FlyDubai is one of the leading airlines operating on the international scale. It offers comfortable flights and affordable prices to meet the customer’s expectations. The company’s promotion, the implementation of the communication using advertising, PR, sales promotion, direct marketing, personal sales, and other issues, composes the communications mix. While FlyDubai provides quite successful communications mix, it is still may be improved by focusing on retaining current customers and applying a more comprehensive approach.
Current Communications Mix
Nowadays, the process of implementing marketing communications is complicated by the excessive amount of information environment, which constantly surrounds consumers. For example, Etihad, Emirates, and other airlines also introduce their communications mixes trying to attract customers. Therefore, the latter have already adapted and are trying to filter the flows of incoming information, selectively passing a negligible part of it into their consciousness. FlyDubai strives to implement the most specific communication strategies. It presents a useful official website (internet advertising), where customers may easily find the required information regarding flights, destinations, privacy terms, and, most importantly, attractive offers.
FlyDubai also uses social media to communicate its values and objectives. For example, there are Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin accounts, each of which is properly designed. The social media tools include the recent news and relevant photos allowing customers to follow the company and receive the most important messages. The YouTube channel of FlyDubai presents short videos about the inside environment of planes and also some events.
For example, one of the videos shows that the company’s Boeings are equipped with flexible working areas and in-seat screens that make the flights more comfortable. One may state that customers receiving the mentioned information from social media tend to remember it and enjoy these offers. Another video shows the short presentation on the occasion of one million Facebook fans. Thus, FlyDubai clearly understands that customers value social media communication and try to consider it while creating communications mix.
Radio and TV as the sources of communication are also used by FlyDubai. Even though radio tends to be outdated today, it is still valued by adults and older adults planning their vacations and business travels. For example, recently the company introduced a new Open Loyalty Program. According to it, even one flight provides a person with a minimum discount for the following: one can use the collected miles for partial payment of the ticket, and there is no minimum starting amount as with other airlines (Cobbold 2017). Also, every person may subscribe to newsletter tool and receive credible information in a timely manner.
Sponsorships, PR, events, billboards (outdoor advertising), tradeshows, and exhibitions are also among communication strategies applied by FlyDubai. The company expands partnerships and sponsorships to cover new destinations and remain competitive while providing flights to customers. FlyDubai and Emirates work together to ensure “combined network expected to reach 240 destinations by 2022” (Emirates and flydubai further expand partnership, announce new codeshare destinations 2017, para. 2). Also, the mentioned airline collaborates with the Omnicom Media Group to promote communications mix and achieve better results.
As noted by Mike Evans, Senior Vice President, Customer Experience, Brand and Communications, this partnership focuses on innovation and further advancement (Mahmud 2016). Marketing communications are used to demonstrate the important characteristics of the marketing mix components to increase consumers’ interest in buying the services. In sum, marketing of FlyDubai relies on increased comfort in servicing and availability of their services to customers as well as an individual approach and consistency. As for personal selling and cinema advertising, the company’s website and other sources provide no information regarding them.
The main goal of FlyDubai is to fulfill the socially significant task of developing transport accessibility within the country and support mobility of the population. In addition, FlyDubai strives to ensure business ties between regions through developing domestic and foreign tourism, thereby contributing to the economic growth. In this connection, the key target audience of the identified airline is people who fly frequently preferring a budget package vacations as well as using the airline’s services for business purposes, especially those appreciating the optimal price / quality ratio. In other words, the airlines are oriented to the mass market.
Another target audience is the premium segment and international air transportation on business lines and elite tourists. The priority segment is men and women approximately 34 years of age and older who value comfort and quality service at all stages of their journey. They pay attention to the timetable and the image of the airline. Their income is above average, and they fly an average of two times a year.
Among the mentioned audience representatives, there are businessmen, managers, engineers, etc. The key foreign markets are Saudi Arabia, Russia, China, and so on. Here in the sphere of interests are all the passengers who are planning a trip to the Emirates, Asia, or Russia. The median age is 32 years for tourists and 33 for business travelers; these tourists fly about two times a year with an average check of $ 1,700 (Kamel 2017). Thus, there two target audiences the identified airline focuses on.
Applying marketing communications mix in a complex, one can achieve greater efficiency and results than using its elements separately. This is because by its nature this approach takes into account the preferences of customers receiving information about the company, when they learn about it from a variety of sources simultaneously (Percy 2014). At the same time, the appearance of new players in the airlines market and the presence of a huge number of different offers (discounts, membership cards, etc.), each of which is attractive in its own way may create additional challenges.
