According to Google, 80% of travellers today plan their travels online and half use mobile devices to access travel information.
Three-quarters of business travellers and frequent fliers carry smartphones and just as many log on to airport Wi-Fi when it is available for free, the SimpliFlying report said.
Given the “techno-social transformation” more airports are investing in innovative products and service initiatives in order to differentiate the airport experience and cater to “connected travellers” who now
expect more accessibility in their pockets, the report added.
David McMullen, vice president for airports at SimpliFlying, said: “Airport marketing today is not only a function of communications. They are increasingly competing to attract passengers from nearby airports as well as simultaneously improve their route network.”
The seven trends identified in the State of Airport Marketing report are:
Airports invest in creating unique experiences to convert travellers into advocates who are happy to endorse them to their friends online.
2. Social care
Through social media, airports tackle customer issues real-time, at the time and place where it occurs, thereby building goodwill.
3. Story telling
Airports attempt to build deeper relationships with travellers by telling stories of their employees, of airport operations and even of travellers.
By drawing power from the masses, airports find a new effective means to a variety of ends such as product innovations, development of communities and improving passenger experience.
5. Red carpet
To cater to the rise of middle-class travellers in specific international communities, more airports are using local social networks and speaking their ‘language’.
6. Virtual shopping
Airports and retailers can now extend their reach to gate seating areas and sell products through effective signage and technologies such as QR codes.
7. Innovative air service development
Airports are investing in segmenting and targeting potential passenger markets to become more appealing than their neighbouring competitors.