Calculating return on investment (ROI) is not a newfound trend in the marketing world. It is a necessary way to make sure that your advertising and branding are effective. What is new, however, is the ease with which data can be collected, analyzed and optimized to ensure you are getting the most out of your marketing partner.
For private organizations, ROI is a fairly easy concept: simply measure how the amount of dollars spent compares to the amount of dollars received. However, for public organizations like airports, assessment of ROI is not such a linear process. There are many additional forces at play — forces like airline pricing, weather and the overall economy — that are outside the airport’s control. Still, airport marketing directors need a way to show their board of directors that their efforts are effective. Here, then, are a few ways to do just that.
Social Media Likes & Follows
One of the easiest ways to show your marketing is working is to look at the number of likes and followers you are accumulating on your social media outlets. To give you a baseline, small- to medium-sized airports have a median rate of 82.5 enplanements (passengers boarding a flight at your airport) to each Facebook like. Once you begin your paid social media campaign, you should expect an increase of two likes for every dollar spent on Facebook advertising.
Social Media Engagement
While not all social media posts are created equal, more engagement is always a good thing. Flight cancellations will probably garner little likes, but offset these uncontrollable moments with posts of giveaways and heartfelt stories. They are a surefire way to get your engagement into the double or triple digits. Even if comments are negative, welcome them. They show people are passionate enough about your airport to comment and are free insights into your customer. Use these statements as a way to improve customer service or help you keep a tally of direct destination flights your customers are hoping to see you add to your offerings.
An increase in traffic to your website is another indicator of your marketing effectiveness. But, just like the stock market, you shouldn’t analyze the effectiveness one week into a campaign. A year-over-year comparison is a much better way to see how your marketing is impacting web traffic.
Share any positive event or message you possibly can to your local media. If the press pick up the stories, you’re doing something very right. The more people see good things happening at your airport, the more it will heighten your overall image. Keep count of the number of stories that are shared and make sure your board is aware of all that positive — and free! –press.
Customer feedback — especially in written form — provides invaluable feedback and insight. encourage customer satisfaction surveys at your airport, distributing them on a regular basis. Calculate the number of responses and evaluate the results, sharing specific comments to your board that let them know your marketing efforts are working. If your survey response rate needs a boost, remember that giveaways are an excellent way to get an effective number of responses.
Positive brand messaging makes an impact on your staff. This is something you can observe as you walk around the halls of the terminal. Feel free to hand out employee surveys if you need to get some statistics and feedback in black and white.
These are just a few ways that Swim Creative has measured the effectiveness of our campaigns. We would love to hear about what you do to demonstrate success in your marketing efforts.