The National Academies

ACRP 01-39 [Final]

Creative Marketing Techniques to Improve Revenue Generation Partnerships

  Project Data
Funds: $200,000
Research Agency: Meehan Aviation Group
Principal Investigator: Deborah Meehan
Effective Date: 6/17/2021
Completion Date: 7/16/2022

Airports have relied on traditional revenue streams such as terminal rent, landing fees, parking, and concessions to operate and maintain their facilities. As operating costs continue to rise, many airports face increasing difficulty in meeting funding needs solely by these traditional revenue sources. New digital tools, such as big data (high-volume, high-velocity, and high-variety information assets) and targeted advertising (which provides contextually relevant information to passengers in real time) are already being used by airlines and other companies, and may provide new opportunities for airports. In addition, airports may be able to take advantage of their existing relationships with various stakeholders (e.g., airlines, concessionaires, corporate partners) to increase revenue. However, there is little research and guidance for identifying and applying these new synergistic revenue-generating opportunities at airports.
The objective of this research is to develop a guidebook to help airport industry practitioners use innovative marketing techniques to maximize revenue. The guidance should reflect the needs of non-, small-, medium-, and large-hub commercial airports; general aviation airports; and corporate aviation airports. The guidance should also enable practitioners to develop techniques to meet their unique situation and requirements, and should address, at a minimum, the following topics: 
  • Strategic Partnerships
    • Mechanisms for enhancing and structuring strategic partnerships (e.g., contract requirement, financial incentives),
    • Identifying suitable partners that align with an airport’s brand strategy, and
    • Identifying and maximizing existing and new revenue sources;

  • Data Sources, Collection, and Analysis
    • Selecting technologies and methods to collect, analyze, and implement data-based marketing (e.g., CRM systems),
    • Identifying sources of “big data,” and
    • Identifying target audiences for marketing
      • Business-to-business vs. business-to-consumer
      • Business travel vs. non-business travel, and
      • Originating passengers vs. connecting passengers;
  • Integrated Marketing
    • Developing a brand strategy,
    • Identifying targeted advertising opportunities within partner channels (e.g., airline, concessions, visitor bureaus, parking, general aviation partners), and
    • Proposing an integrated approach to owned, earned, and paid marketing channels;
  • Execution/Implementation
    • Resourcing (e.g., staff, skill sets, cost, technology),
    • Compliance with FAA revenue use policy,
    • Overview of trends from airport industry and other industries,
    • Case study examples (both airport and non-airport) demonstrating successful implementation of the strategies that could apply to airports of various sizes and types,
    • Strategies for promoting techniques to various stakeholders (e.g., airport board, management, community),
    • Using marketing technologies and applications (e.g., HubSpot, retargeting and basket abandonment apps),
    • Decision-making tools (e.g., decision trees, matrices, flow charts) for quickly identifying potential opportunities, and
    • Checklist(s) for developing and implementing a revenue generation plan.
The final deliverables will be the guidebook and a stand-alone technical memorandum titled, “Implementation of Research Findings and Products.”

Research complete.  Results published in ACRP Research Report 251.

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