John and I discuss Marketing a Love Story by Bernadette Jiwa.

This tiny, but powerful book that sparks some great thoughts for aviation sales and marketing professionals.

Marketing a love storyWhen we received this month’s box from Amazon with this book, my first thought was. . . .”is this it?”   Twenty books fit into one small box  on the porch.

I was  a little disappointed.

I was one of those nerdy kids that was always lugging around huge books, I’ve always secretly looked down my nose a little bit at the kids who chose the thinnest possible book on the list, thinking that it would be less work.

Just imagine all the knowledge “those kids” were missing out on!

And some of the most amazing revelations in our business have come from monstrous, daunting books, such as David Meerman Scott’s New Rules of Marketing and PR, or Jay Levinson Guerilla Marketing. 

Marketing a love storyBut, the good news about a small book is that it’s REALLY easy to travel with.  I took this one in my carryon on our vacation in Hawaii and it weighed almost nothing.

We ended up staying an extra day because Hurricane Lane, (which was far, far away from Ko Olina, so although most of the businesses and activities were cancelled because of high winds, we were able to hang out on the balcony and read.

Which was heavenly.

So, I suppose some of my positive feelings about this book come from circumstance and location, but there’s surprisingly more to this book that you would think, given its size.

Here are a few of the gems we found:

The One Page “Marketing Plan”

One of the gems in this book is the outline for a one-page marketing plan.

John laughed about this whole idea, because when we are asked to write a marketing plan for a company, it’s usually as part of a business plan, and the marketing plan itself might be hundreds of pages of market research, competitive analysis,  strategy considerations, and a rollout timeline with example ads.

A one-page marketing plan might more accurately be called a “high-level marketing strategy,”  but this one is certainly worth doing.

We’d rather see a company with a frequently-referred-to and updated one-page plan than a company with a hundred-page plan that hasn’t had the dust blown off it for  years. (Which, frankly, sometimes happens!)

So, here’s the outline for the one-page marketing plan from the book:

  • Why – Your Purpose
  • Who – Your ideal customer
  • Difference – How and why you are better
  • Price & Positioning – The story you want customers to believe about the value you create.
  • Distribution – How you reach people and gt your products into their hands
  • Platform – Where tyou tell your story
  • Promotion Strategy – How you tell your story
  • Conversion Strategy – Ho wyou deepen rlationships with prospective customers
  • Growth Strategy – The plan for attracting more customers
  • Referral Strategy – the story you give people to tell about you.
  • Strategy for Increasing Transaction Value – How you delight customers.
  • Retention Strategy – How you keep customers coming back

The Company that Gets Closest to Customers Wins

Another very cool idea from the book (that we talked about but can’t disprove) is this:

The company that gets closest to the customer wins.

The examples they provide

  • Apple vs. Sony
  • Amazon vs. Borders
  • Netflix vs. Blockbuster
  • Uber vs. Taxi
  • Nest vs. Honeywell
  • Twitter vs. News Corp

In each case, she’s right!

Ten Things a Brand Does

Many people who consult with us about a new brand are mainly concerned with the visual aspects – the logo and maybe the color scheme But in reality, a brand is SO much more than that.

According to the book, here are the ten things a brand does”

  1. Creates meaning around your product or service.
  2. Determines what you sell, where and when.
  3. Dictates the price range you can sell at.
  4. Influences the kind of customers you can sell to.
  5. Changes how people feel about commodities.
  6. Sets expectations.
  7. Affects the kind of staff you can attracts.
  8. Demonstrates your values.
  9. Shapes business models.
  10. Enables loyalty, connection, belonging and love.

Sound like a tall order?

Think of brands like Tesla, Tiffany, Harley Davidson – they do ALL of those things.

Most aviation companies, especially for small to medium-sized companies, aspire to accomplish far too little!

Don’t Make me Click, Make Me Care!

In the early days of social media and internet marketing, many marketing companies promised (and delivered) what seemed like a HUGE number of “impressions” or views, and even impressive-sounding numbers of clicks.

Pay-per-click advertising is based on the theory that a “click” is worth something.

What most businesses have learned after the first few experiences with those types of companies is that impressions and even clicks.

Those superficial interactions only have value if you have an established (and proveable) ratio of impressions to clicks to appointments to sales.

It IS important to use attractive images and compelling headlines. It IS important to attract a respectable number of people to your post or website.  But  unless the people clicking your ads are inspired to take the next step, it’s all a waste of time, effort and energy.

The Most Dangerous Thing About Your Competition

We once had a client whose primary concern was a competitor who was “beating him” in the Google search results for a particular keyword.

While this is something we take very seriously, the most important thing for us is getting our client in the top five or ten search results, because most consumers for aviation products and services will look at more than one solution to any problem he or she might have.

So the difference between the number one and number three position makes little difference to overall sales.

This client was making a lot more sales than before we started working together, but this one factor really bothered him.

This is a downside of all of the competitive data that is available now that wasn’t as easy to get years ago – it’s easy to obsess over the wrong thing.

He eventually came around to the realization that the overall objective was sales, not a particular position.

You Don’t Have to Matter Everyone

One of the best things about marketing in aviation is that each of our clients has a relatively small and defined potential audience.  We don’t have to appeal to the masses like Coke or Pepsi.  Our clients only need to be “famous” with a very small group of people.

  • For example, we want to ensure every flight department manager for a fleet of three or less knows about LD Aviation’s Flight Scheduling Concierge Service.
  • We want to ensure that every aviation financial professional knows about Avion Trace and their Back-to-Birth documentation trace services.
  • We want everyone considering an aircraft purchase on the west coast to know Gene Clow and Great Circle Aviation.
  • We want everyone considering regular  private flights originating near Greenville, SC to know about Special Services Corporation.
  • We want every corporate buyer of gifts to know about the DeLaurentis Foundation’s collection.

So, great information!

Would you like to be part of our Book Club?

The Aviation Sales and Marketing Book Club is part of our Sales and Marketing Lab, which also includes:

  • Full participation (including the opportunity to earn certification) in our Aviation Sales Basics Certification Course.) (A $499 value.)
  • 12 months of SEO/ website visibility reports (A $29 value x 12) 
  • 12 months of Monthly Office Hours (A $279 value x 12) 
  • 12 months of Book of the Month (A $20 value x 12) 
  • 12 months Inclusion in the Insider Circle Facebook Group. (Priceless!)
  • In-person events like our NBAA Kickoff Networking Breakfast. (Also priceless!)

Schedule 30 minutes with us if you’re considering joining our Marketing Lab- let’s have a quick conversation to see if you would be a good fit, and see how it would benefit you.


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