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AMHF 0072 – Live Video as an Aviation Marketing & Sales Tool

Video has always been great for aviation marketing, but some recent changes in social media have made live video an even more interesting opportunity. We talk about some of the tactics to add this to your marketing mix.

 

Transcript –  Live Video for Aviation Marketing

Paula Williams: Welcome to Aviation Marketing hanger playing, episode number 72. Live Video for Marketing. I’m Paula Williams.

John Williams: I’m John Williams.

Paula Williams: And we’re ABCI, and ABCI’s mission is.

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

Paula Williams: Absolutely, so you probably have either tried or have thought about using live video for marketing.

And if you run across questions or comments or would like to share an adventure or misadventure or anything else, use the hashtag #AvGeekMarketing, that’s A-V GeekMarketing. And we’ll find that and reply to you. You can also leave comments on our blog because we love to hear what experiences you’ve had.

This is a new thing, a lot of people are trying it with different and varied experiences, right?

John Williams: [LAUGH] Yes.

Paula Williams: Absolutely. Okay, so the big ideas from this episode are that live video is a fantastic way to connect with your audience. It can also be kind of intimidating.

For some of us to get started but the numbers do justify summoning the courage to at least test it for your company, right?

John Williams: It’s intimidating not just because you have to watch yourself and listen to yourself talk but the first time you have to put a process together to get it out there is interesting.

Paula Williams: Exactly, so a lot of us feel a little weird about seeing ourselves on video or hearing our own voices, me included. But it is worth, the numbers definitely do justify the anxiety or insecurity or whatever else you want to call the process that we go through. So, let’s talk about some of the things that have changed recently.

You may have noticed if you’re a Facebook user, that there is a tab that comes up at the bottom of Facebook on mobile especially, that goes just to videos. So they’re making videos a whole lot more visible than they used to be. Also, whenever any of your contacts is broadcasting a live video, it shows up on your feed automatically as a very small window in the lower left hand corner.

So this is our new in the last few weeks.

John Williams: That’s right-hand corner.

Paula Williams: Lower right-hand corner, excuse me. This is not reversed. Sometimes things are reversed on a camera, this is not. The lower right hand corner of your Facebook feed, you’ll notice a little box with moving faces or whatever.

And that’s live videos that you’re contacts are actually broadcasting right now. So those are two ways that Facebook is really putting a lot of emphasis on video, and the reason is because they want to make ad revenue from live video. They want to be the next TV station in the world, right.

John Williams: They’ve actually stated that as their objective.

Paula Williams: Right, in fact they’re commissioning some live video content from different content providers that should really position them as being more the way people access video.

John Williams: And Google is also heavily, into video.

Paula Williams: Right, exactly. So this is actually a really good way to connect with an audience that also happens to be very visual.

Aviation people like to see how things work. They love to see airplanes. They love to see things flying. They love to see parts work together. They love to see all those things. And it used to be YouTube. And if you look up aviation videos on YouTube, or even avionics demonstrations on YouTube, any of those things, you’re going to find a ton of video.

And it used to be mainly YouTube that was the channel for that. But now you’ve got Facebook Live, you’ve got Instagram Live, you’ve got Periscope, you’ve got lots of other media by which people can produce video.

John Williams: And for those that don’t know what they’re doing and put it on their website which is a very bad idea but it will work.

Paula Williams: Mm-hm, absolutely.

John Williams: It really degrades your website.

Paula Williams: Right. So you really want to host your videos some place that is fast enough to support video. And a lot of these places are built for that purpose. So, you can use these things as a third party, often without paying anything.

Get them to host your video and then still embed it in your website. So then you get the advantage of having it on your website and not slowing down your web server.

John Williams: Exactly.

Paula Williams: Okay, cool. So why video?

John Williams: [LAUGH] Why not?

Paula Williams: Why not? [LAUGH]
There’s actually some really good statistics on this and you’ll find different statistics in different places just like anything else.

But I think it all leads to, and our experience kind of supports, maybe not these precise numbers, but something pretty close. A video in an email, if you say, video enclosed or video, colon, and then the subject line of your email, you’re going to get a lot more people opening that email.

So a video in an email can lead to a 2 to 300 increase in click-through rate. Well, before I was talking about open rate. You put it in the subject line, people know there’s a video there, they’re more likely to open the email. And once they open the email they’re a lot more likely to interact with that email if there’s a video embedded in it.

Also including a video on a landing page can increase your conversion by up to 80%. So, once again if you’re selling a product or service and you have a video that maybe answers some questions or shows a video view or product demonstration or something like that that explains the product, you’re a lot more likely to get that page to convert to the next step in your sales process.

And this is not just retail. 96% of business to business organizations use video in some capacity in their marketing campaigns of which 37% report-

John Williams: 73%.

Paula Williams: 73%, excuse me, dyslexia rears its ugly head. 73% report positive results to their ROI.

John Williams: And all the are saying that video is going to be the next big deal as far as everything on the Internet.

Paula Williams: Exactly.

John Williams: So, get ahead of the game.

Paula Williams: Yeah, absolutely. So what can you do with video?

John Williams: A number of things.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: You can show off your new hangar. Your office and your demonstrations, so forth.

Paula Williams: Right, you can interview your team members so that people feel like they’re familiar with them.

John Williams: Become a talking head.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Become a talking head. Build your own authority, credibility and expertise, we call that ACE, authority, credibility, and expertise, get it? By being the person that comments on the news or comments on the developments in your area of expertise.

John Williams: It’s an exponential take on a guy who, talking to a group of people in a meeting, and if he’s up there on the whiteboard writing, he’s in control.

Paula Williams: Mm-hm.

John Williams: He’s the expert.

Paula Williams: Absolutely, and I’ve had a whole lot of people tell me when they call our company, I’ve seen what you said about x, y, or z and therefore I want to talk about how that can work for my company. And that happened because they either saw one of our videos or heard our podcast.

And either way you’re positioning yourself so that people know this is something that you’re familiar with, this is something that you work with and so on.

John Williams: Yeah.

Explainer Video by ABCIPaula Williams: So, let’s talk about a few things that you can do to get the most from video. Now, Facebook Live Video is the one thing that we’ve kind of been hinging this report, or is actually the reason that we decided to do this podcast today, is because of these recent changes in Facebook Live Video.

And it’s pretty easy to do. In fact, when you go to Facebook, and we’ll put in the show notes for this episode how to do this, there’s a pretty simple tutorial on Facebook. It’s just a question of simply clicking a button when you go to your company page.

And instead of posting an update you can broadcast a live video just by click a button.

Paula Williams: Right now it’s only done on mobile devices. So you can only do this from your iPhone or iPad. But they’re rolling it out gradually so you can do it from your desktop which might make it easier if you’re used to doing, GoToMeetings and other kinds of things where you have a webcam set up on your computer.

John Williams: You don’t have to balance your iPhone on something. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Right, right now you have to get some kind of an easel or tripod,

Paula Williams: And set your phone on it so that your camera’s at the right level and everything else. So some of the things you want to be concerned about are making sure that you have good audio.

I use our good microphone for that or Shure S55.

John Williams: So did they ever get the backwards thing on the printing figured out?

Paula Williams: No, I don’t think so. If you hold something up while you’re talking on your Facebook live using your iPhone camera It will look like the print is backwards so if I hold up a book or something like that people have to read it backwards cuz it does the mirror thing.

That’s kind of funny. There are a few little quirks about it but the other interesting thing is that people are looking for, these don’t have to be studio produced in order to be effective.

John Williams: Right.

Paula Williams: People are looking for authenticity. They’re looking for somebody real. That’s talking about real subjects and offering real information.

So don’t be afraid of doing this. I’d suggest doing maybe three of them on a particular topic. You can think up some kind of a presentation that takes five minutes, ten minutes that explains a key concept and just try it maybe for a series of three.

John Williams: And most printers, when you go to print something, to hold up, if you just click on a little box, says print in reverse-

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] That’s true.

John Williams: Do that right away [LAUGH].

Paula Williams: Yeah, exactly, if you use things that you hold up, visual aids. If not, don’t worry about that. Just talk for five minutes, ten minutes about a particular topic and do a series of three or a series of five.

See what it does for your numbers. And then decide what to do from there. But to get the most from those Facebook Live videos, right after you record it it gives you the option to download that to your phone. And once you do that you have the video file, it’s an MP4 file, that you can then publish to YouTube to get an additional audience.

So, publish it to your YouTube channel. You can burn it to a CD for a direct mail package that you send to your prospects. You can put that live video on Instagram. There’s lots of things that you can do with that video file to make that really worth the time [CROSSTALK] .

John Williams: The more things you do, the bigger bang you get for the buck.

Paula Williams: Exactly. So if you feel like, I don’t have a lot of time to do marketing, Facebook Live video is a great way to simply kind of extemporaneously talk about your area of expertise. You want to be a little bit organized and have a clue about what you want to talk about.

Maybe make a slide or two or an outline for yourself so you feel comfortable. But, once you have that video, then you can get a lot out of that. Not only will it be published on Facebook, you can also publish it in all these other places. Now to take that a step even further than that, you can take that Facebook Live video, you can use a program like, iMovie or something like that and save out the audio and use it for a podcast.

You can take that file and have a transcript made of what you just said and use that as a blog post. A lot of people feel like they don’t have time to write. But if you can talk about your key topic, and just follow an outline, then you have a pretty good transcript after the fact that you can use as a blog post without spending a ton of money.

John Williams: Sure and once you’ve got this process put together, you can follow the same thing every time you do one. And you’ve got all the magic stuff that’s going to give you good return on your investment.

Paula Williams: Right. And the third thing you can do with it is you can take stills from that video and create social media ads.

Have your talking head with a line underneath it that leads back to the original video that people can click on, and then put that on Twitter, you can put that on LinkedIn, you can put that on other social media where you happen to have an audience and get more bang for the buck.

Now this is a really great way to use, like sometimes we have a client that has a very busy CEO. Somebody that is a great talker, that is very engaging and is their very best sales person. And, this person is an absolute rock star but they just don’t have a lot of time.

So what you can do is build the outline for them, put it in front of them, have them talk for five or ten minutes. Do that as a Facebook Live video, or as any other video file. And then use that video every possible way you can to make the most out of that person’s time, right?

John Williams: Absolutely.

Paula Williams: Right, okay. So that’s one way that we make the most out of some of our client’s time who are very busy rock stars, right?

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: So to show you what this does to your numbers, this is a page from our Facebook Insights. And you can see some of these posts that got the biggest reach were my head [LAUGH] .

You know, just standing there talking. These very simple videos are not much to produce and we put a whole lot more into some of the other ads that we do, that we don’t get the bang for the buck that we do for these video ads. So some of these have gone really, really well.

Gotten a lot of engagement, got a lot of people talking and reacting to those videos. So next steps, if you feel uncomfortable about any of this. That is the reason that we are putting together a workshop in August at Sundance. Sundance, Utah the spiritual home of the Sundance Film Festival.

And Robert Redford’s pet project is this beautiful place in the mountains near where we live. And what we’re going to do is get together some aviation sales and marketing professionals who need to learn, including us, to become better storytellers. And we’re going to work on our storytelling skills for three days in the mountains at Sundance.

And what better place to do it, right?

John Williams: Exactly.

Paula Williams: Yeah, and we’re going to eat fabulous food, and we’re going to ride horses, and we’re going to hang out in the mountains, and hang out in front of camp fires and all kinds of fun things. But, mostly, the biggest advantage of going, is that you’re going to go home much more confident and skilled story teller.

John Williams: With a video.

Paula Williams: With a video. That you can use for all of these purposes that we’ve talked about. And then you’re going to feel really comfortable getting on Facebook video or Periscope, or any of these other things, or even just producing videos for your website even if you’re using YouTube or some of the, doesn’t matter what tools you’re using.

Storytelling have always been the way the best salespeople do their thing, right?

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: Okay. All right, so big ideas from this episode once again is Live Video is a fantastic way to connect with your audience. It can be intimidating, aka, scary to get started.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: We have yet yet to get John on a Facebook Live but we will do that sometime in the new future I think.

John Williams: You’re dreaming.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] I am not dreaming.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: I think we’ll manage this sometime. But the numbers do justify summoning the courage and that’s why we’re going to get you to do it right?

John Williams: We’ll see.

Paula Williams: We’ll see, okay. So go sell more stuff.

John Williams: America needs the business.

Paula Williams: Zig Ziglar, right. And subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Stitcher, or Google Play. And make sure that you leave us a rating and let us know what experience you’ve had with video.

I know some of you guys have been experimenting with it. Some of you guys are really advanced and have done some really cool things with live video. So we’d love to hear about what you’ve done, how its worked for you. If you’ve had disasters or anything else, don’t be shy.

[LAUGH] Feel free to share. We’re all friends here right?

John Williams: Exactly.

Paula Williams: Absolutely. Have a great afternoon and we will see you next Monday.

John Williams: Ciao.

AMHF 0071 – Aviation Adwords – Pay Per Click for Lead Gen & Data Collection

“Guaranteed first page placement on the search engines” is what the salespeople say about Google Adwords and Pay Per Click advertising.  And they’re right, you do get that.

John and I talk about the “gambling addict” attraction, the “sugar high” traps, and the pros and cons of Adwords, including two ways to use it correctly.

Transcript –  Aviation Adwords – Pay Per Click for Lead Gen & Data Collection

Paula Williams: Welcome to aviation marketing hangar flying episode number 71, AdWords and pay per click for aviation marketing. 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 folks out there in the aviation world sell more products and services.

Paula Williams: Absolutely, so if you want to reply to this or discuss any of these topics you can use our blog for comments and things like that. Or you can use the hashtag #AvGreekMarketing, A-V Greek Marketing. And we will replay to every tweet and make sure you get you answers to your questions.

And hopefully, we love to hear what you have in mind because everybody has different ideas and especially about new technology. There’s always stuff that we don’t know so make sure you let us know right?

John Williams: No stuff we don’t know you’ve got to be kidding.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] It could happen.

It’s moving so fast right? In fact this is where I hesitate to do topics like this because we know it’s going to be out of date like. A week after we recorded but we think there’s enough going on that it’s worth talking about, right?

John Williams: Yeah. This kind of stuff.

Google changes stuff daily and the big stuff, they change monthly or quarterly, so.

Paula Williams: Exactly, so but the big ideas are actually pretty similar. And the big ideas I think are useful no matter when you’re listening to this. If this is this week or a week from now or three weeks from now or three months from now.

AdWords, and other pay per click, without a plan is gambling and gambling badly right?

John Williams: Yeah and you don’t even get house odds. They do.

Paula Williams: Mm-hm absolutely. But AdWords with a plan can be worth it depending on the circumstance.

John Williams: Yes it can.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: With a good plan.

Paula Williams: Yeah [LAUGH] and we’ll talk about some of the differences between a good plan and a bad plan.

John Williams: A good meaning one that’s well thought through.

Paula Williams: And no plan, which is what most people do.

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: Right, okay, and then the other thing is your plan might actually be lead generation, or the objective of your plan might be lead generation or it might be data collection.

But in either case you need to know what you’re doing, right?

John Williams: And we can help you figure that out.

Paula Williams: Exactly, okay, so let’s start out with what can possibly go wrong. [LAUGH]

John Williams: [LAUGH] Well what can possibly go wrong in a poker game?

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: And those are the house’s cards there, not yours.

[LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Exactly, so AdWords is gambling. Even if you’re doing it right, you’re still gambling. You’re just improving your odds. So of the people that see your ads, are they the right people. And of the people that see your ads-

John Williams: That are the right people-

Paula Williams: That are the right people, how many of them are clicking on your ads?

And of the people that see your ads are the right people, click on your ads and go to your website. How many of them take the next step with you? Which would be to fill out some kind of a form or give you their contact information. So that you can proceed with the sales process.

John Williams: Versus how many of them just bounce out.

Paula Williams: Right. So if you’re doing lead collection [LAUGH]
it’s gambling, each of those steps. There’s going to be some people that are not the right folks. There’s going to be some people that dont’ click on your ads. There’s going to be some people that click on your ads and don’t fill out the form.

There’s going to be some 14 year olds who are completely unqualified for your product or service that fill out the form. That’s the naturel

John Williams: Of the beast.

Paula Williams: Of the beast. Right. And you’re paying for all those things, so [LAUGH]

John Williams: Yes, you are.

Paula Williams: Right, whether they work or not, some percentage is going to be useful to you, and some percentage is not.

And that’s why we call it gambling.

Paula Williams: But basically what we’re doing is we’re improving our odds. And we actually used the book, Perry Marshall’s 80/20 Sales and Marketing book last year when we talked about AdWords. Perry Marshall being somebody that’s been in AdWords for a really long time, for business to business companies.

And in the book, they actually have a pretty good Plan for testing with AdWords and for getting started with AdWords and I think that’s still a really a good place to start. A lot of people that it is dated, and it is,but I think it’s a much better place to start than simply winging it with AdWords.

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: Right. So it’s one of those things that if you’re going to be playing this game, you really need to spend the time to get good at it.

John Williams: Know the rules and play it well.

Paula Williams: Right, exactly. And the other thing that you really want to do is you want to watch the data.

So, I have on my iPad the AdWords app. So I’m watching the ads for us and for our clients, pretty much every day pretty obsessively. It’s almost like day trading right? [LAUGH] Or online gambling.

John Williams: Actually that’s probably a pretty close approximation.

Paula Williams: Right it is kind of an addiction and if you have an addictive personality this might work for you but you really want to watch your numbers and if you find.

That things are changing or if you find that things are not going your way, some of the things that we look at when we look at our data are which of our ads are performing the best? Which of our ads are performing the worst? And if you’re seeing this in video, I’ve got some data on the screen from one of our client contracts.

With their permission of course and you can see that we’re paying anywhere for a $1.04 to $0.91 per click for these particular ads and these particular ad groups. And then I can go into more detail and see which keywords are getting us the best and the worst conversion.

Which headlines are getting us the best and the worst conversion, and so on. And you want to be always eliminating the ones that are costing you the most. So that dollar four, we used to have some that were in the $3 range in this In this campaign, we got rid of them because they weren’t performing as well as our others.

So we get rid of them, we replace them with ones that do work better. And we’re always testing to see if we can make that better.

John Williams: And actually I thought that those were astronomical prices for pay per click. However, we have a client a previous client or two that we know about who are spending $3500 to $4000, $4500 a month in ads rather than doing marketing and they are not doing so well.

Paula Williams: Right. It is not hard, especially with some of the really competitive keywords to pay $12, $13 a click. And if you’re ratios are good enough, again, this is a lot like going to Las Vegas [LAUGH].

John Williams: Well and you have to look because I’ve seen in our research for what the clicks cost on some keywords, I don’t remember what it was, but $468 a click?

Paula Williams: Yeah, those are for some of the really competitive keywords. And I’d recommend staying away from those. This is just like when you go to Las Vegas for the first time, you want to play the nickel tables to start with, right? So you want to find some key words that aren’t quite so competitive until you learn to play the game.

And watch your numbers. See if you can improve your headlines, improve your ads, and improve your quality scores until you can improve those ratios. And make sure that you can sell enough to cover your bills right?

John Williams: Seemed like a long time gamble. They don’t have nickel tables.

That’d be the $5 tables [LAUGH].

Paula Williams: Okay fine [LAUGH] but still you want to start with the low risk bets.

John Williams: Yeah.

Paula Williams: You don’t want to go sit down your first time in Vegas at the high stakes tables where they bring you cocktails and have the rarified air and the billionaires.

You don’t want to be plunking down millions of dollars your first shot at AdWords. You want to play the nickel tables for a while or the $5 tables, whatever you want to call them. In this case, we’re playing the dollar tables, right? And we get better at it, and we get to the point where we know how many sales we can make for each click.

So if it takes us, well we’ll get into the details of that in just a minute in the math. But if math isn’t your thing, this is not where you want to play, right? And if being detail oriented and being on top of the data is not where you want to be, then if that’s not your thing, this is not the game for you.

John Williams: No, not at all.

Paula Williams: Right, okay. So things that you can test when you’re doing AdWords. You want to have three or four of each of these things that you’re testing pretty much all the time. So you want to eliminate the worst one and replace it with a better one every single time.

So there’s three or four that you’re testing at any given time, so you may have three or four different versions of the same ad with different keywords. Three or four versions of the same ad with different headlines. Three or four versions of the same ad with different ad copy and three or four versions of the same ad with a different offer.

And you can use the plan in the AD 20 book to kind of do the math so that you’re doing this sequentially. So test your key words first, headlines second, ad copy third, offer fourth right?

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: Okay and then as things improve you’re spending less money for better odds.

John Williams: And if they don’t improve you know to go the other direction.

Paula Williams: Exactly, well, if you’re testing three or four and you’re eliminating the worst all the time and keeping the best they’re going to improve.

John Williams: That’s right unless something clicks that you don’t realize.

Paula Williams: Yeah sometimes you’re going to test something.

John Williams: You can get all the way to the end and change something and all of a sudden it goes to the bottom.

Paula Williams: Right and even if it’s something sometimes it’s not something that you changed but it’s something that changed in the market.

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: And then all of a sudden your AdWords tank.

You need to be on top of that and see it the day that it happens instead of a month later after you’ve paid a lot of money and.

John Williams: Been there, done all that.

Paula Williams: Yeah. Okay, so this is kind of the math that we’re looking at when we’re doing AdWords.

So let’s say that our leads cost $1.04 which is kind of a high end of that campaign that I was showing you before. And let say that we can, we know we can convert 1 out of 30 of each of those leads into at least an appointment. And then of those leads, of course we may have another line here of, we know one in ten of the people that make appointments.

We can convert to a $65,000 sale. So we’re still money ahead, right? Okay, so you can say, you know a $14 click is outrageous, but if what you’re selling is a high ticket item and your close ratio is good enough, you can do that all day long right?

John Williams: Absolutely.

Paula Williams: Right. So what this means is you have to know the numbers. So you know if you’re winning or losing at any given time. Right?

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: Okay, so and John you’re the math guy [LAUGH] What do you think of these odds?

John Williams: Well, once you’ve got it down to where you know what’s going on, the odds aren’t odds anymore.

Then we’re going to assign probabilities and if you want to play really interesting math games and let’s see if you can follow through on it.

Paula Williams: Absolutely. But you still want to be on top of it, because even once you know these numbers, it is still a moving target, because all of a sudden you might have a bunch of competitors jump in and raise the price of your bids.

You might have-

John Williams: Even if they don’t, you can bet your bottom dollar that Google’s going to change something.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Google’s going to change an algorithm and maybe change your quality score because of a new rule they come up with. There’s lots of things that can change that will change one or more of these numbers.

So it’s really important to know, what is your lead cost? What is your conversion rate and what is your profit from each conversion?

John Williams: And then after all that you need to have somebody or yourself to keep up the speed of what Google is putting out.

Paula Williams: Exactly that’s absolutely right.

Okay so that’s lead generation and the math on that is simple. I’m not going to say easy. Because math for me is not easy. [LAUGH] But it’s fairly simple once you get your numbers down then you have a feel for how you’re doing whether you’re winning or losing right?

John Williams: Yeah don’t believe her about not being easy for her. She got a better score on the SA or what was it? The GMAT than I did.

Paula Williams: Only after a lot of studying. You took it cold so. But still, we get where we need to get, doing what we need to do, right?

Okay, so another way that you can use AdWords, and it actually is really good for this, is if you’re going to spend some money on printing or on placing an advertisement, right? It is a great way to test keywords, headlines, ad copy, and all of those other things, cheaply.

So, let’s say you’re going to place an ad in a magazine in the ad contractors, thousands of dollars or tens of thousands of dollars. It’s worth spending 50 bucks or 100 bucks or something like that to run some tests in AdWords and see which headline performs better.

John Williams: Of course, that’s part of it, you really can’t do without it.

Paula Williams: So you follow the same process that we outlined before. You want to test your keywords first, your headlines second, your ad copy third, and your offer fourth. And once you get those all Improved as much as you think you can then you’re in a much better place to spend thousands of dollars or tens of thousands of dollars on your magazine ad right?

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: Okay and that would be true of let’s say you’re going to get a bunch of brochures or post cards printed or you’re going to place an advertisement in a magazine or you’re going to publish a book. I don’t know if you remember Tim Ferriss, he wrote The 4-Hour Work Week.

The way he figured out the title for that is by testing a bunch of titles in Google AdWords. And he figured out what was going to be the best selling title. Because book titles are incredibly important, right?

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: So, he tested a number of different titles and came up with the best one using Google AdWords before he decided on a title for his book and gave that to his publisher.

Paula Williams: And then the last thing is before you pay for search engine optimization. Because you can pay hundreds of dollars a month for search engine optimization.

Paula Williams: Our search engine optimization program is a couple hundred bucks, actually several hundred bucks a month. I think it starts at $979 a month.

So and it’s very much worth doing Search Engine Optimization before you do pay per click if you can. But if you just starting out, you may want to reverse that and spend $50, a $100 on some ad words and figure out what keywords you want to be optimizing for, right?

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: So we actually include that in our Search Engine Optimization program, just to make sure that we’re getting the right keyword for you. We do our best guesses and then we run some ads to test those hypothesis before we devote a lot of energy to search engine optimization.

But it’s kind of like a cycle of you get your keywords right with pay per click and then you get your search engine optimization. And then your pay per click ads become much less expensive because you get a better quality score from Google. So, maybe I should take a minute and explain how that works.

Even the paid ads on Google, they don’t want to just serve any old ads because Google makes their money with people using their search engine. People are more likely to use their search engine if it’s serving high quality relevant ads. So they want to make sure that no matter how much you want to pay for an ad, you can’t buy an ad on a page that it’s not relevent for.

So they give you a quality score and say your site is of this quality and then they’ll charge you less for ads. They’ll give you a discounted rate based on the quality of your site. So the better your search engine optimization is, the less you’re going to pay for pay per click ads.

So a lot of people think I don’t need to do search engine optimization. I’m doing pay per click, right? Wrongo [LAUGH] search engine optimization will actually reduce the rates that you pay for pay per click by a whole lot, because they want to be serving really high quality sites, and the way that you have a high quality site is by doing search engine optimization and having great content on your site, right?

John Williams: Chicken and egg.

Paula Williams: Chicken and egg, absolutely. Okay, so let’s talk about how to fail at AdWords. Some of the things that can go wrong, right? Okay, so, one is the set and forget method. You know, the Ron Popeil and whatever that was called, the chicken and the kitchen appliance that you could just set it and forget it right?

John Williams: Yeah well you don’t do that here because it will cost you a bundle of money and you won’t get anything out of it.

Paula Williams: Exactly so setting and forgetting. Anybody that recommends that you just set up your AdWords and then you look at it once a month or something like that.

