Marketing Plan

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One of the key business decisions that faces any sort of company is to have a well thought out and successful marketing plan to let the company’s targeted demographic know about the service or product that the company is offering.  The ability to reach out and inform the potential clients about the company’s particular services is of the utmost importance for a company to become profitable.  Therefore, much of a company’s resources are placed into implementing a workable and well-designed marketing plan.  In modern times, marketing plans must meet several important criteria in order for them to be considered worth the investment made by the company to put them into place.  A successful marketing campaign will be concise in its message, cost-effective, cover multiple forms of media like FaceBook, appear frequently, and follow the trust triangle.  By paying attention to each of these aspects, a successful marketing campaign will make the company’s service seem to be the best choice to the potential clients that it reaches out to and will ultimately generate a great amount of revenue for the company that implements it.

One of the service industries that relies heavily on putting into effect an effective media plan is that of the industry of travel.  This industry is one of the most important and highly competitive fields of business in modern times, especially within the air-traffic industry.  It is therefore essential that an effective marketing campaign is put into place because this is an industry that, for the greater part, is not dominated by companies that the individual knows by name and relies upon using a single company for all of their needs.  In order to attract and implement the most amounts of clients to utilize a particular company, those that are in this industry rely heavily upon their marketing campaigns in order to put their companies above the others in terms of attracting new clients to utilize their company’s services.  Marketing campaigns for companies that operate within this field of business have several unique challenges to face and are subject to many rules and restrictions that other businesses do not have to face.  

One of the other most important aspects that a company should consider when marketing to its potential clients comes in the form of what is known as the Trust Triangle.  This marketing concept is based upon the idea of building three particular areas to equal proportions in order to solidify a company’s position to its potential clients in order for them to gain some trust that the company will provide the services that they offer to a superior level.  The cornerstones of the Trust Triangle are character, common sense of purpose, and competence.  Each of these aspects helps a company to form a more positive image within their clients’ minds and helps to build up the company’s name and reputation with the ultimate goal of generating more revenue from its client base.  Each of these cornerstones should be paid equal attention and should be thoroughly, but not overbearingly so, addressed by the company so that the potential client can build the greatest amount of trust for the company based upon the form of marketing that the client has been exposed to.

The first of the cornerstones of the Trust Triangle that must be addressed in marketing for a company is competence.  Every potential client that sees some form of advertisement for a company should always see how professional and well managed the company is.  In terms of an airline, this can be seen by showing well organized and maintained employees that appear to be both helpful and generally enjoy being a part of the company as a whole.  The major aspects that are addressed within this aspect of the Trust Triangle come down to the notion of making the client believe that those that run the company know what they are doing and will provide an easy to use way of providing their service to their clients.  Without a sense of competence from the company, the client could feel that those that run the company are no more qualified them themselves and lose faith in the company’s ability to provide their marketed services to a superior level.  Generally speaking, the aspect of competence can be summarized as the marketing company showing that they are the most qualified, on every level, at providing their service to their clients.

The second aspect of the Trust Triangle that a successful marketing campaign addresses comes from the notion of a common sense of purpose.  Companies must be able to show their clients that they understand, from the client’s point of view, what the company should be able to do and attempt to provide an environment in which the company can fulfill their obligations to the client in the best way possible.  In terms of an airline company, this can be seen in the company’s ability to demonstrate to its potential client base that the company wants to get the client to his or her destination as quickly as possible with the least amount of hassle for the client that can be given.  By providing a common sense of purpose, a potential client will feel that the company is not simply taking their money in exchange for a service, but they will feel that the company is utilizing their money in a way to provide the best possible service that is both efficient and effective in the company’s overall purpose of supplying the client with a service.  Without a common sense of purpose, the clients of the marketing company can feel as though the company lacks both a sense of direction and an understanding of the client’s needs and desires.