In such a situation, the task of retaining customers, and not simply attracting as many consumers as possible, becomes important. This determines the new marketing communications mix, when the work with the most interested customers should be assigned a top priority (Percy 2014). Point-to-point communications may also be recommended as they allow information to be delivered directly to the target audience. The use of various types of marketing communications would help FlyDubai to achieve several strategically important goals:
- inform customers about some discounts and new offers;
- convince customers to give preference to FlyDubai among many similar offers;
- establish a strong long-term relationships with customers and induce them to have a comfortable flight, focusing their attention on advantageous conditions.
The review of the existing communications mix of FlyDubai requires the development of an improved advertising strategy (see Appendix A for 12 months Communications Mix implementation plan with a detailed schedule of advertising events).
Sales promotion methods can be recommended to achieve the stated communication goals, while other elements of marketing communications mix cannot be used. For example, in a short time, sales promotion can improve the trend of changes in sales volumes. It can help to re-envision services in the market, strengthen advertising images and messages, and create a positive experience with the brand among buyers at many stages of the decision-making process (Percy 2014). Stimulation can also provide new channels for addressing specific segments of the audience by holding special promotions.
Public relations as the strategy providing the public with information about the company to achieve a favorable attitude and understanding of the latter, is an important option to use for communications mix implementation. FlyDubai public relations specialists should help to build the company’s activities by consulting senior managers of the company on public opinion and the positive or negative consequences of certain behaviors. They also are to find out the opinions and assessments of various groups of the public associated with the organization and explain them to senior managers. As a result, public relations should use and disseminate information through a variety of means of its delivery in order to influence the public opinion effectively.
Another recommendation is associated with the instrument of personal selling. It provides the direct contact of a seller with a customer, during which the characteristics of the services are to be presented, and a joint decision is to be made about the possibility of a transaction, purchase, and sale. It is significant to stress that personal sale is a great advantage over other promotional tools, since it allows controlling the communication process in the feedback mode and forms an individual approach to every customer (Shaw 2016). At the same time, social media and website are also to be developed and maintained further to serve as valuable sources of information.
Sponsorship is a contribution provided by a company to support an event, organization, or any other interesting issue. The company can act as the sole sponsor of this activity, organization, or person or become a co-sponsor. Companies use sponsorship to reinforce their image in ways that will resonate with the mainstream of society (Shaw 2016). They do this by binding them to activities that are interesting to their target audience. The exhibitions may be applied to provide an opportunity to present FlyDubai services, demonstrate it, and explain its characteristic features in conditions of personal contact.
This is one of the cheapest ways to sell services to important buyers from among industry representatives and also inform them about changes in the services. Souvenirs are free products with the name of the company or its identification feature, distributed to the target audience in order to remind them of the company or event. They may also be recommended as a supplementary communication mix strategy.
In conclusion, it is important to point out that FlyDubai is Dubai-based airline operating both in the domestic market and internationally. Its current communications mix consist of several advertising instruments, including social media, website, PR, partnership, etc. As a result of the identification of FlyDubai’s target audiences, such strategies as PR, social media, website, and so on were recommended to attract new customers and retain the current audiences. It is expected that the implementation of the suggested communications mix would significantly improve the overall performance of the airline and provide customers with advantageous offers.
Kamel, B 2017, Emirates links up with discount sister carrier FlyDubai. Web.
Cobbold, L 2017, Flydubai sets loyalty standards for the industry with Amadeus technology. Web.
Shaw, S 2016, Airline marketing and management, 7th edn., Routledge, New York, NY.
Percy, L 2014, Strategic integrated marketing communications, 2nd edn., Routledge, New York, NY.
Mahmud, S 2016, Flydubai takes off with OMD. Web.
|Key Events||New Year; |
Dubai Shopping Festival
|Dubai Jazz Festival;||Dubai World Cap||Arabian Travel Market||Dubai Tango Festival||EID Al Fitr||Haj||Haj||Cityscape Global; |
|Global Village||Golf Championship; Dubai Motor Show||Christmas; National Day|
|Website||Dubai Jazz Festival||Dubai World Cap||EID holiday||Summer vacation||EID Al Fitr||Dubai Airshow||Student Offer||Dubai Motor Show||National Day|
|Social Media||Dubai Jazz Festival||EID holiday||EID Al Fitr||Dubai Airshow||Student Offer||Dubai Motor Show||National Day|
|YouTube||Dubai World Cap||EID holiday||Golf Championship;||National Day|
|Radio||EID Al Fitr||Golf Championship;||National Day|
|Newsletter||Dubai Jazz Festival||EID holiday|
|Sponsorship||Dubai Jazz Festival||Dubai World Cap||Arabian Travel Market||Dubai Motor Show|
|Events / Trade Shows||Dubai World Cap||Dubai Airshow||Dubai Motor Show|
|Billboards||Dubai Airshow||National Day|
|Personal selling||Arabian Travel Market|
Table 1. 12 months Communications Mix implementation plan.