Singapore Airlines case study
case study about Singapore Airlines...
INTRODUCTION “Quality service to customers is a fundamental objective and aspiration of SIA” SIA, 20071 Singapore Airlines was found in 1947 with Malaysian Airlines (known as Malayan at that time), a joint venture between the Malaysia and Singapore government, placing their service mainly in the South East Asia region. Singapore Airlines is considered one of the world’s best airlines travelling up to 93 destinations and 38 countries. After Singapore Separated from Malaysia in 1965 and both governments coincide to set up different airlines. Thus, Singapore Airlines was born in 1972. Different from most other airlines, Singapore Airlines was at a disadvantage position as compared to them. What causes this is because it is due to that Singapore Airline is not given the choice of domestic routes to serve, as Singapore itself it too small, so Singapore Airlines is force to compete with international airlines for routes the moment it starts its business. The things to compete for are like getting access to terminals, securing flights slots and landing rights, and also trying to draw in a new customer base. Not like most state-owned entities, Singapore Airlines was force into to massive competition from the start of its business. Using this as motivational factor, it led and brings Singapore Airlines competitive spirit to an incomparable level and also the dedication to make a good branding of Singapore Airline be better than every service sector. These factors have stayed within the company acting as the core and since then, it has shown to serve the airline very well, allowing them to overcome any challenges.2 Marketing Strategy From the earliest days, SIA has developed a reputation for being an industry trend-setter as well as doing things differently than its competitors who are in the same industry line. SIA was the first airline which puts into practice free drinks, a choice of meals which prepared by gourmet chefs and complimentary headsets for its passengers in 1970s to magnetize travelers’ attention and interest on SIA (R. Johnson, S. Chambers, and N. Slack, 2007)3. On the other hand, SIA was the first airline which developed a plan, idea, or strategy to implement in-flight entertainment system in its selected aircrafts. Accordingly, SIA was wasted a few millions in the 1990s in order to install KrisWorld movies, KrisWorld television with a choice of twelve channels (includes comedy, drama, music & arts, sports, young Ones, international, lifestyle, business, documentary), KrisWorld music from jazz to classic with a choice of twelve channels, KrisWorld games and applications (such as Bejeweled 2, Sudoku, Bookworm, Zuma, Think Tanks, Luxor, Timon & Pumbaa’s, Burper, Water Pipes, Dynomite, and Seven Seas), KrisWorld Pc to enable the travelers to work on their business documents, KrisWorld entertainment devices (such as headphones, screens, and headsets), as well as KrisWorld communication or satellite-based in-flight telephones to make flying more enjoyable for its passengers, pull in more travelers especially kids, and also to stand out from the competitors. Moreover, SIA is the first inventor and performer of the most innovative live teletext news service (KrisNews) and also for an interactive in-flight shopping service for its aircrafts. These creative and innovative developments by SIA, ultimately won numerous awards for “The best airline” (R. Johnson, S. Chambers, and N. Slack, 2007).
On the contrary, SIA was the first airline which bought over a group of best chefs to serve superlative in-flight cuisine for its passengers (R. Johnson, S. Chambers, C. and N. Slack, 2007) as well as it was the earliest airline which tried to fulfill the needs of individual customers by introduce the special meal service with lighter and healthier options plus the unique in-flight meal service which is specially introduced for young flyers and enabled them to choose their desired meals up to 24 hours before the flight departure. Besides that, SIA started to update its menus monthly and even weekly to create an impression among its frequent travelers and also to keep track of flyers tastes. These were the main line of attack for SIA to compete among its competitors in the market and also to shore up its business strategy. Rather than developing in-flight services, SIA also puts in countless efforts to improve the facilities and service at Changi airport with innovative technologies. For example: – SIA was the first airline which applied the leading-edge wireless gatelink technology within the airport in order to share data successfully with aircraft, passenger terminals, maintenance operations, baggage handling, ground-support equipment and so on. At the end of the day, it increases SIA’s operational efficiency and improved SIA’s on-time performance. In contrast, SIA introduced four training centers (Cabin Crew, Flight Operations, Commercial and Management Development) within the company in order continuously motivate the employees to improve and update their performance as well as SIA started to apprise their employees for performance. Therefore employees in SIA are taking special care to learn what’s best for the customers and business, and gained the good name for their superior customer service. Additionally, SIA starts to publish a variety of department newsletters and a monthly company-wide magazine in order to keep their employees (who are functioning in the different countries and cultures) in the correct track. Besides, a “staff ideas in action” scheme was implemented by SIA in order to gather continues suggestions from their employees for the further developments and improvements and SIA decided to provide “The Deputy Chairman’s Award” for the employees who have the innovative thoughts and performance. These is one of the supporting plan by SIA in order to achievement effectively its business strategy. E-marketing, Viral and Guerrilla Marketing Strategies E-Marketing