Emirates Airlines has one of the leading positions in the global market due to the systematic development of its marketing strategies for each of the marketing mix components. The company benefits from its hub’s geographic location, uses various outlets for promotional purposes, implements a flexible pricing policy, and provides high-quality services. Customers note the high innovativeness and convenience of flights organized by Emirates Airlines.
The paper describes the company’s marketing strategies related to its environmental responsibility and the implementation of corresponding initiatives, coverage of different social segments of customers, and cooperation with airline ticket distributors. The paper provides particular marketing proposals concerning the development of cargo and low-cost airline brands, the involvement of social media influencers in the promotion, and the reduction of customer concerns about Middle East political tensions.
Emirates Airlines: Marketing Analysis
The efficient marketing assessment of the company requires a suitable and valid theoretical framework. At present, the Marketing Mix model is one of the most widely used, as it has a broad coverage of the company activities. Its components include the most significant areas for marketing analysis: product, price, promotion, and place. Since its establishment in 1985, Emirates Airlines has been developing consistently and is now considered to be one of the fastest-growing airlines all over the globe, providing services of the highest quality standards (Sadik, 2018; Zhang, 2016).
This reputation undoubtedly makes a serious contribution to the company’s promotion and attracts customers of various categories. Emirates Airlines is based in Dubai and is wholly owned by the United Arab Emirates. It is the most prominent airline company in the Middle East, with operations in more than 80 countries and more than 3,500 flights per week (Alshubaily, 2017). This paper assesses the core Marketing Mix components based on Emirates Airlines activities, discusses the key marketing strategies implemented by it in UAE, and suggests specific marketing strategies improvement proposals.
This component of the marketing mix model includes all aspects related to the distribution of basic services or products by the company. In this case, it consists of the qualitative characteristics of the flights’ organization and services provided, the airports’ state, and the aircraft themselves. According to Bhasin (2019), the “Emirates Airlines have a mixed fleet in their product portfolio like the Boeing wide-body aircraft and Airbuses” (para. 3). Due to the availability of different types of aircraft, the company is able to perform a wide range of transportation tasks and expand in the market.
The airports of the company are based on innovative developments and equipped with advanced modern technologies. In addition, the researchers note the deep satisfaction of customers concerning flight arrangements and associated services, which include registration and check-in, luggage reception and transportation, in-flight services, and convenience of the aircraft interior (Sadik, 2018). Such a result is achieved primarily by a highly motivated workforce through a flexible personnel policy and a system of incentives and rewards. Moreover, according to Sadik (2018), Emirates Airlines’ management has an excellent understanding of customer behavior, consisting of “motivation, personality, perception, and attitude of the airline” (p. 22). Thus, this component of the marketing mix is one of the main contributors to the company’s reputation in the aviation market as one of the most high-quality and innovation-driven.
The company pursues a value-for-money pricing policy, taking advantage of its unique position in the market due to the organization of the east and west transport connections. The company organizes both premium flights, which correspond to luxury and first-class services, and more affordable flights for business and economic class passengers (Bhasin, 2019). Emirates Airlines are setting reasonable and acceptable prices because of the lower fuel costs in the Middle East region (Alshubaily, 2017). Furthermore, the company has the opportunity to recruit cheaper paid staff. These factors enable Emirates Airlines to conduct a more flexible pricing policy than its western competitors. This explains the company’s attractiveness among customers from different social groups.
The UAE’s leading airline keeps up with modern promotional marketing practices. The company actively uses digital information space and advertising on social media such as Facebook and Instagram. Due to contextual advertising and modern methods of audience targeting on the Internet, it carries out active customer engagement. Moreover, its “advertisements have been placed in magazines, newspapers, billboards, radios, television, and their website in at least nine languages” (Bhasin, 2019, para. 17). Thus, the advertising policy of Emirates Airlines has extensive coverage and the opportunity to attract customers who will later be satisfied with the high quality of its flights.
In addition, it should be noted that the company has a client-centered conceptual component of the marketing promotion campaign. According to Bhasin (2019), “its slogan is very apt in nature ‘Fly Emirates. Keep Discovering’.” (para. 16). Given that the company operates both in the west and east, this slogan appeals to the desire of clients to travel and observe the world, which is consistent with the multinational status of the company. Appealing to such values is rather effective in connection with high quality of services and acceptable price level.
As previously stated, the hub of Emirates Airlines is located in Dubai. According to Laophram (2019), such a geographical position is exceptionally advantageous for the company due to a large number of transition points, which are located there. The author states that “for instance, passengers in the six cities in the United Kingdom can connect to nine cities in India and four cities in Australia via Dubai” (Laophram, 2019, p. 68). In addition to this strategic location, Emirates Airlines has a global network of air routes on all inhabited continents, which also strengthens its marketing position.