The final aspect of the Trust Triangle is the character of the company.  This notion is summed up by the idea that the client believes that the marketing company is not simply in business to take the client’s money.  By character, the implied meaning is that the marketing company is honest enough to provide the service offered at a reasonable price given the level of care that the client would receive for choosing the particular company.  The potential client must feel that the company that is marketing its services is both honest and fair.  This can be shown by an airline company in its ability to deal with the many potential complications that can arise during the duration of traveling that a person can experience such as time of bad weather. To build the company’s character image, an airline company can show that it is not only willing to work with but will go above and beyond the call to take care of its customers during such times by providing complementary services to stranded passengers until they reach their final destination.  By showing displays of customer affection such as this, the marketing company is showing its potential clients its strength of character and attracting them to utilize their company’s services.  By combining these aspects, a company solidly builds the foundation of trust that is necessary for a client to feel that the company is worthy of their trust, which will usually lead to the client using that company for their needs in the particular field of service.  

For a travel company, particularly those in the air trafficking industry, reaching out to the particular client base can be relatively challenging.  This is due largely to the fact that the target audience is not limited to a specific set of individuals that many other types of companies usually cater to.  For example, a company such as an athletic shoe brand is not going to be implementing a marketing campaign that aims to up its sales by targeting people over the age of 65 because that age group is not the company’s target demographic.  However, for an airline company, the potential client base literally spans all ages, genders, races, etc.  It is of the utmost importance, therefore, for these companies to implement marketing ventures that do not isolate or make a particular group of individuals feel as though they are not wanted by the company.  This is largely handled by the company’s ability to diversify the types of media that specific advertisements appear within.

An airline’s marketing campaign can largely be broken down into multiple ways in which it displays its message to its clients.  One of the most important aspects of these company’s campaigns comes from the different forms of media that are utilized to reach potential clients.  Because different age groups will get their news from different forms of media, usually, these companies will attempt to cater particular advertisements within the media that is dominated by a particular age group specifically to that age group’s desires.  For example, the social media world is not usually seen as a place for the elder population to gather and gain their news from.  Therefore, it is uncommon to see the marketing endeavors of an airline to be catered to the elderly population in this particular form of media.  The general takeaway is that it is critical for a company to choose wisely how and to what demographic of their potential client base should particular forms of marketing take shape within in the overall marketing campaign within particular forms of media.

There are many different forms of media that an airline company will use to market itself to its client-base.  The four forms of media that are the most common are seen in social media through the Internet, television, classic forms of printed media (newspapers, magazines, etc.), and email.  Each of these forms of media generally targets the entire demographic that would utilize a company’s services, however, particular forms of media are catered more so to a particular type of audience-based upon which age group is known to use that form of media more than the other age groups.  It is also important to note that the general message that is displayed through the different types of media tends to vary, albeit to only a slight degree.  This again is due largely to the fact that within different forms of media, a company is targeting specific age groups.

The Internet has become one of the most important and influential ways in which people gather their news on a daily basis.  With the advent and exponential gain in popularity of social media such as Facebook and Twitter, the people that utilize these forms of media have become accustomed to a world with instant updates and a constant flow of news information.  This lifestyle change has been fully embraced by the airline companies.  Since 2008, the transition from all paper to mostly e-tickets alone has accounted for at least 18 billion dollars of savings to the major airline companies alone (Negroni).  Clearly, airlines have seen the advantage, in terms of money to be made and saved, of reaching out and embracing this form of technology when it comes to meeting customer needs and expectations.  Social media has made it so the individual customer also has the ability to interact with the company on a very unique and personalized basis.  Individuals can subscribe to posts from companies on websites such as Facebook and Twitter and are able to get up to date information regarding aspects such as time delays, weather information, and even potential deals that exist through the airline company.  This connection to the individual passenger also allows for the company to reach back out and make the client feel both wanted and appreciated.  This idea is best summarized by the interactions between a particular customer, Peter J Cohen, and the airline company Turkish Airlines.  Mr. Cohen posted to the company’s Facebook profile that he wanted the plane he was flying on to be cooler as he was to warm.  The company responded back almost immediately that they had heard his request and would do what they could to get him what he wanted.  Several minutes later, Mr. Cohen wrote back that a flight attendant had conversed with him and that the two had reached an agreement to lower the temperature of the plane by 2 degrees Celsius (Nodes).  

