Marketing Ideas

Oops. posted this to another forum topic and noticed the suggestions and ideas section… so thought I’d pop it here too…

I would expect that there would be such things as running poster/tv newspaper and internet advertising campaigns…

How about:

Sponsoring Cabs/Busses/Mass Transit (E.G when a company puts its image all over the side of a cab or tube train)

Sponsorship of sports teams or sports events

Sponsorship of TV shows

Product placement in TV show/Movie (Eg. Virgin in James Bond)

Running a competition (either to win flights or win other prizes-offering companies or TV shows discounted flights as part of a prize)

Running a discount promotion

Offering packages?

Bringing out a credit card

Starting up a rewards programme

Flyer campaigns in major cities

Just a few ideas! Hope that they can get passed on to the game creators…


Nice ideas, but what’s the sense of your post?

e.g. "Sponsorship of sports teams or sports events": How do you want to implement it into the game?

  • Where can I sponsor a team? (do we need a database of teams from all over the world??)

  • How expensive is it?

  • What’s the benefit? More passengers overall? More passengers at a certain location? How many more?

  • Or not more passengers, but a better image?

If youpost ideas, I’d expect some more details on how to make it work instead of just listing the common marketing possibilities.

I try to translate my ideas on marketing posted loong ago:

In reality an airline spends about 2-10% for marketing, sponsoring and promotion. My suggestion is a basic marketing cost of 2% of total revenue to maintain your image. The marketing costs can be adjusted, so an airline can lower its marketing spendings or it can increase it. If you lower your marketing spending your image will go down, if you raise your marketing budget your image will go up. Because the marketing costs are proportional to the total revenue, a big airline automatically has higher marketing costs to maintain its image, so therefore a big airline can not increase it’s image easily by just spending more than a small airline. Another idea is to relate the marketing costs to the amount of offices (destinations), which will also result in higher marketing costs for big airlines to maintain its image. A bit more sophisticated would be to have an adjustable marketing cost for every route or class, which would increase or decrease the image in this specific class or on this specific route.

@ martin: these ideas comply with the condition on marketing ideas you have asked for in reply to my post on 18/10/2011 ("Denn bei den meisten "einfachen Modelle" ist genau das der Fall. Der Vorteil großer Airlines wird weiter zementiert, indem sie einfach mehr Geld in Werbung stecken. Bisher hat noch niemand ein Modell vorgeschlagen, welches dieses Problem umschifft und trotzdem ein sinnvolles Feature liefert.")

Hi Voeni! :rolleyes:

Sorry I was just putting ideas out there and didn’t know if I should be detailed or not…

I think it would be good to keep things simple, perhaps some users may wish to stick to a straight up % marker, where they can chose how much they wish to spend on ‘general’ marketing.

I think it would be good to then have a list of options of advanced marketing strategies for other users… Where you can pick how that marketing budget might be focused:

Perhaps you could have options like these:

Sponsoring Cabs/Busses/Mass Transit: E.G. Run a Citywide campaign for : 1 month (Cost = $x), :2 months (Cost = $x) etc… Select the city from one of your destinations

Sponsorship of sports teams or sports events E.G Sponsor a Football Team: Options could include Premier Team/Middle Range/Local Team

                                                                                            	Sponsor a Formula 1 Team:  Top Class Team/Middle Range/Budget Team .........

                                                                                           	Sponsor an Arena

                                                                                           	Sponsor a worldwide sporting event (like world cup/olympics/athletics championships etc)

                                                                                           	Sponsor a Nationwide sporting event (such as sponsoring a Football cup or a league or F1 race etc)

In a sense you could have different levels of sports teams and events, of which more popular (Eg World Events/Top Class Teams), evidently gain larger audiences, and thus improve your company profile and drive more passengers to your airline.


Sponsorship of TV shows [/u] EG. Sponsor a Prime Time Show on Major Network, Daytime Show on Cable Network

Product placement In daytime/primetime TV show

                                                    	In a blockbuster Movie 

Running a competition EG Run a competition in National Newspaper/Magazine/TV Show

Running a discount promotion Run a 2 week % discount on flights with press coverage

Bringing out a credit card This could be with a bank that offers a small % incentive in return for the miles collected by card users/benefits offered to card users

Starting up a rewards programme Airmiles programme for your airline, to increase loyalty. Obviously for those who are in alliances this could have better incentives.


