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NEWS Last modified on October 20, 2014

Study finds airport communications are "falling wide of the mark”

The conclusions of a new study by loyalty marketing and CRM specialist ICLP has found communications from gateways are "falling wide of the mark” and are “not resonating with the travelling consumer”.

Results suggest a number of ways airports can ensure their marketing communications and promotional activities generate maximum value.

Nearly half (48%) of those questioned said the vouchers and discounts they were offered went unused and did not provide an incentive to shop or dine more than they would otherwise (45%), and a similar proportion (49%) felt that they had to spend too much before they could benefit from some discounts.

These results ICLP say provide some "disturbing insights" for those airports currently investing in communication to engage passengers, while one in three (32%) said that they didn’t think these communications were of any value at all, and the timing and content of their communication and promotions could be a "significant barrier" to engaging customers.

Nearly half of those questioned (42%) said they were sent promotional communications when they weren’t planning to travel and only one in three (33%) stated the communications they received were personalised according to their preferences and past purchases.

When planned and executed effectively, providing timely, useful and relevant information and promotions can positively influence passenger behaviour and actively encourage spending.   

The research ICLP says, also reinforced the latent opportunity communication strategies could present to an airport, despite many not yet fully exploring its potential, reinforced by nearly one in three consumers (28%) not knowing that they could sign-up to receive communications, although nearly three out of four (71%) could be interested in receiving them.

Mignon Buckingham, managing director of ICLP, comments: “The results of this study mirror what we tend to see as a common issue in many airport marketing strategies.

“Communications often tend to take a more tactical, mass promotional and discounted approach, rather than providing tailored and relevant information based on customer understanding.

“As a result, airports are not maximising the potential to target and influence the retail and F&B spend of particular individuals and missing a valuable opportunity to stimulate significantly greater non-aeronautical revenues.”

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