Everyone knows that airport marketing involves planning events, communicating with media, and placing ads, but beneath those everyday tasks lie the habits that drive priorities and decision-making.
Kim Sippola, President of The Quotient Group, developed a few habits during her 13+ years as an in-house airport marketer that just might be helpful to you if you’re responsible for airport marketing.
1) “In the terminal, make a habit of walking around and observing what passengers are doing,” she says. “Look at your terminal as though it’s your first time inside and try to see what passengers see when they first experience your airport. And smile!”
2) According to Kim, going above and beyond can have a lasting effect: “Pick up trash in the terminal when you see it. It shows you’re not above grabbing trash and eventually others will follow suit and will take pride in the facility.”
3) Pay attention to your airlines’ customer service interactions, Kim says. “Listen and ask questions of airline staff. Sometimes airline staff are just frustrated with a small detail that can be a quick fix and will help them provide your passengers with great service.”
4) When it comes to social media, Kim says, “Try to make it like second nature to create news and posts from everything that you hear.” She adds, “Keep asking staff members in different departments what they’re up to. It’s not interesting to them anymore, but it could be useful to you for news or social media.”
5) “Be empathetic toward passengers. Imagine going somewhere that is very expensive and you’re in unfamiliar and perhaps uncomfortable territory. As an airport employee, you are very familiar with the environment, the rules and the experience, but some of your passengers aren’t and the stress and nerves can be overwhelming.”
6) “Get in the habit of sticking to your three-minute elevator speech with clear talking points—say it all of the time to everyone,” Kim suggests. “You will get sick of it, but it takes many times for it to stick with others. And eventually you will start to hear it repeated back to you. Listen for when that begins to happen.”
7) Communication extends to internal staff, too, says Kim. “Keep airport employees in the loop with what you’re doing in marketing. It will help them stay connected and will keep lines of communication open between you and them.”
8) When it’s all said and done, do one more thing, Kim says. “After you listen to the needs of your passengers, follow up with them when changes have been made. Even small changes are very important to your frequent fliers.”
9) “There’s a lot of responsibility and usually a lot of chaos that comes with the job of marketing an airport, so take 60 seconds a few times a day to peel your eyes away from your computer, put down the phone and take deep breaths. No one probably does this as much as they should—it’s a great habit to start, and right now is a great time to begin!”