When your airport achieves significant milestones it’s time to celebrate. Whether you’ve reached a notable anniversary or are approaching your one-millionth customer, these successes are worth sharing, not just for the sake of boosting your own business morale, but for the marketing benefits your achievements can bring.
There are lots of ways in which you can show your appreciation to employees, not least by publicising the milestone to customers, associates and stakeholders. By acknowledging the contributions of staff you create a team who feel valued and strongly connected with your airport’s business goals. Consider hosting a party for employees or arranging a retreat or event to celebrate their achievements.
In 2018, Springfield Airport celebrated by giving a commemorative ‘Thanks a Million’ pin to every passenger on the flight that transported its millionth passenger. The flight, entirely by coincidence, also carried a frequent business traveller who had flown on the airport’s first flight. As well as the lapel pins, the occasion was celebrated with water cannons as the plane landed, and in the terminal passengers were met with balloons, food and speeches by community leaders. One Springfield resident who on the flight, said flight attendants had informed passengers that there would be festivities.
“It was really exciting,” she said. “It’s nice, during this environment, to have something positive to celebrate.”
There are several questions you can ask:
When your airport reaches a major milestone, it is important to mark the occasion with valued employees and customers, building more moments to celebrate long into the future.
Milestones are a marketing tool that can help lift flat sales, build relationships and generate excitement and attention around your airport’s products and services. While some occasions present an obvious cause for celebration, you can also create your own reasons to fly the flag for what your airport is doing:
Your airport won a local business award or partnered with a new local supplier, let people know.
It may be your anniversary, or your customer’s. Personalise customer experience by acknowledging important dates such as birthdays and wedding anniversaries, or the anniversary of their first booking or flight with you. Honour these milestones with anniversary cards, discounts or free gifts to say thank you and acknowledge their value as loyal customers. With Rezcomm’s email marketing tools, this task can be automated for every customer in your database, making sure you never miss an anniversary.
Company anniversaries can also be a powerful way to reinforce brand stability and reliability. If you’re celebrating 50 years flying, this ramps up your credibility as a world-class provider. It’s also a chance to make special anniversary offers to both loyal and prospective customers, simultaneously promoting your achievements in the past and your goals in the future.
A customer’s first contact or booking with your airport is an important milestone in the customer journey. When someone signs up to your mailing list, make sure this triggers an automated ‘welcome’ email. Celebrate new customers and clients, and offer them incentives to make a second booking. It is much more difficult and expensive to attract new customers than it is to retain established buyers, and a true customer relationship is established by repeat purchase, so a first-time purchase really is a significant event.
New routes, products and services deserve attention. Your customers want to know about relevant products that will improve their journey, and will appreciate an email letting them know what’s new. Don’t forget to add a human element by celebrating the people, technology and customer input that contributed to making this happen.
Make the most of your big moments by weaving them into all your customer communications, including your social media, website, and even booking confirmation messages. People love to be involved in happy occasions and to feel included and important. Celebrations are uplifting, positive reasons to stay in touch with your customers and clients, and can build engagement and brand advocacy. Use them to your advantage within your marketing strategy.
In June 2018, London Gatwick Airport celebrated the 60th anniversary of its opening. Gatwick used the milestone to underpin its reputation as an airport at the forefront of innovation, investing billions over the years and constantly pushing the boundaries to deliver the best possible experience for passengers.
In 2017, Exeter Airport marked 80 years of flying with the unveiling of a commemorative plaque in the terminal building. Exeter operated throughout WW2 and now serves over 40 destinations, handling more than 40,000 aircraft movements every year. The airport, which originally consisted of a tented terminal and a grass airstrip marked with a 100-foot diameter chalk circle with the word ‘Exeter’ written in 16-foot high letters, is now one of the fastest growing airports in the UK, with more than 900,000 passengers in 2017. It supports around 3,000 local jobs and contributes £150 million a year to the local economy. It used the anniversary to promise ongoing choice and growth to its leisure and business passengers.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. By thinking critically about the process leading up to your milestones, you can ensure that you can create more reasons to celebrate and ultimately grow your airport business long into the future.
Rezcomm is the partner of choice for airports worldwide. The team are experts in supporting airport sales and marketing through smart, intuitive tech. If you have any questions about how you can use our integrated platform to engage customer loyalty and build your brand, contact us for a chat.