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Scope of Your Marketing Plan 13 3.4 MARKETING GOALS AND OBJECTIVES--FIRST DRAFT In this section, you will prepare a first draft of the airport marketing goals and objectives. First, review the def- initions of goals and objectives and the examples provided. At this stage, exact wording is not as important as identifying the most important marketing issues to address. 3.4.1 DEFINITIONS In marketing textbooks and articles, goals and objectives are sometimes used interchangeably. To avoid con- fusion, have the planning team adopt these working definitions: · Goals are general statements about what an airport wants and expects to accomplish in the future. · Objectives are defined as realistic and measurable targets established to evaluate and track progress during the implementation of the marketing plan. Marketing objectives are typically short term and achievable within the timeframe of the marketing plan. · Actions are specific activities that support achievement of an objective. Exhibit 3.2 provides an example of an airport's goals, objectives, and actions. Remember that your objectives should be realistic and achievable. When an objective has a measurable target, it is easy to know if you are making progress. After the objective is set, you can identify activities to achieve the objective. Exhibit 3.2--Example of Airport Marketing Goals, Objectives, Actions. Action Contact Existing Aircraft Objective Owners at Airport Lease Vacant Airport- Owned Hangars Action Advertise on Goal Airport Website Achieve Financial Self-sufficiency Action Hold an Airport Tenant Objective Meeting to Discuss Ideas Attract One New Business to the Airport Action Work With Local Economic Development Organization for Leads & Follow-up Source: KRAMER aerotek, inc.
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14 Marketing Guidebook for Small Airports The example shown in Exhibit 3.3 is applicable to many general aviation airports. It shows how Greeley-Weld County Airport translated the goal to improve the appearance of the airport into a specific objective and several actions. Exhibit 3.3--Example of Greeley-Weld County Airport Marketing Goal, Objectives, Year 1 Actions. Action Evaluate Resources for a Volunteer Effort Action Seek Public Partnership for Materials Acquisition Objective Goal Action Initiate, Design & Improve Appearance Recruit Volunteer Complete Landscape of Airport Landscape Designer Project at Airport Entry Action Prepare Multi-Year Landscape Design Action Complete Year 1 Landscaping Source: Adapted from Greeley-Weld County Airport Economic Development Plan 3.4.2 EXAMPLES FROM YUBA COUNTY AND CHATTANOOGA AIRPORTS Two other airport examples might further stimulate your discussion of goals and objectives. EXAMPLE #1: YUBA COUNTY AIRPORT'S GOALS Yuba County Airport, a 1,000 acre general aviation facility located in north central California, prepared a strate- gic marketing plan for the airport and listed the following goals: 1. "Strengthen the Airport image and integrate its role within the Yuba-Sutter community. 2. Support the economic development activities of the County. 3. Develop programs, policies, and procedures to improve and enhance the financial growth of the Yuba County Airport. 4. Stimulate private and public interest and investment in the Airport and industrial parks.
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Scope of Your Marketing Plan 15 5. Sustain and protect the airport and its enhancements. 6. Continue to participate and sponsor pilot safety programs." Taking the first goal as an example, Exhibit 3.4 diagrams the goal, objective, and action items listed in the Yuba County Airport Strategic Plan 2008. Exhibit 3.4--Example of Yuba County Airport Marketing Goal, Objectives, and Actions. Action Host Regional Air Show Action Update Webpage & Goal Post Strategic Plan Objective Strengthen the Airport Increase Public Image & Integrate Its Awareness Action Role With the Community Create a New Airport Logo Action Develop a Marketing Brochure Source: Yuba County Airport, Strategic Plan 2008. Adapted by KRAMER aerotek, inc. EXAMPLE #2: CHATTANOOGA'S AIR SERVICE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES Some commercial service airports create separate marketing plans devoted entirely to air service. One exam- ple is "A Strategic Plan to Improve Commercial Air Service in Chattanooga," developed by Chattanooga as part of its Challenge 2010 program. It lists five goals: (1) bring fares into balance, (2) improve airline service, (3) improve customer service, (4) market aggressively, and (5) create a fund to address unforeseen circumstances. Within Chattanooga's fourth goal to "market aggressively" are the following separate objectives: · "Reduce airport leakage by aggressively advertising and promoting Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport as a convenient, reliable, cost-competitive regional alternative to flying out of Atlanta, Nashville, Birmingham, and Knoxville. · Reverse lingering misperceptions about Chattanooga air service and heighten awareness of the Chattanooga airport. · Re-engage the travel agencies as partners in meeting the challenge. · Encourage community ownership of the air service problem and its solutions, much as Chattanooga Venture did in the mid-80s with its `commitment portfolio.' This includes engaging the local media in a part- nership to `get the talk right' about the airport and to encourage locals to avail themselves of its service."