is a subset of e-Business that utilizes electronic medium to perform marketing activities and achieve desired marketing objectives for an organization. Internet Marketing, Interactive Marketing and Mobile Marketing for example, are all a form of e-Marketing.EMarketing planning can be termed as one of the most recently discovered and most used technologies used in modern day marketing strategies with the use of it leading to improved profitability in different firms across all the sectors of the economy 4. The discovery of the potential that the internet has on business and its prospects has had a great impact on how things are done not leaving out marketing as a business entity hence it has too been revolutionized. Generally, e- Marketing is in simple terms is marketing products for sale over the internet in several websites based on the World Wide Web (Kleindl, 2003) 5. In the recent times, the use of e marketing as a way of marketing many organizations, the services and (or) goods that such an organization specializes in has gained increased momentum with this being appreciated across all the sectors of the economy. At the same time, it is very important on which choice of website one chooses to advertise their products on since it will dictate if one sells or not and if one is selling how much volumes of your products are you pushing into the market. Are you meeting your market expectations or rather are you selling as much as one targets to sell in the market is the big
question. The answer to this question is very important since it will challenge you as a marketer and sometimes leave behind more questions than answers. Chaffey, Mayer, Johnston and Ellis-Chadwick (2004)6 explain that if as a marketer one is not reaching or meeting his market expectations then it is inevitable that one or a few things are not in order hence one need to approach your whole market strategy from a different angle or dimension. In simple terms one needs to overhaul his entire market strategy before things turn for the worst. It should be noted that companies spend a lot of money on marketing especially on email marketing hence returns are expected immediately and in high numbers. If there are high and immediate returns then this does not call for one to relax and sit back since the market is very dynamic and hence companies must keep up with the market dynamism if they are at all to fully benefit from email marketing. Different times call for different marketing strategies and hence it is of essence that one keeps up with pace in the market and continue selling (Mohammed et al, 2002)7. E-Marketing in its original shape was all about marketing through sending clients or targeted clients emails on their products and how to buy them but today it has broadened its scope to social sites and other sites that experience high traffic of people accessing to their contents. Social sites such as twitter and facebook are very important sites for marketers who are aggressive to market their products since such sites boast of millions of users worldwide who are potential customers or targets for your products to buy (Lindstrom, Peppers and Rogers, 2001)8. The Singapore Airlines brand is widely recognised by most people around the world. It has good brand awareness. Singapore Airlines frequently communicates the value of its product through print media, television commercials, sponsorships and publicity. It adopts the tagline, “Singapore Airlines – A Great Way to Fly”, in all its promotions to convey the quality of the Singapore Airlines brand. It also occasionally uses “A standard of service that even other airlines talk about”.9 Viral Marketing Viral marketing, viral advertising, or marketing buzz are buzzwords referring to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks and other technologies to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives (such as product sales) through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of viruses or computer viruses (cf. Internet memes and memetics). It can be delivered by word of mouth or enhanced by the network effects of the Internet and mobile networks.10 Viral marketing may take the form of video clips, interactive Flash games, advergames, ebooks, brandable software, images, text messages, email messages, or web pages. The most common utilized transmission vehicles for viral messages include: pass-along based, incentive based, trendy based, and undercover based. However, the creative nature of viral marketing enables an "endless amount of potential forms and vehicles the messages can utilize for transmission", including mobile devices.11 The ultimate goal of marketers interested in creating successful viral marketing programs is to create viral messages that appeal to individuals with high social networking potential (SNP) and that have a high probability of being presented and spread by these individuals and their competitors in their communications with others in a short period of time. 12 The term "VRL marketing" has also been used pejoratively to refer to stealth marketing campaigns—the unscrupulous use of astroturfing online combined with undermarket