They’re out of their mind. You definitely want to make sure that you’re installing the AdWords app and watching that every day or make sure that the people who are doing this for you are watching this every day and letting you know if there’s anything happening that needs to be changed or different or anything like that.

Okay, the second way to fail at AdWords is by guessing without testing. So you think these are the keywords that you should be using, and you just set them up and Think that you’re in good shape.

John Williams: What does this mean you think they are?

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Exactly.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Well you’re in the business of selling widgets. So you say-

John Williams: Yes, beside the point, if you just think what these people are going to use for keywords, this is with my whole, when we first started way back when, this was my whole, how do you know what they’re using for keywords?

How do you know what they’re going to use for keywords? How do you know what they’re going to search for? Because that’s, whatever they search for is what you want as a keyword.

Paula Williams: Absolutely. In fact, when we started our company, when we started ABCI we thought we were in the business of aviation copywriting.

As it turns out, nobody knew what aviation copywriting was, even John. He was not really understanding what that word meant. And a lot of people in aviation don’t really use that word as much as they do in the finance industry or the education industry. Or other places where sales copywriting is a thing, right?

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: So, if we had advertised for aviation copywriting, even though that was the most specific way of calling what we did at that time, it wouldn’t have gotten-

John Williams: Off the ground.

Paula Williams: Off the ground. So we ended up doing aviation marketing. And then as it turns out we also have to do very specific words like aviation AdWords, aviation hashtags, aviation tradeshows.

Other kinds of things that are a lot more specific. Because we know from testing that that’s what people are actually looking for, right?

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: So what can happen if you do either of those things, is you can set up your AdWords with a $5 or $10 a day budget, or whatever budget you set up It seems like, this is no big deal, we can do $5 or $10 a day.

No problem, right?

John Williams: $10 a day is $300 a month, and you don’t get anything out of it. That’s throwing money away.

Paula Williams: Absolutely, or $25 a day, or whatever budget you set. It may not seem like much, but then when you get the bill at the end of the month, It can be kind of shocking [LAUGH] .

John gets the bill and says Paula what are we doing with AdWords with this company? So and if it’s working and if you are covering that with good odds.

John Williams: A sale every month then okay.

Paula Williams: Right, absolutely, or the amount of sales that you need in order to make that worth it.

Then that’s fantastic. And if you know that that takes x number of months from the time they see the ad to get through your sales process but you’ve followed the numbers all the way through, you’re still good.

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: But if you’re not following the numbers, you can really be surprised and really do yourself some damage, right?

Okay. So, next steps. We’ve got two programs that We do, where we do AdWords for people. And one of them I already told you about, that’s our search engine optimization program where we actually do a little bit of testing, where we talked about AdWords for data collection. We do that a little bit at the beginning of our search engine optimization program And your search engine optimization program is basically we have a basic moderate and competitive rate.

So depending on what kind of a business you are, and what your competitors are doing, if you’re a flight school or something like that, then it’s a lot more competitive because all of those folks are in Google AdWords competing for the same keywords. But if you’re in a field where not very many people are using AdWords, then it’s going to be a lot less expensive for you to do search engine optimization.

And we can give you a quote on that if you’re interested. The other thing that we offer is what we call digital marketing. And what that includes is we set up company profiles on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and then we also do what we call retargeting. And we will also set up your Google AdWords for you.

And monitor that for you.

John Williams: Note that she said company profiles, not personal.

Paula Williams: Exactly. So it’s basically, our digital marketing program is visibility for you online. Using all of those things including retargeting, social media and AdWords. So what’s that about for you? We don’t pay the fees for the ads themselves, but we do our down list to get you the best rates that we can and we give you reports As often as you like.

And we also help you set up your Google AdWords account so you can see how that’s going for you. And which words, which headlines, and which copy is doing the best for you. And we walk you through that whole process. Make sense?

John Williams: Precisely.

Paula Williams: Okay, so that’s actually a really good way to make this less risky.

If you’re getting into it for the first time is to go in with a guide and see how that works. So, big ideas for this month, once again, AdWords and other Pay Per Click programs without a plan is the same as gambling badly, right?

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: Okay.

AdWords with the plan can be very much worth it. Once again it’s quick, it’s effective. You can get people to an event or do something that requires you to advertise quickly. Things like that, you can start today, basically and have your ads out there by the end of the day.

It’s a probably the fastest form of advertising that I’ve ever seen. But your plan might be lead generation or data collection, but you need to know what you’re doing if you want to be successful in either case, right?

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: Okay, so worth it, but have a plan.

Or have a guide, or both.

John Williams: Yeah, and follow. Plan and/or guide.

Paula Williams: Right, this does take some self discipline. It’s like gambling, like we said. If you have one of those addictive personalities or something like that, in fact one of our clients, I used to say that they really got into the sugar rush of AdWords.

And we had this conversation every month. They really liked seeing Those numbers go up on their Google Analytics and other kinds of things. But we had to talk them down from that every single month and say, okay now how many sales are we actually getting from this? Maybe we should redirect some of the money from Google AdWords into something else until we get this under control.

Because this is not sales, this is just numbers at this point. So until we follow the numbers all the way through it takes some discipline to do this right, right?

John Williams: Yes it does.

Paula Williams: Okay, so go sell more stuff.

John Williams: America needs the business.

Paula Williams: Right, that’s Zig Ziglar, I bet he said that best.

So subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play. And please do leave us a review. And also please do leave us your comments. What experiences have you had, adventures or misadventures, on Google AdWords. We’d love to hear about it. Talk to you soon.

John Williams: Ciao.

 

AMHF 0070 – Book Club Discussion – SOAR Airline Marketing with Author Shashank Nigam

We were thrilled that author Shashank Nigam joined us live for the panel discussion, which made this MUCH more interesting!

We talk about  airline marketing with aviation professionals Lillian Tamm, Joni Lampert Schultz, Shane Ballman, and Paula and John Williams about some of the topics covered in his airline marketing book SOAR.

 

Transcript –  Book Club Discussion – SOAR with Author Shashank Nigam

Narrator: You’re listening to Aviation Marketing Hangar Flying, the community for the best sales and marketing professionals in the aviation industry. You can’t learn to fly just from a book, you learn from other pilots who know the tools, the skills and the territory. 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-tos. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes, so you won’t miss a thing.

Paula Williams: So, this is actually real exciting. I am so glad to have an author actually in one of our discussions. I know we’ve had Kim Walsh-Phillips do a separate interview and then do a book club discussion.

But actually having Shashank in the room with us is intimidating and also very, very cool. But Shashank, if you want-

Shashank Nigam: I promise to do my best not to be intimidating today.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]. Before we started recording he was telling us how he was going to quiz us out on what’s, what’s at the bottom of page 23, and that kind of thing, for those of us who don’t have  photographic memories.

Lillian Tamm: I have my book here, I can look things up.

Paula Williams: Yay. You can bail us out, that’ll be wonderful.

Lillian Tamm: I’ll try, I’ll try.

Paula Williams: That’s fantastic, so yeah, we’ve done one interview with Shashank, and I love the book. And actually, the more I talk to you, the more fascinated I am by all the stories that you have of Airline people and aviation and all kinds of things, aspects of aviation that we don’t necessarily get into all the time.

You’re welcome.

Airline Branding with SOARShashank Nigam: Hi everyone, I’m Shashank Nigam author of Soar if you already haven’t read it and thanks Paula for inviting me onto discussion. And most people who are trying to break into aviation or an unknown industry usually start with a book. I didn’t, I started with a blog seven years ago, called SimpliFlying.

And the blog became pretty popular in airline marketing and aviation marketing. And seven years later, I did write the book. So I’m coming at it the other way around. But really, using my experience working with a lot of these airlines in the books to really showcase what makes them different, what makes them stand out.

And when I was selecting the airlines here, I wanted to have a have LCC then have legacy carriers, and have one in each continent of the world. So, I managed to check that box. I wanted to make sure that there are some airlines everyone thinks they know about, like Singapore Airlines and Southwest, and yet there are airlines which would be pleased that you would be introduced to, like Kulula or Boeing or Finnair.

So, I think that was the objective when I started out, because these are really endearing brands. Singapore Airlines and Southwest are the two most profitable airlines in the world over 20, 30, 40 years. You’ve got the likes of Finnair and Kulula, which are champions in the market that they’re in.

Kulula is the largest and the first LCC in Africa. Finnair is the largest European carrier in China, of all places, who would have thought?

Paula Williams: Yeah.

Shashank Nigam: And I just felt that these are very unique stories that we can share.

Paula Williams: That’s wonderful, and I know you’ve had some great success with the book.

I know you’ve sold out at least once and had to-.

Shashank Nigam: We did sell out once and believe it or not, Amazon us, you very badly, if you do sell out and I was, that supposed to be a good thing.

Paula Williams: It is. We actually were trying to use your book in our book club a month earlier than we actually we’re able to because of the delay. Because it was sold out so, I think that’s a good problem to have.

Shashank Nigam: We’ve got a very good initial reception, not just from the industry, but even the airlines individually, we’ve had bulk orders from the likes of Bombardier to Royal Brunei Airlines, wondering if we’re all so I think that’s really encouraging.

Paula Williams: That is, that is fantastic. And-

Shane Ballman: Hey, that was Shane. I’m sitting in the airport right now. So, I apologize for not being online.

Paula Williams: Excellent, Shane, good to see you. Shane is from Synapse MX.  All right, and Joni Lampert Schultz. WhirlyGirls.

Joni Schultz: Yes.

Paula Williams: Good to see you.

Joni Schultz: Yes, that’s me.  I’m on the line.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Okay, that’s wonderful. All right, and Lillian Tamm, I know you’re here.

Lillian Tamm: Yes, I am.

Paula Williams: Wonderful, good to hear you as well, Lillian is with Avicor Aviation, of course. And of course, we’re John and Paula Williams of ABCI. So, let’s start just with initial impressions.

Let’s start with Lillian, then.

Lillian Tamm: My impression was it was a very good read, first of all but also very interesting to see how the different airlines have approached the market and the different angles that they have come with. With the commonality that I see with everybody is the customer still, is the main focus for most of them, because without the customers you’re not going to have a business.

Shane Ballman: Say the upper end of the customer is the focus.

Lillian Tamm: The upper end?

Shane Ballman: Particularly for US Airlines, because he was very perceptive and realized in American, United, Delta, you can’t tell them apart when you get in the airplane. All the same colors, all the same everything, no discernible difference.

Lillian Tamm: No, that’s true, but with all the airlines that are discussed in the book, nearly all of them, there’s a focus still on you’ve gotta satisfy the customer, whatever that customer is, and it’s going to be different in different markets.

Paula Williams: That’s absolutely right, and Shashank what did you, I mean obviously you had some impressions from having written the book.

Did we lose him? He’s-

Shashank Nigam: I’m right here, I did drop off for a minute, I’m back.

Paula Williams: That’s all right, okay let’s-

Shane Ballman: You asked him a question he wasn’t ready for, so he’s failing the test.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Exactly, that’s hysterical. Anyway, we were just doing impressions about the book, and I’m sure you will hear those when you hear the recording and things.

But there’s a little bit of a difference of opinion about one of the things that John observed was that, a lot of airlines, look alike and you picked the ones that were very different from one another. And Lillian’s comment to that, was just that, you have to serve the market and the markets are so different for each of these airlines that of course the airlines are going to be different.

Shashank Nigam: That’s quite interesting that you noticed it. Although, if you’ll see, airlines deploy similar strategies based on markets. So, Lillian you’re right like Finnair and Air New Zealand couldn’t have been more different. But yeah, when they go off of the Chinese market, they use the same strategies.

Lillian Tamm: Because they’re different.

[CROSSTALK]

Lillian Tamm: Because different cultures have different, if you want to call it touchpoints, or things that really speak to them. A big portion of this from my perspective is that you have to understand the culture that you’re dealing with.

Shashank Nigam: Right, exactly, [INAUDIBLE]
[CROSSTALK]

Shashank Nigam: Yep.

Paula Williams: Good point, all right, let’s move along.

What are the differences between airline marketing and what most of us are involved in, which is some form of private or business aviation marketing?

Joni Schultz: I’m going to kinda put the impressions and with the question all in one.

Paula Williams: Perfect.

Joni Schultz: My aviation career began in the airlines.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Yeah that’s right.

Joni Schultz: So yeah, I worked for a small commuter airline, and then I worked for a major airline after that. So, all the airline, all that airline marketing Putting all that kinda speaks to me. So this is a great book where it all is comparing all the different airlines and what you were talking about with customer service and the needs of the end user.

So it’s really, I haven’t read completely through but I kind of picked through a couple of things and of course Southwest being one of them because that was kind of. The airline I worked for was Piedmont Airlines before that and they were kind of a result of deregulation, and very much a success in their day.

Because of one, customer service. And then, number two, I think they were in between that legacy and Southwest. So I got to do that, and be part of that company firsthand. And sell that company, because I was a reservation sales agent. So I’m loving what I read, and personally I’ve never flown Southwest Airlines.

So it’s very interesting, even though I know a lot about them, I’ve never really flown on them. So loving this, the second question [LAUGH] was refresh my memory, because I’m just trying to [CROSSTALK].

Paula Williams: That’s okay, I was just going to say, what have you seen that are the big differences between the two types of aviation marketing, which is really airlines and then everything else?

And Joni, I know you’re now working with the Whirly Girls, which is a non-profit organization for women that are helicopter pilots, which is pretty far from airlines, but you’ve covered the whole spectrum really.

Joni Schultz: Well yes, and as I was reading a couple of my takeaways, especially with the Southwest, was the comment Mike Hafner when he understood that every employee had a story.

And the job of the leadership is to learn that story and to connect. And that’s what I’m doing as the president of an organization. Women are giving us their money on an annual basis. So, that to me, it always goes back to the story, the experience, the value that you put in the organization.

Or with the airlines it’s different because you’ve got a commodity that starts at one time and ends at another time, and you’re hoping to fill every seat.

Paula Williams: Right. [LAUGH]

Joni Schultz: That to me is the biggest difference because, [LAUGH] once that airline flight goes bye-bye, there goes your revenue?

Paula Williams: Right.

Joni Schultz: It’s not recoverable.

Paula Williams: Right, right, right.

Joni Schultz: So that’s kinda where I’m seeing the biggest difference. Where I have a chance to, with what I do, develop a long-term relationship with the individual. And the airlines have to do it as well, but they would need to have that repeat customer.

Paula Williams: Right, right, right.

Joni Schultz: And so that’s kinda, I don’t want to talk too much. But that’s kinda my gist of the two differences.

Paula Williams: Perfect. Lillian, what did you have to add on that one?

Lillian Tamm: Yeah, I do think in private or business aviation you have to be a bit more personal.

Because many of the clients are, let’s say you’ve got an air charter company and they have they’re using corporate jets, and so they’ve got high-end clients. And things need to be customized, not just in a general sense, but specifically customer by customer. You need to know details. One of the airlines, some of these airlines are actually doing that, like for their business class, or even for some of the economy.

But there’s a very fine level that needs to be done, I think, in private and business aviation.

Paula Williams: That’s true. Shane, are you still with us?

Shane Ballman: I’m here.

Paula Williams: There he is. Yeah, did you have anything to add to that?

Shane Ballman: Well, I am a little biased because I did work for Southwest for several years.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] You got the home team [INAUDIBLE] here.

Shane Ballman: Right, [LAUGH] I think it’s very accurate that there is a difference between commercial aviation and then the private business aviation side of things. And I would definitely agree that when you’re dealing with a business aviation side of things, it’s far more about the person-to-person contact.

How do you treat a human being, like another human being? And the airlines are certainly getting there. I think that they have a ways to go still.

Paula Williams: Right.

Shane Ballman: But yeah, the contrast there I think is impressive. And, yeah, I would agree that the book does a really good job of sort of drilling into those examples.

Paula Williams: Fantastic.

Shashank Nigam: I think it’s interesting that you mention the points that have been mentioned, because a lot of the airlines don’t care about the individual customers. Customers are just numbers. And, they refer to them as PAX, P-A-X, and that’s about it, it’s all figures, right? But the airlines that win are able to treat customers at an individual level really like guests who are entering their homes.

And I know that sounds very fluffy, but that’s the reality. The airlines that win ultimately over time are able to deliver that consistently personal service. And I think that’s a lesson that commercial aviation can take from private or business aviation. Because not many commercial airlines do that very well.

Paula Williams: Right, I think there’s a lot commercial can take from private as well, but I just realized that I, [LAUGH] jumped over John. He was running around doing some technical stuff around here so. Are you back, John?

John Williams: Well, I think back in the day, because I’ve been in this since back in the day.

The marketing from commercial side is a lot more personalized than it is now. So I think it’s degraded over time. So with any kind of luck you’ll see it go back the other way.

Paula Williams: Good to hear. Okay, so moving on to our favorite, [LAUGH] or at least the favorite of a lot of folks on the line, because they think it’s one that we have a lot of experience with.

I thought this transFAREncy campaign was brilliant. And I liked hearing about that. [INAUDIBLE] All right. Perfectly fine. Not a problem. We promised we wouldn’t embarrass anybody today by asking them, what happened on the end of page 23?

Lillian Tamm: Well transFAREncy, that’s page 27.

Paula Williams: Good I can reference it now. There you go.

Lillian Tamm: Yeah no it was a great strategy to have the fares be so that people could see what is what they’re getting for it, no frills. It’s no extra charges and all that. Very good concept.

Paula Williams: Right. Excellent, and Shane?

Shane Ballman: So, yeah I would agree that if you’re looking for ways to do a core differentiation between what is essentially a commodity service, You have to do something that gets people’s attention, right and that campaign I think was one of those that really moved the needle for them along with the other one without a heart it’s just a machine.

So I think that there were a lot of really clever things that they have done from a strategic marketing perspective. And it’s hard for another operator that’s out there, to be able to compete with that, right? So they took something that was part of their culture, and they weren’t charging for those anyway, and they turn that into a marketing gimmick that got even more attention from something they were all ready doing.

Paula Williams: That’s true, that’s brilliant. And like you said, it’s not just cleaver, it’s a lot deeper than that.

Shane Ballman: I think it was great.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] You have a very low tolerance for BS, so.

Shane Ballman: And I think that’s what a lot of this charging fees is, is BS and I know why they do it is because the typical user or whatever is going for the lowest ticket, they don’t understand it when you start adding fees in and you get a cheaper ticket somewhere else.

But whatever.

Lillian Tamm: The real brilliance of this strategy was exactly taking something that they were already doing.

Shane Ballman: Right.

Lillian Tamm: And making a big deal out of it.

Shane Ballman: Absolutely.

Lillian Tamm: That’s something that’s easy to overlook in any business, because it’s something you’re all ready doing, and you don’t even realize it.

Paula Williams: That is absolutely true. And did you want to comment on that? I know this was a, I’m picking little pieces out of a big book, but that’s because we only have a little bit of time here, so.

Shashank Nigam: Yeah, I think that is a very important point.

It’s those two things, Elaine you pointed out that Southwest was all ready doing it. What it shows is that they remain consistent to who they are, while the world around change them as the United changed, the American changed, Delta changed. Now they’re doing basic economy fares. Every airline is down for a race to the bottom.

But Southwest says, hey, you know what? We’re not going to charge bag fees. And you know what? We’re not going to do basic economy. We’re going to treat you like humans. And just by consistently doing what they’ve been doing since the 1970s, they are now standing out. In fact, they’re more full service than many of the technically full service carriers out there which I think is remarkable.

And I think that truly shows the power of knowing why you do what you do, and then sticking to your brand, not just changing every two days based on what’s the latest, shiniest gimmick out there.

Paula Williams: Right. And I think the lesson for our group, we’re all looking for ways to apply these things to our own businesses.

And that really is, what are you doing all ready, and what are your competitors not, that you can really make a big deal of. And point that out and make a hashtag and make a poster and all those cool things like that.

Shashank Nigam: Exactly, exactly. My question, though, I have a quick question.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

Shashank Nigam: So when I was in Dallas touring around and visiting Southwest I was there, I spent three days there and I do have friends at American airlines as well then I ended up having one of my last muse with the guys over at AA. Was sitting at a ribs place right under the fees don’t fly banner.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

Shashank Nigam: [LAUGH] From Southwest and I look up and I asked this guy from American, two of them, so what do you think guys? And he’s like to be honest, customers sort by price. We don’t care, we just sort by price, and if we are not the cheapest, then they won’t choose us.

Now what do you guys think of a statement like that? How true is that?

Paula Williams: Good question.

Shashank Nigam: American is basically saying, because the customers want it, we’re going to give it to them. What’s your thinking about that?

Shane Ballman: I think it’s short-sighted, personally.

Paula Williams: I think so, too.

Shane Ballman: That’s almost like the Zig Ziglar style of selling, right, where you’re selling a used car, and you don’t really care if they come back because you’ve got your money.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

Shane Ballman: And if you’re trying to build a long-term relationship, and you want that lifetime value of the customer to just go up and up and up, then that’s a terrible way to do business.

Paula Williams: Right, that is true. But I would love to see the data, how did this do for Southwest? Did it actually improve their business? And I don’t that anybody knows because I don’t know if they’re showing their cards. [LAUGH] But I’d love to see-

Shashank Nigam: Well, it did.

If you look at their financial results.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

Shashank Nigam: They had a $2.something million dollar profit.

Paula Williams: Right.

Shashank Nigam: That they just announced. And that is the highest amongst all carriers in the US. So if anything, it shows their services, at least over the last couple of years, are still paying off.

Paula Williams: Right, so it certainly didn’t hurt them. We don’t know specifically if this campaign is what caused that.

Shashank Nigam: Yeah.

Paula Williams: Yeah, and their, yeah. Anyway.

John Williams: What’s interesting is American and Delta had their opportunity, but they started treating even their multimillionaire, multi-million mile fliers as nobody.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

Shashank Nigam: Yeah, you’re right. You’re right.

John Williams: Because I’m one of them, right?

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

John Williams: And I mean seriously, I’ve flown millions of miles with Delta, and now it’s almost as if I had just now discovered Delta and I walked on board.

Paula Williams: Right. Okay, so I think we agree that was a brilliant strategy on their part.

Moving on, Finnair. Managing cultural differences. This is something that I think America’s are scared to death of. Even acknowledging cultural differences, you can get into so much trouble, so fast, by doing something that’s perceived as insensitive, or anything like that. So I thought this was really brilliant, the story of Helena?

Shashank Nigam: Yeah, you got that right, Helena [INAUDIBLE].

Paula Williams: Yeah, Helena exactly. And how she would kind of make fun of some of the passengers of different backgrounds and things, but she did it so warmly and with such I’m going to say affection that it worked and works for her.

And I think that’s really the difference, everybody can tell the difference between condescension and affection. Even children can see the difference, right?

John Williams: Yes, but the law can’t.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] True, right. All right.

John Williams: That’s why, and I know exactly what you’re saying, because over here you do the same sort of thing, and somebody’s going to say they’re offended.

Paula Williams: Right, that’s the trouble.

John Williams: Here, they’re doing it in her warm affectionate way.

Paula Williams: Right. Joni, what do you think? I know you’ve run into a lot of this probably in your travels.

Joni Schultz: Well, yes, I mean we have an international clientele, and I think that again, it’s all about the delivery right?

[LAUGH] For most things is people know that you’re, well, not picking on them, but alienating, focusing on them and not just. What do I want to say? I’m sorry. Meaning that if it’s Met with ill will, as opposed to not really knowing, I think, that they can sense that.

That you had no idea what you were, that you were offending. So, I don’t think that people do that intentionally. If you throw a little humor in there, lightheartedness is a good thing. Also educate yourself a little bit. I think that perhaps that’s what needs to be done if you’re flying outside of the culture in which you live in.

Then you definitely need to be educating yourself on what is the culture, and how do I best approach business there.

Paula Williams: Right, Lillian?

Lillian Tamm: Yeah, that is definitely true. In the US, there is a minimal tolerance for the differences in culture. But if you go outside, if you do anything that’s international at all, especially being sensitive to cultures is a huge thing.

And, certainly in business aviation, for companies that are, we tend to have a global reach no matter what for most companies. And that’s something that we definitely need to be aware of and to manage those cultural differences. Because you don’t sell the same way in different cultures. I found it myself In Dubai, and we had a meeting with somebody from Sharjah, and definitely being a blonde woman, not really a good move.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: That’s interesting, yeah that’s great. In fact, I know John and I have done a lot of business in India, and we get made fun of all the time because of some of the American quirks and I don’t mind it at all. I think it’s actually kind of fun.

It really breaks the ice.

John Williams: Yeah, we kinda laugh at it. But airline wise I have done minimal traveling internationally and we have flown on Kofta airlines in to Honduras and India airlines in India and, another one or two in India. But, Emirates airlines to me has been my favorite thus far.

They way they treat you, I mean even in coach, right, coach you’re treated as first class over here, is why they would be in first class over here. You just [INAUDIBLE].

Shashank Nigam: Yeah, you’re right, a lot of these airlines that just treat you well, that just treat you nicely.

Say Jet Blue, right?

Lillian Tamm: Yeah.

Paula Williams: Shane?

Shane Ballman: Well that’s kind of the crazy thing, right? I mean the service standards have slipped so much, that if someone actually treats you like a normal person would treat another person, everyone raves about the service, right? It’s kinda crazy. I mean for the example of Helena.

There was a comment in there that I thought was interesting where she said that she doesn’t have one service strategy. So she doesn’t have some template that she’s follows every single time. She uses some emotional intelligence to figure out how can I interact with this person? How do I make a meaningful impact on their day?

And I thought that was pretty powerful.

Paula Williams: Right, absolutely. Did I hear another beep, did someone else join?

John Williams: We got somebody signed in as guest.

Paula Williams: Yeah, that’s what I’m asking about, so that’s fine. All right, I just don’t want to overlook anyone if anyone has something to say besides that.

And Shashank I just want to give you an opportunity to respond to that as well.

Shashank Nigam: Yeah, I mean, as Shane said, it’s actually a little sad that if an airline treats you normally it’s, wow! Result though is an opportunity for many airlines where hey, guess what? If we just go above normal, you’re fantastic.

So if you do decide to be nice, the world is your oyster and there are lots of low hanging fruits there.

Paula Williams: Right, absolutely, all right.

John Williams: Airlines and cable companies.

Shashank Nigam: [LAUGH] Yeah.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

John Williams: Right?

Shashank Nigam: [LAUGH] And.

Paula Williams: Yes, those utilities, they know they got you.

All right, now Tony Fernandes is kind of a big personality, speaking of big personalities in the world right now. In the tradition Herb Kelleher and the other big personalities in aviation. I thought that was kind of a neat story.

Paula Williams: Joni do you want to start? We’ll put you on the spot again.

