, aerospace, and defense industries. Rising through the ranks, Stephen started with PartsBase 7 years ago as a sales executive. He currently is the Vice President of PartsBase. He is ambitious, consistent, and intensely focused on bottom-line results.
Adam also offers a 30% advertising discount to listeners of this podcast!
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Paula: Welcome to this week’s podcast. This week we’re talking about aviation advertising opportunities and marketing strategy. Now that we’ve talked in the past about how it’s a great idea to have a product on Amazon, especially if you’re an aviation professional or a specialist that’s written a book on a particular topic or you have some version of your product that would be popular in retail. The reason this is such a great idea is because Amazon is where people go to shop, right? But what if there was an Amazon for aviation?
There actually is one.
There are a few, but today we’re talking with some folks from PartsBase, which has been called the Amazon of aviation since it’s where people go to look for parts and components for aviation, for their aircraft and so on. Of course, if this is where your market is hanging out, you can also advertise other products and services there as well.
So our guest this week are Adam and Stephen. So Adam and Stephen from PartsBase.
Adam Usina is the senior sales executive and operations leader with a proven track record in creating bottom line growth through process automation while eliminating inefficiency. Putting the customer’s needs ahead of your own is a great way to get repeat business and maintain the satisfied customer base. A strong financial acumen and relationship building skill set gained from success within any industry.
Stephen Linebaugh is a true leader with a passion for aviation, aerospace and defense industries. Rising through the ranks, Steven started with part space seven years ago as a sales executive. He is currently the vice president of Part Space. He is ambitious, consistent and intensely focused on bottom line results. Welcome to this week’s podcast and this week we’re really excited to have Adam and Steven from PartsBase with us. You guys are the experts. So Adam and Steve and maybe one of you guys can can tell us a little bit more about Part Space.
What is PartsBase?
Stephen: Yeah, absolutely. I’ll just start by saying PartsBase is a technology company in the aviation industry. We’re a 21 year old brand and essentially what we are is we’re one of the world’s largest online parts locator services for the aviation, aerospace and defense industries. And essentially what we do is we pair up buyers and sellers, aviation parts and services. Our community consists of approximately 7,600 companies in over 200 countries throughout the world.
So very large community, very strong brand and loyal customer base. And again, it’s a community. So the suppliers and the buyers know each other and work together. It’s all about building relationships and making things a seamless process.
Adam: I like to call us the Amazon for the aviation, aerospace and defense industries. That’s pretty much it.
Paula: That’s a good analogy because you’re not going to find nuts and bolts and the evacuation slides on Amazon.
Adam: That’s right.
John: So do you prefer to do a directors of maintenance or mechanics or anybody?
Stephen: John, it really depends on the company. So, when we work with the one and two man operations, we’re dealing with the owners of the company. When we’re dealing with some of the larger operators or household names that are out there, it could be the director of maintenance or a mechanic that’s on the shop floor that has a login credentials to the site and is buying parts for aircraft. So it’s a wide variety of users, end users on the site which is what makes the community so popular and such a great vast marketplace.
Paula: Yeah. Excellent. So I’m sure you got hundreds of stories of ways that your customers have benefited from working with you guys, but maybe you can pick one or two stories of people who have had sales successes or improved their sales or marketing results by working with PartsBase ?
Stephen: Yeah, absolutely. There’s a wide variety of companies that we work with. So, not just the aircraft manufacturers and suppliers that are out there, but we have a variety of service companies, service oriented companies such as logistics companies that work with us for specifically for marketing and advertising. ENH is a huge logistics company specific in the aviation space. They ran a six month advertising campaign with us doing some digital ads on the site and some email campaigns that went out to our community. And they’ve gotten a lot of great success from that exposure. Picked up some new clients and that’s really what we try to do through the digital ad campaigns that we run on the Part Space platform itself.
Adam: Yeah. So you have 13,000 members across the world that are logging into PartsBase every day. And for companies, whoever wants to advertise to the aviation community, they can do a billboard banner advertisement right on our site. So you have 13,000 people a day that are going to come across these advertisements. And also email campaigns to our 56,000 email addresses on file, all within the aerospace industry.
Numbers, Case Studies, and Statistics?
