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36 Marketing Guidebook for Small Airports The Airport and the Air Service Advisory Committee undertook a marketing program with the principal goal to reduce passenger diversion to MSP. The target audience was air passengers driving to MSP. The message the campaign wanted to convey was converted into the tagline: Fly Local, More Time, Less Stress, Free Parking. Exhibit 5.3 below shows how the message was conveyed in a highway billboard. Exhibit 5.3--Billboard Used in St. Cloud Regional Airport Marketing Campaign. Source: St. Cloud Regional Airport 2006 MESSAGE AND AIRPORT BRAND CONSISTENCY Your marketing messages should be consistent with any airport identity or branding that is in place. Generally speaking, "branding" is the process of creating a unique, positive, and recognizable identity for an organization. It is more than just the airport's logo and tagline, although those are important items to have in any marketing campaign. The airport's identity encompasses its larger mission including its values, its attitude about customer service, its products and services focus--in essence, how the airport portrays itself to the larger community it serves. Not all agree that branding is appropriate in organizations with limited resources. However, the Internet and other forms of electronic communication have made some basic form of branding affordable for most organizations. When developing the airport's identity, a good rule of thumb is to look at what the competition is doing. Do they have a website, a logo, a tag line or key message? Is their brand consistent across their marketing tools and materials? Does it reflect clearly the airport's identity? Answers about the competition's branding efforts and level of sophistication will help guide your airport as it establishes or refines its own identity, taking into account avail- able resources and time for these efforts. 5.5 ACTIONS--MARKETING TACTICS Your marketing program now has goals and objectives, a target audience and a message. The next step is to decide on the actions to take to best communicate with your target audience. This process of deciding what action to take is often referred to as tactics. Tactics are the actionable steps taken to implement a particular strategy and objective. In the discussion that follows, we describe different types of marketing tactics. However, in the real world, it is not important that you be able to classify your planning in terms of tactics. What is important is that you know what actions to take to accomplish your objectives.

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Audience, Message, Actions 37 5.5.1 TACTICS AND PROMOTION OPTIONS This section presents two examples of how to move from goals and objectives to action. You will note that there can be multiple approaches to achieve the same objective. The purpose at this point is to consider a variety of options. As you construct your marketing plan, the options will be evaluated and the marketing mix established according to what you think will work best and is within your resource budget of time and money. EXAMPLE #1--TACTICS/ACTIONABLE STEPS TO INCREASE PASSENGERS Exhibit 5.4 illustrates the process: 1. Set the goal. 2. Establish the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed) objective. 3. Identify the actions you will take to achieve the objective. In this example, the goal is to expand the use of the airport. The SMART Objective is to increase the number of passengers by "X" percent. There are two groups of actions the planning team is considering. One is to increase the number of passengers by improving customer service at the airport; the other it to raise airport awareness in the community. Within each approach there are a variety of options. The airport could improve customer service by providing the following: 1. Volunteer greeters to welcome and help arrivals 2. Free Wi-Fi in the terminal 3. A shuttle service from the airport to downtown 4. A business lounge with good chairs Alternatively, the airport could raise awareness of the service and benefits of using the local airport. There are a variety of airport awareness activities, for example: 1. Advertise on highway billboards 2. "Pitch" the airport to the local chamber of commerce and its members 3. Work with the airlines to communicate with local frequent flyers 4. Run promotions or contests in the community that encourage passengers to use the local airport 5. Promote the airport by improving the airport website In this first year, the marketing program could focus on raising airport awareness or it could pursue both airport awareness and customer service and select a few specific marketing activities to undertake. The general pur- pose of the diagram is to group and visualize the options.

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38 Marketing Guidebook for Small Airports Exhibit 5.4--Action Diagram to Increase Number of Passengers. Option 1 Volunteer Greeters Option 2 Shuttle to Downtown Action Improve Customer Service Option 3 Free WI-FI in Terminal Option 4 Business Lounge with Goal Objective Good Chairs Expand Use of Increase Passengers the Airport by X " Percent Option 1 Billboards Option 2 Speeches Action Raise Airport Awareness Option 3 Contests Option 4 Website Advertising Source: KRAMER aerotek, inc., and Oliver Wyman EXAMPLE #2--TACTICS/ACTIONABLE STEPS TO ATTRACT NEW TRANSIENT PILOTS The second example has a goal to increase general aviation operations and an objective of increasing tran- sient operations by "X" percent. Actions to attract transient pilots include the following: 1. Promote the airport by attending the NBAA national convention 2. Advertise in the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association's (AOPA's) magazine 3. Have an airport open house or fly-in 4. Lower fuel prices

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Audience, Message, Actions 39 Just as with the first example, there are many action options to consider and evaluate (see Exhibit 5.5). Exhibit 5.5--Action Diagram to Attract Transient Pilots. Option 1 Exhibit at NBAA Option 2 Advertise in AOPA Goal Objective Action Magazine Increase GA Increase Transient Attract Transient Operations Operations by "X" Percent Pilots Option 3 Airport Fly-In Option 4 Lower Fuel Prices Source: KRAMER aerotek, inc., and Oliver Wyman