Joni Schultz: Again, I didn’t get that far, I have to apologize.

Paula Williams: No problem.

Joni Schultz: My life has gone full crazy. It’s just stuff. [LAUGH] A move will throw a bunch of little wrenches into your day and life.

Paula Williams: Absolutely, I actually really admire you for just even being here today so that’s fantastic.

Joni Schultz: Well I didn’t want to miss, I mean I wanted to listen even that I can. Maybe I should go last, because then I do have at least some world of experience that I might be able to interject.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Good, okay, we’ll do that. So Lillian.

Lillian Tamm: Yeah, it’s kind of a different thing having a personality being leading it.

And I can definitely see for that particular airline, is it certainly helps, because people, especially people who don’t fly much, or are new to the market, and such. Having that personality to connect with was really good, has been really good for them.

Paula Williams: I think every company that we work with, we look for a rock star, somebody that we can make into a knowable personality because people like to do business with people instead of with companies or corporations.

I think that’s a thing nowadays.

Shashank Nigam: And I think that’s becoming harder and harder by the day, because large corporates are exactly that, faceless entities. So when you attach a face like a Richard Branson or a Herb Kelleher or Tony Fernandes, people see a bit of themselves in these people or aspire to what some of these people have achieved.

I mean not everyone sees a bit of them in Richard Branson but everyone wants to be that cool, well loved, billionaire [LAUGH].

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] And how about toys and the island and all that? That’s true.

Shashank Nigam: Yeah What I found, I mean I’ve followed Air Asia quite closely having grown up in Singapore.

What I found quite surprising when I did interview Tony and his team, was how when they started out, all they had done was launch music albums. All they had done was launch artists, and Henter said Let’s just launch this airline and let’s launch Tony as our single artist and let’s promote the single.

Once we’re done we’ll do the album and then we’ll the cover and then we’ll do the next single. I thought that was interesting approach.

Paula Williams: Right. Absolutely. Shane what do you-.

Lillian Tamm: That’s probably a new, sorry definitely new for aviation.

Paula Williams: That’s for sure. [LAUGH] Although there’s some parallels with Virgin.

Also in music and also in aviation and also new to both. Sorry, I interrupted Shane before I even let him talk. [LAUGH]

Shane Ballman: It’s okay, I see how I rank.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

Shane Ballman: So I think that it’s kind of a double-edged sword to have someone that That visible.

So where their personality ends and where their company’s brand begins, is often blurred. So sometimes it’s a really good thing, and sometimes it could be a really bad thing. I know there was a lot of criticism that was going around about Tony when Flight 8501 happened. And it started out where everyone was saying, well, no, no, no, no, you should not be out there talking like this, you need to have a press person out there taking care of things and you need to be in the back.

And over time, I think people did a 180 and realized this guy’s not up there giving beatitudes, he actually cares. He’s trying to reach out as much as possible. So, assuming that a likeness in civil norms and whatever the expectations are of the culture, will allow you to shine through to your true self.

I think that that works out pretty good. But if you happen to be in a situation where there is knee jerk responses and then people wont come back and consider what happens afterwards and that could potentially be a bit of a wildcard to deal with.

Paula Williams: Right, John?

John Williams: And he was also reasonable with his flight crews and how he treated those guys, as well. So he was through and through like that.

Shane Ballman: Absolutely.

Paula Williams: Great but you gotta have a thick skin.

Shane Ballman: I remember-

Paula Williams: Go ahead.

Shashank Nigam: I remember in my chat with him, he mentioned that crash that happened on Christmas Eve was the hardest time in his life.

And I asked him, so, have you done some media training? Do you know how to deal with this? And Tony told me, I didn’t even think how I should be acting, I just acted, my first instinct was, I should be there. Because my question to him was, did you plan to do a PR plan that you should get there even before the ministers did, even before the officials did?

And I said no, I just said I want to be on the next flight out there. And it turned out that by the time media arrived, Tony Fernandes was already there. And the only thing he had was his cellphone, and the only way he could communicate with his staff.

He said, yes there were lots of souls lost, but guess what, there were six crew on board as well. So my own team lost six people they knew, most people lost one person they know, maximum two. So I need to be with my team first, and hence he started tweeting out that you know what, I as your CEO will stand by you.

And I thought that was a very interesting insight, I think he was pretty much rewriting the crisis communications manual right there from the middle of the ocean when he was there, just by tweeting it out.

Paula Williams: Yeah, good instincts and obviously very authentic and heartfelt, and not the usual glossy lawyered up PR stuff.

Shashank Nigam: Right. Yeah.

Paula Williams: Fantastic, on a lighter note. [LAUGH] The Turkish Airlines, I think they were the first really to do a, if you gotta do a safety video anyway why not use it as something that is fun, and light hearted, and really shows some personality? And of course we’ll put the video into the notes for this episode, but hopefully everybody had a chance to see that.

I’m sorry, I didn’t get back to Joni, you’re going to go last, on the last [LAUGH].

Joni Schultz: Okay, well I did want to make a point about and this isn’t a person, but it was a marketing campaign, okay?

Paula Williams: Okay.

Joni Schultz: When I worked for Piedmont airlines they launched city to city service within Florida and with a smaller aircraft and it was called the Piedmont shuttle Well, everybody knows, because only a few days ago, did we have the anniversary of the shuttle exploding, right?

And so that marketing campaign was gone. That was such a bad association, they just shut it down and that was a whole marketing plan for a company. And I know we were talking about a person, so that person could make or break an airline as well. Meaning that if they, if he didn’t go to that crash, and he didn’t take a personal interest in it, it could have gone a very bad way.

Paula Williams: True.

Joni Schultz: Because I know it’s a marketing campaign versus a person that’s a spokesperson, but it’s the same thing. You’re really, I don’t think it’s a gamble, but it’s definitely, well I guess it is a gamble in some ways, our human nature, sometimes, doesn’t always make the right decisions.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

Joni Schultz: So, that’s the only point I wanted to make of that. That’s all and

Joni Schultz: that was my comment.

Paula Williams: Excellent, yeah, I thought that Shashank had a thought or maybe a

Paula Williams: Okay we’ll move on from that. I totally agree I think the more you invest in a symbol, whether that’s a person, or a word, like shuttle, or even a brand name or anything else, the more you invest that with the more you’re gambling, the more eggs you’re putting in that one basket which is a double edged sword.

So yeah, totally agree. All right moving on to Turkish Airlines and their video. Lillian you want to go first?

Lillian Tamm: Yeah, that was just a brilliant way to get attention to the airline for sure. Great idea and viral videos are definitely a good way to get attention. What I really like though about Turkish is the way that they have choreographed things like his illustration about the inflight meals.

And just how everything kind of flows and the quality and all that, that really spoke to me more. I really liked that.

Paula Williams: Choreography, yeah that’s cool. Just coordinating everything together that way. Great, Shane?

Shashank Nigam: The interesting thing was, Vivian, let me just jump in here, I was speaking with the CEO while I was interviewing him about food, and he said that food is so important to us that we don’t want your attention on anything else.

And hence, we have actually removed the shopping carts and duty-free shopping from the flight.

Paula Williams: Right.

Shashank Nigam: You can buy all the duty-free at the airport, if you want, which is, by the way, operated by Turkish Airlines as well. But they have completely removed any catalog, any shopping on board, just so that people can focus on the food.

We thought that was flying in the face of conventional wisdom, but pretty unique.

Lillian Tamm: Yeah, it definitely is.

Paula Williams: Right. Sorry, [INAUDIBLE] .
One more time?

Lillian Tamm: Sorry, I was just going to say, it really speaks to trying to have a quality product.

Paula Williams: Definitely, definitely.

Shashank Nigam: Yes, exactly.

Paula Williams: Shane, did you have anything to add to that?

Shane Ballman: I haven’t only because I’m in the middle of reading that chapter right now on the flight that I’m taking to San Antonio.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Yeah good luck in San Antonio by the way, that should be a really fun. Fun speaking engagement for you.

Shane Ballman: Yep, thank you.

Paula Williams: Yeah, break a leg on that.

Shashank Nigam: You should send us a picture from the stage with a book in your hand seen.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

Shane Ballman: So I might be open to doing something like that for some sort of commission basis.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Always the business man.

Shashank Nigam: How about dinner the next time you’re in Toronto?

Shane Ballman: You know what? That sounds like a deal, I’ll do that.

Paula Williams: Cool. [LAUGH] That’s great.

Shashank Nigam: I’ll wait for the picture then.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] That’s fantastic. Are you going to take a picture with the GE logo at the event that you guys are at? I think that’s wonderful.

Paula Williams: Joni. Or actually no, we’re going to do John first, and then Joni.

John Williams: Well, the way the things are in the world these days, they’ve got to do something that is a little light-hearted, so that’s well done.

Paula Williams: Great. Joni?

Joni Schultz: Well, yeah, I mean, if you’re trying to sell at every given moment instead of letting somebody experience the service.

I’m totally on board with that. I mean, I don’t fly international very often. But I did have an opportunity to fly back from a very long flight from Athens Greece back to New York. And yeah, you get that shopping cart in the aisle and it does take away from the experience because what else are you going to do for 11 hours.

We happen to be a business class situation which was way more comfortable than coach. But I can only imagine, it’s hard to get comfortable back there regardless. And you got people selling stuff from the beginning. And so yeah, that’s all you really have up there is service.

Paula Williams: That’s true.

Joni Schultz: For people to remember.

Paula Williams: Well, and I think one of the differences between airlines and business aviation especially is that, in business aviation, maximizing customer revenue is not as big of a deal. In fact, it’s kind of seen as a down side. You want to make your money, I’m going to say, in smaller, or in, you want to make the transaction as smooth and seamless as possible, and not be running up and down the aisles with carts.

[LAUGH] We talk about simplifying the experience and making it more luxurious, and I think they do a nice job of that.

Joni Schultz: Right.

Paula Williams: Like taking away maybe from their, you don’t feel like they’re trying to squeeze the maximum revenue out of every minute that you’re with them.

Joni Schultz: Right, right. Yeah.

Shashank Nigam: The interesting this is, let me just chip in here since we’re talking about shopping, going back to the earlier discussion we had around cultures and how different cultures behaved differently. There are airlines which focus heavily only on shopping. For example, Korean Air, on their A380s ,have actually got a boutique at the back of the plane.

Paula Williams: Wow.

Shashank Nigam: This is where the Emirates has a lounge and things like that, Korean Air has a boutique. So you can go, you can do your shopping, and you can come back and take a seat. And it is the reason people choose to fly Korean Air over competitors like Oceania across the Pacific, because they can shop on board.

And Koreans, by the way, love to shop. So, it’s resonating with their target market there.

Paula Williams: Right. Putting the customer first.

Shashank Nigam: [LAUGH] [LAUGH] Yep.

Paula Williams: That’s great. All right, moving right along. Kulula, the flying diagram. I loved it. You’ve got the biggest billboard in the world, why not use it, right?

Paula Williams: I’ll start with again.

Lillian Tamm: Yeah, it’s a great graphic. I mean, it definitely, and for its market too. It’s a great way to introduce people to flying, that maybe hadn’t experienced before. They had a kind of unique market too. Because there’s a lot of people who had never flown.

Paula Williams: True.

Lillian Tamm: So yeah, very creative and fun. Definitely something that works in their area for sure.

Paula Williams: Absolutely. Shane?

Paula Williams: I don’t know if you can see [CROSSTALK] with the flying 101 green Kulula airplane. Plane on the screen here with the arrows pointing everywhere. This is the nose cone.

That kind of thing.

Shane Ballman: Yeah, I do remember that plane, and I think they did a pretty great job of a huge marketing splash because everyone always looks a machine and thinks what the [INAUDIBLE] So I thought from a branding perspective that was very, very powerful. I’m curious to see what’s written about that.

Hopefully I’ll get to that section on this flight.

Paula Williams: Yeah, exactly, I hear them calling your flight. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Great.

John Williams: The nice thing is, when you approach it as a customer, it gives you a smile and sort of sets the tone for the flight.

Paula Williams: Right, that’s absolutely true.

Shashank, did you have anything to add to that?

Shashank Nigam: Well I think what I found the most fascinating about this was who did it. It was this girl called Charisse who was a design intern at the airline at that time and it wasn’t the CEO, it wasn’t the marketing director, it was a new girl who was just helping out with some graphic, some minimum Photoshop stuff, who says, hey, you know what?

What about this? And everyone loves it, and the next day it’s sent out to the factory to get it painted in these colors and It was a fantastic story of empowerment. And I thought that totally stood out for me. And now Charisse, by the way, runs the design division at Kulula.

They don’t have an external agency doing design. She is the chief designer of the airline. Even though they have stopped doing special deliveries like this every single aircraft. They still do some rally wacky advertisements. And if you look through the picture pages in store, you will see a few examples of those guerrilla marketing.

But, I think it’s a remarkable story of anyone being able to make the biggest impact and splash and I still get sent this image of a plane by someone or the other every four weeks. Have you seen this?

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Yeah. My goodness, no I hadn’t, sorry. [LAUGH]
You know, I think anybody can have an idea, but I think the execution of this was absolutely flawless.

You know, ideas are wonderful and it’s great to have somebody like Charisse that can come up with those fantastic ideas, but the way they execute them, I think really makes the difference, and they don’t do anything halfway, they really, if they’re going to do it, they really do it, which I think is wonderful.

Any other company might’ve made a kid’s coloring page or something out of this instead of doing the whole dang delivery.

Lillian Tamm: True.

Paula Williams: Yeah, all right. I know we’re getting close on time. We got a couple more things to talk about. So, The Singapore Girl. This is kind of the opposite, I guess, of the individuality that we’ve been talking about from a lot of other airlines.

But their culture, I guess, one of their key values is. Consistency, harmony, all of that stuff, and this is something that is very foreign to Americans. But once again, the execution of this is absolutely flawless. Their uniforms are beautiful, very different kinda thing. But, yeah. Lillian, let’s start with you.

What do you think?

Lillian Tamm: Definitely again the cultural aspect is key. You have to know your client base and they’re definitely addressing who the client base is. That it attracts others, is a bonus.

Paula Williams: Mm-hm.

Lillian Tamm: That there are people from North America who maybe haven’t grown up with that same sort of cultural thing like the respect for the elders thing.

And just that whole attitude about service and all. That’s a bonus, a thing that they attract from it, but definitely speaking first to the culture of Southeast Asia.

Paula Williams: Right, right.

Shane Ballman: I think that it’s, I would agree with that that it’s important to know the culture that you’re dealing with.

And I think that’s not only knowing the culture but also knowing the demographic of the market that they want to serve.

Lillian Tamm: Right.

Shane Ballman: So they’re not trying to do the shotgun approach, right? They’re taking a very narrow [INAUDIBLE] focus. And if other people are included in that, that’s great.

But that’s not their core demographic.

Paula Williams: Right. Absolutely. John?

John Williams: It’s very similar to Emirates Airlines, their girls all look the same.

Shane Ballman: Yeah, they do the same sort of thing.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Well, and I know you used to really enjoy kind of the old style airline experience where it was a different culture.

And the flight attendants were all, the uniforms was the thing to look forward to. That was kind of a cool thing [INAUDIBLE].

John Williams: Yes. When Southwest originally put their service together, when we were flying for the military, we all wanted Southwest Airlines.

Lillian Tamm: [LAUGH] You’re talking about the hot pants?

John Williams: Yeah.

Lillian Tamm: [LAUGH] I remember those.

John Williams: Yes, [INAUDIBLE].

Shane Ballman: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Joanie, what do you think?

Joni Schultz: Well, when I think about this, they probably want, you know like Walt Disney does? They don’t want the people to remember the individual. They want them to remember the experience.

Lillian Tamm: Right.

Joni Schultz: And so if you make everybody look the same, they’re going to remember the experience, as opposed to the individual. And so that’s what I take away from that. Again, I’m not traveled a lot of these airlines, I’m just trying to look at this and go okay, what else do I know in my life that I could kind of relate to, or make an association with?

And so, that’s very much what I see when I see everybody in the same outfit, you know what I mean? That they’re going to want people to go away with wow, that was some service and I’m going back.

Paula Williams: Right?

John Williams: Very good observation, because that’s what I remember of Emirates, and that’s what I remember of the old-school Southwest.

Paula Williams: Right.

Shashank Nigam: That’s a very interesting observation, my friend. I like the comparison with Disney.

Lillian Tamm: Yeah.

Shashank Nigam: And again, you’d remember the Disney experience. You remember your first time at Disneyland just like you remember your first time with the Singapore Girl or first time on Singapore Airlines.

And like John was saying early, even if you sit in economy club or coach, you feel treated like a royalty. And it’s really nice. What was interesting for me was how its attention of training and over Asia. Most airlines, even though they try hard, you do not get a consistent delivery and experience.

But Singapore Airlines does. And it’s not based on initiative, it’s not necessarily based on impromptu service, but really standard operating procedures. And it’s really [INAUDIBLE] culturally possible in every situation, but there it works. And that lady was doing this training for 32 years. She is a chief trainer there.

Paula Williams: Wow.

Shashank Nigam: [INAUDIBLE] over the last 32 years and she said, well in the last 32 years Singapore Girl has stood for something, it has come to resemble something and everyone accepts that only. But guess what? The girls have changed. So a [INAUDIBLE] of the girls, these girls came from large families, they used to probably take care of their little brothers and sibling while they were growing up, they had this homely, motherly to them.

Today these girls are on Snapchat and Instagram and they join they have left out of home since they were 18. They have not taken care of anyone and yet you need to imbibe that kind of caring attitude in them, and that’s a huge challenge. And I said, tell me, what’s a conversation like in this training?

He said well, quite simply, 32 years ago when we told them do this, they’ll ask how. Today, they ask why.

Paula Williams: Right.

Shashank Nigam: And I was like, that’s a very interesting insight, your from the outside we just see consistent delivery of the service. But internally, there is so much hard work required to get that to the customer, especially because you’re dealing with individuals, they’re different.

Paula Williams: Right. That’s absolutely true. Well actually this is the Air New Zealand In-Flight Chat System. This is something I have never seen before. But until I read the book, I never conceived of such an idea. But Lily, let’s have you go first. What do you think of this?

Lillian Tamm: Well, I think it’s a nice concept. It’s a great idea to be able to connect with everyone. Especially when you’re sitting some of these you know, you’re not sitting beside somebody where you’re going to be able to talk.

Paula Williams: True, true. Absolutely.

John Williams: It’s a new take on a very, very old thing that went around back in the 60’s where you’d go to a restaurant.

And there was one of them from the city that was called the telephone booth. And they had telephones in all of the booths and you could call up any booth you wanted to, and talk to who ever was there.

Lillian Tamm: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: That’s fantastic. That’s interesting, right. Joni?

Joni Schultz: Well I think that’s taking a chance. There’s a lot of people that don’t want to be bothered. But I guess you buy into it if you want to buy into it. So that’s okay. I just went on a cruise, okay?

Paula Williams: Right.

Joni Schultz: And Carnival Cruise Line in the Mediterranean, there was a way to connect as friends on that ship.

So I think it’s kinda the same concept really. You meet people, you can add yourself, they’ve got to add you, and it’s kind of yeah we’re going to both agree. To connect, and to do things, do activities together on the ship, or whatever you’re going to do. So, I guess it’s just to make a bigger place feel smaller, because you’re now connecting with other people?

Paula Williams: Yeah, building a community within.

Joni Schultz: Building the community, yeah, yeah. It’s a, you’re either going to get all bought in by it or you’re not going to want it at all. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Right that’s true. That’s something that we struggle with, at AVCI we want our customers to meet each other and talk to each other and the book club is an example of that.

So, obviously I believe in the concept of this, I’m not sure about the execution. I think it’s a little creepy if somebody You know, if I’m on a flight, and then somebody texted me and I don’t know them, I don’t know how I would feel about that.

Shashank Nigam: Actually, I want to share my own experience.

I didn’t know that Air New Zealand had this, until I was on board.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

Shashank Nigam: And I didn’t know this was a system until it’s [INAUDIBLE] beat.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

Shashank Nigam: And it’s [INAUDIBLE]. So I was on 1K. If you look at the seat map, 1K is right there.

Paula Williams: Uh-huh.

Shashank Nigam: And it said you have a message from seat 1A. And I’m like, okay, that’s really creepy. And I look over, and there’s a really old man with his wife sitting there. I was like, okay, what message could he have for me? I wonder. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Yeah.

Shashank Nigam: Then to give you context, I’m usually one of the last people to board, I don’t like lining up. So I board, and I’m the last one, and behind me I see they’re all empty. And I’m like, this is a light flight, half of the business class is empty.

But just before they close the door, a stream of well-suited men walk up, nice suits, ties, and everything and just take a seat, and it’s completely full. And I’m in 1k and the guy behind me in 2k seems to be personality or something because everyone in the other seats is coming in seating on the auto man talking to him for awhile and going back to their seats.

And I’m like, okay whatever. So I’m in the middle of a meal and this message pops up from 1A that they would like to send you a message, and I look at it and it says, hi, sir do you know who you are seated next to? I’m like, no not really, and he says, it’s honorable prime minister, Mr. John Key I’m like really, so guess the prime minister of New Zealand is sited next to you.

I was like cool. Okay, what about that guy in 2J? He is like honorable finance minister. I was like okay, what about the guy behind him? The tourism minister. I’m like what the [INAUDIBLE].

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

Shashank Nigam: Half of the guys sited next to me here, he says, yes they are returning from the common minister’s meeting and that’s why they’re there.

I’m like okay, like four hours I’m sitting next to the Prime Minister of New Zealand. He’s looking at me, I’m looking at him, I didn’t want to say hi, that’s really rude of me.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

Shashank Nigam: So I say hi to him, because when you are seated up in this [INAUDIBLE] configuration, you’re literally eyes to eye next to each other, there’s no barrier.

So when I say hello and he asks me, am I going to New Zealand? I said, it’s my first time, I’m actually writing a book about Air New Zealand, and he got really excited because he was previously with Tourism minister in New Zealand. He knows New Zealand very well, he knows the story and we end up having a very nice chat, and I thought he was a very humble man.

Took a selfie with him [INAUDIBLE] [LAUGH] and got off the plane. So the creepy message turned out to be a very fascinating experience for me personally.

Paula Williams: Right.

Shashank Nigam: Followed by the [INAUDIBLE].

Paula Williams: So you were on air force one for New Zealand?

Shashank Nigam: You got it [INAUDIBLE] [LAUGH] .

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Interesting. That’s fantastic. That’s wonderful, well I really appreciated the book. Let’s just really quickly, does anyone have anything to add, that we didn’t cover? And I know that I kind of cherry picked some key I don’t speak because we don’t have a whole lot of time in these discussions, but did anything stick out to anyone that they want to mention here?

Joni Schultz: This is. I just think it’s a great compilation of all these different airlines. I look forward to just sitting back and being able to meticulously go through, and I’ll probably send questions if that’s okay.

Paula Williams: Absolutely, that’s wonderful. And Shashank I did include, of course people can connect with you on linked in, Facebook, do you have a preference for how people contact you?

Shashank Nigam: Linked in is just fine or they can just drop me an email directly, it’s in the book as well. By the way just put the readers of this podcast and I just shared with you, Paula a secret URL. It’s a lot of behind the scenes photos and scripts reports from my flights here while on the airlines.

So feel free to share with this group, I think they’ll have fun relating to some of these stories that I’ve heard.

Paula Williams: Excellent, well I feel special, that is wonderful. [LAUGH]. That’s great, we’ll share that with the group and make sure that that ends up in our Facebook private discussion as well so that everybody has a chance to see that.

Shashank Nigam: I’m really humbled to hear some of the experiences everyone shared and that you are finding it useful. If you can share some of these reviews on Amazon, that will be fantastic. You can just search for the book on Amazon. It makes all the difference in the world.

Even more than what TripAdvisor does to hotels, by the way.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

Shashank Nigam: [LAUGH] Of course, that would be really, really kind of you, if you can share some reviews. And as I said, I’m very reasonable if you’re ever in Toronto, drop me a line. Happy to catch up with any of you.

And meanwhile feel free to drop any questions.

Paula Williams: Fantastic.

Lillian Tamm: Will do.

Paula Williams: All right, so Lillian if you want to tell us about you, and what you do, and how to find you?

Lillian Tamm: Okay, the short version here.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

Lillian Tamm: Okay, hi, I’m Lillian Tamm, president of Avicor Aviation

We’re aviation industry consultants and aviation business valuators. We undertake aviation industry research and feasibility analysis for aviation companies, for financiers, and for investors. And we value or appraise aviation businesses. If you would like to discuss how evaluation can benefit you or need research, or analysis to support corporate activities, give me a call.
My direct number is 503-214-2268. Again, my phone number is 503-214-2268 and my name is Lillian Tamm. I look forward to hearing from you.

Paula Williams: Fantastic, that was really well done. So Joni, do you want to tell us about Whirly-Girls?

Joni Schultz: Absolutely. The Whirly-Girls organization has been around for 61 years, and it began in 1955 with 13 women from three different countries.

Our organization in order to be a full member, you must hold a ruler craft rating. And what we primarily do is provide scholarships to women who are doing advanced training in helicopter and vertical flight. And we also do networking and mentorship for our members.

Paula Williams: Fantastic. That is wonderful.

So John do you want to do the 30 second thing for ABCI?

John Williams: No, I’ll leave that to you. You’ve pretty much done it the whole hour.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] That’s true, exactly. So I just want to do a 30 second thing for our storytelling summit, at Sundance, in Sundance Utah.

And Shashank this would be wonderful for you as well. Since you already are a fantastic storyteller. We are getting together at Sundance Utah which is the spiritual home of the Sundance Film Festival. Robert Redford’s universe and helping our members become better story tellers. That’s really the focus of a three day event and we’re going to go horse back riding.

We’re going to eat fabulous food and we’re going to hang out in the mountains, and it’s going to be a lot of fun. And everybody is going to go home a much more compelling storyteller, that’s our goal for that event. 23rd through 25th, so August 23rd through 25th. And it’s going to be a fantastic event.

So Shashank, do you have a real quick promotion for the book? I know you can find it on Amazon. Is that the best way to find it and buy it or?

Shashank Nigam: You can find it on Amazon. You can find it on Simply Soar dot com with an i, and we’re running a promotion right now, which is buy one, get one free for your boss, or buy five, get 10, buy 40, get 100.

It’s only till, actually, the end of this week, so if you are thinking of buying it for your clients or organization, go ahead, and we will make sure they are shipped to you. But, as I said, what I’ll really appreciate is a review on Amazon will go a really long way.

