For someone outside of the aviation industry, it might seem like there is virtually no difference between private and business aviation. After all, it is the same jet used for transporting a group of people from point A to point B, and the only difference is the purpose of the trip. However, exactly this purpose (and everything that comes with it) is what matters the most when it comes to creating marketing campaigns for business jets.
To put it simply, private charters are used for leisure, while business jets are, well, used mostly for business. When someone is looking to book a charter for a private trip, they are mostly concerned with comfort, safety (especially now, with the coronavirus pandemic), privacy, flexibility, and exclusivity. Be it an affluent family booking a charter to Aspen for a winter vacation or a sports enthusiast flying with their entourage to the Super Bowl, getting to and from their destination becomes, in a way, an extension of the overall luxury travel experience. In the case of business jets, however, the focus is on productivity, efficiency, flexibility, convenience, and, of course, time and cost-efficiency. If I would have to summarize it in one word, business aviation is all about utility.
In this blog post, we cover the essential factors that you should take into consideration when preparing a marketing plan or working on a digital marketing campaign for a business jet company charter, sales broker or manufacturer.
Private VS Business
What makes marketing for business aviation so different from private aviation is the type of audience you need to reach. If you have done some marketing for private jets before, you should have a pretty good understanding of the different types of affluent travelers who would use charter services or buy a private jet for personal travel. However, when it comes to business aviation, you are selling your services to other businesses mostly, not individuals, which ultimately puts business aviation marketing into the B2B category when it comes to marketing. And as such, you will need to use a very different set of marketing techniques as compared to private jet marketing.
Understanding Your Audience
Who Flies Private in The Business World
According to the NBAA Business Aviation Fact Book, only about 3% of U.S. business aircraft are flown by Fortune 500 companies, and the remaining 97% are operated by all types of organizations, from governments to universities and NGOs to SMBs and enterprises. On top of that, the majority of business aviation flights involve time-critical trips by sales, technical and middle management employees, not trips by C-suite executives. In one of our previous podcast episodes, we talked about how to reach efficiently top executives for business aviation, so if you are interested in this particular topic, make sure to tune in.
Why Companies Utilize Business Jets
There are numerous reasons why some organizations would use a business jet (either utilize a company owned aircraft or use charter services) instead of commercial aviation: from employees or customers transportation to equipment transportation or a medical emergency transport for humanitarian missions and airborne research. The list just keeps going. Business aviation is convenient, time and cost-effective, and offers an incredible level of geographical flexibility, as it serves more than 5,000 airports in the U.S. (for comparison, only 500 airports are served by commercial airlines). Another advantage of traveling on a business jet is higher productivity, as most modern aircraft offer, among other things, a safe and secure environment for business meetings, important calls, or after-meeting debriefs.
Adjusting Your Marketing
Now that we figured out what kind of companies utilize business jets and why they do it, we can move on to the basics of marketing for corporate aviation. Of course, same as with any other business in the aviation space, at very least you need to have a well-designed website that is easily discoverable on search engines, offers a smooth user experience, and is conversion-optimized.
Addressing Your Audience’s Needs
How you talk to your target audience is very important too, as it immediately shows whether you understand their needs and desires, or if you are absolutely clueless about what really matters to them. Let’s say you already have a running and fully operational business focused on private jet charters, and now you want to diversify your services by adding business aviation. Under no circumstances should you use the same landing page or the same messaging for both private and business jet charters. The page (or website, in case corporate aviation is the core of your business) copy should focus on providing a high-tech, multi-functional office environment, a comfortable and private workspace, maximizing efficiency, productivity, and business potential.
Reaching Your Audience
Similarly to the previous point, you need to be very strategic about where to place your advertising budget, as you can’t just copy a media mix for private aviation and expect great results from it in biz aviation. To give you a simple example, while social media ads (say, Instagram) can be effective for private charters, it might be a better idea to target personal assistants or travel managers within certain organizations on LinkedIn. The same goes for niche or direct media selection. Use some common sense, learn more about your audience’s online behaviors, and put together a mix of media sources through which you can easily and efficiently reach your potential clients when they are researching options.
The Bottom Line
While all these points might sound rather obvious and not too complicated to some, there are actually a lot of nuances to a well-performing marketing campaign for business aviation that delivers outstanding results. Especially for marketers who are used to working purely with B2C brands, at first B2B marketing might pose quite a challenge. After all, you’re not selling a luxurious dream of a tailored vacation where a person is flying private and then being transported directly to a yacht charter somewhere in the Mediterranean. Corporate aviation, however, is all about time and cost-effectiveness and maximizing the business potential of a company using it. If you feel like you need help figuring out the best strategy for your business, Jadewolf Marketing can help you by doing the work for you, with you or by teaching your team to be better at generating the right type of B2B leads consistently through data-driven marketing. If you’re wondering whether we are the right agency for you, don’t hesitate to fill out our callback form.