Over the last few weeks, I’ve been talking a lot about FBO sales. In addition to sales, there is another important topic that I want to address today — FBO marketing. Unlike sales, marketing is primarily about increasing customer awareness. This awareness includes not only your FBO itself, but also your location and brand value compared to your competition.
FBO marketing campaigns are key because they provide a “soft sell” approach. Once a campaign or promotion is completed, a salesperson can then funnel participating customers into the sales pipeline. Candidly, the “funneling” aspect of marketing seems to be the area in which many FBOs struggle. The types of marketing tools used can greatly impact this funneling, and I’ve recently discovered some FBOs are unaware of what is available to them. In my current venture with the Paragon Network, we rely on the following 5 tools to optimize our marketing efforts:
- A cloud-based CRM system: Information is only useful if it is organized, accessible and accurate. Although Excel spreadsheets are a popular way to keep track of customer information, they do not provide in-depth reporting, automation or data cleanup. Cloud-based CRM tools are a must for marketing and can help take your FBO brand awareness to the next level.
- Customized flight tracking: Paying for flight tracking tools (or using the upgraded features of free tools) might seem unnecessary with some of the free tools out there. However, sophisticated flight tracking tools are a great way to run detailed reports on customers. These reports can also be used to determine how lucrative a potential prospect is.
- Mass Email Provider/Marketing Automation: Sending out regular email blasts is one of the primary ways that many companies stay in touch with their customers and prospects. Tools that provide mass email capabilities, including reporting, are essential for increasing FBO brand awareness.
- Google Analytics: Google Analytics is a free tool that provides detailed reporting to website owners. By using Google Analytics, FBOs can gather detailed information about their site visitors. They can also use these insights to make marketing decisions and plan for upcoming campaigns.
- Social Media: It has taken a while, but social media has finally made its mark in business aviation. Linkedin is by far, the most frequently used site by industry professionals. Regularly updating your FBO page on Linkedin and connecting with prospect can pay enormous dividends in brand awareness.
What do you think? What marketing tools does your FBO use? Leave your thoughts in the comments.