Appleton Airport‘s marketing manager spoke to AMA Northeast Wisconsin chapter at the Platinum Flight Center about improving the customer experience and reaching the hidden customer.
In case you weren’t able to join us, below is a brief recap of Marketing Manager Pat Tracey’s presentation. We won’t pretend this does it justice, but we hope you glean a few insights.
Between 2011 and 2015, Appleton Airport enjoyed 6 percent passenger growth, only slightly less than the national growth rate of 8 percent. However, two other Wisconsin airports were down 17 percent and 31 percent respectively. So what is happening at Appleton Airport?
Pat shared a few thoughts regarding an answer to that question.
The airport launched its First Impressions program, improving the customer experience in a variety of ways. The program includes:
- Revealing a new name and new branding. This was the catalyst to the First Impressions effort.
- Development of the Platinum Flight Center
- Plans for a new car rental building
- Plans to renovate the main entrance and gift shop
The airport focuses on three primary audiences, and targets their marketing to each:
- Business travelers – approximately 70 percent of passengers
- Leisure travelers – approximately 30 percent of passengers
- The hidden customer – airlines not currently serving Appleton Airport
To attract more airlines, the airport’s marketing team focuses on those that make the most sense for the market, and on telling a story, particularly the story of business travel to and from the area. Among the Fox Valley’s heavy-hitters when it comes to business travel opportunities are Oshkosh Defense, Pierce, Fox Valley Technical College, Kimberly-Clark, Bemis and Plexus.
The marketing team continues to improve the customer experience, not only at the airport, but also in the communities it serves. As a result, Appleton Airport has made great strides in developing connections with community partners. Just a few of the programs through which the airport gives back and gains loyalty:
- Old Glory Honor Flight
- Make a Wish Foundation
- Wings for Autism
- What’s Your Flavor – ice cream and Allegiant ticket giveaway
- 15,000+ engagements with community members
- 11,000+ new email contacts
- 50 percent more website traffic over last year
- 6 percent passenger growth over five years
- Allegiant added two destinations to their service from Appleton Airport