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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION 1.1 Overview 1.2 How Airports Use Marketing and Public Relations 1.3 Navigating the Guidebook 1.1 OVERVIEW There is probably no single best way to define marketing. Two definitions that capture the essential elements are listed below: Marketing is the process of planning and executing programs designed to influence the behavior of target audiences--Alan R. Andreasen and Philip Kotler Marketing is the art of identifying and understanding customer needs and creating solutions that deliver satisfaction to the customers, profits to the producers and benefits for the stakeholders--Sean Mauger Whatever definition you choose, airports today must market effectively to attract activity and achieve financial self-sufficiency. If you are managing a general aviation airport, you must let your customers and potential cus- tomers know how the airport excels and why they should visit or base their aircraft at the airport. If you are man- aging a small commercial service airport, you must obtain community support in order to attract and retain the best possible air service. There are many books on marketing, but few that speak directly to airport managers. The purpose of the ACRP Report 28 is to provide managers of general aviation and small commercial service airports with a practical, easy-to-use guidebook for dealing with a wide range of marketing issues. The Guidebook offers a user friendly approach to marketing. Analyze the situation, set priorities, and make a plan. Identify the target audience and the message. Select cost-effective marketing tools. Monitor your program and make adjustments as necessary. This approach will allow you to use the available resources effectively to your advantage. The Guidebook includes reports on interviews held with airport sponsors, managers, staff, and state aviation officials at over 20 airports to discuss key marketing issues and best practices. Their experiences are described as case studies and examples throughout the Guidebook. For those users who want to apply the methods described, Chapter 13 provides worksheets and instructions to build your own marketing plan. Small airports must cope with increasingly complex marketing issues. Hopefully, the Guidebook will contribute to your on-going efforts to successfully position your airport in the community, with your tenants, and among your competitors. 2