And I truly enjoyed the discussion, and I’m so humbled, as I said, that everyone’s read it in-depth and thought it useful. Thank you so much, makes all the effort worth it, and I’ll be very happy to catch up with anyone and be in touch.

Paula Williams: Fantastic and then next month it’s going to be reviewing Evergreen which is the book that’s going out in the mail hopefully in the next day or two to everyone.

It’s basically about customer loyalty and I think that it was possibly Shane that recommended this one. I had not read it before but it was, we have an election every year to vote for the 12 books we’re going to review. And this is my first time reading it and I’m actually really impressed.

I got my copy early so I could make bookmarks and things, so, good stuff. I’m really looking forward to that one as well, so, yeah. This was fun, I’m really glad you guys are here, these get better every time, and it was a lot of fun to hear everybody’s thoughts and make America smart again, right.

Shashank Nigam: [LAUGH] And just a quick call out to you as well for pulling together the group and inviting me to join the discussion. It was truly interesting, and since you mentioned bookmarks, thank you for that leather bookmark you sent me. It’s very nice of you.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] You’re very welcome, we like to treat our guests well so that they will come back.

Paula Williams: Bribery’s a wonderful thing, so, all right. Thank you very much, and you guys have a great afternoon and I appreciate you sticking with us a little over time, and we’ll talk to you next month, if not before, and look forward to hearing from all of you in your office hours.

Narrator: Thanks for joining us for Aviation Marketing Hangar Flying. The best place to learn what really works in sales and marketing in the aviation industry. Remember to subscribe on iTunes and leave a rating.

[MUSIC]

 

  • Aviation Brochures

AMHF 0069 – Appallingly Boring Aviation Brochures, And How to Avoid Them

Most aviation brochures are appallingly boring.  Don’t spend valuable advertising budget printing glossy brochures that don’t have a chance of connecting or inspiring customers!

Big ideas from this week’s episode:

  • Brochures are a very traditional method of aviation advertising
  • They are almost always appallingly boring, because these aviation brochures are about the company or the product, NOT about the customer and his problems!
  • They often end up in a drawer (or worse, in the trash!) unless they’re well-designed and used properly as part of a well-thought-out  marketing campaign or  sales process.

Download the Postcard Checklist mentioned in this episodes to make your postcards MUCH more effective.

 

Transcript – Episode 69 – Appallingly Boring Aviation Brochures And How to Avoid Them!

[MUSIC]

Aviation Marketing Brochures

Need some help with your brochures? We’ll professionally design them, write the contents, & print them for you!

Announcer: You’re listening to Aviation Marketing Hangar Flying, the community for the best sales and marketing professionals, in the Aviation Industry. You can’t learn to fly just from a book. You’ll learn from other pilots who know the tools, the skills, and the territory. 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-tos. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes, so you won’t miss a thing.

Paula Williams: Welcome to Aviation Marketing Hangar Flying episode number 69, the appallingly boring Aviation Brochure and how to avoid It.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Or what to do instead right?

John Williams: Yeah, whatever.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] 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 folks out there sell more products and services, in the aviation world.

Paula Williams: And you’re not going to do that with appalling brochures, right?

[LAUGH]

John Williams: No.

Paula Williams: So we’re here to help you fix that. If you have any questions, comments, or anything else about this episode or anything else, please do comment on our blog. It’s AviationBusinessConsultants.com or on social media, you can use the #AdGeekMarketing, and we will do our best to find and respond to your comment.

So, we do our best to reply every time because we really appreciate you guys participating and letting us know what you’ve tried, what you haven’t tried, what you think will work, what you don’t think will work, what you agree with, what you disagree with, and so on, right?

John Williams: Absolutely.

Paula Williams: Okay, so the big ideas today. Brochures are a very traditional method of aviation advertising, right?

John Williams: Yeah they are.

Paula Williams: And they are almost always appallingly boring. Because they are not only about. Or they’re not about the company or the product, not about the customer.

So if you go through NBAA or any of the other trade shows, and you go to ten booths and pick up ten different brochures. They’re basically going to have a company profile, a message from the president, we’ve been in business for 30 something years, and all of that stuff that cares about right?

John Williams: Yeah I mean you’re in the NBAA convention or wherever because, you want information on a product, you don’t care about the company so much.

Paula Williams: Exactly, they don’t care who you are, until they care how you can solve their problems to start with.

John Williams: Exactly.

Paula Williams: And these brochures often end up in a drawer or worse, in the trash, unless they are well-designed and used properly.

Now.

John Williams: And used properly by whom? Now wait a minute. If I pick one up, how do you know how I am going to  use it?

Paula Williams: You are the customer. You can use it any way you want.

John Williams: So you don’t care about me using it properly.

Paula Williams: No.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: I care about the person who commissioned that said brochure using it properly in fact, let me tell you a story.

John Williams: I’m sure this one is going to be good.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] There is someone that I talked to about marketing. We do consultations for people that are having marketing problems.

And this person’s scheduled half an hour, and of course one of the questions they ask him is, how are you marketing now? And he said, well, I have a stack of brochures on a table in a nearby FBO. And I said, well, what else are you doing? And he said, nothing.

John Williams: He’s not marketing?

Paula Williams: And I said, okay, well how many of these brochures are even disappearing, if you check these on a regular basis? None, they’ve been sitting on this table in this brochure rack for years. Nobody has ever picked one up, he’s never gotten a customer from it and he calls this marketing.

So, just setting them out there is not an appropriate use of a brochure.

John Williams: By putting a billboard on a dirt road that nobody drives on. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Exactly.

John Williams: But a really nice picture.

Paula Williams: Now, billboards can be really effective. They can be great sales tools, they can be a lot of different things, but they need to be part of a campaign.

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: In order to work properly. They can’t just be a.

Paula Williams: Random act of marketing, right?

John Williams: Uh-huh.

Paula Williams: Right, okay. So.

John Williams: Particularly stuck where nobody cares.

Paula Williams: Exactly. So every brochure has to fit somewhere in your marketing system. So, what is the purpose of this brochure and if we talked to this guy that I just mentioned.

I will tell you he’s in the finance/insurance kind of services business. I don’t want to tell you any more than that, because I don’t want to embarrass anybody. But-

John Williams: He hears this he’s going to be embarrassed anyway.

Paula Williams: I’m sorry, I feel bad.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: I do.

John Williams: Yeah.

Paula Williams: But, I really want to prevent other people from doing the same thing and relying on something, that just has no chance of working, right?

John Williams: Yeah, that’s-

Paula Williams: So he was using brochures for advertising and prospecting. But he was using them improperly. There are ways to use them well.

You can use them in phase two. Building credibility and closing sales. And this might be a good place for that company information brochure, as part of an information package. But it sure as heck shouldn’t be a stand alone, this is the first impression you get of the company, right?

John Williams: Right.

Paula Williams: And then in phase three for referrals, resales, and recaptures, you have a new product or something like that. Great place to use a brochure. To send that out to your existing customers. Let them know, do you know we also do, this. Right?

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: Especially to people who already know, like and trust your company.

They would rather buy more things from fewer people just to make their lives simpler. Right?

John Williams: Yep, absolutely.

Paula Williams: Okay. So let’s start off with what not to include, in a first impression stand alone prospecting type brochure. Right?

Paula Williams: Things to not include, a history of the company.

John Williams: You’re wasting space.

Paula Williams: You’re wasting space and nobody cares until they know what product you have that they want, or what problem they have that you solve. They don’t care about the history of your company.

John Williams: Or the President’s profile.

Paula Williams: Exactly, president’s profile that’s another one, that’s just strikes me as kind of inappropriately narcissistic.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Can I say that?

John Williams: That’s a $64 word. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Well, I mean they do have the nice little profile picture with the president of the company. With a nice statement that usually includes company properly like, we have all these core competencies and we are service oriented.

And our core values are very important to us.

John Williams: [CROSSTALK] We empower our employees.

Paula Williams: Exactly. [LAUGH]

John Williams: Right.

Paula Williams: So, you don’t want to have any of that, in a first impression stand alone prospecting type brochure. Okay?

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: With me so far? And now you’re saying, okay, well now my brochure’s blank [LAUGH] .

John Williams: Well if it is, then you need to follow along here a little bit.

Paula Williams: Right. So here’s what to include instead. A great reason to use a brochure is to say, here’s a problem and here’s how to solve it. So the brochure shouldn’t be about your company, and it shouldn’t even be necessarily about your product, it should be about a problem that the customer has, and they see a great headline on there saying, are cold starts causing your fleet to have delays?

Or are you suffering from problems with scheduling maintenance? Or unexpected situations in your fleet? Or what problems are you having that your product or service can solve? You know what that is, because you know what people complain about, right?

John Williams: Mm-hm

Paula Williams: Okay. Here’s the problem, and here’s how to solve it.

You also want to use benefits rather than features. Right?

John Williams: Yeah, you don’t care about the features if it doesn’t work for you.

Paula Williams: Right. And when I say benefits, things that are benefits would be, and people will often say, well we have the, ours can do this in six seconds as suppose to ten seconds which is what our competitors do.

Well, why do we care? How does this save you money, how does it save you actual time in terms of the customer’s process, in terms of dispatching an aircraft, or loading their customer’s stuff or, in the terms of the flight school, how can you improve the students experience?

Or in the case of a component or something like that, how can you improve safety in a fleet? Lots of different examples of how this could be a feature, that leads to a benefit. And you want to talk about benefits, not features. Cuz they don’t care and they may not know, why is that important?

John Williams: Yeah, the few technical nerds may care about the features or specs but in general, you’re selling to somebody that’s got money in the company, that wants benefit out of doing some thing. They don’t care about the specifics.

Paula Williams: Right, and it’s really interesting. Because a lot of our customers are engineers.

Or at least have that engineering mindset. They’re inventors, they are very scientifically minded people, which is wonderful. We love working with those kind of folks. But one of the things that have to kinda nudge them to do sometimes, is to back up a step and assume that the customer doesn’t know as much as you do.

John Williams: I do that to you.

Paula Williams: Yes you do.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: I get into marketing nerdology.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: And you make me back up and say you know what? They don’t know what are the cost per lead is. [LAUGH]
And it’s perfectly reasonable because, that’s not your main business.

You want to sell more stuff, but you may not know or care about all of the marketing math and garbage that is in my head, right?

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: Same thing. All of that stuff that is in your head is fantastic stuff, but you don’t have to put it all in the brochure.

John Williams: And nor should you try.

Paula Williams: Nor should you try. This is not a place to prove how smart you are [LAUGH]. Another thing that you could include is maybe like, a buyer’s guide or a short buyer’s guide to your product or service. Here are some of the things that you want to consider when you’re shopping for a Auxiliary power unit, here’s some features that you may not know, or some benefits that you may not know you could get from an APU.

Lots of things that you can do that are kinda cool. A solution comparison table, those are really cool and customers really love those. Because here are five ways of solving your problem, and here are the pros and cons of each of those five ways of solving your problem.

And this has to be somewhat objective. Of course you want to make your product look good, that’s why we’re marketing.

John Williams: Sure, and you can slant it a little towards your product. And it would be silly not to. But you can’t go overboard.

Paula Williams: Yeah. All the data has to be accurate.

We’re talking about actual facts, not alternative facts, right?

John Williams: [LAUGH] Yeah.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Okay, we’re having a little fun. But seriously, it does have to be somewhat, it has to be credible information that people will actually believe. And you want to make that formatted in a way that is easy to read.

I have never seen anybody pick up a brochure and read it cover to cover. In my entire experience of walking around at trade shows, I have never seen that happen.

John Williams: No, you’ll buy a stand, find what you want and you’re done.

Paula Williams: Yeah, and then it either goes in the trash or it goes in the shirt pocket.

You want to end up in the shirt pocket.

John Williams: Yup.

Paula Williams: Okay, so that being said, forms should follow function. There are lots and lots of ways of doing brochures, and whether you’re sending it in the mail, or whether you’re handing it to someone at an event. There’s lots of different ways of doing this, I’m kind of a fan of the shirt pocket test.

John Williams: So all these pictures for those of you that are looking at it, are these the only possible?

Paula Williams: No.

John Williams: Okay [LAUGH].

Paula Williams: Okay, yeah. And what you’re looking at, if you’re seeing this on your screen, there are ten, count them ten different ways of folding a sheet of paper into a brochure.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: One is a tri-fold, it’s just the usual thing that people see, probably the most common. There’s a z-fold, which is tri-fold that’s just folded a little bit differently. There’s a half-fold, which is where you take a piece of paper and fold it in half. And those are great for, if you have a larger envelope or something like that where you’re going to mail it.

John Williams: But the thing is, [LAUGH] depending on how you want to fold it, is to how you need to print it [LAUGH].

Paula Williams: True, and then things like a parallel fold. That would be for something with legal paper, where you have a little bit more space. So it’s kind of like a z-fold, except with one extra panel on it.

All of these things really depend on what you want to convey. So if you’ve got big pictures, or big maps, or something like that, you don’t want to do something really complicated like a parallel fold, right? [CROSSTALK] That would be for little, teeny, tiny columns of text. And things like that.

So form really should follow the function of what are you trying to communicate, and how are you going to send this, and how is your customer going to carry it around with them. And is your customer actually going to use this. So, there’s gate folds, there’s concertina folds, there are roll folds with four-panels, there’s a half and half fold for two sheets of paper.

And there’s a half and roll for two sheets of paper. So there’s lots of variations here, and we’ve got a neat little diagram, if you can see it. It’s really kinda hard to describe, other then, you just really want to think this through. And talk to your printer too.

Printers are really good at giving you ideas. If you have this information to convey, this is really not good for folding in the middle of a picture or whatever.

John Williams: And on top of that, use what you’ve seen, folders that other folks, including your competitors, have used, and that’ll give you an idea of how you want or not want to do it.

Paula Williams: Exactly. You saw one this morning actually, that you really liked.

Paula Williams: That was from NBAA and it was a.

John Williams: Yeah. Well that wasn’t necessarily the fold, but it was the quality of materials they used.

Paula Williams: Yeah, that was actually a gate-folded postcard. Kinda cool, very glossy heavy, beautiful paper, and really beautiful printing.

And we happen to be marketing nerds, so we nerd out on that kinda thing. But yeah, the quality of the printing, I would do fewer higher quality brochures, spend all your money on quality, not quantity. Right?

John Williams: Absolutely.

Paula Williams: Okay. So yeah, if you’re putting it through the mail, then you’re going to have some different considerations of where you can print and where you can’t.

We’re not going to get into that today. But the USPS website has some really good guides and other things, that tell you [LAUGH] not to print in places they’re going to run it through the machine, and put a goofy little bar code right?

John Williams: Right.

Paula Williams: Okay. So think about it, form should follow function and that’s all we’re going to say about that.

But we are going to talk about ways to advertise with brochures. Cool? So phase one, prospecting. At a trade show, probably the most traditional way of advertising with brochures. I’m going to put a caveat here and say I much prefer to send a customer, just give them a business card at the trade show, and then send them an information package later.

John Williams: Add those two things.

John Williams: First is, you get their business card and then, in order to send them something, you get your contact information.

Paula Williams: Right. And it gives you a reason to contact them again later, and it also makes sure that that brochure gets to their office.

Because if you’re asking them to carry it around for two days, and then put it in their luggage and ship it home. Chances are it’ll end up either in the hotel garbage can, or in the convention center garbage can.

John Williams: Yeah, even if they wanted to keep it, cuz I know I can remember reading stuff in the hotel and not making it back to the office.

Paula Williams: Exactly, and then go and where was that thing [LAUGH]. Even if you wanted it later, you wouldn’t have it. As part of an information package. This is my favorite way is you send it after the fact, after you’ve met somebody or had a phone conversation, or whatever.

Then you send them, ideally, a really complete fabulous package with not only brochures, but product sheets and a handwritten letter. And maybe some CDs, and demos, and other cool things. Because this is your opportunity, you want to make the most of it, and you really want to impress somebody with a package that they get in the mail, right?

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: As collateral in the sales process. So you’re having a conversation with someone and you say, you know what? We’ve got a brochure that compares these five different solutions to your problem. I’d be happy to send that to you. Let’s schedule another time to go over it after you’ve reviewed it.

So that becomes a part of your sales process. You’re not just leaving it on the table. You’re actually interacting with the documents with your customer, right?

John Williams: Yup.

Paula Williams: Okay.

John Williams: And most businesses where you leave them on a table, come night time, they’re going to throw them away anyway [LAUGH] .

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] That’s true. [LAUGH] Or they’ll sit there for years and not do anything, like that.

John Williams: [CROSSTALK] Yeah.

Paula Williams: Okay, number four, to build credibility. So you’ve got somebody in your sales process, you’ve talked to them once or twice. And you want to add a little bit more information.

This is part of what we call a drip campaign, where you send little bits of information over time, to make sure that you’re keeping in contact with them, throughout the length of time that it takes for them to make the decision, or to get the funding, or to do whatever.

It reminds you that you’re there, reminds them that you’re there.

John Williams: And its credibility relies on the fact, that these brochures are very high quality and very well put together.

Paula Williams: Exactly, because the quality of the printing and all that stuff, is a reflection of your attention to detail.

Yeah, and everything else. To add new information. So you have an update in your product or service, you can send out a brochure to people who are in your pipeline and let them know. Right?

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: After the sale, you can use brochures as part of a new customer information package.

Here’s how you use your new funky new toy. [LAUGH] Here’s some things that you may not know. Did you know that it also does this, or that you can use it in this way? And so on. So, as part of your new customer information package, you could also have a brochure that talks about your referral program, that talks about your guarantee, that talks about your customer service, lots of things after the sale.

As an update or an announcement of a new product or service to your existing customers. So, the worst thing in the world is to have a long time customer, tell you about something that they bought from one of your competitors, because they didn’t know that you also did.

Websites, as an example. [LAUGH] We’ve been doing brochures with a customer for a number of years, and he went to somebody else to do his website. That’s just made me insane.

John Williams: Yeah, exactly. But that was our fault.

Paula Williams: That was our fault. It’s our job to let them know.

What else we do, besides what we’re already doing for them. So once again, three elements of a successful campaigns. And when you are thinking about designing your brochure, you want to think about this as well. What is the list? Who do you want to send this too, or give this too?

What is the offer? What purpose do you have in giving people this brochure? What do you want them to do as a result of having read through it? And third, the presentation, which is all of the things that we talked about. Should it be a bi-fold, a tri-fold, or a gate-fold?

Or glossy, shiny, fabulous whatever, or should you be able to write on it, have a worksheet in there, whatever you want it to do. So, form following function, right?

John Williams: Precisely.

Paula Williams: Cool. So we talked about, list the offer and the presentation, and we talked about seven things to do with brochures, right?

John Williams: Yes, we did.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

John Williams: Don’t you dare test me on this. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] And now, the big point, is to never ever, ever do an appallingly boring brochure.

John Williams: Exactly.

Paula Williams: So if that’s all you learned today that’s good enough. [LAUGH] So we do have a tip sheet on prospecting with postcards, and it does talk about the list, the offer, and the presentation.

And the things that are in that tip sheet are also very helpful for brochures. So, I highly recommend that for really any piece of direct mail that you’re putting together. It’s really good information regardless of the form that it takes. But, so download that from abcione.comforce/postcardtipsheet and go sell more stuff.

John Williams: Yeah, America needs the business more than ever.

Paula Williams: Absolutely and subscribe to Podcast, on iTunes, Stitch, or Google Play and please do leave a rating.

John Williams: And that was a quote by Zig Ziglar by the way.

Paula Williams: Yes it was. [LAUGH]

John Williams: See you guys next time.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Thanks for joining us.

John Williams: Bye.
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Announcer: Thanks for joining us for Aviation Marketing Hangar Flying, the best place to learn what really works in sales and marketing in the Aviation Industry. Remember to subscribe on iTunes and leave a rating.

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  • Aviation marketing Postcards

AMHF 0068 – Seven Ways to Use Postcards in Aviation Advertising

Postcards in aviation advertising  – big ideas from this week’s episode:

Aviation marketing Postcards

  1. Postcards are an incredibly popular and traditional form of aviation advertising.
  2. They still work!
  3. They require a complete campaign to be most effective.

If you have any questions, comments, or anything else that you’d like to add to this, you can add them on our blog, that’s AviationBusinessConsultants.com or in social media you can use the hashtag #avgeekmarketing, the way will find it, hopefully, and respond to it.

We very much appreciate and try to respond to every comment or question!

 

 

Transcript – Episode 68 – Seven Ways to Use Postcards in Aviation Advertising

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Announcer:   You’re listening to Aviation Marketing Hangar Flying, the community for the best sales and marketing professionals in the aviation industry. You can’t learn to fly just from a book. You learn from other pilots who know the tools, the skills, and the territory. 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-tos. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes so you won’t miss a thing.
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Paula Williams:   Welcome to Aviation Marketing Hangar Flying episode number 68, 7 Ways To Advertise With Postcards. 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 folks out there sell more products and services in the aviation world.

Paula Williams:   Absolutely, so if you have any questions, comments, or anything else that you’d like to add to this, you can add them on our blog, that’s AviationBusinessConsultants.com or in social media you can use the hashtag #avgeekmarketing, the way will find it, hopefully, and respond to it.

So yeah, we always report to your question comments and everything else that is really where the best ideas come from is from questions that are asked by listeners, and clients, and everybody else, right?

John Williams:   Yep.

Paula Williams:   Okay, so we will do our best to reply to every tweet, comment, or anything else.

So.

John Williams:   [LAUGH] So.

Paula Williams:   Postcards are incredibly popular and traditional in aviation marketing. Now a lot of people have kind of foregone the whole snail mail idea in favor of all the shiny electronic toys these days. And we think that’s a mistake, right?

John Williams:   Absolutely.

Paula Williams:   Right.

John Williams:   There are some things and reasons that postcards in aviation advertising work when nothing else does.

Paula Williams:   Exactly, so there’s a lot of advantages to the shiny digital toys and you know far be it from us to be dissing them in any way but we do really think a combination is what works best because there are pros and cons to any advertising medium postcards being among them, right?

Okay, but they still do work and in fact, you have bought things based on postcards in aviation advertising.  Or at least in a relationship that was initiated with postcards, right?

John Williams:   You, meaning me?

Paula Williams:   Yeah, you, John Williams.

John Williams:   [LAUGH].

Paula Williams:   Mr. Aviation Consumer, if you put your consumer hat on, as opposed to your marketing hat.

John Williams:   Actually, yes, and not just small stuff.

John Williams:   I guess in 2007 late, I was considering buying an airplane. And I believe in January, I got a first postcard from somebody that was selling an airplane. [LAUGH] And one thing led to another, and postcard disappeared. And then-

Paula Williams:   You forgot about it, right?

John Williams:   Yeah, I forgot about it.

Paula Williams:   Okay.

John Williams:   Then another one arrived at the same place and then I thought yeah, I was gonna do that and I don’t know what happened but I didn’t do anything. If this happened first, I think call away up until September, no August.

September I actually bought the airplane.

Paula Williams:   Wow, so it took from.

John Williams:   Almost a year.

Paula Williams:   Almost a year.

John Williams:   When I wanted to buy it.

Paula Williams:   Yeah, between the first contact and the time that you actually transacted business with us.

John Williams:   Yeah, just life got in the way.

Paula Williams:   Yeah.

John Williams:   That’s just the way it is.

Paula Williams:   And that’s another things weird thing about aviation is that we do have a really long sales cycle and people do have a lot of things going. People who are in aviation tend to have very complex business cycles, very complex lives, a lot of things going on.

So you really can’t expect for any one given marketing activity to transact sales on the first time. These are some statistics that we found. 1% of sales are made on the first contact. 2% of sales are made on the second contact. 5% of sales are made on the third contact.

12% of sales are made on the fourth. And 80% percent of sales are made on the fifth contact or above. This is actually not as bad as some the statistics that I have seen. And some of the statistics that I have done for myself when doing analysis of sales processes, I would say that this is incredibly optimistic.

John Williams:   Yes.

Paula Williams:   [LAUGH] In aviation we have a very different business cycle than the rest of the world does. It’s much longer and more complex.

John Williams:   As a matter of fact, I think I’ve seen somewhere in aviation where 80% of sales are made on a 12 and subsequent contact.

Paula Williams:   Absolutely, and in your case it took 11 contacts that we know of.

John Williams:   Yeah, right.

Paula Williams:   If we’d been keeping track, it would probably be more than that. So I would say you know, never never never never never give up until they buy or until they die right?

John Williams:   Exactly.

Paula Williams:   Okay, to quote Winston Churchill right, never never never never never give up.

John Williams:   Exactly.

Paula Williams:   Okay. And the other thing about postcards is that, the open rates for email have been dropping pretty abysmally in the last year or two, because everybody’s doing email. Fewer people are doing direct mail than they were a year ago, which is great for us.

Because you wanna be doing what not everybody else is doing, right?

John Williams:   Yes, just like in the magazines and the Money Magazine and one of these other ones. By the time it makes it to the magazine you’re too late.

Paula Williams:   Right, that’s true. So what everybody is doing you should go the other way, and this really is a great reason for using direct mail and postcards because people’s mailboxes are kinda emptying out.

We probably get, I would say, a third less mail than we did a year or two ago.

John Williams:   Email or mail?

Paula Williams:   Mail, mail.

John Williams:   Snail mail.

Paula Williams:   Snail mail. Mail on the mail box.

John Williams:   Yep.

Paula Williams:   Yeah, and so any piece of mail, any given piece of mail is likely to at least be looked at before it gets thrown out, right?

Even if it’s obvious spam. [LAUGH]

John Williams:   Right. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams:   Physical spam. Okay, so nothing defies gravity, right?

John Williams:   [LAUGH]

Paula Williams:   And every marketing process has to follow the rules of gravity and that’s basically phase one. Marketing or, you know, basically prospecting and advertising. Phase two, building credibility and closing sales, and phase three, referrals, resales, and recaptures, right?

And testimonials. So you really need to know where in the process does this post card fit? It needs to be part of a campaign, right? And part of a marketing system.

John Williams:   Absolutely, Anything you do in marketing needs to be part of an integrated plan. Otherwise you are spending more than you need to.

Paula Williams:   Right.

John Williams:   With fewer results.

Paula Williams:   Right. We get a lot of postcards that seem to be kind of pointless, or at least, the point is buried or unlikely. So you got an airplane saying, you know, advertising, are you gonna.

John Williams:   Saying airplane [LAUGH].

Paula Williams: Yeah. Get an airplane, advertise on a postcard for sale.

John Williams:   What are you talking about?

Paula Williams:   [LAUGH] Let’s try that again. You got a postcard advertising an airplane for sale but there is nothing to do with this postcard, unless you happen to be in the market for this particular airplane at this particular time. And if it doesn’t fit, and what are the chances that it would, that this particular airplane is exactly what we’re looking for.

