What is Aviation Marketing?
When we meet people at a networking event, they assume that aviation marketing is dominated by the airlines.
While that is part of it, aviation marketing also includes aviation aerospace industry, and what we call business or general aviation industry in the United States and Civil Aviation in other countries.
As an aviation marketing agency, we provide marketing services for:
- Flight Schools
- Maintenance and management providers and MROs
- Aircraft brokers
- Charter providers and brokers
- FBOs (Fixed Base Operators, or private airport terminals that serve private aviation)
- Doctors, lawyers, and consultants
- Aircraft and component manufacturers
- Service providers such as insurance, documentation, and risk management.
How is Aviation Marketing Different from Other Industries?
I came from the finance industry and was surprised by some of the differences.
There are three main differences between aviation marketing and marketing for the “rest of the world:”
- A specialized vocabulary and culture
- More complex transactions.
- Longer sales cycles
Like in all other industries, the intention of marketing is to increase the market share for the client company, and to help aviation business acquire more customers for their products and services. But there are differences! We have an article that describes all three of these factors on our web site here.
What are some of the Best Strategies for Aviation Marketing?
Some of the best performing strategies for aviation marketing that we’ve used for ourselves and our clients, fall into one of these four categories.
Each of these aviation marketing services has an article of its own.
- Three Direct Mail Strategies
- Digital Marketing Strategies
- Trade Show Marketing
- Advertising in Aviation Media
What are some of the Best Tools for Aviation Marketing?
We’ve found that the best tools for aviation marketing campaigns are those that provide professional results and great data for your decision-making, while preserving your time for personal attention to the things that tools CAN’T do.
We love Tim Ferris’ philosophy of eliminating, automating and delegating as much work as possible. Not so we can get to his famous “Four Hour Workweek,” but so that we have time to do what we love, which is making the highest-level decisions and interacting with people.
Most of the tools we find we can’t live without are those that we also provide to clients in our Marketing Lab, such as:
- Basecamp for project management
- Canva for simple graphic design
- SEMRush for web site data & optimization
- Google Analytics for web site data
- Leadfeeder to identify site visitors that don’t interact with us
- And the Social Media tools, like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
- And a good CRM or spreadsheet to keep track of your marketing process and pipeline.
Some tools discussions:
- Five Ways to use your CRM to get more Referrals, Recaptures and Testimonials
- Discussion with Aviation Marketing Professionals – What’s Y0ur Favorite Marketing Tool?
What are the best Aviation Digital Marketing Strategies?
Digital marketing has truly come into its own. If the industry decision makers were somewhat reluctant to embrace it prior to the COVID pandemic of 2020, this pushed it over the edge.
As trade shows were cancelled, postponed or put online and as magazines and other traditional advertising venues dried up, aviation companies that had procrastinated digital strategies found themselves implementing cost effective and powerful digital campaigns.
Some of our best Aviation Digital Marketing articles:
- Email Marketing Software – Which Package is Best for Your Marketing Efforts?
- Aviation Social Media Marketing – Interview with Kim Walsh Philipps
- SEO for Aviation Marketing (Search Engine Optimization)
- PPC Campaigns
What are the best Traditional Marketing Strategies for Aviation?
The traditional royalty of aviation marketing strategy are trade shows and magazine advertising, followed closely by magazine ads and post cards.
These all STILL WORK. And they work even better used in conjunction with digital methods.
A hybrid campiagn that uses a postcard to invite a prospect to a webinar, which is then followed up with a direct mail campaign and an in-person meeting makes the best use of old and new methods and is incredibly effective.
- Traditional Tools You Might Think were Outdated
- Seven ways to use postcards in your aviation advertising
- Three Direct Mail Campaigns
How Can I build a Career in Aviation Marketing?
Building a career is basically marketing yourself, so as you learn more about marketing, you’ll naturally get better at marketing your skills and improving your career!
Here’s the method we suggest:
- Build skills
- Build a portfolio & collect testimonials
- Grow your network
In other words, you become your first marketing project – Market your skills!
If you’re in school, choose courses that emphasize strategy and tactics over tools. Tools will come and go, but if you learn great strategy and tactics, how to build a funnel, how to measure results, and how to manage projects you will be able to adapt over time as tools change.
Build a portfolio and collect testimonials
The single most influential marketing materials we use are case studies and testimonials. These are proof that you know your stuff and have been able to achieve results. Acquire projects through course work or volunteer work if you need to, and make sure you capture those results so that you have documented case studies. Ask for testimonials from professors, classmates and co workers.
Grow your network.
Make a list of the top ten most-wanted companies you’d like to work with. Get to know people from those companies. LinkedIn is ideal for this – watch the profiles of people you’d like to work with, comment on their posts and discussions, join groups they belong to, and connect with them when you feel the time is right.
Seek them out and have coffee with your “most wanted” contacts at networking events. Let them know your intentions but be respectful of their time and willingness to help (or not!)
Most folks in this industry are very busy and their time is at a premium, but also very helpful to sincere, ambitious newcomers!
And we’re happy to talk with newcomers.