advertising in shopping centers to create the impression of spontaneous word of mouth enthusiasm.13 METHODS AND METRICS According to marketing professors Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein, to make viral marketing work, three basic criteria must be met, i.e., giving the right message to the right messengers in the right environment: 14 Messenger: Three specific types of messengers are required to ensure the transformation of an ordinary message into a viral one: market mavens, social hubs, and salespeople. Market mavens are individuals who are continuously ‘on the pulse’ of things (information specialists); they are usually among the first to get exposed to the message and who transmit it to their immediate social network. Social hubs are people with an exceptionally large number of social connections; they often know hundreds of different people and have the ability to serve as connectors or bridges between different subcultures. Salespeople might be needed who receive the message from the market maven, amplify it by making it more relevant and persuasive, and then transmit it to the social hub for further distribution. Market mavens may not be particularly convincing in transmitting the information. Message: Only messages that are both memorable and sufficiently interesting to be passed on to others have the potential to spur a viral marketing phenomenon. Making a message more memorable and interesting or simply more infectious, is often not a matter of major changes but minor adjustments. Environment: The environment is crucial in the rise of successful viral marketing – small changes in the environment lead to huge results, and people are much more sensitive to environment. The timing and context of the campaign launch must be right. Whereas Kaplan, Haenlein and others reduce the role of marketers to crafting the initial viral message and seeding it, futurist and sales and marketing analyst Marc Feldman, who conducted IMT Strategies’ landmark viral marketing study in 2001,15 carves a different role for marketers which pushes the ‘art’ of viral marketing much closer to 'science.' 16 Feldman points out that when marketers take a disciplined approach to viral marketing by targeting, measuring and continually optimizing their campaigns based on campaign metrics, viral marketing transforms the customer into a new sales channel, a new lead generation channel and a new awareness generating channel. Feldman's innovative reconceptualization of viral marketers went a long way towards making "viral marketing" a strategy that sales and marketing directors at Fortune 500 and Global 1000 companies could legitimately invest in. This disciplined approach to viral marketing that Feldman first carved out, pointed the way towards measuring the ROI of every viral marketing campaign and thus making a real business case for investing in viral marketing. The customer-as-a-sales-channel approach to viral marketing went on to become the foundation for an explosion of technology enabled viral marketing services offered online, offline and in blended hybrid approaches. METHODS Viral marketing often involves and utilizes: Customer participation and polling services. Industry-specific organization contributions. Internet search engines and blogs. Mobile smartphone integration.
Multiple forms of print and direct marketing. Target marketing web services. Search engine optimization (SEO). Social media optimization (SMO). Television and radio. Viral target marketing is based on three important principles:17 Social profile gathering. Proximity market analysis. Real-time key word density analysis. By applying these three important disciplines to an advertising model, a VMS company is able to match a client with their targeted customers at a cost effective advantage. The Internet makes it possible for a campaign to go viral very fast; it can, so to speak, make a brand famous overnight. However, the Internet and social media technologies themselves do not make a brand viral; they just enable people to share content to other people faster. Therefore, it is generally agreed that a campaign must typically follow a certain set of guidelines in order to potentially be successful:18 It must be appealing to most of the audience. It must be worth sharing with friends and family. A large platform, e.g. YouTube or Facebook must be used.19 An initial boost to gain attention is used, e.g. seeding, buying views, or sharing to Facebook fans. The content is of good quality. In 2002, Singapore Airlines invested in a major advertising campaign to celebrate it's new route from Singapore to Chicago. SIA bought a multi-channel media package from AOL/Time Warner including TV ads on CNN, print ads in Fortune, Time's Asian edition, and other related offline media. This campaign was huge success and generated a lot business to SIA.20 GUERRILLA MARKETING
Guerrilla marketing is an advertising strategy in which low-cost unconventional means (graffiti, sticker bombing, flash mobs) are utilized, often in a localized fashion or large network of individual cells, to convey or promote a product or an idea. The term guerrilla marketing is easily traced to guerrilla warfare which utilizes atypical tactics to achieve a goal in a competitive and unforgiving environment. The concept of guerrilla marketing was invented as an unconventional system of promotions that relies on time, energy and imagination rather than a big marketing budget. Typically, guerrilla marketing campaigns are unexpected and unconventional, potentially interactive, and consumers are targeted in unexpected places. The objective of guerrilla marketing is to create a unique, engaging and thought-provoking concept to generate buzz, and consequently turn viral. The term was coined and defined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his book Guerrilla Marketing (1984). The term has since entered the popular vocabulary and marketing textbooks. Guerrilla marketing involves unusual approaches such as intercept encounters in public places, street giveaways of products, PR stunts, or any unconventional marketing intended to get maximum results from minimal resources. More innovative approaches to Guerrilla marketing now utilize mobile digital technologies to engage the consumer and create a memorable brand experience. Guerrilla marketing focuses on low cost creative strategies of marketing. Basic requirements are time, energy, and imagination and not money. Profits, not sales, are the
