In an evolving marketing world where consumers are often watching TV with a second screen in their hands and fast-forwarding through commercials, transit advertising has become a growing platform for marketers. Airports, bus vestibules and subway cars all foster an environment that makes travelers exceptionally receptive to advertising messages. Believe it or not, airports are actually a place that consumers want to be exposed to advertising. While in an airport, travelers are mentally preparing for new experiences and willing to embrace new messages in their surroundings. Though sometimes overlooked, airports attract a captivated audience and foster an ideal environment for advertisers.
The Sky is the Limit
Transit advertising, specifically advertising in airports, offers unique value to marketers. First and foremost, you can’t cap the amount of impressions you will make with the placement. Sure, you can forecast traffic, but a well-designed and placed ad can offer long-lasting value. Secondly, it’s quite difficult to ignore transit advertising. Unlike a television that can quickly be turned off, the majority of people walking through an airport terminal will take notice, at least unconsciously, of the advertisement. Most importantly, transit hubs deliver an extremely varied audience. With “targeting” becoming a buzzword that has been reverberating through marketing departments, advertisers have seemingly forgotten the value that a general awareness campaign can offer a brand.
The eclectic audience that an airport terminal provides gives marketers a platform that brings people with ranging priorities together in one place. Capitalizing on the heterogeneity of a wide audience can foster provocative and positive conversation between different parties, be they colleagues from different departments flying together or families on a vacation. By leveraging the downtime that exists for these travelers, a brand that is able to successfully remain top of mind with these audiences can pay extreme dividends that range from growing awareness and education to promoting brand advocacy and loyalty.
A Captive Audience
Research has shown that consumers pay more attention to digital content during periods of waiting, enhancing the marketing platform in an airport setting. According to a study by JCDecaux, travelers in airports are “captive at a point of high dwell time where they are able, and willing, to absorb, engage and interact with media messages.” The process between airline check-in to actual flight boarding offers advertisers plenty of touch points to reach consumers. Frequent flyers spend up to 30 minutes in airport security, allowing opportunity for free standing kiosks, plasma panels, scrolling displays and wall wraps, to capture their attention. The survey also focused on the amount of time air travelers spend in different areas of the airport, examining how that “captive audience time” helps drive advertising impressions and purchasing decisions. Seventy-three percent of business flyers spend up to two hours in connecting airports during layovers, providing a setting for repeat exposure.
The Frequent Flyer
Frequent travelers are key market influencers. A recent survey by Scarborough found that frequent flyers are 56 percent more likely than other American adults to be the first to try or buy new products and services, creating a breeding ground for marketers to launch new products and campaigns. That same study concluded that frequent flyers, specifically those on business, are twice as likely to download a paid app and 128 percent more likely to scan a QR code with a smartphone than the average adult.
Advertising to business travelers in the form of traditional media can be challenging due to their busy lifestyles. Business frequent travelers are actually 48 percent less likely to be heavily exposed to television, which is why airports create a natural environment for advertisers to capture the attention of these consumers.
The goal of CRM is to continue a relationship with a customer while also working to mold that customer into a brand advocate by sharing positive experiences with their peers. While the value and focus of CRM has begun to shift into the digital and social sphere, it is important to consider the long-term value and benefits of advertising in venues that are unexpected. By doing so, advertisers can develop more effective ad campaigns and garner the attention of new audiences when they are most receptive to noticing advertisements.
This article can also be found at MediaPost.com.