And we happen to have the money ready to ride a check to this airplane. Chances are that postcard is not going to get very good response. But if it is something more along the lines of a postcard advertising a buyer’s guide to aircraft in 2017, that’s something that would be a lot more likely that we would download, even if we don’t happen to be in the market for that particular airplane at this particular time.

And then we’ve still become a really good contact for that airplane broker, right?

John Williams:   Of course.

Paula Williams:   Okay, so let’s talk about seven ways to advertise with postcards that actually do make sense. One would be prospecting for new leads. And we just gave a pretty good example of that.

There’s a good way and a bad way of doing that. One would be saying here’s a product I have for sale, that’s good. But better would be to offer some kind of a lead magnet. Something that’s a low cost, low risk on both sides so that you capture those people that are not ready yet.

Which is the vast majority of the people receiving your postcard, right?

John Williams:   Yes.

Paula Williams:   Right, so lead magnets could include like a free consultation, or a tip sheet, or a buyers guide, or any number of things. We have a actually a downloadable tip sheet that includes 17 ideas for lead magnets.

So if you’re looking for inspiration, that’s a good one to download. If you’re looking for a way to make your post cards more effective, right?

John Williams:   Mm-hm.

Paula Williams:   Okay, You could be market testing a new product or service. So you want to know how many people would be interested in something with these characteristics.

We’ve seen postcards that do that. And these are all phase one, all of these first three. So, prospecting, offering a lead magnet, market testing a new product or service. Then in phase two, building credibility in closing, you’ve got a couple more. Conducting a survey. So let’s say you have somebody on your list for a while, you want to contact them again because once again, you have to make those 10-20 contacts before the sale is made.

What’s another reason that you could contact them without driving them crazy or making the offer again and again, and being pushy about sales. And you need to be, what’s the word, subtle, because you don’t want to be in their face.

John Williams:   You want it to be something like, I can do that.

Only takes a couple of minutes.

Paula Williams:   So you could conduct a survey of aviation businesses that have this specific issue and publish the results after the fact. That’s a good way to keep in touch with people who are in your pipeline, but not ready to buy yet. Keep them educated, position you as a thought leader, establish your credibility because you care about the answers.

And also give you some good information that you could use in marketing materials. Another way to do this, and you don’t wanna do this too often for the reason you just mentioned, is creating urgency. So providing some kind of a limited time offer. Saying, if you buy between now and the end of the month, we know the price is gonna be going up for this particular item or this regulation is going to go into affect so we can only sell these through the end of the month.

Any number of things that could create some kind of deadline or urgency, right?

John Williams:   Mm-hm.

Paula Williams:   Okay, so that’s phase two. How can you use postcards in phase three?

John Williams:   Carefully. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams:   Carefully.

John Williams:   You request referrals of course.

Paula Williams:   Exactly, so after someone has purchased from you, you can send them a postcard three months after the fact, or six months after the fact, something like that.

Asking them for referrals, saying who else could use our product or service. I think those are, especially if you give them a really easy way to respond to that. Those are always well-received, right?

John Williams:   And they need to be, again very gentle, subtle.

Paula Williams:   Mm-hm.

John Williams:   Not too subtle.

But enough so that they don’t mind.

Paula Williams:   Yeah. We’ve seen some really humorous ones and really fun ones. And this is a really great place to use humor and fun. To kind of lighten this up, make it more fun, make them more likely to cooperate with you. And the last one, this is one that every Jiffy Lube on the planet does, but not very many aircraft service places we’ve seen, MRO organizations and things like that have done.

And I think this is a really big missed opportunity. As a reminder, you brought your aircraft in for an annual inspection 10 months ago, can we schedule you in? We’re holding a spot for you. And here are some incentives to book your next service early or get this on the schedule so that we’re ready for you and we have some things that we could do that maybe addition, do a detail in other things that while you’re in here let’s make it worth you time.

All right?

John Williams:   Of course.

Paula Williams:   Okay, so seven ways to advertise with post cards we’re covering the whole spectrum of phase one, phase two, phase three.

John Williams:   Gonna cover it all.

Paula Williams:   [LAUGH] But once again everyone of these postcards is part of a system, right?

John Williams:   Well, these opportunities for postcards, yes.

It needs to be part of an integrated marketing plan approach.

Paula Williams:   We’re assuming you’ve got the infrastructure to handle all this so that when you’re doing a prospecting postcard, people respond to that. You know exactly how many people responded to that postcard. When you’re doing your market testing, you’ve got a survey set up and tested, and it’s ready to go.

If you’re doing a program to create urgency, you really have thought it through and have the details of that campaign thought through. So when we talk about campaigns, of course, back to the basics of that there are three elements of any successful campaign. So every time you send a post card, you wanna think about who’s the list for this?

So for your phase one campaign that’s going to be a very targeted list of prospective customers, right?

John Williams:   Yes.

Paula Williams:   For your phase two campaigns that’s going to be your current pipeline of people who are not ready to buy yet for one reason or another, right?

John Williams:   And the presentation is those people that you want to sell to.

Paula Williams:   Let’s stick to the list for a minute. Sticking to the list for phase three, the list for phase three would be your current or former customers, right?

John Williams:   Okay.

Paula Williams:   Okay, and then the offer, that really depends. That’s one of those seven things that we just talked about.

And then the presentation, of course, would be a postcard, right?

John Williams:   Probably with something like a QR code on it.

Paula Williams:   Do you like QR codes, just out of curiosity?

John Williams:   Sometimes, it depends.

Paula Williams:   Okay, there’s some pretty dramatic debate in marketing circles about whether QR codes are worth it or not.

I think you should have PURLs, personal URLs, or at least a specific URL as your call to action for a particular post card. Or, there are phone systems that where you can use a different number for each postcard.

John Williams:   Yeah, but the thing is, nowadays everybody’s got a smartphone that’s got the ability to snap that QR code.

And if you’ve programmed it right, you go right to the point where you can see what you wanna see. And if you wanna see more, you know how to go push a button to go more.

Paula Williams:   Sure.

John Williams:   And if you don’t you’re done.

Paula Williams:   Okay.

John Williams:   And it seems to me like that is just a wasted opportunity if you don’t use one.

Paula Williams:   Okay. Exactly and you can have more then one way for people to get back to you. You know, phone call for people who like the phone, email, a QR code or a URL. You know how ever, how ever works for you, right?

John Williams:   You know what I mean?

If I’m the recipient of a postcard, I would much prefer to snap the QR code than talks somebody if I’m not ready. And if I snap a QR code then I’m gonna at least get the information.

Paula Williams:   Right, absolutely correct. All right, so that’s the list, the offer, and the presentation.

You need to make sure that you check those off and a nice way to do that is we have a tip sheet that includes a checklist of things you should consider for a postcard campaign. Every postcard campaign should include a great list, a great offer, and a great presentation.

John Williams:   Yes.

Aviation Postcard Tip SheetPaula Williams:   So if you go to ABCI1.com/PostcardTipSheet, you’ll get that tip sheet and you can download it there, or you could just go to ADCI1.com, click on the link for tip sheets and you’ll see that one there. So it’s really easy to download and get our quick little check list.

So before you ever send a postcard ever again, you wanna make sure that you do that. Cuz it’s got some great tips about headlines and response codes and other kinds if things that will really help you make those postcards much more effective, right?

John Williams:   Yes,they will.

Paula Williams:   Okay, so go sell more stuff.

John Williams:   Yeah, America needs the business.

Paula Williams:   Absolutely, now more than ever, right?

John Williams:   [LAUGH] Whatever.

Paula Williams:   And subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Stitcher or Google Play, and do leave us a rating, and we’ll see you next week.

John Williams:   Have a good day.
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Announcer:   Thanks for joining us for Aviation Marketing Hangar Flying, the best place to learn what really works in sales and marketing in the aviation industry.

Remember to subscribe on iTunes and leave a rating.

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  • Book Club Discussion - ReWork

AMHF 0067 – Book Club Discussion – ReWork

John & Paula Williams and Joni Lampert Schultz discuss the book ReWork

Book Club Discussion - ReWorkBig ideas from this week’s episode:

  1. The way we’ve traditionally gotten work done has changed.
  2. Companies like ABCI and nonprofits like the Whirly Girls rely on teams of people all over the country and/or world.
  3. The way we stay organized, be accountable, and get things done has also changed.

The book has a lot of great tips for doing business in this new environment!

 

Transcript – Episode 67 – Aviation Marketing Book Club – ReWork”

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Announcer: You’re listening to aviation marketing hanger flying. The community for the best sales and marketing professionals in the aviation industry. You can’t learn to fly just from a book. You learn from other pilots who know the tools, the skills, and the territory. Your hosts, John and Paula Williams, are your sales and marketing test pilots.

They take the risks for you, ensure strategies, relevant examples, hacks and how-tos. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes, so you won’t miss a thing.

Paula Williams:   All right, well welcome to the very first book club discussion of 2017. We never really know how these are going to go. We record them live the first Wednesday of each month.

And our insiders are welcome to join us, and we’ll see what happens. So [LAUGH] that’s always fun, right?

John Williams:   Yeah.

Paula Williams:   This month’s discussion is actually about Rework, which was our December book club selection. And Joni Lampert Schultz and I heard your smiling voice just a minute ago.

Joni and Kasey are our first two recipients of the annual Aviation Marketing scholarship award. And we’re really happy to have the on board and of course, I’m Paula Williams.

John Williams:   And I’m John Williams.

Paula Williams:   [LAUGH] And we are ABCI, and we are your moderators for today’s event, and maybe doing most of the talking depending on how this goes, right?

John Williams:   [LAUGH] Could be.

Paula Williams:   What did you think of the book? This one as actually pretty interesting, because it was written by the folks that built Basecamp, which is our project management software, which is pretty cool. I thought it was pretty neat, because they have some really good ideas about working from anywhere, and most of us are in a situation where we’re not in an office anymore.

We have to work people, that in a lot of cases, we’ve never met in person. We just work with them on the phone, and by email, and by virtually. And I think Basecamp is a nice way of making that work, because you can see what’s been done, what hasn’t been done, what works, what doesn’t work, and so on.

John Williams:   Well, we work with people all over the world doing that.

Paula Williams:   Exactly.

John Williams:   From Panama, to France, to Moscow-.

Paula Williams:   Egypt. [LAUGH]

John Williams:   All over the states, Egypt at one time, who knows?

Paula Williams:   Exactly, so I think Basecamp is really what makes that possible for me, because we can have multiple projects going on.

I can see what needs to be done. I get some pretty good reports on what’s behind, what’s ahead, and so on. I know you’re not a huge fan of Basecamp.

John Williams:   No.

Paula Williams:   And this is the book that you didn’t get, because this was last month. [LAUGH] You’ll get-

Joni Schultz:   :   Well, I went out and bought it. And I am so glad I did, because I love it.

Paula Williams:   Good.

Joni Schultz:   :   So, anyway.

Paula Williams:   Excellent, well, what did you like about it?

Joni Schultz:   :   I like the simplicity.

Paula Williams:   Uh-huh.

Joni Schultz:   :   I like that it’s not a lot of jargon, and it just goes right to the point.

Paula Williams:   Uh-huh.

Joni Schultz:   :   That’s what I liked about it. I mean, I specifically, well, I started reading through the whole thing. But then I kinda ran out of time, and so I just kind of went to the points that you said we were going to go over. And I obviously read those, and made some notes, and that sort of thing, so.

Paula Williams:   Wow, you are above and beyond, because [LAUGH] we send you the books every month with the bookmarks in them, the things that we’re planning on discussing. And of course, we hope you’ll read the whole book, but yeah, I’m really glad that you went so far above and beyond, and actually went out and got this book ahead of time, and things like that.

That’s wonderful. I liked it. It was not, I’m kind of more of a I guess I like books that are more explanatory of things to do, especially business books, but I did like the fact that this was a nice break from all of the heavy crap I’ve been having on a book rest, and all of the haltoos and everything else.

I think a really nice, refreshing essay-based book. John, I know you probably thought the same. I don’t think you learned anything here that you didn’t already know, but what did you think?

John Williams:   They had a few good points, reemphasized points that we already knew.

Paula Williams:   That’s true, absolutely.

So, good stuff. So, thing number one that I highlighted for our bookmarks was drawing a line in the sand. I think that is one thing that people, especially in aviation, hesitate to do and say, this is who our product and service is for. And this is who it is maybe not for.

And saying, this is only for people who are, for example, our products and services are only for people who are serious about sales and marketing, and are not the kind of people that think that sales is a bad word, or any of that stuff. So, we don’t I think, make any bones about that.

But I think we could be more clear about that in a lot of our marketing materials.

John Williams:   Likely.

Paula Williams:   Yeah?

John Williams:   Yeah, matter of fact, since we’re going to be working with the website.

Paula Williams:   Mm-hm.

John Williams:   In other materials, you can be a little more explicit.

Paula Williams:   Yeah, include that as one of our main points.

We’re not for everybody, and we don’t want to do business with everybody.

John Williams:   No.

Paula Williams:   Right, Joanie with the Whirly-Girls, I guess you have a fairly specific profile that you’re going after.

Joni Schultz:   :   Yes, at the core of the organization, yes, but I guess my take on and kinda what I’ve seen from the organizations since I joined.

And since I’ve been involved in, is that they really aren’t hitting all the potential that I think that they can get.

Paula Williams:   Uh-huh.

Joni Schultz:   :   So, that’s where this really spoke to me, because, first of all, I am kind of opinionated. So, it really spoke to me about how strong opinions aren’t free, because I’ve ruffled some feathers by asking questions, and saying why are we doing that?

Paula Williams:   Uh-huh.

Joni Schultz:   :   Is there a particular reason? And that sort of thing. So, this spoke to me because I said, my strong opinions, they’re not free, and I have upset some people about things. But I feel like I and other people that share what I believe, especially in terms of sponsors, in growing the scholarship program, and not just sticking to the small, what we’ve been doing.

So, we’ve pushed out, that’s the way it’s worked for me.

Paula Williams:   Excellent, I like the way you put that.

Joni Schultz:   :   How can I upset people because I have?

Paula Williams:   Right, I like the way you put that though, that opinions aren’t free, there’s always a consequence to expressing a strong opinion, especially disagreeing with someone.

But that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth it, so I think that’s a really great way of putting that.

Joni Schultz:   :   Absolutely, it’s tough. People all have this problem, we kind of get into the rut of the way we do things. And sometimes it just takes thinking outside the box, and asking, why are we doing this?

Is it just because we’ve always done it this way? Or are we really getting to the point of it all?

Paula Williams:   Exactly, exactly. Excellent. Yeah, the next page that really stuck out for me, and of course, we could call out the whole book. But we only have [LAUGH] limited amounts of time here.

So yeah, making a call is making progress, so make a [LAUGH] dang decision. In a lot of cases I think we work with a lot of folks in the aviation industry where there is a lot of consensus building that has to happen, especially in some of the larger, more complicated companies.

And a lot of airport authorities report to a board, and a lot of these organizations are not really prone to making fast decisions.

John Williams:   And once you made the call, stand behind it. Even if it’s your brand.

Paula Williams:   Yeah.

John Williams:   Then stand behind it unless you discover a reason to change it, and then make another call and change it.

Paula Williams:   Mm-hm. Yeah I totally agree with that. I think being able to make a decision, even if it’s the wrong one, a lot of times we can make some progress, and even if we’re going in the wrong direction, we can recover from that, discover that quicker, recover from it, make a turn or an adjustment, and still end up where we wanted to be faster than if people don’t ever make a decision, right?

John Williams:   Yep.

Paula Williams:   Joni what do you think?

Joni Schultz:   :   What I loved, I went to EA, Air Venture over the summer. And in knowing that the Whirly Girls were in the midst of development on the new website. So I went to the American Bonanza Society tent and we, we have been members in the past, my husband and I.

And so they had a new web site. And so I asked them, I said, my gosh, we’re going to be going down this road, do you have any words of wisdom? And the gentleman who was at the head of it, he says, you know what? Don’t ever think that it’s going to be perfect.

Just get it done and move forward.

Paula Williams:   Right.

Joni Schultz:   :   So I took that advice, and that’s where we’re at. We can’t wait for the perfect solution.

Paula Williams:   Right.

Joni Schultz:   :   We’ve gotta decide, and then take the next step. One of the ladies that is on our website committee, she’s kind of one of the older Whirly Girls.

She’s in her 70s, I think. And she said it’s like telling you’ve done a good job of herding the cats.

Paula Williams:   [LAUGH] There you go.

Joni Schultz:   :   [INAUDIBLE] And having to move forward, and not going okay, well we’ll decide that. And my takeaway on this was, you can’t build on top of we’ll decide later, but you can build on top of done, and move on.

Paula Williams:   Yes, exactly.

Joni Schultz:   :   Because that was really helped me through this process.

Paula Williams:   Fantastic. Right, I think that’s something that we can all use as making, even if we make a deadline to make a decision, and say whatever our best guess is by Friday, we’re going to move forward.

Joni Schultz:   :   Yes

Paula Williams:   That kind of thing. I love that. Here’s another one, throw less at the problem. [LAUGH] A problem isn’t a problem if you can throw money at it. [LAUGH] Well, that’s great if you have unlimited funds, but most of us don’t. So I think If you say, you know what, let me give this to somebody, and give them X amount of resources to see if they can solve it, people get really creative.

Joni Schultz:   :   Absolutely.

Paula Williams:   Right, there was an engineer that we worked with awhile ago that is now doing aircraft design, but he’s also done prosthetic limb design in India. That was one of his projects as a student, is he made, and I would have to tell you, I think it’s like a $12 foot and it’s made out of PVC.

And this is basically for people who have lost, there’s a large number of people in the population, low income people that have lower extremity injuries. And he invented a $12 prosthetic limb that is much better than a lot of the more expensive things on the market. And he just used cheap materials, cheap but good materials, and a good design that can be altered by size and everything else, and can be done by people in the field, and everything else.

I think it’s still being used today. It was kind of an innovative approach to design to cost is what the program is. And now he’s using that in the aviation industry where they take a cost, and they say can this be done with this cost? And here’s a limitation, see if you can work with it.

And you get really creative people to come up with some really creative stuff.

John Williams:   Well you can force creativity in some people. I managed a numbers of people in corporate America, and found that when you’re given a task, and you don’t have people for it, you give it to your busiest person.

Paula Williams:   [LAUGH]

John Williams:   Seriously.

Paula Williams:   Right.

John Williams:   They will always find a way-

Paula Williams:   Mm-hm.

John Williams:   To get it accomplished within the time they have.

Paula Williams:   Right, right. Another example of that is the $100 car. In some places in the world they have a innovation, or a contest I think it was, I’d have to look that up.

To develop a $100 automobile, within certain parameters and things. And of course it’s not in the United States were we have all these safety rules and everything else. But if you put a limitation of cost on things, sometimes people come up with some really amazing things. And Joni, I know you’re in a non profit, so you have a [LAUGH] a big cost constraint.

Joni Schultz:   :   Yes exactly, I’ll tell you the story the story about how I found you. And because our development people with the website had given us a marketing plan basically. And it was way out of what the rest of the board was willing to spend. So I just started looking around on the Internet, and I found you all.

[LAUGH] And then I found out that you had this scholarship, and then, and then, and then, it kinda worked out. But because of our limitation on funds to have a marketing plan, but I’ve always been interested in marketing.

Paula Williams:   Mm-hm.

Joni Schultz:   :   I just gun ahead and make time to be able to create the plan.

But look at what happened, was through different series of limitations. I found you and now, here I am.

Paula Williams:   Right. You know, some of these things, we just couldn’t plan no matter what we did, because you showed up at just exactly the right time. I think we met you about a week before scholarship applications was closing.

And it was just insanely crazy that we happen to run into a person that met all the criteria that we were looking for a week before that application closed. And we ended up selecting you, and we’re really happy that you’re here [LAUGH], and that you’re Especially,

Paula Williams:   Given the time constraints that we had and the money constraints that you had.

So that’s pretty fabulous.

Joni Schultz:   :   It is, I’m very excited about that, so hey, sometimes limitations. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams:   Right, absolutely. Okay, let’s see, next is pick a fight. [LAUGH] I love this one. I’ve actually taken this advice at least once already. Picked a fight on LinkedIn. A gentleman told me that one of my posts was too commercial.

Paula Williams:   Said something about fake news. And I told him, well, if you’re really looking for news, you’ve shouldn’t be looking on social media. You should be getting a subscription to the Wall Street Journal and paying a real journalist to get your news from. [LAUGH] And it’s something that a few years ago, I may have backed down from.

Because I come from a background where my dad was not the most appreciative of sales and marketing as a profession. And so, it’s one of those things that just raises those childhood anxieties or whatever. Am I being too commercial? [LAUGH]

John Williams:   How does he respond to you?

Paula Williams:   He never did.

[LAUGH]

John Williams:   That’s what I told you would happen.

Paula Williams:   Exactly, so it’s just like there is a time and a place for commercial behavior. And if you are so disgusted by capitalism, then maybe you need to be doing something else. But that was a good fight and it was actually quite enjoyable for me.

And hopefully, educational for him, and it’s not terrible, so mostly.

John Williams:   Sure.

Paula Williams:   What happens. But-

John Williams:   That’s not the only fight you picked.

Paula Williams:   No, that’s not the only fight I’ve picked. I’ve picked whatever I- [LAUGH]

John Williams:   But you have to because that’s the way, if you watch the election last year, that’s the way they did it.

They became controversial and public. And got people talking.

Paula Williams:   Well, and I think there’s a right and a wrong way to say anything you have to say. I don’t think it has to be personal or nasty to get your point across. But it certainly worked for them I guess.

So, it’s hard to argue with success. And Jodi, you were talking about picking fights earlier. At least, it sounds like you don’t back down. [LAUGH]

Joni Schultz:   :   [LAUGH] Sometimes I have to remember to deliver it a little better. But what happens sometimes in that, I try not to stay in that or get into that arena, is to get personal.

When you get personal, that’s when things kind of change. And yeah, and you can really step over the line quickly but I try not to do that and try to get, keep to the point. Like, one of our members got real upset, and when you call people on what they’re doing, they will back down.

Paula Williams:   Yeah, yeah.

Joni Schultz:   :   [CROSSTALK] When it becomes personal, I’m saying. It’s like a bully. You gotta go, okay, but not get in their face because you never know when you’re going to get back. But you need to go to the point where your column on what they did or said.

Paula Williams:   Exactly. Exactly. We’ve had a lot of conversations with, [LAUGH] one of our kids, [LAUGH] about how you can say anything that you want or need to say to anybody but there’s a right and a wrong way to say it. So it sounds like that’s exactly what you’re talking about.

Joni Schultz:   :   Exactly.

Paula Williams:   Right, cool. Build an audience, we actually have talked with a couple of people. And there’s several people that I know in the aviation industry, John Austrawer is one, Benny Wilson is another, Mary Kirby is another who’ve changed jobs, they’re journalists, in particular. That have worked for several different news outlets and publications.

And they take their audience with them and I’ pretty sure that that’s part of the reason that they get hired in different organizations, is because they have such a huge following. That’s independent of, John Austrawer who now works for the Wall Street Journal. He used to, or CNN, he used to work for the Wall Street Journal.

He used to work for Flight Aware. Mary Kirby has been in a number of places now. She has her own news outlet, Runway Girl, which is fantastic. And, Benny Wilson’s worked for AOPA and a number of other organizations. And she takes thousands of people with her wherever she goes.

[LAUGH] That follow her around from publication to publication because people trust her and they like her style of news. And they appreciate the information she digs out. And it’s just kind of a cool thing, but in marketing, it’s a different thing, because you build an audience of people that like and trust your information.

And then all of a sudden your products become a different category from other people who aren’t providing that kind of information, right?

John Williams:   Pretty much.

Paula Williams:   Yeah. Cool, and Jonie, I know you’re in the business of building an audience for Whirly-Girls. You’ve got a lot of social media as well, and things like that that you’re building on.

Joni Schultz:   :   That’s right, one of the things that was really spoke of, we had an editor of our collective pitch magazine. Which is just our membership magazine.

Paula Williams:   I like that name. That’s cool. [LAUGH]

Joni Schultz:   :   [INAUDIBLE] I don’t know how long it’s been around, but I think it’s pretty catchy.

So, Kate had been doing this collective pitch, print magazine. And she was really burned out. And so anyway she has definitely been, she’s our future webmaster for the website because her vision is to create a blog within the website. And that, it feeds on exactly what this is saying because its saying, you don’t have to buy people’s attention if you, and we want them to come back often to see what we have to say.

And so that was her vision, was that she wanted to see where it was more dynamic. Instead of this print magazine, that by the time you get it to print and get it out to everybody, it’s old news.

Paula Williams:   Right, and there’s a lot of expense there as well.

Joni Schultz:   :   Yes, there is. And so that’s been her, I think there’s a place for the print but it’s not with the news, I don’t think. Anyway, this is right down Kate’s alley when it comes to this. So I’m definitely going to share this with her, a short little factor on this I think it will really speak to her.

Paula Williams:   Excellent, yeah that’s fantastic. And I like what you said about, that you dont have to buy people’s attention, you can earn it. And that’s really what you do with social media, is you put something interesting out there that people will share with other people. And then you’ve earned attention instead of having to pay for it.

Joni Schultz:   :   Exactly, and everything’s a story is also something I learned as well.

Paula Williams:   Mm-hm.

Joni Schultz:   :   Especially within our group, because we have women that have amazing stories, but haven’t told their story. And so that’s one of the focuses that we want to have with the organization. Starting in Dallas, because in Dallas, Texas Women’s University actually does all of the archives for our organization.

And they’ve done them for the women service pilots, as well. And so the gal who is coming down from TWU in Denton, down to the expo event and to our education day, that’s what our focus is going to be. We all know that each of you have a story to tell, and that’s what we want.

People love to read about people’s lives.

Paula Williams:   Absolutely, yeah, stories are the very best marketing. And that earned attention comes from being a great storyteller. And that’s really one our big focuses this year, so that’s amazing to hear you say that. That’s good timing. Similar point, being able to out-teach your competition.

And Joni, I don’t know if you have any competition as far as helicopter organizations for women. But, I know education is often a big part of the types of organizations that you’re in.

Joni Schultz:   :   Right, we don’t have any direct competition because there is not another women’s organization but we do have like women in aviation and 99s and they are so other ones but not.

I can be a 99 and still be a Whirly-Girl, and, I can be a Women in Aviation member and still be a Whirly-Girl. So we have a competition along that line.

Paula Williams:   Right, right, exactly. But you do have to add value so that people can see, wow, I’m a member of five different organizations.

This would be a sixth for me but it’s still worth it for these reasons.