primary measure of success. Emphasis is on retaining existing customers rather than acquiring new ones.21 PUBLIC RELATION STRATEGY Public relations are a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics. Simple and straightforward, this definition focuses on the basic concept of public relations — as a communication process, one that is strategic in nature and emphasizing “mutually beneficial relationships. “Process” is preferable to “management function,” which can evoke ideas of control and top-down, one-way communications. “Relationships” relates to public relations’ role in helping to bring together organizations and individuals with their key stakeholders. “Publics” is preferable to “stakeholders,” as the former relates to the very “public” nature of public relations, whereas “stakeholders” has connotations of publicly-traded companies. As a management function, public relations also encompass the following: Anticipating, analyzing and interpreting public opinion, attitudes and issues that might impact, for good or ill, the operations and plans of the organization. Counseling management at all levels in the organization with regard to policy decisions, courses of action and communication, taking into account their public ramifications and the organization’s social or citizenship responsibilities. Researching, conducting and evaluating, on a continuing basis, programs of action and communication to achieve the informed public understanding necessary to the success of an organization’s aims. These may include marketing; financial; fund raising; employee, community or government relations; and other programs. Planning and implementing the organization’s efforts to influence or change public policy. Setting objectives, planning, budgeting, recruiting and training staff, developing facilities — in short, managing the resources needed to perform all of the above.22 SIA adopted an integrated marketing campaign approach to advertising and digital platforms play a key role in all Singapore Airlines promotional campaigns. Online activities including selected social media channels, where relevant, complement the traditional media channels used to ensure that the advertising message reaches consumers at various touchpoints. At the same time, SIA recognizes that people are increasingly obtaining information, furthering their interests and sharing their thoughts through new media. As such, new media platforms like YouTube were dynamic mechanisms with which they get the word out.23 Another factor feeding into Singapore Airline’s healthy brand equity is its large proportion of brand loyal consumers. It has the Krisflyer program which rewards passengers for flying on Singapore Airlines and its Star Alliance partners, spending on partnered credit cards and hotels with miles that can be redeemed for flights and vouchers. Higher-tiered Krisflyer members can also enjoy priority check-in, boarding, baggage handling, extra check-in baggage allowance, and complimentary access to first class lounges and even Star Alliance lounges. Singapore Airlines is receptive to all consumer feedback and constantly strives to satisfy its passengers. CONCLUSION The brand, Singapore Airlines, resonates with luxury, comfort, extraordinary service and the quintessential Singapore Girl. It is the standard for all other international airlines. Its healthy
brand equity has really added value to Singapore Airlines and has arisen from the marketing strategies it has adopted. The Singapore Airlines brand is widely recognised by most people around the world. It has good brand awareness. Singapore Airlines frequently communicates the value of its product through print media, television commercials. Singapore Airlines has generated much brand awareness and increased the perceived value of its products and services through its experimentation of new services from the time of its inception in 1972. Singapore Airlines has even developed a personality for its brand through the Singapore Girl, which is at the heart of its all advertising and its product – it is now a trademark and brand for Singapore Airlines. Overall, Singapore Airlines’ success has been partly driven by its robust brand equity. Its pursuit of excellence, customer-oriented decisions, innovation in service and technology, and value for its staff has helped differentiate it from its competitors. References 1. http://www.singaporeair.com/SAA-flow.form?execution=e1s1. 2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singapore_Airlines. 3. NDC Slack, SH Chambers and Johnston R. (2007) Operations Management, Prentice Hall. 4. http://analogik.com/articles/231/e-marketing 5. Kleindl, B. A. (2003) Strategic Electronic Marketing. London: Thomson and sons publishing. 6. Chaffey, D. Mayer, R. Johnston, K. Ellis-Chadwick, F. (2004)Internet Marketing 2nd edition. New Jersey, NJ: Prentice Hall publishers. 7. Mohammed, R. et al (2002) Internet Marketing: building advantage in the networked economy. New York: McGraw Hill International. 8. Lindstrom, M. Peppers, D. and Rogers, M. (2001) Clicks, Bricks and Brands: the marriage of online and offline business. London: Kogan Page publishers. 9. http://blogs.ubc.ca/eugenesanchan/2010/11/08/brand-equity-the-success-ofsingapore-airlines/. 10. http://www.marketingsherpa.com/article.php?. 11. "Viral Marketing Explained". Up Your Views. Retrieved 19 January 2013. 12. "Viral Marketing". Night & Day Graphics. 30 July 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2012. 13. Viral Marketing – Understanding the Latest Catchword". Video Marketing Bot Pro. 11 September 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2012. 14. Kaplan Andreas M., Haenlein Michael (2011) Two hearts in three-quarter time: How to waltz the social media/viral marketing dance, Business Horizons, 54(3), 253-263. 15. http://www.allbusiness.com/marketing-advertising/4286202-1.html 16. 17. "Viral Marketing Explained". Up Your Views. Retrieved 19 January 2013. 18. O’Connor, J. and Galvin, E. (2004) Electronic Marketing New Jersey, NJ: Prentice Hall publishers. 19. Maqsood, Umair (28 October 2012). "How YouTube Can Be Used for Viral Marketing". GrowMap. Retrieved 19 January 2013. 20. http://www.marketingsherpa.com/article.php?contentID=1965# 21. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guerrilla_marketing. 22. http://www.prsa.org/AboutPRSA/PublicRelationsDefined.