Paula: Okay. So for some of our numbers freaks, could you maybe share some specifics about what kind of open click conversion rate you might have on an ad or on an email?
Stephen: Yeah, I mean it really all depends on the size of the market that we’re going after. But really our clicks and our open rates are the strongest in the industry. Better than any other competitor that’s out there. And so what we’re finding is those numbers continue to increase with the exposure that we’re getting from the different vendors that choose to go through the email campaigns.
Adam: Yeah. And it’s to have a true conversion rate or click through rate just because the communities, I mean, it’s not just an airline or our MRO. I mean we have aviation lawyers who advertise with us. So you have so many different segments of industries that still tie into the aviation community. If it was just MROs or just a airlines, you probably would have a perfect a statistic for that. But given the variety, it’s difficult to come up with that. But still the numbers are very good.
Paula: Okay. So compared to like retail if you wanted to compare it to something larger rather than something smaller?
Stephen: Exactly. The exposure is where the real value is and just getting in front of the sheer size of the community. And then there’s also people that want to do more of a targeted campaign, geo targeting or certain market segments with specific lists that they’ll provide for us. And we’ll target those segments as well.
So if somebody only wants to market to the airlines in South America we can set up an email campaign or some sort of ad campaign that’s going to tailor to your needs and requirements and set that up accordingly. And based on that, it changes the open rates and the click rates and it’s all based on proportion to the market segment that we’re targeting.
Paula: Okay. So is there like a particular maybe story or case study or anything like that that you’d like to highlight?
Adam: Offhand. I mean, I’ve had an aviation lawyer that tried us for three months and got a lot of traction, had got three or four new customers and they’ve been advertising with us ever since. And that was about two years ago.
Paula: Excellent. So people tend to stick with you for awhile.
Adam: Yeah, yeah. And again, it’s all about we give our customers the option to create their own images and create their own billboard banner, email, what it is. We also can do that for them. it just depends. So as you know, an advertisement is only as good as the creation of it and how well that person does their job of marketing to the customers that they’re trying to target.
Paula: Understood, understood. Great. So one thing we’d like to ask everyone is a where did you come from and how did you get where you are in your career and why did you decide to work with Part Space. Maybe each of you could maybe share your story.
Adam: Sure. Well I was 10 years within the call center sales realm and a different BPO, outsource call centers and things like that. And I came across PartsBase because I had a friend that worked there and for years they telling me, “Man, you got to come on, you got to come on. It’s a great place to work.” And the last place I was at it was I’m taking care of a hundred hundred people, three different departments.
I’m working around the clock and it’s just crazy. And I get here and gave it a shot. The culture here is fantastic. And what I like about this company is their integrity. They always are willing to do the right thing for our customers and our employees. And I’ve found in my career that that’s very, very hard to find. And that’s one of the reasons why, but that’s the reason I came on board and that’s reason I’m still here.
Stephen: Yeah. And for me, John and Paula, out of school, I went into the logistics transportation industry for several years and was always fascinated with aviation, saw that Parts Base had a sales position available. This was back in 2012, so seven years ago.
And took that opportunity and it’s been a great experience for me getting to know not only the aviation industry from a technology standpoint, but also just the community aspect of it and just being able to be a part of that, to get out to different conferences and talk to people and learn about their businesses and really learn what makes them tick, you know?
And what it’s all about has been great for me. So it’s been a fun experience and I love the business. I love the people in the aviation industry and I’m glad that we had the opportunity to come on here today. And, and share a little bit about Part Space with you and John.
Paula: That’s cool. I don’t know if you know, I come from the financial industry, so I know what you mean when you say the ethics in aviation is so refreshing coming from a different industry.
Stephen: Yeah, exactly. It is. It is.
Adam: I mean like I said, it’s a different world, especially the ones I was with. Because actually before call centers, I was in the mortgage industry myself.
Paula: So you know what I’m talking about.
Adam: I’m real aware of the financial industry and yeah and finding … He’s the VP of the company and I can come up to him and ask him anything. And then everyone here is very approach… Our CEO, I can walk in and say whatever I want and get my opinions about things and they ask us for our opinion. Which is great cause usually that’s not the case. People are seen but not heard.
Advice for Business Owners – How to Get Better Results from Aviation Advertising?