Joni Schultz:   :   Exactly, that’s that we have to do, is create the value. Because some people just only have x number of dollars to pay to being in members of such different organizations. So yeah, we always have to be looking at the value.

Paula Williams:   And the time and money, exactly. I think this is probably one of the things that has changed the world for us, as far as aviation marketing companies, because I think we are the only one that does anywhere close to what we do. There’s lots of other marketing companies out there, and there’s a few other aviation marketing companies out there.

But they are more interested in doing things for people than helping them become better at sales and marketing themselves, but we’ve run into so many situations where the edges of what we do are where the failure point are. Like we can do a great marketing campaign for somebody but then the sales people are not following up properly or whatever.

So if we can provide some education and guidance for them to say, this is how you fit in. Then our products work a thousand times better. [LAUGH] And get a thousand times better results for our customers. And because we have provided that kind of education and if we didn’t our products wouldn’t work and it’s not because they’re not good, it’s just because they’re incomplete.

John Williams:   A step in the process.

Paula Williams:   Right, exactly. Right, so I think this is a big deal for us and that’s why our focus has always been on education and on the insider circle and other education initiatives [LAUGH], that’s where 99% of our marketing money goes into education.

I think that’s true of a lot of our customers too. They’re attracted to us because they want to educate their customers and make them better users of aviation products and services.

John Williams:   Well, those that don’t, don’t fare as well.

Paula Williams:   Yeah, that’s for sure. The ones that don’t care about their customers just say buy my product and I don’t care whether you use it or whether it sits in the box.

Those are not ideal customers for us.

Joni Schultz:   :   Well, I value the fact that that’s what you’re doing to people, because to me there’s, you can give somebody a fish, but if you teach them how to fish, there you go. You have the talent for life. I don’t know.

Coming from a direct sales background, I learned more about myself in what I submitted to you all was I learned more about myself through owning that simple direct sales company. I had a team of 20 something people that I would just teach how to sell. People that didn’t have sales backgrounds.

Paula Williams:   Wow.

Joni Schultz:   :   Pretty natural for me, I just taught them how to do that, but I also valued their personality. I didn’t want them to all become me, because it’s hard to become, it’s hard to be somebody else. You gotta be yourself, through it, you know what I mean?

Paula Williams:   Yeah.

Joni Schultz:   :   That’s the whole idea is you’ve gotta, I tried that for the person that sponsored me or I learned from. I tried to be like her and that just didn’t work for me. I needed to find, take my personality and my strengths and my weaknesses and make, learn.

And just be myself so I try to do that for other people.

Paula Williams:   Right so you’ll be- [SOUND]

Joni Schultz:   :   Sorry. People calling me all over the place.

Paula Williams:   [LAUGH] There you go

Joni Schultz:   :   Sorry.

Paula Williams:   No problem.

Joni Schultz:   :   So I appreciate what you do, I truly do, and I will tell everybody I know about it as well.

Paula Williams:   Well that’s fantastic. I like the fact that you want to be Joanie Schultz squared, you don’t want to be Zig Ziegler, that’s just not the way that it works, especially in sales because it’s such a personal thing. You have to make a personal connection with people and if you’re trying to be somebody you’re not they smell it on you.

[LAUGH]

Joni Schultz:   :   Absolutely.

Paula Williams:   And that’s I think why sales gets a bad reputation, is because a lot of people just try to be Zig Ziegler and they just can’t pull it off and it’s not working for them.

Joni Schultz:   :   That’s right, and everybody has a gift and a talent.

No matter what that is, they have to find it. And again, they cannot be somebody else. You have to be yourself and then develop yourself and not try to be someone else.

Paula Williams:   Absolutely, right. Okay, so, marketing is not a department. I love this one, because to me, almost anything that happens in a business, that is a problem, is a marketing problem.

Either something wasn’t sold to the employees in a convincing way, or something isn’t being sold to the customers in a convincing way, or the proper use of the product isn’t being sold to the customers in an appropriate way. There’s always a marketing solution to just about any problem you come up with.

John Williams:   Well, everybody’s in sales.

Paula Williams:   [LAUGH] Yep.

John Williams:   I say, everybody’s in sales, whether or not you’re selling a product, you’re selling yourself. And it doesn’t matter if you’re just trying to convince your mom you need to go outside or you want a Coke.

Paula Williams:   [LAUGH]

John Williams:   It starts there, what you’re selling.

Paula Williams:   Yep.

John Williams:   An idea or a product.

Paula Williams:  That’s true. In fact, there’s a quote from Rabbi Francis Laftin that I love. It says unless you’re a Supreme Court Justice or a tenured university professor, [LAUGH] you’re in sales. But I’d argue that the Supreme Court Justices and the Tenured university professors are still selling their students something and they’re still-

John Williams:   I don’t know about this, the professor, but the Supreme Court justices, they have to sell their ideas to all the other justices.

Paula Williams:   That’s true. That is absolutely true. That’s why they spend so much time writing opinions. So, even the exceptions are not exceptions.

John Williams:   That’s a sales document.

Paula Williams:   That’s true, that is absolutely true.

Joni Schultz:   :   It’s like they’ve sold something to get where they are.

Paula Williams:   [LAUGH]

John Williams:   That’s right.

Paula Williams:   That is absolutely right. And lawyers are the best sales people. That’s their job. Right,

Joni Schultz:   :   Definitely.

Paula Williams:   Ttrue, all right. And then the last one, own your bad news.

[LAUGH] This is something that we do on, I’m going to say, kind of a formal basis for some companies that want to have an earlier response PR Program. If you’re a flight school you can brainstorm all the bad things that can happen at a flight school, right? A plane gets dinged, a, heaven forbid, there’s an incident or something like that, but you can brainstorm what are all the possible bad things that can happen.

And you can prepare a process for what are we going to go through? Who are we going to communicate with? What pieces of information do we need to relay? Who is going to be the point of contact? Have all that stuff thought out ahead of time, so that they’re the ones telling the story and it’s not the kids parents aren’t finding out on the nightly news what’s going on with your flight school.

So you really want to be the one to tell the story, and like you said Joanie, being a good story teller, and John you know being a good story teller and being able to get the facts out there in the most appropriate way is on you, as the business owner.

It should not be on the news media, it should not be on anybody else, because they’re not going to tell it the way you want it told.

John Williams:   That’s right.

Paula Williams:   Yeah. You have. Go ahead.

Joni Schultz:   :   It was like this is just me listening, so any kind of news story happens and of course that news agency said we we reached out to so-and-so about, and they had no comment.

It’s like I always want to go, why would they not comment, even if it was just simple? You know, because you’re just setting yourself up for people going why didn’t they comment?

John Williams:   I can answer that, actually.

Paula Williams:   You can?

John Williams:   Absolutely, I have been in front of so many news people and even given them written copy and what comes out, it doesn’t matter what I said, that is not what comes out in the news.

Joni Schultz:   :   Okay. All right.

John Williams:   So, it’s easier and better to say, no comment and then hire a PR guy to deal with it.

Paula Williams:   Mm-hm. What’s even better than that is to have all the PR done ahead of time, so.

John Williams:   Yeah, but you never can.

Paula Williams:   Right.

John Williams:   I finished a project that was a multimillion dollar project. I couldn’t have figured out PR ahead of time, and I was misquoted left and right on that.

Paula Williams:   Well, in your project plan you could of said, here’s what we need to communicate to the public and to the fed and everybody else.

John Williams:   No, no, no, that would never work because they were paying for it. And I’m not going to pay for it, they weren’t going to pay for it, because since they’re paying for it, they’re going to say what the want, not what I said.

Paula Williams:   Mm-hm.

John Williams:   No, I get it.

Paula Williams:   Yeah.

John Williams:   No comment is a valid comment sometimes.

Paula Williams:   Okay, cool. Well we have point of disagreement, but I think we agree that I lived that part of it, I know. Yeah, that it is better to have people hear the bad news from you than from someone else.

[LAUGH] Okay cool. All right so what else about the book should have for you do you have anything to add? Joni?

Joni Schultz:   :   Well yeah there was one I was really, because we have to do this, I really wanted to talk about the point, it’s page 185, it says press releases are spam.

Paula Williams:   [LAUGH]

Joni Schultz:   :   And so I guess I just wanted to talk about that and perhaps even ask your opinion about this. Because it seems like that’s what everybody does, but it says in here instead call someone, write a personal not. What do you all think about that? That they are saying press releases are spam?

John Williams:   Well, you can make spammy press releases but in fact, the people that we go through for press releases, which we do, they have very sharp rules that you must follow. And you can’t actually have any spam in there. And the reason you’ll call somebody is because those press releases can get out to millions of people rather than one or two.

Paula Williams:   Right, I’d say we take kind of a two path approach to press releases. I think that they are valid and I think that they are good. And they do a lot of good in terms of reaching audiences that you may not otherwise be able to. So, as an example, if we release a press release and it gets picked up by 150 200 news outlets.

That is not unusual to have happen. These are not big news outlets necessarily, they’re little local things, and.

John Williams:   Some of them are.

Paula Williams:   Yeah, some of them are big, but that’s the I’m going to say, the low level path is the automated press release systems that we use.

The higher level path is with all aviation publications, they don’t necessarily subscribe to AP or Reuters or the other news wire services, because they’re looking for very specific pieces of news and they want to write them themselves. So, for that type of reporting, we send them the press release, but we also try to give them some heads up ahead of time saying, heres a newsworthy thing that is going to be happening with one of our clients.

We know the reporters, we know the editorial calendar what’s coming out in AIN or aviation week or whatever in May, June, July. Say, here’s something that would be good for your July issue if you’re looking for quotes or photographs or something, you know, to help with that bit you’re working on, because they are over worked and under paid like the rest of us.

So in that case it takes more personal touch then the automated systems. So I don;t think the automated systems are worthless, but in the aviation industry, you do have to take things up and notch and you have to have those relationships with reporters that know you’re going to be giving them good non-spammy, fabulous information that they can count on to make their job easier.

Did that help?

Joni Schultz:   :   Yeah, we don’t have a subscription to all aviation publications. We have a member, who said that she could get us a list at her cost, and it was a $300 price tag. So I don’t know, and it was North America But I just don’t know how beneficial slash cost effective that might be for the organization.

Paula Williams:   Right.

John Williams:   Well, what we do is we use that as a part of an integrated marketing plan approach. And then we can track when that goes out, where, if any of the, anybody comes into a website or anything else we can tell where it came from.

Paula Williams:   Okay, so if we’re getting lots of traffic on our website suddenly from aviation week from a particular article, then we know that that’s a good one to pursue next time.

But, yeah, in terms of your needs for publicizing events for your organization, we do a combined editorial calendar ever year. And we’ll make that available to you since you’re an insider for the year. We’ll make that available to you as well. So, that’s not completed yet. There’s a lot of [LAUGH] publications that are still getting their rate cards and their editorial calendars finished for the year.

And, so, it’ll probably be late January or early February when we get that together, but we’ll share that with you as well.

Joni Schultz:   :   Okay, well thank you, I appreciate that. Obviously I am the marketing-

Paula Williams:   [LAUGH]

Joni Schultz:   :   Well, I already told the rest of the board, I said, we all market this organization, you know.

I said before I read this in the book that our entire board is marketing. So, but, I am like the lead on it now.

Paula Williams:   Yup, you’ve got to have somebody in charge. So, that’s true.

Joni Schultz:   :   So, but I’m, like I said, we’re going to do the best we can and while Joanie gets up to speed.

Paula Williams:   Yup. Hear you. Okay, so, next month we’re going to be discussing the book Soar. We actually interviewed Shashank Nigam a couple of weeks ago. And he’s a great guy, he’s really funny. He’s a great storyteller, speaking of such things. And this is about twelve stories from different airlines in the world about how they built their brands, or how they differentiate their brands in a very difficult space.

And it’s a little bit different, in fact, it’s a lot different from business aviation and general aviation. But airline marketing, we used to say, I mean, when we talk to people about what we do, we say we do all aviation except the airlines because they follow their own rules and do their own thing as far as marketing goes.

But Shashank’s the guy to talk to about airlines, for sure. So, yeah, that’ll be a great book to read and there’s going to be a lot of really interesting, I think parallels and great stuff that we can pull out and use, even in the business and general aviation world.

And that’s pretty much it. So go sell more stuff.

John Williams:   Yup, America needs a business.

Paula Williams:   Right?
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  • Troubleshooting sales funnel

AMHF 0066 – Troubleshooting Your Sales Funnel or “Why am I working so hard for so few sales?”

AMHF 0066 – AMHF 0066 – Troubleshooting Your Sales Funnel or “Why am I working so hard for so few sales?”

Troubleshooting sales funnelBig ideas from this week’s episode:

  1. All of your marketing activities should fit into one of these three phases in a “marketing funnel.”
  2. Count the number of prospects that are in each phase, and determine where you’re losing the most people.
  3. Invest the time and money to improve the “leaky section” of your funnel.

This may sound REALLY basic, but we’ve found that many marketers don’t actually do Step #2, and just “wing it” by doing more of the marketing activities that they enjoy, are comfortable with, or feel they can afford.

The problem with this is that you end up wasting money or spinning your wheels.

Transcript – Episode 66- Troubleshooting Your Sales Funnel or “Why am I working so hard for so few sales?”

John Williams: You didn’t hit record yet did you?

Paula Williams: Welcome to Aviation Marketing Hangar Flying episode number 66, Troubleshooting Your Marketing Funnel or why am I working so hard for so few leads.

John Williams: I give up, why?

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] You know.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: There’s something wrong with your sales funnel.

So we’re gonna talk about that today. So I’m Paula Williams.

John Williams: And I’m John Williams.

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

John Williams: To help all you folks out there sell more products and services in the aviation industry.

Paula Williams: Absolutely. So if you have questions, comments, anything else that you would like us to respond to, use the #AvGeekMarketing.

That will help us find your questions, comments, whatever. And we’ll make sure that we respond to them on social media. We try to reply to every tweet. You can also leave comments on our blog and we welcome those as well. Conversations with people like you that are listening to us really make this a whole lot more fun for us, right?

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: Okay, so big ideas today. One, this is like my New Year’s resolution, measure everything, right? Number two, find the holes in your sales funnel. And three, spend time and money to fix those holes in your funnel, right?

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: Cool, okay so, first of all measure everything.

John Williams: It said fix it, you mean fix them. Cuz you gonna have more than one.

Paula Williams: You gonna have more than one problem with your sales funnel, right? That’s absolutely true. Most people have not done this perfectly and even if you had it perfect it’s not gonna stay perfect, because that’s the way it works.

John Williams: Exactly.

Paula Williams: Right, okay. So most people are familiar with the concept of a marketing funnel. Basically you start with a big end at the top and a little end at the bottom.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Our version of this is to kind of divide that funnel into three chunks.

So phase one, which is your advertising and prospecting activities, phase two, which is your building credibility and closing sales process, and phase three, which is your referrals, resales and recaptures. Now, most marketing companies concentrate 90% of their effort on phase one which is advertising and prospecting. And why is that?

John Williams: Cuz they don’t know any better?

Paula Williams: No.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: They know better. But that’s how they make their money, right?

John Williams: Well, not if you don’t close sales.

Paula Williams: Building beautiful advertising, they don’t care if you close sales. They just wanna win advertising awards for beautiful advertising.

John Williams: You mean marketing companies.

Paula Williams: Yes, aviation-

John Williams: Okay, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Paula Williams: And other types of advertising and marketing companies will want you to spend 99% of your marketing budget on phase one.

John Williams: Sure, I must misunderstood you. You’re right, okay, got it. Okay, yeah.

Paula Williams: Doing advertising and prospecting and this has kind of permeated the culture to the point where everybody is in this frenzy for more leads, more leads, more leads.

We just need more leads. Everything would be fine.

John Williams: And sometimes, you do.

Paula Williams: Yeah, if we had more leads. And that may be the case. But in aviation, it takes longer and a lot of people coming from other fields get really frustrated. I actually just talked with someone this morning who came from a different field other than aviation in our office hours this morning, and was just like, why does this take so long.

[LAUGH] And, you know, the answer is it’s not you. It’s just that there are a lot of decisions that have to be made, a lot of people that need to be consulted. There’s a lot of regulatory things, a lot of procedure things, teams that need to be brought on board before they can change a procedure.

There’s a lot of things that have to happen before they can make a purchase. And if you’re used to selling retail, it can drive you crazy, right?

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: So phase two is really, really important. We actually advise that people spend at least 50% of their marketing budget outside of phase one on their phase two and phase three and they’re building credibility and closing sales.

Because we do have a really long sales cycle in the aviation industry. And then phase three, referrals, resales and recaptures, this is where the money is made in the aviation industry, as people who know, like, and trust you already will bring you their friends who are already predisposed and you know they’re in the right demographic and everything else to like your product.

Because they know about it. Your friend’s been telling about them for weeks probably. This worked with John, I think recently, with the Tesla car, right?

John Williams: Well, I didn’t know anybody that had one. I just happened to talk to somebody while I was waiting on you in the store.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] While I was shopping, and John was waiting.

John Williams: Well, they would go by and I’d roll the window down and said, how do you like the car.

Paula Williams: Mm-hm.

John Williams: He said he wouldn’t have anything else. I said, really?

Paula Williams: That was the referral, right?

John Williams: And so we talked about it a little bit, and I said, okay.

And then she came out, and we had time, so we went to the Tesla dealer.

Paula Williams: And took a test drive.

John Williams: Took a test drive.

Paula Williams: Yep, and since then?

John Williams: Well, I’m just waiting on a contract or two to come in and we’re gonna have one.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Exactly, they’re really really cool cars and there’s a lot to talk about, but the reason that I’m bringing this up is because what brought John into the Tesla store was a referral from a happy customer.

John Williams: Right, it didn’t have anything to do with phase one and two.

Paula Williams: Right and you’re not even a customer yet because you haven’t actually bought one of these cars, but you had told two people that I know of.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Three people that I know of, at least ten minutes of story about our experience.

John Williams: And not only that, but once we purchase said vehicle from Tesla, I will not ever have another gasoline powered car, unless I want one for a toy just to play with.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: It won’t be anything to use actually trips or anything.

Paula Williams: So now you’ve told all of these people.

John Williams: [LAUGH] Well, whatever.

Paula Williams: So, let’s see if it works.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: In phase three, for high end products and for innovative products and other kinds of things, is absolutely where the money is made.

Okay, so I’m gonna actually simplify this a little bit further.

John Williams: Just skip.

Paula Williams: Okay, so we’re simplifying our funnel and this is going to be kind of magical math, everything ends in a zero. This isn’t what it’s gonna look like in real life, but to give you an idea, a real simple example of how this can work with the marketing funnel, we have our phase one, phase two and phase three.

The first thing that happens when somebody comes into contact with this fictitious company we’ve got a bunch of different marketing activities going on. We have a website with some search engine optimization and maybe some paid ads and other kinds of things bringing people to the website, to a landing page, where they download a buyer’s guide, right?

John Williams: Uh-huh.

Paula Williams: Okay, we also have a trade show booth, where we are handing out the buyer’s guide. Maybe we have a physical form of that that we’re giving people in return for a business card, okay? So that’s another way that we’re collecting leads for that buyer’s guide.

And then the third way is people come to our website or are referred by somebody or whatever and they just call us. Maybe we have some advertising in some local magazines or in some aviation trade journals or whatever it is.

John Williams: You can cut this part out later but I don’t think I recorded the first part of this.

Paula Williams: Okay.

John Williams: All right, continue.

Paula Williams: So other advertising and things like that we had maybe an advertisement offering, the buyer’s guide call our office and we’ll send you a free copy, right? So three ways to get the same thing. Just to keep it simple.

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: Okay, so we have our advertising and prospecting activities.

And let’s say maybe a thousands people came to our website. A hundred people gave us their business cards at a trade show. And ten people called the office and referred to a particular ad that was in a magazine.

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: Sounds completely unrealistic because everything ends in zero.

John Williams: [LAUGH] That’s good enough to talk about.

Paula Williams: Exactly, okay, so of all of those people, a lot of people came to the website for other reasons, just to read an article or check a phone number or look at a stat or something like that, but of all of those people in the top-end of our funnel, 100 of those people requested our buyers guide, okay.

So that’s a reasonable ratio, right?

John Williams: 1,110 you got 100, that’s 10%, give or take.

Paula Williams: That’s 10%, right, exactly. But of those 10% we only sold one product.

John Williams: Again 10%.

Paula Williams: No, that’s 1%.

John Williams: That’s 1%, sorry.

Paula Williams: Right, that’s okay.

John Williams: Yeah, but that’s still good.

Paula Williams: It can be good. It depends on the product or service and it depends on what we need.

John Williams: If you’re selling gulfstream jets, that’s outstanding.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Exactly.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: If it is selling software for 19.99, it’s not so hot.

John Williams: Right.

Paula Williams: Right, so your ratios are gonna differ and your results are gonna differ and I can guarantee they are not all gonna end in zeros.

John Williams: No, no, but that’s okay.

Paula Williams: Exactly, so basically, we have a big number going into a smaller number going into a smaller number. And then of course, our phase three. How many of those people that we sold to referred other people? And here we have half of one.

So for every two that we sell, one of those people makes a referral, which is pretty good, okay? Cool, so this is a really good way to document your funnel and figure out how many leads do we actually have coming in. Of those, how many are taking the next step in the process?

And of those, how many are taking the next step in the process? And then of those how many are making referrals? Okay, so traditional marketing sales or marketing logic is, okay, now you know what the ratio is you just shovel more things into the top.

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: Okay, that may or may not work.

John Williams: It always works but it may not work as efficiently and effectively as you want.

Paula Williams: As something else and actually it may make it less effective. So this was a really good case with the Groupon. I don’t know if you remember that was really popular couple of years ago.

I guess they’re still a lot of companies that are doing it. But when it first came out people were doing it badly, right?

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: And it’s not Groupon’s fault, just that the campaigns weren’t really well thought out. And there were a lot of flight schools, in particular, that thought, this is fantastic.

We will do super low cost discovery flights for anybody who wants one. And so they would put a super low, ridiculously low price or outlay for a discovery flight and they would barely cover their fuel costs, maybe cover the instructor time, maybe lose money on these discovery flights and to get a lot of leads in the top of their funnel.

But then they didn’t really have a process to capture those leads or qualify those people and to turn them into students.

John Williams: They didn’t even pre-qualify them. A lot of people came out just to go for a ride.

Paula Williams: Exactly, so shoveling more water or pouring more water into the top of your funnel might actually spring more leaks, right?

Because it just can’t take the pressure. [LAUGH] So you don’t want to indiscriminately decide that phase one is your problem and just start advertising for more prospects and not serving them as well as you could. So in a lot of cases those Groupon events were crazy. They had too many people there.

They didn’t have a chance to talk with them. Their customer service was really lousy. They ran out of food. The hamburgers got cold. People got food poisoning. All kinds of stupid things happened because they were just managing the top end of the funnel.

John Williams: And they didn’t think it through?

Paula Williams: And they didn’t think it through, exactly. So what we wanna do is find the holes in your funnel and it might be, especially if you’re a brand new business, you may need more leads. So it maybe that’s where your problem is. But let’s say in our last example that we decided a hundred going down to one was just too many, that 1% of people that requested the buyer’s guide was we sold products to was just too much, too much of a jump.

We could do some asking around of people that left our process and say you know what, you requested our buyer’s guide but then you bought our competitor’s product. Can you tell us why that happened? And it’s just like I understood your competitor’s product better. Or you didn’t talk to me for six months after I requested the buyer’s guide and I completely forgot that you existed.

[LAUGH] You may find out that there is something that you could do that would really convert more of those people to be customers. So maybe you need another step in your funnel. So you have people coming in that you’re doing your advertising, same website traffic, same trade show booth visits, same incoming phone calls, same number of people requesting that buyer’s guide.

But now we put in another step where people can request a demo, a personal demo where you’ll actually look at their system and apply some things and do some logic that makes them really understand the product a lot better and then your sales will go up. So in this case we took one sale and turned it into five.

So 50% of the people that went through the demo, if you had a really fantastic killer demo and a good follow up process after that. I’d probably wanna add something else in there, but just for the sake of simplicity, let’s say that that would do the trick. In some cases in your funnel, if you’re losing a lot of people between one step and the next, you just need to add a step rather than spending twice as much money on advertising.

John Williams: And the steps here, just FYI, are completely overly simplified.

Paula Williams: Exactly, in most cases, most marketing funnels have 20 to 30 steps.

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: From beginning to the end. In aviation, it’s a long sale cycle and there’s a lot of information that’s usually needed to make a purchase.

And usually a lot of time that’s required to go through the whole process, right? And probably our referred numbers would go up as well, but even if that’s all we did, even if all we did was change the next step, we’ve still exponentially improved our sales without adding any more money to the top of the funnel.

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: Okay, so you do have to add either time or money. These things aren’t magical. They aren’t gonna do themselves.

John Williams: And customers always cost money.

Paula Williams: Customers always cost money. So when you put together that demo, you probably had to put some money into it.

You may have had to create some materials, create an outline, train your people, do a lot of different things that cost time and money. You can’t just wing it with a lot of these things. [LAUGH] The more scheduled, the more polished, the more together you can be with these steps the better, and of course, you wanna capture that information at every step, so that you can keep continuing to improve.

John Williams: Yes, the funnel itself needs to be polished immaculately.

Paula Williams: Mm-hm, and-

John Williams: You as a person do not, but the process has to be.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Exactly, some of the best salespeople are not terribly polished. But they have really good processes and really good outlines and they have systems that work for them.

And that’s another thing is that you can’t just do this once and leave it forever, because customers become more sophisticated. Your competitors are gonna step up their game. A lot of things are gonna happen and your numbers are gonna shift. So now’s the beginning of the year. It’s a really good time to collect your numbers and to put together something like this and say, here’s where our problems are, let’s fix them.

But you’re gonna wanna do that more than once. Maybe do a six-month checkup, certainly a year checkup, and say, here’s all of our systems and here’s all of the numbers going through each of them. Here’s where our customers are slipping between our fingers. [LAUGH] And running off to a competitor, you can’t have that.

You have to make sure you fix that. So big ideas, once again, measure everything, right?

John Williams: Yeah, absolutely.

Paula Williams: Find the holes in your funnel and spend time and money to fix it. So next step, if you want us to help you with this, we have a marketing flight plan where we look at what you have going on.

We help you compile some of this information and put it together and come up with a plan. What is going to be the best place to invest that time and money to help you make more sales? And that marketing flight plan is really the best way that we’ve learned to get to the bottom of that quickly and reasonably easily.

It’s not easy. I won’t lie. [LAUGH]

John Williams: Well, we didn’t start this company to do an analysis of customers, marketing and sales, procedures and processes, but that’s what we end up doing before we can help.

