Hundreds of millions of people fly each year, and the number of airline passengers will likely only increase in the future.
Growing any kind of organization takes time and hard work. Some airlines are among the largest businesses in the world and can be very difficult to develop.
With the amount of work that goes into airline growth, it’s important to understand all of the things that will help you achieve success. Market research is one of those vital elements, and knowing how to go about it is vital.
In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know along with how Airline market research services can help you reach your goals. Keep reading for more.
The Importance of Market Research
Market research involves looking at the viability of a product or service within a certain market. The research looks directly at potential customers. It can help an organization gain a better understanding of its target market.
Some organizations choose to conduct market research internally, but this isn’t always effective. To get the best insights into the interests and preferences of customers, working with a professional airline marketing firm is the best option.
How Market Research Helps With Growth
A business is nothing without its customers. If you want to achieve airline success, you need to understand your customers as thoroughly as possible. The data and insights gained from market research can help with marketing campaigns, sales pipelines, and more.
Know Your Target Market
One of the most important reasons to carry out market research is so that you can understand your target market. If you want to put out a customer survey, for example, knowing what questions to ask will help you identify different customer types. You’ll also be able to determine unique preferences and traits that could be important.
The data you gather will allow you to segment your audience. You can do this based on things like demographic, geographic location, psychographics, and other attributes.
The way you choose to segment your audience can depend on factors like age, habits, purchase preferences, behavior, frustrations, and more. You can then create several customer personas which will help you develop more effective sales strategies.
Creating a Roadmap
Roadmaps are crucial for all businesses. Whether offering a product or a service, a company needs to look at where it is now, and where it wants to be.
Market research will help you craft a roadmap that summarizes all planned activities and priorities that will help you and your team take your organization to the next level. You can work to align your strategies with customer demands and wants.
Bear in mind that customer demand will change with market trends and industry advancements. As such, your roadmap should always be evolving to keep up. Targeted market research questions will allow you to find out exactly what customers want in an airline so you can work to provide them with a better service than your competitors.
Reducing Acquisition Costs
Customer acquisition costs are how much it costs to gain a paying customer. Acquisition costs must be lower than what a customer spends with your business, otherwise, you’ll make losses.
For example, let’s say your acquisition cost when targeting the entire market population is $500. If you acquire 100 customers, you need to make more than $50,000 to generate profits.
It can be difficult to reach your goals as you won’t know about the purchasing behavior and capacity of these customers. This presents some degree of risk.
Your overall customer base will have various segments, and each of these will have different preferences and purchase potential. You can’t sell to everyone, so finding the right audience will help you maximize your ROI.
You may see better results if you target a specific segment with high income and a proven history of brand loyalty. Buyer personas are ideal for this, and a typical buyer persona will include:
- Target demographics
- Target regions
- Ideal psychographics
- Preferred interaction channels
- Estimated lifetime value
- Total revenue to date
Having a clearer picture of different customers will help you determine which prospects have the highest potential to become long-term customers. You can then craft your marketing materials to target these customers helping you reduce acquisition costs.
Designing Targeted Marketing Campaigns
Personalized campaigns can prove very effective. Having a better understanding of your target audience and how they interact with your business will help you identify exact opportunities for these.
There are several ways to do this. For example, you can encourage website users to download your app by presenting them with app-exclusive offers. You could also create multiple landing pages so that you can better target different customer types.
Improve Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is vital. In every industry, some brands stand out as the major players and every business should aim to become one of these.
For example, there are plenty of soft drink companies out there, but ones like Coke and Pepsi are known by people all over the world. Effective marketing campaigns can go a long way towards helping this. Coke’s “Share-A-Coke” campaign is an excellent example.
While not many companies can pull off such a campaign, organizations of any size can still improve their brand awareness using different methods. Social media platforms can be very useful for this.
Monitoring your brand mentions and engaging with users will help you cultivate a strong online community. Not only is this ideal for spreading brand awareness, but it’s incredibly cost-effective.
Best Market Research Options for Airlines
There are plenty of market research options available. To get the best ROI, you should focus on methods that are most beneficial for airlines.
Passenger Satisfaction Studies
As time goes by, more people use air travel, giving airlines the opportunity to grow. The Covid-19 pandemic had a strong negative impact, but travel and tourism are steadily heading back towards pre-pandemic rates, and will likely keep growing in the coming years.
Customer values and booking behaviors are also constantly changing, so keeping up to date will help you keep customers happy. Using airline passenger satisfaction surveys is an ideal method of getting direct feedback from travelers. They can present a clear insight into what customers want and expect from airlines.
Your research can provide information on things like brand loyalty, reputation, ticket prices, and overall experience. It’s ideal to email surveys to passengers shortly after their trip when the memory is still fresh in their minds.
Conducting different studies over time is ideal. You can set benchmarks, and then make comparisons using future results to assess any changes.
You’ll also be able to get a broad view of customer thoughts from across your whole customer base. This will help you make improvements that will benefit all of your customers.
Airport Website Intercept Surveys
In the past, airport intercept surveys were typically done in person. These days, it can be more effective to do them online. The majority of people book flights online, so you’ll have no issues with reaching your customers.
You can program these to pop up when customers are using your website. They’ll ask customer to answer some questions about their experience which will help with your market research.
This is an efficient and streamlined strategy that makes things more ideal for your customers. It’s best to keep them to just a few questions – if they’re too long, people will be more likely to close out of them.
While your marketing is directed at your audience, you can gain valuable insights from elsewhere. Employee surveys can show you what your employees think of your company, and this is even more important after the strain on the industry in recent years.
Employee surveys can give you a better view of employee morale and help you understand what aspects of your company might make people want to leave. You’ll also get deeper insights into things like leadership and work-life balance. Employees are the foundation of every company, so you want to make sure you know what issues your workers may have so that you can make improvements.
Competitive Market Research
If you want to be a better airline, you should look at what your competition is doing. There are various ways you can do this, and in terms of airlines, secondary research, and mystery shopping are considered very effective. Note that airlines often hire third-party companies for mystery shopping campaigns.
This will help you gather data on your competitors. From this, you can determine what they’re doing right as well as areas of weakness. This knowledge will help you make improvements to your own marketing campaign and other areas of your business.
How Airline Market Research Services Can Help
Running an airline is no small task, and effectively marketing it can prove very challenging. Professional airline market research services can make things much easier for you by taking on various marketing tasks and providing expert guidance.
46Mile is a full-service integrated marketing and advertising agency that offers a range of marketing solutions. We use data and analytics to support our decisions and approaches to give you the best results. Get in touch with one of our professionals today to find out how we can help your airline marketing efforts.