Digital Marketing in the Aviation Industry

9 April 2024

By: Sinead Hammond

Category: Blogs

In recent years, the aviation industry has experienced a significant transformation, driven by the rapid growth of digital technology and changing consumer preferences. As airlines strive to stay competitive and meet the evolving demands of their passengers, embracing digital marketing has become a critical component of their overall strategy. Take a closer look at digital marketing in the aviation industry, exploring its current state, key trends, and the benefits it offers to airlines.

The Current State of Digital Marketing in the Aviation Industry

Aviation brands have traditionally been slow to adopt new technologies, but the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the need for better digital marketing in the aviation industry. The need for airline digital transformation is increasing all the time, with brands looking for new ways to meet their customers demands. By investing in a more advanced online presence, airlines can provide more personalised experiences and connect with passengers across various online channels.

The benefits of digital marketing in the aviation industry are numerous. Airlines can increase brand awareness, drive website traffic, and boost bookings. Digital marketing also allows airlines to personalise their customer experience, improving loyalty and retention. Furthermore, digital marketing provides airlines with valuable insights into passenger behaviour and preferences, enabling them to make data-driven decisions and optimise their marketing strategy.

Boosting Conversions with Data

The use of data and analytics continues to be key for digital marketing in the aviation industry. However, 87% of marketers say data is their company’s most under-utilised asset. This represents an opportunity for digitally savvy airlines to take advantage. Airlines can create targeted marketing campaigns that resonate with their audience by leveraging data on passenger behaviour, preferences, and travel patterns. 

By understanding the most popular routes, the types of offers that resonate with specific customer segments, and where website friction points exist, airlines can make informed decisions and optimise their marketing strategy for continuous improvement.

Additionally, data analytics can help airlines optimise their website and mobile app user experience, streamlining the booking process and improving customer satisfaction. Use A/B testing across different website elements like layouts, calls to action, and promotions. This leading technology can then show you which version converts best, allowing you to optimise your website for maximum bookings.

Social Media Mania

Social media is also key for digital marketing in the aviation industry. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram provide airlines with a unique opportunity to engage with their customers in real time, share updates and promotions, and build brand awareness. Influencer marketing enables airlines to partner with social media influencers and bloggers to promote their brands and services to a wider but more engaged audience. 

Airlines can also use social media to respond to customer queries and concerns, providing a more personalised experience. For example, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has a dedicated social media team that responds to customer inquiries and provides assistance 24/7 with the help of Salesforce. 


Digital Marketing in the Aviation Industry

Targeted Content Marketing

Marketers who prioritise blogging are 13x more likely to drive positive ROI. Because of this, content marketing is also playing a significant role in digital marketing in the aviation industry. By creating high-quality, engaging content such as blog posts, videos, and infographics, airlines can educate and entertain their customers, building trust and loyalty. Lots of brands are also turning to AI in digital marketing to support with high demand for content. 

Airlines that invest in top-tier digital experience technologies like Sitecore can build a comprehensive self-service knowledge base with FAQs, how-to guides, and troubleshooting tips, reducing call centre strain. In fact, 68% of consumers feel more positive about a brand after consuming its content. 

Another trend gaining traction in the aviation industry is the use of virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) to enhance the passenger experience. Airlines are using VR/AR to provide immersive experiences, such as virtual tours of aircraft cabins and destinations, to engage with their customers and build brand awareness. For example, Qantas has launched a VR app that allows customers to explore their aircraft cabins and experience the airline’s premium products.

Engaging Email Marketing

Travel emails still hold a lot of power when it comes to digital marketing in the aviation industry, with a 36.2% open rate. Email marketing allows airlines to send personalised promotions and updates to their customers. We recommend Sitecore Send which empowers you to craft personalised email campaigns based on customer data. For example, airlines can use data to identify frequent flyers and offer them personalised promotions and rewards, increasing loyalty and retention. It’s easy to use with a drag-and-drop editor, meaning marketers can visualise their campaigns and personalise them to the required brand and content specifications. 

Specifically, Sitecore Send comes with customisable automation which allows you to send out emails to targeted customers depending on certain triggers. Abandoned cart emails, flight promotions for destinations of interest and special offers are all great ways to use emails to re-engage your audience. 

Personalised Booking Journeys

Gone are the days of generic travel experiences. Every traveller requires a unique experience, making personalisation capabilities critical for digital marketing in the aviation industry. Companies that use advanced personalisation see a return on investment of $20 for every $1 invested. 

By setting criteria and aligning this with specified personas, Sitecore Experience (XP) allows you to personalise experiences dependent on behaviour and interests. This could include past travel behaviour, preferred destinations, and loyalty program status. Personalised journeys will help to foster customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Mobile-First Experiences 

60% of travel industry traffic comes from mobile devices. Travellers are increasingly turning to their mobile devices to research, book, and manage their trips. If you’re not already prioritising mobile, now is the time. With 72.6% of internet users predicted to be accessing the web solely via their smartphones by 2025, brands that don’t optimise for mobile will miss out on a significant amount of potential traffic. 

By creating user-friendly, responsive websites and apps brands can deliver a seamless experience on any device. Travellers can effortlessly search for flights, manage bookings, and check in for their trip, all within a smooth, mobile-optimised platform. They can then pick up and continue their journey across other devices. 

Digital marketing in the aviation industry

How to Elevate your Airline’s Digital Strategy

Strong airline marketing strategies is paramount. Fuelled by the ever-growing appetite to purchase online, airlines need to be able to position themselves across multiple digital channels to get ahead of their competition. With the market recovering rapidly and the travel bug well and truly back in circulation, airlines need to be at the forefront of digital strategies to capture the attention (and bookings) of today’s savvy travellers.

By leveraging Sitecore’s comprehensive suite of digital marketing tools, ambitious airline marketers can create a more personalised, efficient, and customer-centric travel experience. This translates to increased brand loyalty, higher conversion rates, and a competitive edge in the ever-evolving aviation industry. As a Sitecore Platinum Partner, Sagittarius specialise in helping airlines and travel brands maximise ROI with their technology investment. Contact us today to find out how we can help you design, develop and optimise your airline website. 


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