Paula Williams: Right, we don’t wanna spend your money on something that isn’t gonna work.

And that’s why we developed the flight plan is to help us pinpoint where is the best place for you to make those investments to improve your results. Right, okay, so check out the marketing flight plan ABCIone.com/flightplan, and go sell more stuff.

John Williams: Zig Ziglar.

Paula Williams: America needs the business.

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: Right, so and also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play and do leave us a rating. We look forward to those and do take those into account. So have a great afternoon.

John Williams: And we’ll see you next time.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: Ciao.

AMHF 0065 – Marketing Teamwork – Nobody Succeeds Alone

AMHF 0065 – Marketing Teamwork – Nobody Succeeds Alone

Big ideas from this week’s episode:

  • Great marketing requires teamwork – nobody succeeds alone!
  • It takes all kinds
  • Great teams need great chemistry!

 

Paula Williams: Welcome to Aviation Marketing Hangar Flying episode number 65, Marketing is Teamwork.

John Williams: Now, you think?

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] It takes more than one that’s for sure. So I’m Paula Williams.

John Williams: And I’m John Williams.

Paula Williams: And we are ABCI, your team [LAUGH] of aviation marketing consultants.

John Williams: Together with a whole group of guys working in the background behind us.

Paula Williams: Absolutely, for individual projects we may have tons of people working on it. So team work is really key to us as well. So use the #AvGeekMarketing, if you would like to ask questions or comment or do anything else that you would like a reply to that will help us find your thoughts and comments.

Wondering where to make the best marketing investments? We can help you identify the “holes in your funnel” and fix them!

Of course, you can always comment on the blog or on the individual podcast episode. And we will do our best to get back to you and reply to every tweet or comment or everything else that we can find. Okay, so three big ideas for today. One, of course, marketing is teamwork, two, it takes all kinds, and three, great teams take great chemistry.

So first of all, marketing is teamwork. In the olden days, it didn’t, right?

John Williams: No, you look at Mad Men on TV.

Paula Williams: Right, and we will in just a second, but first of all, let’s talk about this guy. This is the guy that wrote Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill, right?

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: Okay, and he kind of, I don’t know if he invented the concept of nobody gets rich alone or nobody gets successful alone, but he certainly popularized the idea of the theater of the mind, right? He had this group of counselors in this head, including Benjamin Franklin and George Washington and probably a bunch of other people who he would ask, what do you think about this problem.

What would you do about this situation? And even if he was in the privacy of his own mind, he was involving teamwork in trying to involve other styles of thinking and other points of view and things like that into what he was doing, right?

John Williams: Well, that presupposes somebody has read quite a bit of those guys, so that they know what they would do in those situations.

Paula Williams: Right and you can do this with anybody. I mean, it doesn’t matter if it’s real or imaginary. You definitely want a lot of different points of view and it might be your Aunt Ethel and your Uncle Fred. I mean, whoever has the most expertise in the style of thinking that you’re looking for, you can think about that thought.

So teamwork is not necessarily overt, but it is definitely necessary. So let’s talk about how marketing used to be in the days of Don Draper. Speaking of the devil, there he is now. [LAUGH] And-

John Williams: I didn’t say he was the devil.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Right. No, in the AMC popular series Mad Men, Don Draper was a really good example and the process that their marketing firm used was a really good example of the way that marketing used to work, right?

Basically, the client would come in and talk to some folks for a little bit and say this is what we want done and this is what our product is, here’s a sample, and then they would go away, right? And a month later or three weeks later or some amount of time would pass and the marketing firm in a vacuum would sit around the room with the other people in the marketing firm and brainstorm ideas and come up with something really fabulous.

They would select the best of those ideas by themselves, with no input from the customer. They would select the best of those ideas and make a big presentation with an unveiling of a fabulous idea, okay? And sometimes it worked. Sometimes it worked really well. But in those days, consumers in the United States were a pretty homogenous group, right?

John Williams: And quite uneducated in the areas of marketing and products and so forth.

Paula Williams: Right, so it used to be that you could put a shiny image in front of people and a catchy slogan or a beautiful logo and that would be all you would need to do some pretty decent marketing.

That is not true anymore [LAUGH], right?

John Williams: [LAUGH] It gets a little complex along the way, these days.

Paula Williams: Right, nowadays, in order to do good marketing you need all kinds of people doing all kinds of things. You need technology. You need product desk experts. You need some pretty detailed technical information.

You need a lot of stuff that you didn’t used to, in order to sell a product. It’s a lot harder to sell a product. There’s a lot more competition in the market and there are a lot more moving parts to the whole marketing process.

John Williams: The technology is changing rapidly in the areas that are being used by marketing.

Paula Williams: Right and also, you can’t just throw your idea over the wall to a marketing firm and have them come up with something brilliant and unveil it to you. It’s a lot more complicated than that, because the final product has to be a lot more detailed, in order to work, especially in the aviation industry, because aviation customers are really smart.

John Williams: Yes and detail oriented in general.

Paula Williams: Right, so you have to have the product experts and everybody else involved in a process all the way through. I mean you can say that marketing is a department, but it isn’t. In the book that we were reading last month, one of the chapters in that book was Marketing is Not a Department.

It involves everybody nowadays.

John Williams: Right, marketing some will argue is, sales is a department, a subheading of marketing. It’s the next step.

Paula Williams: That’s true, but I would also argue that everybody’s in marketing. If you’re in product development, if you are in customer service, if you are in delivery, any of that stuff, you’re in marketing.

John Williams: If you think that this line between sales and marketing isn’t very, very blurred then everybody’s in marketing, everybody’s in sales. And if you doubt that, think about the last time you try to convince anybody of any point of view.

Paula Williams: Right, absolutely. So why is this so important nowadays?

John Williams: You’re on a roll.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]
Okay, I think it has to do with trust. People don’t trust the slick Don Draper beautiful corporate marketing as much as they used to, even in the aviation industry. They know that people are human. They know that not everything is going to be as it’s presented in a slick shiny ad.

Wow, I have to be careful how I say that, slick shiny ad, right?

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] And so authenticity is really what people are looking for. They want to make a connection with a human being and they want things that sound realistic. They want to see how it works.

They want it to make sense. It has to be plausible. All of those things have to happen in aviation advertising in order to be effective, right?

John Williams: And sometimes when you’re talking to somebody about a product they’re considering the acquisition of you may talk him out of it.

Paula Williams: That is true and that’s authentic and that’s real and that’s respected. We have a lot of clients that are a little nervous when we ask them to go on video or present their voice in a printed piece or something like that, because they feel like they are not polished enough.

And I wouldn’t worry about that as much as people do. I think being trustworthy is a thousand times more important than being polished.

John Williams: True.

Paula Williams: I mean look at us [LAUGH].

John Williams: [LAUGH] Be nice now.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Exactly, so we’re after authenticity, not perfection. So it does take all kinds because it takes a lot more information and knowledge nowadays than it used to, in order to get anything done.

And in order to get good marketing, it takes, like I said, product experts who may not even be consider themselves in marketing. They might engineers or other kinds of folks. It takes marketing nerds, people who crunch numbers, that kind of thing. It takes creative weirdos and it takes nit-picking perfectionists, in order to do great marketing.

And if you look at just the sampling of books that we had in last year’s book club, the different disciplines involved with marketing and sales. If you talk to any of our book club members, some of them will say, well, I loved this book but I hated that one.

Other ones of our members who have a different skill set will give you exactly the opposite answer. But having a really broad base of knowledge is really important and the more people you can bring into that equation, the broader your base of knowledge, right?

John Williams: And the more likely you are to get on the right track.

The only given is that somebody can lead the team.

Paula Williams: Exactly, so how do you get all of these product experts, marketing nerds, creative weirdos, and nitpicking perfectionists to get along?

John Williams: Carefully.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Carefully, right.

John Williams: [LAUGH]
Well, I guess I should relate a story from business school days.

Paula Williams: Yeah, I was hoping you would.

John Williams: Really?

Paula Williams: Mm-hm, it’s a good story.

John Williams: Very first day of class, this is an exec program at a highly-valued university where everybody walks in the first day and sits there and has little muffled discussions side to side. And the prof walks in and he looks around the room a little bit and everybody’s quiet and waiting and he says okay, there are four corners to the room and the podium.

You have five minutes to form up in six teams. And he left the room. And none of us knew each other, for crying out loud.

Paula Williams: So you all looked at each other in fear and shock [LAUGH].

John Williams: And so I’m just trying to figure out how am I supposed to ascertain which one of these teams I was going to be on.

And by the time I figured out I didn’t know how to figure that out, one of the folks that I’d been talking to in the hallway said hey, John, come on over here and so I did. Well, in business school, you either died with the team or you graduate with honors by the team and there’s no other way and our team was quite helpless.

This is a bunch of type A personalities that had experiences growing up where if you didn’t do it again, it didn’t get done, because the other guy isn’t going to do his bit. So therefore we’re all and I mean they really pile on the work. So you can’t possibly get it all done individually.

You have to work as a team. So after about the first week we’re.

Paula Williams: Besides the fact that you needed the different skill sets on the team, because you had.

John Williams: Well, that’s what I mean, you couldn’t possibly do all the work by yourself.

Paula Williams: Yeah, right.

John Williams: So I finally, and I was a consultant during this time of my life and I knew some folks and I suggested that we hire somebody to come in and actually make us into a team.

Because this lady had done this for a company that I’d been consulting with and quite successfully helped them all in their various departments and so forth become teams, successful teams, I might add. And they said, well, can we afford her? And I said, I don’t know, but I don’t know how we could not afford her.

And so I talked to her and she decided to come over. I don’t think she don’t really came to any of our meetings. I don’t recall. But she talked to everybody on the phone and then interviewed them and got all of us together, I guess, and formed a team.

And we all decided we had to trust each other and that was part of what she did. And she can tell you all about that because that’s my wife, now. It wasn’t then, but she worked with me from a different consulting agency actually and they put us together in working on various and sundry projects.

But the point of thing is after she made us into a team, we became what is known as a high performing team. In fact, we became such a high performing team that we ended up taking final exams as a team verbally and the prof said now wait a minute.

Do you understand the risk? And I said of course we do and he said well, I have to talk to each one of you individually. And he did and he came back and said well, you all seem to think you can do this and we looked at each other and said it’s not insane to think.

This is the way we work.

John Williams: And we took this final verbally as a team. At the end of it, he sat there and he scratched his head and looked at it. He said I would never have believed it. And he gave us the highest grade he’d ever given anybody in his particular class, which was the A with the plus sign [LAUGH] .

Paula Williams: I didn’t know they did those anymore.

John Williams: I didn’t either. [LAUGH] Anyway, so it works. And the reason it worked is because we trusted each other to do the bits and do those things each of us knew and to help integrate it into the team response.

Paula Williams: Right and I know that there’s probably some people listening to this podcast that just saw the title and said I’m not even going to listen to that.

So they may not be listening to this podcast, because they don’t like working in groups and that comes from an experience that I totally understand. Because I was the kid also, I think all of us, a lot of the really high achievers in the world and that’s who this podcast is really for.

If you’re listening to this you probably are one of us. That was the one kid in those group assignments that would end up pulling the whole thing together at 10:30 at night the day before, or later, the day before it was due because they couldn’t get anybody on the phone.

John Williams: That’s right. Nobody else was doing their part.

Paula Williams: And nobody else was doing their part and people have let us down in the past. So it’s really hard to build that trust back up again and to make things work.

John Williams: And you need to understand that on my particular team, well, actually, all the folks in the class, they were CEOs, CFOs, CPAs, all the C level people and they had grown up and been promoted because they did the work, because they couldn’t rely on anybody else.

And they were telling people what to do after that. So it works for them to a point. And then, once you get that point, then, you have to be able to work with teams and one of the greatest examples of that was Burlington Northern was going out of business actually.

And four or five guys got together and said we have to make this work. Our company is going down. They became the first high performing team and there’s a book that discusses that.

Paula Williams: Yeah, I think that’s Teams at the Top and I don’t remember who wrote that.

I’ll have to look that up.

John Williams: Katzenbach.

Paula Williams: Katzenbach, yeah, exactly. And yeah, that was a great book and that was a great example. If you see the trains that have those trucks where they just basically take the truck off the train, stick it on behind the tractor and drive off, that was the Burlington Northern idea.

John Williams: Yeah, that was their first idea on how to get more customers.

Paula Williams: More efficient.

John Williams: And more efficient.

Paula Williams: Absolutely.

John Williams: And then it went from there to what they do in the ports now, where they’ll even put wheels. They have these boxes they load onto cars and take them off and so forth, freight containers.

Paula Williams: Exactly, so instead of loading and unloading, it’s a brilliant idea. Nobody thought of it until this particular group.

John Williams: Yeah, the guys at Burlington Northern put that together and that was the whole book by Katzenbach, that was The Wisdom of Teams or Teams at the Top, I don’t know.

Paula Williams: Yeah, I don’t remember which one it was, but it was Katzenbach.

John Williams: Katzenbach was the guy that wrote it.

Paula Williams: Right, good example and great book to read. So we may have to put that on our book list at some point in the future. And the reason for that is because in aviation and sales, obviously the only way you’re going to do sales is to make a connection with another person.

That’s obvious, but to get to the point where you are in front of another person, you’ve gotta have a really good team behind you supporting you with a great product, with great materials, with good messaging, with some automation, in order to attract that person in the first place and find that person in the first place and get them interested in your product.

So that is probably seven or eight different skill sets. Sometimes you can get that narrowed down to three or four people, but not fewer than that. People who are really, really good at one or more of those areas are hard to find and you absolutely have to find ways to work together.

John Williams: The other thing to consider when you put a team together is you may have to ask somebody to be off the team.

Paula Williams: Yeah, that is true and that happened in your group, too.

John Williams: That happened in our group. We ended up with five, because number six just was not going to pull their weight.

And the prof said well, you can’t really. I said wait a minute, we can and we will, because they’re dragging us down.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: And so he took care of that. We got him off the team and he and she work together cuz there were nobody else that wanted her.

Paula Williams: So hire slow and fire fast.

John Williams: Yeah.

marketing teamwork

Speaking of marketing teamwork, click here to learn more about our 2017 Scholarship Winners!

Paula Williams: But do work together, absolutely. Okay, so to that end, basically this is how we selected and how we decided that we needed some skill sets and some points of view that were not really represented in our Insider Circle.

And we found, because of a scholarship application that we put together, and these two ladies wrote really fantastic essays and we knew them a little bit from work that they had done and other projects that they had worked on, that these were exactly the kind of folks that we needed for our team, right?

And the Insider Circle really is beyond our expectations, as far as people working together on marketing projects and sales projects and other kinds of things and being able to bounce ideas off of each other and contribute different skill sets and different points of view and expertise. So sometimes you need an ideal customer to bounce something off of and chances are, if your ideal customer is a broker, there’s one in the group.

If your ideal customer is somebody that sells software in the aviation industry, we got one of those. If you’ve got somebody that is a charter expert or a charter pilot, we got some of those in the group. There are lots of points of view that we really needed and so Joni Schultz works with a non-profit, Whirly-Girls International, fantastic group and also one of the few representatives in the group has to do with helicopters.

And so we are really happy to to have her involved. She also has a sales background. So a lot of the people that are coming from marketing or coming from aviation with no sales or marketing can really leverage Joni’s sales skills. I think that’s really fantastic. And Kasey Dixon with Synapse MX she is their happiness advocate, a younger person very innovative and into technology and other kinds of things.

John Williams: But has quite an in depth background in maintenance, given at her age.

Paula Williams: Right and also has a military background. So she and John, I think, are only, actually, there’s probably a few others that have.

John Williams: They’re everywhere.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] That have a military background as well.

So if that’s your ideal customer, we’ve got some of everything, I think, in the aviation industry in that group. So yeah, to summarize really quickly, marketing is teamwork. There is no getting around it. Even those of us who hate teamwork, I think, by nature, have gotten into the point where we have a, I now have a, love/hate relationship with teamwork, right?

I would much rather some days, I would really like to just close all my doors and huddle down and do fantastic work, but working with people has its rewards as well. And there’s this synergy there that’s really a lot of fun.

John Williams: And how did that work for you, shutting all the doors and working?

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Not very well. Anyway, sometimes the doors stay shut. Sometimes they don’t. I’m getting better at shutting doors. So that’s cool. Big idea number two, it takes all kinds. So if your company is all former military pilots or people of any one particular type, you really need to think about who can you bring in from a different point of view or different perspective, different skill set.

Older people, younger people, people who are into technology, people who have nothing to do with technology, it takes all of those kinds of folks to make a really good team. And third point, great teams require great chemistry. And the best way to do that is to have a common goal that everybody has an incentive to reach that goal and you celebrate together and you work hard and you play hard together and have a great time.

So next steps, our marketing flight plan actually is a really good tool for figuring out how your team is going to work. It’s actually a variation of what we did with John’s team [LAUGH] back in his EMBA days trying to figure out what are your goals and objectives. What are your fears?

What are your strength and weaknesses? And putting together a plan that the whole team buys off on and making sure that you’re pulling together, instead of pulling apart is really the key to that and making sure that everybody understands their roles and responsibilities and their place in that team is really a pretty key.

So that marketing flight plan, if you’re looking for a way to get your sales and marketing department together and figure out where do the best investments and sales and marketing, that flight plan is really the best place to start, right?

John Williams: Absolutely.

Paula Williams: Absolutely, so go sell more stuff.

John Williams: Mister Zig Ziglar.

Paula Williams: America needs the business, right?

John Williams: Absolutely.

Paula Williams: Cool, so subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play and please do leave a review. We like doing these podcasts. This is our second year doing the podcast. We’re just starting our second year.

But we’d love to hear more about what you want to hear more of or less of and we like to keep a lot of free information flowing, because we think what helps the industry helps the rest of us. So you can help us by subscribing and leaving a review, right?

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: Great, have a lovely afternoon and we’ll talk to you soon.

John Williams: See you next time, ciao.

  • Top Ten Aviation Marketing Articles of 2016

The Ten Most Popular Aviation Marketing Articles of 2016

We wrote 51 aviation marketing articles, (one per week),  these are the Top Ten picked by our readers and listeners. We used a couple of criteria for this:

  • Google Analytics – which articles got the most page views and which articles did people spend the most time reading?
  • Libsyn (our podcast media hosting company) – which episodes were listened to most?
  • Leads/Prospects – Which pages sent us the most leads? All of our pages have ads on them – which pages encouraged people to click on or respond to the most ads?

Top Ten Aviation Marketing Articles of 2016Couple of observations:

  • Three are about social media
  • Five are about sales skills
  • All are “how to” or usable information

We advise our clients to look at what THEIR audiences react to – it doesn’t matter how much we may personally like doing a particular type of content, what matters most is what our audience thinks, and what they react to and what brings you sales.

These things may not be immediately measurable.  As an example – people may see an article but may contact us weeks later.  We never really know unless we talk to them and keep notes,  which of our materials was most influential in helping them decide that working with ABCI was a good idea.

Weirdly, these are not the articles we spend the most time and energy creating.  Many hypothesis were blown to smithereens in the compilation of this list.

Without further ado, here are the most successful articles of 2016.

1 – Using LinkedIn for Prospecting

How to use LinkedIn for Prospecting in AviationHow to use LinkedIn for prospecting in aviation – LinkedIn is the most used and most respected social media for aviation professionals. In this week’s episode, we show you how to mine LinkedIn for ideal prospects for your product or service!

https://aviationbusinessconsultants.com/2016/09/amhf-0049-use-linkedin-prospecting-aviation/

 

2 – LinkedIn Company Pages to Follow

FollowFriday - LinkedIn Pages to FollowLinkedin has been listed by aviation professionals as the most respected and one of the most used social media.

Most of us have a LinkedIn profile, and most of us use it for more than just job-hunting or candidate-seeking.

Most of us are very familiar with the personal profiles on LinkedIn. But there’s another very powerful feature on LinkedIn that can provide even better in-depth information about the industry – company pages.

We recommend that organizations create  or customize a page that represents their business on LinkedIn, and follow those of companies you do business with or admire.

https://aviationbusinessconsultants.com/2016/08/linkedin-company-pages-follow/

3 – Your Dress Code as Marketing

Are dress codes effective or relevant anymore?  Do you really have the right to tell people how to dress?  We talk about all this and more in this podcast.

https://aviationbusinessconsultants.com/2016/04/amhf-0027-dress-code-marketing/

4 – Prospecting, Calls to Action, & Lead Magnets

prospecting, calls to action & lead magnetsA great Call to Action (or CTA, as we marketing nerds call it) helps qualified prospects find YOU. It also reduces sales resistance by positioning you and your company as a resource, rather than as someone trying to sell them something!

We talk about different types of CTAs that work for different types of products, including consultations, demos, trials, buyer’s guides and more.

https://aviationbusinessconsultants.com/2016/01/amhf-0012-prospecting-calls-to-action-ctas-and-lead-magnets/

5 – What NOT to do on a Sales Call

Five things not to do on a sales callIn the aviation industry, our clients often have a limited number of prospective clients. They could be limited by geography, resources, or the type of plane they fly. So our clients can’t afford to make a bad first impression – and neither can we.  And yet, we have to make sales calls!  On the phone!  Where things can go so badly, so quickly.

So, here’s the lowdown on what NOT to do in that critical first sales call with a prospective customer.

https://aviationbusinessconsultants.com/2016/09/amhf-0048-not-sales-call/

6 – Trade Show Secrets for the Aviation Industry

trade show secretsThe biggest trade show secrets are not really secrets. In fact, it’s those very things that you think should be SO OBVIOUS but NOBODY SEEMS TO DO THEM. In decades of attending aviation trade shows as a buyer, seller, and consultant, we see that maybe ten percent of companies actually do what they say they know they should do.

We named this episode “Trade Show ‘Secrets’,”  kind of in jest, because everybody really should know this stuff, but nobody seems to actually DO it.

It drives me crazy walking around a trade show floor, looking at the amount of money spent – wasted, actually, by companies who think they already know all this stuff but  THEY ARE DOING IT WRONG! 🙂

https://aviationbusinessconsultants.com/2016/06/amhf-0036-trade-show-secrets/

 

7 – Skills Successful People Have in Common

We couldn’t help noticing that this is true of all of the successful people we could think of – from the Forbes 400,  to doctors, lawyers, teachers, religious leaders, and others!

https://aviationbusinessconsultants.com/2016/12/amhf-0060-skill-successful-people-common/

8 – Direct Response Social Media with Kim Walsh Phillips

We were thrilled to get Kim Walsh-Phillips to spend some time using her social media expertise. Kim  gives us some specific tips that are perfect for the complex, high-trust, large-ticket and long-cycle sales that the aviation industry is famous (or infamous) for.

https://aviationbusinessconsultants.com/2016/07/amhf-0042-direct-response-social-media-interview-kim-walsh-phillips/

 

9 – SEO for Aviation with TJ Mitchell of Boostability

SEO for aviation- TJ InterviewTJ Mitchell, a fellow Utahn and SEO expert, talks with us about how to help customers find your website, how SEO is different for very niche companies (like aviation companies) and vintage Mustangs. (Cars, in this case, not horses or airplanes.)

https://aviationbusinessconsultants.com/2016/08/amhf-0046-seo-for-aviation-with-tj-mitchell-of-boostability/

10 – Interviewing Airline CEOs with Shashank Nigam

shashank nigamI was excited to compare notes with another marketing professional, but one with a very different wheelhouse – Shashank works with airlines, not with business aviation.  And much of his work is international, while ours is mostly in the United States.

Shashank Nigam, the CEO of SimpliFlying, is one of the world’s leading experts in aviation marketing. His company, SimpliFlying, has worked with over 75 airlines and airports on marketing strategy since 2009. Shashank recently published his first book, ‘SOAR’,  which showcases eight of the most innovative airlines in the world. SOAR sold out its first print run within ten days.

https://aviationbusinessconsultants.com/2016/11/amhf-0058-interviews-airline-ceos-shashank-nigam/

Aviation sales and marketing insider circle

Join us for 2017!

My resolutions for this year –

  1. Measure everything!
  2. Have more fun!
  3. Don’t pull punches!

Are you with us?

Join us here:

https://aviationbusinessconsultants.com/insidercircle

 

 

AMHF 0063 – Book Club – Marketing to the Affluent

Marketing to the Affluent can be intimidating to those of us who didn’t come from an affluent background.  Kathryn Creedy, Lillian Tamm, Pat Lemieux, John Williams and I go over some of the misconceptions about marketing to the affluent, and some our experiences of reaching to to and working with this misunderstood demographic.

 

Transcript  –  How to Plan a Year of Successful Marketing

[MUSIC]

Announcer: You’re listening to Aviation Marketing Hangar Flying. The community for the best sales and marketing professionals in the aviation industry. You can’t learn to fly just from a book. You learn from other pilots who know the tools, the skills and the territory. Your hosts, John and Paula Williams, are your sales and marketing test pilots.

They take the risks for you and share strategies, relevant examples, HECs, and how to’s. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes so you won’t miss a thing.
Paula Williams: Staying up later and getting up later. [LAUGH] Because we’re getting into the holidays and having people in from out of town and things like that. So yeah, today we’re talking about Dan Kennedy’s Marketing to the Affluent. And we have some really fantastic people on the line with us which is wonderful.

And if we could just kind of go around the table and have everybody introduce themselves. I’m Paula Williams, and John Williams. Which our mission is to, what is our mission John [LAUGH]?

John Williams: Help everybody sell more stuff in the aviation world.

Paula Williams: Absolutely, exactly. And Kathryn, if you could go next?

Kathryn Creedy: I’m Kathryn Creedy with Communications Strategies. I am an aviation journalist as well as a public relations specialist, and trying to help companies get in the media spotlight.

Paula Williams: Fantastic. And Lillian’s here also.

Lillian Tamm: I’m an aviation business evaluator. I evaluate aviation businesses and provide consulting services related to evaluations.

Also other general aviation industry consulting, like business plans and visibility studies, and things along those lines.

Paula Williams: Fantastic. And Pat, good to have you join us.

Pat Lemieux: Hi, how are you?

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Great.

Pat Lemieux: Good, sorry I’m just kind of coming on late here. Pat Lemieux with C&L Aviation Group.

I’m our director of marketing so I’m in charge of handling the growth of our name recognition in the marketplace. And from that obviously, the amount of work that we do for CL Aviation Group and our sister company, Seven Jet Private Travel.

Paula Williams: Fantastic. Yeah, I was just commenting on your Instagram this morning with the last, lonely office doughnut.

Pat Lemieux: It went so fast

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

Pat Lemieux: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Did you rescue it?

Pat Lemieux: No, no.