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16 Marketing Guidebook for Small Airports Chattanooga's Challenge 2010 Strategic Plan includes goals, short-term objectives (612 months), mid-term objectives (1224 months), and long-term objectives (2460 months). The objectives are realistic and mea- surable and lead directly into an action plan. 3.4.3 YOUR AIRPORT'S MARKETING GOALS AND OBJECTIVES Now it is time to draft your airport's marketing goals and objectives. The first draft of marketing goals and objec- tives is an ideal task for the planning team. Start with the top issues that you prioritized at the beginning of this chapter and separate out those issues that would benefit directly from marketing or public relations. This is not an easy task. There is often a temptation to describe goals and objectives in great detail, but a sim- ple statement is ideal. Exhibit 3.5 presents a few topics for your goals. Exhibit 3.5--Topics Covered by Airport Marketing Goals. · Community awareness of the airport · Public relations around airport projects, safety, noise, and land use · Air service development, retention, or reinstatement · Passenger growth and retention · Growth of existing activities and business · Growth or development of a new activity/business at the airport Source: KRAMER aerotek, inc. TYPES OF MARKETING GOALS If you are having difficulty formulating goals and objectives, you might consider the most common marketing goals for all industries. These include the following: · Market Expansion · Market Focus or Segmentation · Cost Leadership · Quality A brief description of the different goals follows. Market Expansion is the most common goal in marketing. Market expansion is accomplished by attracting new customers or new users to the airport. This is typically accomplished by (1) attracting users from a new geographic area and/or (2) offering new products or services to the airport's existing or new users. In the late 1990s, network airlines accomplished their goal of market share expansion by increasing frequencies in markets that they wanted to dominate. Airports also sought to enhance their position as either an important spoke in a carrier's hub structure or as a focus city. On the general aviation side, some airports have pursued their goal of market expansion by hiring outside developers to build facilities that will attract new business or based aircraft to the airport. Market Focus means specializing in a particular service or focusing on a particular type of customer. The benefits of a market focus goal are as follows:
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Scope of Your Marketing Plan 17 · The airport is able to concentrate its resources for a particular group of users. · The airport's specialty may gain local, regional, national, or international recognition. · The airport can effectively differentiate itself from competing airports. Exhibit 3.6 is an example of market specialization. After Hurricane Katrina, Houma-Terrebonne Airport in Louisiana became a staging area for offshore oil helicopter support. As a result of identifying and acting on an immediate demand, Houma-Terrebonne Airport now serves as a base for several helicopter companies that provide logistics support to offshore oil operations in the Gulf of Mexico. Exhibit 3.6--Houma-Terrebonne Airport: An Example of Market Focus Strategy. Photo Copyright Oscar Bernardi via Airliners.net Cost Leadership means striving to offer the lowest cost alternatives in the area, for example: lowest airport rates and charges, lowest cost air service, competitive ground leases, and lowest rates on aircraft services or fuel. Quality means striving to offer users a higher quality product or service than the competition. Location, conve- nience and safety are among the most important factors for basing an aircraft. Quality of customer service and culture projected by aircraft servicing companies and fixed based operators (FBOs) are also important factors. SMART OBJECTIVES AND ACTIONS Based on your airport priorities, draft a simple statement of the goals for your marketing plan. For each goal, write down a set of objectives. The objectives are really the starting point of the marketing plan and will answer the question: "Where do we want to go?" Marketing experts talk about SMART objectives. These are objec- tives that are 1. Specific, 2. Measurable, 3. Achievable, 4. Realistic, and 5. Timed.
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18 Marketing Guidebook for Small Airports Goals that have to do with passengers, airport development, airport operations, or airport finance lend them- selves to SMART objectives because achievement is readily measured as shown in Exhibit 3.7. Exhibit 3.7--Examples of SMART Objectives for Airport Activity. · Market Share: Increase passenger enplanements by 5% · Hangar Occupancy: Fill vacant hangars owned by airport (known quantity) within 12 months · Fuel Sales: Increase gallons (or fuel flowage fees) of fuel sold by 10% · Customer Growth: Obtain a Department of Defense fuel contract within 12 months · Tenant Expansion: Issue one new ground lease to a new tenant in the next 18 months Source: KRAMER aerotek, inc. Not surprisingly, some goals and objectives are more difficult to quantify such as goals that address airport aware- ness and identity. Progress on these goals is more readily measured by accomplishment of certain activities or separate awareness surveys. For example, you may want to focus this year's marketing plan on raising commu- nity awareness of the airport. Exhibit 3.8 shows some measurable actions associated with each objective. Exhibit 3.8--Actions That Demonstrate Effort to Achieve Awareness and Identify Goals. · Objective # 1: Increase visibility of the airport in the media and on the Internet. Action 1: Obtain three feature stories in local media (radio, TV, newspaper) in the next 12 months. Action 2: Increase hit rate on the airport website by 15%. · Objective # 2: Raise awareness of aviation in the schools. Action 3: Increase the number of school tours of the airport to five per year. · Objective # 3: Raise awareness of the airport's economic contribution to the community. Action 4: Publish and distribute economic impact brochure. Action 5: Organize quarterly speaking engagements at civic groups. Source: KRAMER aerotek, inc. YOUR AIRPORT GOALS AND OBJECTIVES In summary, your airport's marketing goals and objectives will be written to address the most important areas where marketing and public relations can have a positive impact. Exhibit 3.9 is a short worksheet that you can use as a framework to draft marketing goals and objectives.