All it took was one childhood flight...
Growing up in Puerto Rico, I always had a love for travel, and for airplanes in particular. My favorite Disney ride as a child was “If You Had Wings” – yep I’m dating myself here. However, it wasn't until I was eight years old that I had my first experience with actual air travel, and it changed my life forever.
That summer, I was traveling alone to spend a month with my Dad in Miami. As a child traveling alone, a flight attendant escorted me. She was friendly and professional, with a carefully coiffed updo, a crisp uniform, and a big warm smile.
I got to sit up front next to her for the entire flight, and I was thrilled, from takeoff to landing. As we disembarked, the pilot greeted me, thanked me for being brave on the flight, and handed me a plastic replica of his Eastern Airlines wings. I was hooked from there.
From passenger to serving the aviation business
Airplanes to me represent not just travel, but adventure, visiting far-off places, and the spirit of discovery. Air travel means checking off places on my bucket list and traveling distances that just 15 years before my birth would have been impossible for most of Earth’s population.
Fast forward a few years (OK, a few decades), and I found myself starting a digital agency specializing in growth marketing. Initially, we worked with clients across a range of industries, but as we grew, I realized that my passion for air travel was still strong. My partner and I decided to pivot our focus to work exclusively with travel and aviation clients and provide HubSpot consulting to help them operationalize their revenue engine.
One of the biggest challenges we’ve faced in marketing for airline and aviation clients is the fact that the industry is niche and highly competitive. There are hundreds of aviation-related businesses all vying for attention from the same pool of customers. To stand out in such a crowded market, we had to be creative and strategic.
One of the tactics we used was to focus on the customer experience. An owner looking for a full-service Fixed Base Operator (FBO) on a stopover has very different needs from an operator who is looking for a Boeing GE90 engine close to his area and at the best price. By having clear personas and jobs to be done, we can create easy-to-navigate online experiences that stand apart.
It's all about the customer journey
We also focused on making the RFQ process as smooth and easy as possible so that customers would be more likely to choose our clients over their competitors. The CMS Hub is our web development platform of choice because it seamlessly integrates with the HubSpot CRM and we can develop custom buyer journeys for each persona including tools that make it easy for the prospect, such as live chat and pre-filled forms.
The aviation industry is heavily regulated, posing a different kind of challenge to brand leaders and marketers. There are strict rules and guidelines around everything from advertising to safety protocols, and it can be difficult to navigate these regulations while still being effective in our marketing efforts.
However, we saw this as an opportunity to showcase our expertise in the industry. By staying up-to-date on the latest regulations and finding creative ways to work within them, we were able to position ourselves as leaders in the aviation marketing space.
We also found that the sales cycle for B2B aviation companies can be very long, as airlines are often slow to make decisions and have complex procurement processes. This can be frustrating for companies who need to generate revenue, as they may have to invest significant time and resources before seeing any return on their investment.
We found that bringing this historically manual and phone-based process to a more seamless online experience through HubSpot’s CRM helped to expedite the more tedious aspects of the process while allowing sales teams to focus on larger, more complex sales and maintain a positive brand image.
Finally, we had to contend with the industry’s sensitivity to external factors. Everything from natural disasters to political turmoil can impact air travel, and it can be difficult to predict when and where these disruptions will occur.
Additionally, new technologies and innovations are emerging all the time, and companies have to keep up or lose out to nimbler competitors. And economic factors such as fuel prices, currency fluctuations, and global economic trends can have a significant impact on airlines' profitability and their willingness to invest in new products or services.
As a result, our marketing strategies had to be flexible and adaptable. Working with HubSpot’s Marketing Hub, gave us the robust and nimble tool we needed to be ready to pivot our campaigns at a moment's notice in response to changing circumstances.
Helping aviation firms succeed
Despite these challenges, we have found that working with aviation clients is rewarding and exciting. Not only were we able to use our marketing skills to help our clients grow their businesses but are also able to make a positive contribution to an industry that I’m passionate about.
My love for air travel began as a child on a plane to Miami, and it has led me to many successes for our aviation clients. By focusing on the customer experience, staying up-to-date on regulations, and being flexible in our approach, we have been able to make a real impact in the aviation industry. I look forward to continuing to provide HubSpot consulting services for aviation clients and contributing to this dynamic industry.