Research Projects

Update to Marketing Guide for Small Airports

The objective of the research is to update the Marketing Guide for Small Airports to include business-to-business marketing and digital media thus resulting in a new model for business-to-business marketing for smaller airports.

Background (Describe the current situation or problem in the industry, and how your idea would address it.)

In 2015 FAA records listed 381 primary commercial service airports and 150 of these airports emplaned 100,000 passengers or less. While larger hub airports are vital to the airline industry, the smaller airports that transport passengers from smaller airports are no less important. However, small airports often struggle with service levels provided by the airlines and maintaining passenger enplanement levels. Unfortunately, the smaller airports often have limited formal marketing strategies in place to address these types of issues. The reasons are many but most are due to lack of revenue and/or lack of expertise. When an airport is faced with cutting expenses, often the first thing to go is the marketing dollars. In addition, due in part to budgetary restrictions, most small airports do not have a dedicated marketing position. Marketing responsibilities are often assigned as an extra job responsibility to someone who is relying on a guide that is sorely out-of-date. The Marketing Guide for Small Airports is critical. However, in its current form, the Marketing Guide for Small Airports focus is strictly on business to consumer marketing neglecting business-to-business marketing. In addition, the guide does not address one of the most cost-effective segments of marketing, digital media.

The current Marketing Guide for Small Airports does not address how to market to airlines, or business-to-business marketing. It also does not address how to effectively use social media or any form of digital media. Marketing is a dynamic field. With the advent of digital media, cost for small businesses, including airports, is declining. A revision to the Marketing Guide for Small Airports to include guidelines on marketing these small airports as a collaborative partnership with realistic guidelines on marketing to airlines in order to increase flight frequency and how to effectively utilize digital media should boost their economic competitiveness.

Research is needed to update the Marketing Guide for Small Airports to include applicable forms of digital media and methods of business-to-business marketing. Having an understanding of digital media, in particular social media, will enable small airports to reduce marketing costs and enable airport leaders to effectively market to customers and other businesses. Research will establish the level of marketing activities currently undertaken by small airports in order to ascertain the gaps in the areas that the Marketing Guide for Small Airports should be addressing. A revision to the Marketing Guide for Small Airports should also include guidelines on marketing as a collaborative partnership for more effective business-to-business marketing and more effective use of digital media should boost smaller airports' economic competitiveness.

Objective (What is the desired product or result that will help the airport industry?)

The objective of the research is to update the Marketing Guide for Small Airports to include business-to-business marketing and digital media thus resulting in a new model for business-to-business marketing for smaller airports.

Annotations

Voting

4 votes
4 up votes
0 down votes
Idea No. 23