Overcoming the Challenges of Airport Marketing
Embracing Innovation for Success
As a marketer specializing in helping airports grow, I understand the significant challenges airport marketers face. Through this blog post, I will recount my personal journey from frustration to innovation as an airport marketer.
Many years ago, I received a request to assist my local airport to improve its marketing. They needed to reduce leakage and gain more routes. At first, as a consumer-driven marketing expert, I didn’t feel particularly enthusiastic about the idea of marketing an airport. But then, a friend educated me about the immense impact that airports have on their community. She emphasized the direct correlation between the community’s prosperity and the volume of people, commerce, and ideas that flow through its airport. This realization opened my eyes to the vital role airport directors and marketers play in their communities. It also motivated me to join them as an airport marketer.
During my early days as an airport marketer, I encountered a significant and recurring frustration. There was no ideal online platform to direct consumers that could effectively guide them towards making an airport-loyal purchase. On one hand, sending consumers directly to a single airline limits their awareness of all the convenient flight options available from the airport and prompts many to explore other airports instead. On the other hand, directing them to online travel agents (OTAs) introduces the risk of promoting rival airports and other uncertainties. Unfortunately, these tradeoffs also inherently diminished the effectiveness of every marketing dollar we invested.
Furthermore, overseeing marketing investments became increasingly challenging due to the lack of purchase data sharing from both airlines and OTAs. This left us unaware of the actual effectiveness of our marketing efforts, and myself even more frustrated as a data-driven marketer. Without good data, I’ve learned throughout my career that it’s impossible to optimize your advertising creative and placements.
Innovation often emerges from a mix of frustration, motivation, and a stroke of luck. Such was the case when I crossed paths with my co-founder, Stephen Heyes. We shared a profound passion for travel and a common mission to support local communities. However, unlike me, Stephen was an expert at identifying and applying relevant technologies to everyday business problems. United by our diverse expertise, we created FlyMyAirport™ – an innovative new online platform designed to empower local airports and satisfy consumers. By educating consumers about their best local flight choices, and providing valuable insights to airport marketers through purchase attribution, FlyMyAirport is designed to completely change the way airports market themselves to their local community. The name itself, “FlyMyAirport,” was deliberately chosen to spark a conversation between airports and their community, including local businesses, urging them to embrace the idea of flying local and contributing to their community’s prosperity. In summary, creating FlyMyAirport was my way of saying “take that” to all my frustrations as an airport marketer. Frustration can lead to innovation if you embrace a growth mindset and challenge the status quo no matter what industry you are in.
FlyMyAirport was recently showcased by Aviation Pros in an article titled “Appleton Airport Launches FlyMyAirport | Aviation Pros.” Since then, more airports have chosen FlyMyAirport which you can experience here: FlyMyAirport Demo – Airport One LLC.