What is basically shown through this form of media is that a company has the ability to immediately reach out to its clients and interact with them on a personal level.  An important aspect of any company within the airline industry should, hence, be solidly built around the use of social media.  This has been observed and acted upon by many companies within the field already, as 75% of airlines have plans to increase their budget on social media for the year of 2013 (Nodes).  This aspect of marketing is especially important as the world gets more and more connected through Wi-Fi because more and more people will have constant access to the Internet and will be able to continually be connected to one another and, subsequently, connected to companies that provide social media services.  

Another form of media that is addressed in a successful marketing campaign is through the use of emails.  This form of marketing is quite similar to that of advertising within the printed world of magazines and newspapers, however, it differs in one important aspect: customers are able to immediately act upon the viewed advertisement received via email.  When someone receives an email offering new deals through a particular company, the customer can immediately visit the company’s website and see the deals and choose to act upon them, whereas in print media the client does not get that instant access.  Whereby social media has the tendency of targeting the younger side of the potential client-base, emails are generally utilized by the slightly older side of the company’s customers and are more catered to them.  The advertisements might trade out the trending, hip look for something a bit more professional and easy to identify.  For a company that is utilizing an email form of media as a marketing tool, it is important to remember one crucial fact about this form of media; the majority of users of email spend less than 1 minute viewing and reading an email from a specified non important sender, so the message must be both concise and enticing to the potential client.

One of the still-dominant forms of media that every age group of potential clients is still constantly exposed to comes in the form of television.  For every person that watches television, there are many different advertisements that that individual is exposed to.  The importance of advertising in this form of media is to give a message that will resonate within the client’s mind so that he or she will remember the company through their advertisement.  This can be done by providing a catchy phrase or having an entertaining commercial without being over the top so that the company only annoys the customer and turns their opinion of the company to childish and unprofessional.  For a company to implement a successful marketing campaign in this field, it is important to remember to get the message aired in an appropriate time and place.  Having the commercial air on a children’s network in the early part of the morning will not likely expose the company to an audience that will have any use for the services provided by the company, however airing the commercial on a major network during primetime is quite costly and hard to come by without the necessary connections and capital.  A balance must be struck as to when and where to air the commercial to reach the optimal level of potential customers.

Finally, there is the classic form of media for advertising: the printed word.  Marketing campaigns still are utilized in forms of printed media, as there are some that get the majority of their news through this media form.  The audience of the printed media tends to be on the older end of the potential client base, and forms of advertising in this media form usually reflect that.  Instead of being advertised as the most trending or even business accommodating, forms of marketing in this media form tend to be focused more upon customer service and a generally friendly atmosphere that the company creates for the client.  It is not uncommon to see the individuals depicted in these advertisements to appear to be the happiest and welcoming to their potential clients.  The messages of these forms of advertisements also tend to be the most simplistic and straightforward based on comfort and leisure instead of pricing and speed of service.  The successful marketing campaign uses this form of media to attract the higher aged customers based upon the notion that the company will take care of their client and provide a comfortable service to them.

With any marketing campaign with the business world, it is important to analyze the use of resources that will be needed to enact a marketing campaign.  As Sabre Air Vision notes, “you need the right information at the right time to make smart business decisions,” (Sabre Air Solutions).  One of the most important uses of resources for the successful marketing campaign is getting the necessary feedback on the effectiveness of that marketing campaign.  A company must be able to know if what they are attempting to do to entice new customers to utilize their services is working.  If the company does not know how effective, or ineffective, their marketing campaign is, then they will have no way of measuring the success of that campaign and will not be able to allocate the necessary resources into or away from it.  It is important to be able to “track incremental revenue opportunity identification, problem market management and major event planning,” (Sabre Air Solutions).  