Paula: Right. That’s for sure. Okay. Any advice for aviation business owners who want or need to get better results from advertising? And I know you guys also do events. So the PBExpo is one of your events. So either advertising or events or both. Any other advice for people to reach their target market in general aviation or business aviation?
Stephen: I think the biggest thing is really just, it’s all about building relationships in international aviation and for us, I think the biggest piece of advice I can give is just get out in front of people, whether it’s your local conferences or expos or air shows, whatever it might be, events that you have gone on. Go out and shake hands, introduce yourself, talk about your interest in the industry and learn about other people’s businesses. And that’s really what I think is the most beneficial way to get out there and get your name in front of people.
And the aviation industry is a small community. It’s a tight knit group. So the more people that you can form a relationship with and get in front of the better. And then as far as the advertising, and there’s so many different ways in which you can go about it, whether it’s via Part Space or print ads or whatever your market calls for and who you’re trying to target makes all the difference in the world.
Adam: And in regards to the events PBExpo has been such an amazing event. Especially the last couple of years. We’ve had a lot of success with it. It’s in Miami, Florida, March 18th and 19th of 2020. This year we had how many attendees?
Stephen: So we had around just north of 2000 registered attendees for this year’s conference. This was our second year that we put it on.
Adam: And again, it was a huge segment in it for technology companies, so [inaudible 00:15:00] in aviation and this year it’s going to be… In 2020 it’s going to be even bigger. So we’re going from 200 booths to 300 booths.
Paula: Wow. So the opportunities there would be to exhibit a product or service, you’ve got booth sizes of all sorts, I would imagine.
Stephen: Absolutely. So there’s different ways that you can exhibit. There’s different sponsorship opportunities that are available. There’s various digital ad space that we have available, so you don’t necessarily have to be there. Signage. A lot of different ways you can get involved in being involved with the expo. But it’s a great way to get introduced to the Part Space community and learn more about what people are doing out there. Not only from a technology standpoint but from a variety of different ways.
Adam: Yeah, and anybody who wants information about that, they can go to www. PBExpo.org. You can get all the information you need about last year’s event and what’s to expect coming up in 2020.
Paula: And just to kind of emphasize, those events are so important because I find that people ignore our advertising until either they have shaken my hand or seen us speak or something. Have met us at an event or something like that. And then all of a sudden once you’ve made that contact with the human being, then all of a sudden they start paying attention to your ads. So they go hand in hand and you kind of have to do both in our experience. Right John?
John: Yup. Absolutely.
Paula: All right. Okay. So what is your best method of marketing and attracting customers for the PBExpo or for PartsBase?
What’s YOUR Best Method of Aviation Advertising to Acquire New Customers?
Stephen: I mean I think the biggest thing for us again is getting out in front of people. So we participate in over 25 international shows and conferences throughout a given calendar year. So we have people, sales personnel, attending shows, shaking hands, going out and meeting with clients. Those are the best ways that we get our name out there. We’ve done some trade publication, trade ad space with different people, sponsor different events. That’s really way that we get the Part Space name out in front of the community.
Paula: Okay. So would you say it’s the live events or if you had to pick any one particular thing. And this is a question that people ask us all the time and it drives me crazy, but if you’re on a deserted island with a single tool, what would that tool and you can’t say a Swiss army knife, right?
Adam: A laptop with a mobile hotspot.
Paula: Very good.
Adam: Yeah, no. It is a different element when you’re able to shake somebody’s hand. And what I’ve found and what I’ve done for my customers purposely is, for instance, PBExpo this year, leading up to it, three or four months I did campaigns via billboard banner advertisement on Part Space and then also email campaigns. And the email campaigns would grow out to again, all of our customer base which is huge.
The majority of them are coming to PBExpo and we would run these campaigns to say, “Hey come by my booth, I got a booth and PBExpo, come shake my hand. I’d like to see you there.” And the companies that did that, they found a lot of success because they would drive traffic and they would know that that company that’s advertising with us is that PBExpo and they wanted to go meet them and they were like, “I’ve seen your advertisements, the last year on Part Space and I’m finally shaking your hand.”
And again, it’s great. Like you said, it’s building that relationship and when you’re able to make that human connection after somebody’s already seen your name in the digital space, it’s big.
Favorite Book or Movie?