Key Marketing Strategies
Marketing strategies include numerous aspects and directions related to increasing product sales. For example, push strategies are aimed at improving the sales of products to resellers who distribute them to customers, while pull strategies are directly aimed at increasing customer demand. Also, a market actor often uses a message strategy that appeals to values that are meaningful to the consumer. A relevant example of such an approach is the environmental, social responsibility of Emirates Airlines.
According to Alshubaily (2017), the company uses “carriers that with limited air emissions and noise” and is engaged in “charitable activities such as funding, research, and innovations aimed at fostering environmental sustainability” (p. 32). In this way, the airline confirms its commitment to reduce the harm caused to nature, which is aligned with the trend of environmental awareness in society.
The airline actively uses marketing strategies related to the pricing policy. According to Bhasin (2019), the “Emirate Airlines believe in offering special discounts on airfares at off seasons to garner more passengers” (para. 17). Special offers of this kind can attract people looking for more economical options, such as immigrant workers in the UAE. The company is also famous for its premium services for especially wealthy categories of society, which are also widely represented in the UAE. Thus, the pull strategy is implemented in relation to the demand of different segments of society, which allows the company to be a global market actor.
The activities of international airlines are aimed not only at increasing demand through value promotions and price offers but also at providing convenient ticket purchasing opportunities. Emirate Airlines is “allocating and distributing tickets through travel agents and tour operators” (Bhasin, 2019, para. 10). Intensive cooperation with intermediaries is essential to ensure that the product can reach the customer, and dealing with airline ticket distributors is the company’s primary push strategy. It bears mentioning that the company’s services are easy to access both within and outside the UAE.
Marketing Strategies Improvement Proposals
It should be concluded that the company has sufficiently developed all the components of the marketing mix and applies the appropriate and effective marketing strategies related to them. However, there are specific improvements that could be proposed for each of the elements of the marketing mix. It was pointed out that Emirates Airlines actively uses social media for promotion and advertising.
The promotion’s efficiency could be enhanced by involving influencers, in other words, famous people with a broad social media audience. Numerous market actors that comprehend customer behavior even conclude contracts with popular celebrities or public figures who act as ambassadors of the company and promote their products. This measure could bring a massive flow of passengers and potential customers at a relatively low cost.
Another area of marketing development, which is related to the product, could be the targeted development of cargo transportation services. According to Zhang (2016), the company’s division, Emirates SkyCargo, is actively expanding its operations to new territories and has the potential to “compete with the express giants such as FedEx, UPS, and DHL” (para. 6). In order for Emirates SkyCargo to become an independent international brand, it is necessary to apply the same marketing strategies to the marketing mix components. It will require certain resource expenses but will allow the company to expand the sphere of the activity considerably and to promote a new type of product.
As for pricing policy, Emirate Airlines can also develop the low-cost airline sector more actively. According to Zhang (2016), “under the economic crisis, more and more people began to choose the low cost airlines as a cheaper choice” (para. 14). The author also states that “loss-making airlines in the fast-growing Latin America market” could be a useful acquisition for Emirates Airlines (Zhang, 2016, para. 14). The acquisition and development of low-cost affiliates imply an expansion of business in the low price segment. It may be rather beneficial from a marketing point of view, given that the vast majority of the world’s population selects cheaper flight options.
As previously mentioned, Emirates Airlines’ hub occupies a very advantageous geographical position. Nevertheless, researchers note the acute political tensions in the region, including conflicts and terrorism (Alshubaily, 2017). Marketing strategies related to the provision of enhanced security, logistics solutions, and advertising of these measures can reduce customer concerns. In this way, the company will be able to avoid the adverse effects of the Middle East political processes and preserve the benefits of being in Dubai.
Summary and Conclusion
It should be concluded that Emirates Airlines successfully implement marketing strategies related to all components of the marketing mix. A favorable geographical location, professional promotion, coverage of different price categories, and high-quality services create an exceptional reputation for the company in the global airline services market. The realization of the proposed recommendations will allow the company to expand the scope of its activities, obtain new customer flows, and reduce existing threats.
Alshubaily, A. (2017). Exploring the key success factors for young airlines. A focus on Emirates Airlines and its regional competitors’ strategy for success. Saudi Journal of Business and Management Studies, 2(1), 30-37.
Bhasin, H. (2019). Marketing mix of Emirates Airlines – Emirates marketing mix. Marketing91. Web.
Laophram, J. (2019). An analysis of the challenges of aligned and unaligned airlines in aviation industries. Chophayom Journal, 30(3), 65-71.
Sadik, R. M. (2018). Implementation of total quality management in airline (Case study Emirates Airline). International Journal of Advances in Computer Science and Technology, 7(5), 22-25.
Zhang, Y. W. (2016). A strategic analysis of Emirates Airline. In Journal of DEStech Transactions on Social Science, Education and Human Science: Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Advanced Education and Management. Beijing, China. Web.