The difference in the number of resources needed to run a successful marketing campaign is seen the in difference of cost between utilizing different forms of media.  The cost of the television marketing is by far the most expensive, however it definitely gets the most direct exposure of any form of advertising.  The average setup cost for national TV ads is usually at least  $50,000 and can be as expensive as three-quarters of a million dollars (Becket).  In addition to this high setup cost, the cost to broadcast the ad can cost anywhere between $35,000 and 2 million dollars for the advertisement.  Obviously this form of advertisement is the most expensive, however it does give the best exposure, as clients cannot choose to not broadcast the ad once it is set to be aired. For a national magazine advertisement, the cost decreases when compared to the national TV ad but is still relatively high.  The setup cost is somewhere between only $1,500 - $20,000 and the cost to publish will vary from $3,000- $25,000 per full-page advertisement (Becket).  Though much lower than the cost of a national TV ad, this form of marketing is still very costly and has limited exposure because it is seen only by those that are reading the particular magazine.  The email campaign becomes a much cheaper form of marketing when compared to the first two.  The setup cost of a national email campaign is going to cost somewhere between $4,000- $10,000, however there is no cost of media to be paid as sending out emails is free (Becket).  The major drawback, as noted earlier, comes from the fact that those that receive the emails will note likely view the advertisement for very long as the average inbox is usually cluttered by many different advertisements on a daily basis.  A social media campaign will cost money as well, but like the email campaign is less than the national TV or magazine campaign, as it does not have a continuing fee added on after the extreme setup cost.  The average cost for using social media sites such as Twitter or Facebook monthly for marketing is roughly $2,500 monthly (Content Factory).  These costs can be further downgraded by hiring competent staffs that can run the social media campaign effectively and efficiently for the company.  

The marketing campaigns and strategies for companies are some of the most important business decisions that are made for their continued growth and posterity.  For an airline company, the most important aspects to address are who the marketing campaign will be targeting and how much of the company’s resources are willing to be spent on the marketing campaign.  The answers to these questions will determine which type of media to choose to market within and how to shape the type of advertisements of the campaign.  Of the four mentioned forms of media, each presents its own benefits for a certain age group of the potential customer base as well as the weaknesses of utilizing that form of media.  Regardless of which form of media a company should choose to advertise within, it is crucial that they address and adhere to all of the basic cornerstones of the Trust Triangle.  It is through a built up trusting relationship that a company will be able to attract new business and hold customer loyalty through the marketing endeavors.  There are many aspects of marketing that are important to address when designing a successful campaign, but it is always the most important to remember that a potential customer will be much more inclined to do business with the company that they feel cares the most about their own life and well being.           

Works Cited

Becket, Xander. "The Cost of Advertising Nationally Broken Down by Medium." Webpage FX. Creative Commons Attribution, 08 May 2009. Web. Web. 29 Mar. 2013. <http://www.webpagefx.com/blog/business-advice/the-cost-of-advertising-nationally-broken-down-by-medium/>. 

Content Factory, . "How Much Does Social Media Marketing Cost?." Content Factory. 06 Mar 2011: n. page. Web. 29 Mar. 2013. <http://www.contentfac.com/how-much-does-social-media-marketing-cost/>.

Negroni, Christine. "Airline's New Online Marketing Strategies." Executive Travel. Dec 2011: n. page. Web. 29 Mar. 2013. <http://www.executivetravelmagazine.com/articles/airlines-new-online-marketing-strategies>.

Nodes , Special. "Social media is dead- airline marketing in 2013 all about connected travelers and the real world." Tnooz: Talking Travel Tech. 28 Dec 2012: n. page. Web. 29 Mar. 2013. <http://www.tnooz.com/2012/12/28/news/social-media-is-dead-airline-marketing-in-2013-all-about-connected-travellers-and-the-real-world/>.

Sabre Air Solutions, . "Airline Marketing & Planning Solution." 2011: n. page. Web. 29 Mar. 2013. <http://www.sabreairlinesolutions.com/images/uploads/Sabre_AirVision_Marketing_And_Planning_Overview_FINAL.pdf>.