Paula Williams: No?

Pat Lemieux: Nope.

Paula Williams: Well I know it was a conflict for you because we were [INAUDIBLE].

Pat Lemieux: I left it right there for somebody else.

Paula Williams: Okay [LAUGH] cool, well that’s good to know.

Well we’re really glad that you’re here, and we’ve got a lot to talk about today. And I know you three, actually, if I were to pick three people who know a lot about this particular topic, this is actually really cool because I know you guys all have affluent customers and are looking for affluent customers as well.

So really looking forward to your insights. So first thing, who are these people anyway? We can kind of go around the room and, once again we’re going to edit this. So [LAUGH] if there’s anything that you’d want us to edit, just let us know and we’ll take it out.

But yeah, let’s start with Kathryn and go down the list, in order of appearance.

Kathryn Creedy: Well, marketing to affluent people is extremely important since you have to be affluent to get into this business. Or rather to be a customer for aviation. I would like, I’m trying to get into the luxury travel press to see, to get a better hook on marketing to the affluent.

I did a trip this year that was geared toward the affluent with really, really over the top luxury accommodations in China. And I was absolutely blown away and got some good copy out of it. But I’d like to get more of an idea about how to market to the affluent and how to write about affluent consumers, and that’s why I’m here.

Paula Williams: Fantastic. Yeah, I know. I really enjoyed watching your Facebook feed and all your pictures and things like that as you were going through that. That was exciting.

Kathryn Creedy: Yeah.

Paula Williams: Cool. And Lilian, I know you have, well your clientele is mainly people who are buying and selling aviation companies, or getting valuations of them, so by definition this is your wheelhouse, right?

Lillian Tamm: Well it is to some extent. A lot of my businesses sell to affluent clientele. So for me understanding how they approach it is something that is probably a bigger benefit. I have a lot of CFOs and senior managers and then owners of businesses that are my clients.

And some of them would fall into that affluent market. But selling the service that I do is not necessarily directly related to it. But it helps me understand the whole, how my market approaches the market, if you will.

Paula Williams: Yeah, your customers’ customers. Exactly.

Lillian Tamm: Right.

Paula Williams: That makes perfect sense.

Lillian Tamm: In analyzing businesses, it’s a good thing to understand.

Paula Williams: Absolutely, right. And Pat, this is your bread and butter, at least for Seven Jet.

Pat Lemieux: Right, yeah, naturally. Marketing to this group doesn’t really come natively to me, so it’s been a little tricky. I found that what’s worked the best for us here is really trying to work with our sales guys to better understand who our existing customers are.

And really try to figure out, and that goes from everything to what they’re looking at online, what they’re reading, and if they’re watching anything what it would be, where they’re vacationing, where they live, those zip codes. And really using all of that to try to target as surgically as possible with this group, and actually get in front of them.

Paula Williams: Right, exactly. I thought we would start with some misconceptions about affluent people. I think it has almost become a bad word. People have kind of politicized the whole affluence, or the 1% or the whatever. So there’s some misconceptions about affluent people. I thought we might start with these, and talk about that a little bit.

John Williams: Yeah. One of my things I find irritating, let me just put it that way, is when people call me or anybody else lucky.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: I believe it was either Benjamin Franklin or Abraham Lincoln found that they actually believed in luck. And they figured out that the harder they worked, the more of it they had.

Paula Williams: Right, I think, this kind of comes from, there’s kind of been a movement. When people are interviewed in the press and things like that and they are wealthy, they tend to say that they are fortunate. And I think that’s okay for them to say, but I think for us to say that about them it becomes kind of offensive.

Because a lot of these people made their money in this lifetime, they weren’t handed it, right?

John Williams: Exactly, and in fact if you read Kennedy’s book which is what we’re talking about I think out of 400 and change of them, 320 of the billionaires started from scratch.

Paula Williams: Right, so it’s not like they married into it or inherited it or anything like that.

John Williams: I can tell you, although I’m not a billionaire yet.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

John Williams: I aspire to that one day, and there’s no reason not to actually. But my Dad started off as a parts manager for Ford Motor Company making $25 a month.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Right.

John Williams: Now, that does not put me in the entitled wealthy class, by any stretch.

Paula Williams: You’re right, and I’ve been reading a lot of stories in the book. These people came from, a lot of them are immigrants. A lot of them came from very humble background and things. So anyway, that sort of segues into the entitled piece and although there are some old money people who pass it along, more and more of those who do pass it along are requiring their kids to learn how to work first and how to manage money.

So they’re giving their money to charity rather than leaving it to the kids.

John Williams: Exactly right.

Paula Williams: Feel free to jump in anywhere if you [LAUGH] would like too.

Kathryn Creedy: I have a comment. I do think that the politicization of the quote unquote elite. I find it counterproductive because it’s an us versus them type of thing.

And when you look at polls, us, we, are not begrudging them their wealth. We are not saying that they did not work for their wealth. And we want to be able to do that, so this us versus them is very counterproductive for me. But for business aviation there’s a more important point.

And this is one reason why I’m so disappointed in the industry that it has not come to the floor in, quote unquote, defending our affluent customers because business aviation is the perfect nexus between Wall Street and Main Street. They’re the ones who buy our aircraft or whatever services.

Main Street is where it’s made, and all you have to do is ask Wichita what happened in 2008, 2009, and 2010. And you see that when those people stop buying, we are the ones that really hurt. I mean, the worker bees are the ones that really end up hurting.

You know, this harkens back to the 1990s when we had a similar situation, it was us versus them. And Congress put together a luxury tax.

Paula Williams: Yeah, I remember.

Kathryn Creedy: And the only people that really got hurt in that luxury tax was people who built the yachts. So all those middle class jobs for building aircraft and building yachts went away, because nobody was buying them because they were mad at the government.

Paula Williams: Exactly.

Kathryn Creedy: So, I think that we have to remember, and whenever we’re talking to people about this, and that we see the conversation going into us versus them, we need to remember that if it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t have jobs. And they are a perfect nexus between Wall Street and Main Street because the middle class are the ones who build the machines or whatever it is or provide the services, and the rich are the consumer.

And so without them, we wouldn’t have jobs.

Paula Williams: Absolutely, and if I can jump on the soapbox for just a second, I think the problem that happened in 2008 with the people going to meet with Congress to ask for money, the big three automakers in their private jets.

The story was told from the perspective of the media which really didn’t understand aviation. And aviation didn’t have a story to tell. We really didn’t do a very good job of telling our side of the story. And I think that’s really what drives us in this industry to start telling better stories, because if your-

Kathryn Creedy: If your having [CROSSTALK] the business aviation industry for decades. I knew the story was there. There was a narrative there that could have completely turned that situation around.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

Kathryn Creedy: Bad people had the guts to do it and I think, one, the industry didn’t have the guts, for a corporate aviation users didn’t have the guts And MBAA did not have the narrative in a story form that could say to the meaning of, well, yeah, maybe they shouldn’t have come all three in their corporate jets.

But you have to remember, this is what a corporate jet will do for this guy or this business. And this is how that business makes money. And, all the material was there. Nobody used it. It wasn’t till five or six months later that MBAA got their act together, and I was absolutely shocked.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

Kathryn Creedy: Knowing-

Paula Williams: No gain, right?

Kathryn Creedy: It was there.

Paula Williams: Right, took a long time.

Kathryn Creedy: Yeah.

Paula Williams: And they did. They came out with the no plane no game initiative and got some celebrities and other people to go on the record for this is how we use our aircraft.

But it was like pulling teeth because the emphasis, I think for high net worth people is to keep a low profile. A low profile, you’re not telling your story, and what dominates the media is what everybody else is saying, right?

Kathryn Creedy: Right, absolutely.

John Williams: And the story of Mrs. Nancy Pelosi flying a private corporate jet back and forth to California.

It was actually an airliner. That didn’t come out for almost a year and a half.

Paula Williams: Right well when you do a [LAUGH] right? And I know we sometimes get political but we have to because that’s-

John Williams: Well the government is no better and no worse. They do the same thing only use bigger stuff.

Paula Williams: Right, waste is waste, but private jets are not by nature waste. You know, and that’s really the story we need to tell.

Kathryn Creedy: No.

Paula Williams: Right.

Kathryn Creedy: So I think that, what I’m saying is that as we talk to our colleagues or, you know my biggest problem with no plane no gain is it’s preaching to the choir.

It’s not really preaching beyond the choir.

Paula Williams: Right, true.

Kathryn Creedy: And I get very angry when I see an MBAA. This big sign that says I can’t do my job in New Mexico were it not for my plane. So I don’t want to hear from him. I want to hear how his business is kept there because of his plane but I don’t want to hear from him.

I want to hear from the city fathers.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

Kathryn Creedy: That’s why this airport is. So I think we’re talking past each other, but also as we’re talking to our affluent customers. We need to help them understand that we get it. That we understand that what they’re doing is not excess, that it’s a business tool to create productivity, to create the bottom line to feed the bottom line.

Paula Williams: Right.

Kathryn Creedy: So that’s so much my soapbox.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

John Williams: Well, we need to talk about, everybody assumes that affluent means millions or billions, and actually the bottom of the affluent pyramid starts around 75,000. [COUGH] So that covers an awful lot of people.

Paula Williams: Right.

Kathryn Creedy: But I think that it’s a mistake to look at government figures where affluence starts.

Because a lot of people make $75,000 with both people working. So they’re making $35,000 each, and that’s no way affluent nor would it be affluent-

John Williams: This book is talking about an individual that makes $75,000.

Kathryn Creedy: Well, even at $75,000, I think that when we’re talking about affluent we need to work beyond the government statistics because-

John Williams: This is not a government statistic, by the way.

Kathryn Creedy: Okay, you’re teaching me something.

Paula Williams: The real thing is that for aviation, affluence is a slightly different number than it might be for buying a weekend at the spa.

John Williams: [LAUGH] That’s right.

Paula Williams: So that’s probably we have to, for the purposes of our discussion, cuz we’re talking aviation, I think the number just needs to be at the higher, the high net worth, as opposed to just mass affluent.

Cuz mass affluent’s not the market for most corporate aviation.

John Williams: Exactly.

Paula Williams: Yeah, and most of the marketing materials, or at least most of the marketing stuff that I have seen in marketing organizations and other kinds of things are focused on the mass market, or the blue area, and possibly into the mass affluent.

But nobody really talks other than, I think this is why this book is unique and very helpful is because it’s talking about the top half of the pyramid where there really isn’t a lot of marketing data. And there’s not a lot of marketing technique and a lot of really solid information.

And so that’s one of the reasons I really like this book and may [LAUGH]. We’re not really doing it in 2017, but we probably will bring it back again in a revised form in the following years because there’s nothing else that I’ve seen that’s this good.

John Williams: Well, he talks not only about demographics, but psychographics as well.

And when you put all that together and you realize to market to these people what you have to understand about their attitudes, and not just toward airplanes, but their attitudes towards money, their attitudes toward people.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

John Williams: And their confidence, lack thereof, and so on.

Paula Williams: Another misconception, while we’re talking about that is that a lot of people kind of shy away from the high end.

And Pat, you might find this helpful information, because I felt this way when I got into this market. Feeling a little bit weird about marketing to high net worth and ultra high net worth people. But the more we work with them, the more comfortable we get because there’s the misconception that they are super picky and super snooty and super particular, and want all of the brown M&M’s picked out of the bowl.

I mean, just goofy, stupid things and there are some like that. But for the most part, our clients who are in the top two categories are, if I had to make a generalization, I would say they’re actually easier to work with.

John Williams: Yeah.

Paula Williams: And I think that’s because they’ve been in business for a while.

They are willing to tolerate a little more risk. They’re a little more creative, and have the resources to do things right. And we’re not trying to, we don’t have to make their first campaign knock it out of the park. They’re okay with a little bit of risk.

John Williams: Well, they have their needs met.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

John Williams: It’s all about wants for them.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: And then well, we can get into that later, but-

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

John Williams: Keep the going here.

Paula Williams: Exactly, true. No, I think we’re doing all right. But yeah, anybody wanna add anything else to this before we move on?

Pat Lemieux: I was just gonna say that one of things that I don’t know if it comes to mind that often is that a lot of these people, and you brought up a good point, that they don’t necessarily start rich or anything. And you don’t get rich or stay rich by making bad choices with your money.

Paula Williams: Right.

Pat Lemieux: So I think this gets often overlooked, that even the super rich are still looking for a good deal, just like somebody who makes 30 grand, or 40 grand a year’s looking for a good deal on a car. These guys, they’re looking for a deal as well.

And I think that gets overlooked a lot.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

Pat Lemieux: And it gets overlooked by trying to focus in on only the blue M&Ms and really kind of the frills. And sometimes that’s just not necessary.

John Williams: I would disagree with that approach, actually. And as an example, let’s use his example in the book.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

John Williams: Lamborghinis sell from $250,000 to $1.4 million.

John Williams: And guess which ones sell out first, and guess which ones there is a backlog of orders for. It’s the $1.4 million Lamborghinis. They’re not after the cheap Lamborghini, though the people want cheap Lamborghini, because they can’t really afford them.

Pat Lemieux: Is that more of a scarcity issue?

John Williams: No.

Paula Williams: Well, it’s a status issue.

Kathryn Creedy: Is it a posh issue? In other words, is it an I wanna impress my friends issue?

John Williams: That’s right.

Paula Williams: Yeah, and we actually do have a couple of slides about status.

And I think that is an excellent point. But I think as long as it’s being used for that purpose that’s one thing, but picking out the blue M&Ms or whatever, we had talked last week about the fact that a lot of people, when they market to this market they wanna make things fancier.

And you’re not marketing to Louis the XVIII, [LAUGH] you’re marketing to regular people. This is not Versailles, things get simpler as you go up the scale as opposed to fancier.

Lillian Tamm: I have to agree that the numbers make a difference for some of the ultra wealthy, because with our company, we’ve had a couple of clients who have acquired aircraft.

And they definitely look at the numbers. It’s like, okay, my budget is 40 million, but I can buy this used aircraft for X amount, and I can refurb it for X amount, and if it’s not going to fit into that box, then I’m not interested, I still have a budget.

Yeah, it may be a ridiculous budget as far as the mass market is concerned, or even the mass affluent, or even the high net worth. But when you start getting into the upper echelons, they still care.

Paula Williams: Yeah, absolutely, they do.

Lillian Tamm: Not [INAUDIBLE], that’s not how they got where they are [LAUGH] .

John Williams: It’s fun to play devil’s advocate.

Paula Williams: That’s true. All right, since we’ve already kinda broached the topic of status, what does that mean and why is that important?

John Williams: What do you mean, what does that mean?

Paula Williams: Well, I think, everybody who [CROSSTALK]

John Williams: It’s important because that’s what, and I will sayit from the male perspective.

Paula Williams: Okay [LAUGH]

John Williams: Because that’s what guys do. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: [INAUDIBLE] I’m sure you can do that better than I can.

John Williams: Guys, and the more money you get, the more status that the majority of guys want to. There are those that wanna do it Trump style. But mostly, they wanna do it under the covers and only be status with respect to their peers.

Paula Williams: I think it’s limited. So everybody has a thing that they want to be the best at or known for. So they’re not gonna spend a ton of money on everything.

John Williams: No.

Paula Williams: But they will buy a Lamborghini, if their friends are into cars, and are gonna be impressed by that.

Is that fair?

John Williams: It appears, yes.

Paula Williams: Yeah. Absolutely. I think this is really what’s going on is nobody ever really grows up and nobody ever really gets past the whole of one upmanship of things. In fact, people get wealthy because they love the game, I think. Yeah, so these are more competitive than regular people.

John Williams: Actually, according to the book, it’s because people lack confidence. They show confidence, but they lack it in respect to their money, so they keep working hard, and making more of it, because they’re afraid it’s going to go away.

Paula Williams: I think there’s some of that, and i think some of them just love the game.

John Williams: Well this-

Paula Williams: They love being better, one upping somebody else.

Lillian Tamm: That’s very true.

John Williams: Just rolling up the score.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Exactly. In fact, we’ve had some clients who, and this can be used for good or evil just like everything else, we had one client who was absolutely determined that he had to beat this other guy who was a competitor, on a particular keyword.

I don’t know if they’d bet each other something, or what the situation was, but it was a keyword that had very, very little impact on their marketing. But the absolutely, positively had to one up each other and it ended up being a negative situation, at least from a marketing perspective, because it didn’t really matter.

And we could spend unlimited resources on this one thing and the other person would do something the next week and we’d end up in this competitive situation that did more harm than good. But I think you can use it in a good way too. When you’re selling, you can say, here’s how you can do things better than the next guy, and I think that people respond to that really well.

John Williams: Yeah, I remember that situation.

Paula Williams: Yeah?

John Williams: That was nuts.

Paula Williams: That was nuts, but it did happen.

John Williams: Yes, of course, it did.

Paula Williams: With otherwise incredibly intelligent and otherwise, rational human beings.

John Williams: Yeah, right.

Paula Williams: Yeah. Cool. Anybody have anything to add to that or move on?

Paula Williams: What do they want? What will they buy? AThe easy answer from the book is [LAUGH], besides status, of course, which we already talked about. They want things made easy for them. They want time saved. They want not to be ripped off. I think this is a bigger deal with affluent people than it is with other folks.

They’re a little more sensitive about this cuz I think they’re big targets for a lot of shady marketing.

John Williams: That’s interesting, I don’t know if they are or not anymore than the rest of us. I don’t know that. That may not be true, especially the what do they call it, the drive by virus is out there now.

Where you just go visit the website and it encrypts your database, and your hard drive and they make you buy it out.

Paula Williams: It’s kind of a kidnapping. [LAUGH] Kidnapping your data.

John Williams: Exactly what’s it’s doing.

Paula Williams: I think there is a certain amount of skepticism. Most of them have gatekeepers of some kind and have ways of protecting themselves that the rest of us don’t.

They live in gated communities, literally and figuratively, if we wanna call it that.

John Williams: True.

Paula Williams: I think they spend more money on security. They spend more money on basically checking things out before they get involved.

John Williams: They have a lot more discretionary income, or revenues that’s for sure.

Paula Williams: So this lengthens the sales cycle. This is why it takes us, and actually our sales cycle has been getting a little bit shorter. A year ago it was at eight and a half months, I think now it’s closer to six months.

John Williams: Really?

Paula Williams: We’ve had a few people, again, our statistical pool is not huge because we aren’t mass market.

But people do check us out for a really long time before they spend a lot of money with us, which is good.

John Williams: Sure, I would.

Paula Williams: Cool, so what does this mean from a marketing perspective?

John Williams: You need to know your demographics and psychographics of your individuals.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Yeah, and another thing that we found is that we used to have a lot of do it yourself kind of packages. Where we would give people a lot of information and send them home with homework and meet with them the next week and give them another set of homework and those kinds of things, thinking that we could save people a lot of money.

As it turns out, this market really doesn’t care about that.

John Williams: [LAUGH] That’s right.

Paula Williams: They don’t want to. In fact, it’s really hard even doing a book club, I really, really respect you guys for being willing to spend time and energy on this. Because you are the few that recognize that getting better at sales and marketing is probably the most important skill you can develop.

But for a lot of marketing tasks, they would just as soon throw it over the wall, and have us do it and that’s why a lot of our clients you would never see in a book club discussion.

John Williams: Yep, pretty much.

Paula Williams: But most of them are in sales and marketing, so some of them you would

John Williams: All of them are in sales.

Paula Williams: Yeah, that’s true. That is absolutely true. I thought this ad from Schubach Aviation is pretty much the epitome of what we just talked about.

Kathryn Creedy: That’s nice.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

Kathryn Creedy: Simple.

Paula Williams: Yep. Simple, lots of light white space. One idea and it’s obviously, the one thing that they all want.

John Williams: Which is why you make more money so you can have more of that.

Paula Williams: Mm-hm, priceless. One hour with your kids or your grandkids or your family.

Kathryn Creedy: It resonates with everybody, no matter who they are.

Paula Williams: Yep, absolutely and I think this applies to all of us.

I mean, Pat, you’re in the time machine business.

Pat Lemieux: Right, and this is I saw a YouTube video at one point too, the company that did it is escaping me at the moment, but it was a charter company, one of the big guys. They just showed two days, side by side, one of a guy who was heading to a meeting taking charter, one of a guy who was going to that same meeting kind of messing with the airlines and doing the whole regional thing.

And that guy’s getting up earlier, he’s running late. He’s tired. He’s uncomfortable at the airports. He’s waiting in line at the airport, while the other guy whose on the private side is gonna getting out of bed and having breakfast with his family. They both actually are going to the same meeting, and the guy on the private jet is actually home in time for dinner, whereas the other guy is delayed somewhere.

It just hit that point really well in like a minute long video that, so this is exactly why you use this sort of service.

Paula Williams: Exactly. That’s great. So, he’s staying in a cold hotel while the other guy is home with his family having dinner, that’s wonderful.

Kathryn Creedy: Do you have a link to that?

Pat Lemieux: Actually, I just pulled up. I’m going to have to find it, because I can’t remember what it is. But I’ll find it and I’ll share it with the group.

Kathryn Creedy: That would be goof for all of our, this is business aviation ,15 minute elevator speeches.

Paula Williams: Yes, absolutely.

That’s fantastic.

Pat Lemieux: Right.

Paula Williams: Okay, so, yeah, the business trifecta, I think, is one of the things, and I actually have the page number wrong in the bookmark, so hopefully you were able to find that. But there are three things that you can do that make people aware of who you are, aware of what you do, and aware that you’re very good at what you do, and those things are media, PR, and marketing.

John Williams: What I found interesting was his comment in the book is that when you sell, when he’s talking to these guys, and actually in a sales sort of environment They are more likely to buy if you tell them your background. And a thumbnail sketch of how you got into business, how you morphed to business, how you’ve managed it.

Then you start making money, and you’re doing these other things, and your goals. Cuz they appreciate that because they’ve all done that. Right.

Paula Williams: They can connect easier with that.

John Williams: Right, we actually-

Kathryn Creedy: What’s your [INAUDIBLE] of direct media, is that advertising?

Paula Williams: Direct media is any media that you own, for example a podcast, or a book, or a website, or a newsletter, or any of that stuff And everybody should have direct media channels of some sort and the more and better they are, the better.

But getting back to John’s point, I think that is, that’s why we’re doing the storytelling summit at Sundance is because we want to focus on origin stories. And if you can tell your story really, really well, that is the most compelling thing, other than customer testimonials and things like that.

The most compelling sales material that you can generate. So if you can tell your story in a minute or less, or two minutes or less, on video, that really resonates with this audience, would you agree?

John Williams: Absolutely.

Paula Williams: Right, so that would be an example of a media, it would be a YouTube channel, or a website with a video on it.

Or even just a video that you send in the mail as a CD. All of that is direct media.

John Williams: And we figured that out by accident and this here confirms in this guy’s book that makes millions of dollars was kind of nice. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Yeah, so that’s true, I mean, you think about the really great companies, Elon Musk, and the SpaceX, and the Tesla car, and they all have a great origin story.

Steve Jobs building a computer in his garage, his parents’ basement, with a couple of buddies. And those origin stories are really what suck us in to a lot of these products.

John Williams: Yes, because typically those products that come like that are usually top-of-the-line quality-wise.

Paula Williams: Right, and then the PR of course is other people’s media.

You’ve heard of other people’s money [LAUGH] OPM. Other people’s media would be things like, Catherine, when you write a great press release and it gets picked up by one of the major magazines and things, and that gives you that additional credibility. So then you can put the Forbes logo on your website.

That really is something that you can’t buy,

Paula Williams: Literally. And then marketing activities are how you use both of those things, the direct media and the PR. Making sure you get them in front of the right person, at the right time, in the right format, and so on.

Paula Williams: Cool, all right, so anything else anybody wants to add? Or questions?

Paula Williams: Let’s just go around the table, and if you have a 15 second commercial, for whatever it is that you’re doing right now, or whatever you’re working on right now,

John Williams: Well, you can’t start with us, this is that.

Paula Williams: Exactly.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Right, so, yeah, Katherine, you wanna start with that?

Kathryn Creedy: Well, I wanted to take a moment to say that there’s no better thing that you can do for your company than develop your narrative. And this goes back, right back to what you were saying.

I did it for Embraer and it brought them from a small manufacturer in Brazil, mainly targeting the regional airline industry, to a world-class aviation aircraft manufacturer, rivaling Boeing and Airbus much more so than Lombardia. So yeah, right now I’m just cruising into the end of the year, because I’m about to go out again, so I’m not focusing on anything really cuz this is my downtime where I focus on, gee what am I gonna do in the new year?

So I’m developing all of that.

Paula Williams: Good for you, that’s very cool. And Lillian stepped out for just a second, so let’s go with Pat.

Pat Lemieux: I’m sure, I’m kind of in the same boat. I’m trying to get a few things accomplished here in the next couple of weeks, and then it’s, but it’s really looking forward to everything that we’ve got plans for next year, and kind of starting up with those marketing plans together.

What those campaigns are gonna look like, and kind of working with all of our sales guys to figure out what their goals are and how I can help them achieve them.

Paula Williams: Fantastic, great, and Lillian I don’t know if you’re back or not. If not, we’ll get with you to get a little audio clip to put on the end of this and carry on from there.

All right, so next month we will be talking about Rework which is a book that was written by the two people that invented, speaking of origin stories, who invented base camp and it’s kind of a series of essays. And so it’s a little bit different kind of book.

It’s a lot easier, I think you could open this book to anywhere in it, and get something really cool out of it. So good stuff, we’re looking forward to that, and I hope.

Pat Lemieux: I started reading it last night.

Paula Williams: You did? You’ve already got yours.

Pat Lemieux: Yeah, it’s good.

Yeah, I got mine yesterday and started reading it. It was actually on my short list anyway, that I wanted to read that one, and so it worked out by showing up at my door.

Paula Williams: I think you suggested this one, is that right?

Pat Lemieux: No, I don’t think so.

Paula Williams: No, okay, that must’ve been somebody else.

Pat Lemieux: Maybe I did [LAUGH].

Paula Williams: You probably voted for it even if you didn’t suggest it, which is great. I think it’s actually kind of neat to have different kinds of books and things that we haven’t focused on before. And it’s amazing how a lot of success in marketing is just getting stuff done, right?

John Williams: Yep, absolutely, follow through.

Paula Williams: Yeah, all right, so go sell more stuff. America needs the business.

John Williams: Yep, Mr. Ziglar.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Thank you for joining us. And yeah, we really look forward to seeing you next time. And have a great month, and have a great holiday if we don’t see you before then.

You, too.

Kathryn Creedy: Enjoy.

Pat Lemieux: Great, thank you.

Paula Williams: Thanks, bye-bye.

 

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