The global aviation industry hit 29.3 billion £ profit in 2018 and is expected to return bigger numbers when the results of 2019 are released. The number of travellers from 2010 to 2018 has gone up from 2.63 billion to 4.3 billion per year, that is a 48% increase. Both in the consumer world and business world, people have expectations and habits of travelling more, chasing the sun, an experience or a business deal.
With new markets emerging globally it is likely this trend will continue for a while. But what about the other side of the coin? The fact that aviation is under pressure for its environmental impact. It was interesting to read Emirates boss Sir Tim Clark supporting Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion in a recent interview, recognising it is an industry that needs to change.
If your aviation business can enhance sustainability it is a key sales element
Sustainability is an important word within the current times of the aviation industry, with pressure across the globe high. In many areas, the industry is trying to make a difference and if your aviation business has a chance of making a difference, it is clearly a strong and positive marketing message to differentiate from the competition.
There are many ways the aviation industry is already contributing to a more sustainable future. Investing in the latest technologies can create new generations of aircraft that are around 15% to 20% more fuel-efficient. By improving operational procedures on the ground, there are opportunities to reduce fuel burn and consequently, emissions. Operational improvements can include weight reduction measures, developing and using new arrivals procedures and taxiing to the runway using one engine instead of two. Sustainable aviation fuels have promising opportunities for securing sustainable growth of air travel, as they could reduce CO2 emissions by around 80% compared with fossil fuels.
On the ground, enhanced sustainability can be reached by actions such as airport waste management and providing water top-up stations. With 14,000 people working at Heathrow, consider if they eliminated the use of single-use plastic bottles with reusable bottles – this could have an even bigger impact if water top-up stations were used by the vast number of travellers that pass through the airport each day.
CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is absolutely connected to the sustainability message. What are you doing in your business to enable your employees (team!), your customers and the planet? Are you targeting reduced waste and energy use? Are you providing healthy organic snacks to your employees and considering their well-being? It may all sound like small elements, but in a world with social media, it is important to create a positive picture of your business, one that good staff want to work for and customers and suppliers want to work with.
Safety and Reassurance is a Key Message
Safety is paramount in an industry where the public can be affected greatly. Therefore, safety and reassurance must be a top priority when it comes to marketing for aviation. Every passenger relies on the aircraft and the people who operate them to get them to their destination safely. Although it is commonly known that flying is a much safer mode of transport than driving, there are plenty more people who are nervous of flying – use your marketing to alleviate customers fears and put their trust in your brand.
Your brand and communications affect how people consider your product or service quality, particularly for new target customers. If your brand is of low quality, you don’t want your customers assuming the same about the service you deliver – especially when safety is their main concern.
Function, Performance and Reliability: Whole-Life Cost and Value
Let’s be clear, sustainability and CSR do not replace the core industry focuses on function, performance, reliability, safety and cost value. But their influence has grown. Marketing communications about the core benefits of your product or service are still vital, clarity of these are key. Alongside these, whole-life-cost is a valuable sales pitch and measurement tool, but whole-life-value should now be considered alongside, and that includes safety, perceived value and political and press influence.
These are fewer tangible elements of a whole life cycle, but with today’s opportunities for instantly sharing news or information, with global coverage available easily, these less tangible elements can greatly affect a business.
Aviation Whole-Life-Cost & Value
Motion Marketing has been lucky enough to have a long-standing relationship with the Swedish Aviation Group and because their membership stretches across many areas of aviation, it allows us to touch on many areas in the industry.