Paula: All right, cool. Okay, so I’d like to ask each of you, and we do this with everyone that comes on on our podcast, what book or movie inspired you the most as a kid?
Adam: Top Gun.
Paula: Top Gun. That’s probably our number one [crosstalk 00:19:29].
Adam: I had the pilot jacket when I was a kid and my mom bought me the aviators and yeah, I wanted to be Maverick.
Paula: You have the need for speed. Okay, cool. Steven?
Stephen: You know, for me, I can’t pinpoint a book or a movie off the top of my head. But for me I would say that my dad inspired me the most as a kid. And so I was always inspired by the way that my father conducted himself and not only with strangers and friends, but also in the community. So I would just have to say that my dad was the biggest inspiration for me as a kid growing up.
Paula: Okay. Well since we just passed Father’s Day we’ll let you break the rules.
Stephen: I appreciate that.
Paula: Okay, cool. All right, so favorite airplane?
Adam: F22 raptor. If you’re going to pick one, pick the baddest one in the air. The reason I say that too is I have a buddy, he flies F16s and he flies the Harrier actually. From what he tells me about the capabilities of those aircraft. I mean, it’s just unreal.
John: So why didn’t you pick the F35?
Adam: Well, actually, I know about the F22 really, really well. I’ve heard of the F35 and I haven’t done much research on it. I know it’s the newer version of the F22 but yeah. I mean either the F35 or the F22 is good for me.
John: Yeah, the Vector exhaust is amazing.
Adam: It is. It is.
Stephen: For me, I’m going to have to say I like the Gulfstream 650 so I’m into the the Gulfstream aircraft. I think they’re top notch and so that’s what I pick.
Paula: Wow. You guys are kind of like the odd couple!
Adam: We’re giving you the best of both worlds.
Paula: Yes, that’s true. I guess they are best in class, you know for the business jets and for the military. So that’s cool. All right so quick wrap up. Just let us know how people can find out more about Part Space or PBExpo and I know you gave us the URL for PBExpo, which is great. And the information that’s going to be March. Maybe you can just run that by us again real quick.
Adam: Yeah, so PBExpo is March 18th and 19th of 2020. Miami, Florida. You can go onto www.PBExpo.org to find out more information about aviation advertising, how to get a booth and to contact us to register and so on and so forth. In regards to any advertisement with PartsBase you can go on PartsBase.com and find our contact information there. Or you can call myself directly. Adam Usina, (561) 892-9338 or get ahold of Steven either.
Paula: Okay. So any early bird discounts or anything else that people should be aware of or any speaking opportunities, anything like that, we can let our insiders in on?
Adam: All right. So if anybody calls me and gives me your name, I will get them 30% off advertising.
Stephen: Pretty nice.
Paula: That is a pretty nice incentive. Great.
Adam: He’s going to yell at me after this.
Paula: We have this on tape, so that’s cool. All right, well thank you very much for spending some time letting our folks know about you. We do try to let people know about all kinds of advertising opportunities and I think this is a a really great one for the right folks. So thanks for joining us and we’ll see you next week.
Adam: See you later.
John: Thank you.
How Do You Know if Your Aviation Advertising is Working?
Paula: So you know one of our cardinal rules at ABCI is no random acts of marketing or advertising. So if you’re wondering how you can get all those metrics and numbers we keep harping on for your marketing campaigns, so that you can know how much you’re spending for each advertisement and how much value it’s generating, you really need a system that can keep track of all this stuff.
We’re using SharpSpring as our CRM and we have installed it for a few of our aviation clients now. One of the really cool things about SharpSpring is that if you have an advertisement in PartsBase or you exhibited at PBExpo and you want to calculate how many new leads you receive from that effort and how much each of those opportunities is worth, a system like SharpSpring can really help.
Of course, any software is only as good as the data you put into it.
So with our Aviation Lead Generator, we bundle the SharpSpring CRM with our famous ABCI marketing services. So we do all the configuring, we connect it to your web site, we set up all your campaigns and so on so that it starts collecting data immediately.
The longer you use it, the better your data will be because we do have a long sales cycle in aviation and sometimes the person you meet today at an event or a person that sees an ad today might not become a customer until eight months later.
So a system like our lead generator becomes more and more valuable over time.
Thanks for joining us and we’ll see you next week!