Flyer campaigns in major cities [/u] Chose a city which you fly to and how long it will go on for

Obviously some of these ideas maybe easier and are a little thought out more so than others. I think it would be good to have set prices, E.G it costs about £20m to sponsor the shirt on a top football team in the UK, £25m to sponsor a top F1 team… These top teams may draw an audience that gives you a return of increased brand image + say 5% more customers? or whatever you may decide.

I hope this is a little more detailed, and let me know if you want any help finding figures/working things out and I can give ideas and such! :rolleyes:

Maybe different marketing options should have different effects, some, like sponsorship, increase the airline rating, while others, provision of additional transport services produce extra passengers for that city.

i like (no, i really LOVED!) the ideas of sidesix, use Footbal Teams, Credit Cards and Frequent Flyer Programs is a amazing and perfect idea, it should be really funny, and it will give more game hours.

AS don’t ever said anything about this feature, right? It’s time to change it, the Marketing page is in there from more than 1 year, and nothing has been said… If something has been said, sorry, but i don’t know nothing about that.

Anyway, hahaha, i would love as if my airline appeared in a “Virtual Saturday Night Live;)

[font="arial, sans-serif"][size="3"][color="#333333"]Marketing need atention from the Staff to be devolped, now is the time! [/color][/size][/font]

[font="arial, sans-serif"][size="2"][color="#333333"]


[font=“arial, sans-serif”][size=“2”][color="#333333"]Sorry For the English ;) I think there’s a lot of mistakes in there. [/color][/size][/font]

Sorry, but it is not "NOW" the time!

Which is an unlucky answer from the team with regard to the discussion and the ideas brought to the table. A statement about the timeline, eventually on the ideas above and the ideas of the team would be much more appropriate. No offense.

I agree.

I’ll try to give a little bit more elaborate answer: As mentioned several times before, the issue of marketing is not as easy to address as one might think. We appreciate the ideas above, but “the ways you can do marketing” are not actually the problem. The problem is, as usual, balancing. In the past we wouldn’t have cared: Cool idea? Lets put it into the game! But in my opinion, this way of doing things has lead to all the non-performance-issues we have today, because features were added without having a proper concept, without evaluating how they will interact with other ones.

In the case of marketing in particular, we have the following obvious problems that need solving (and probably a considerably amount of less obvious ones, too):

  • How does marketing affect booking numbers? Would it be just another factor that affects the flight rating? If so, how long will it take until people start complaining that "they got the best seats ever on a 10 hour flight but a competitor flies Eco chairs and has more bookings just because he does more marketing!!!"

  • How do we avoid that large players get yet another advantage over beginners, because they can simply invest more money?

  • Coming from this: How do we avoid marketing to become the ultimate tool to expel an opponent out of any market while still letting it have noticable effects?

These are just some of the open questions. And what sk probably tried to say in a bit “too compact” way was: Given all these things that require thinking about, we currently just cannot spare the resources to do so. There are more than enough pending projects, some of which are also rather urgent (like demand issues affecting Iraq or Afghanistan). So we need to get these things out of the way before we can think about opening up yet another front that might cause more trouble than it’s worth.

That’s right and I wanted to express, that it is not helpful or leading to an aim when everyone wants to prior his most liked new feature as most important. Sorry, that I answered to short to be understood.

Agreed. But just wanted to share something I know from another game…

Introduce marketing (nothing specific, just general) and incorporate it with the flight rating. The cost is based on fleet size? That way the new players don’t have a huge disadvantage. Just a thought.

I think you AS guys are doing a great job with all the regular updates!!


Maybe Billboards along the roads

I think matching the cost with the fleet size is great. As a beginner in this game. I feel that now I could barely compete with the always 100 rating airlines. Of course I can just find niche market but there isn’t any specialisation or comparative advantage. I guess if I haven’t buy too much credit I would simply give up ;)


every now and then people suggest to add new features like the possibility to charge extra money for luggage or fuel, or to add marketing features. While all these suggestions may give the game an extra touch of reality, they would not make the game more challenging.

In the end, it is the rating of your flight that decides how much the passengers like your flight. Adding marketing (or fuel/luggage surcharges) would influence the passengers through the rating, whether directly (as a product factor) or indirectly (as an image factor).

What makes this game challenging, at least in my opinion, are

  • the good balance between complexity, realism and playability (is that a word?)

  • finding out the passengers streams

  • the limited resources: there are only so many slots in each airport, and there are only so many passengers willing to fly between A and B

  • and the competition between players to attract these passengers.

And I agree that it is difficult for a young airline to survive if the region is dominated by a big airline. But the trick is to play against the computer, not against your competitors. Find out where the passengers travel to, keep an eye on your ratings and use planes that work well on your routes. The system will send the passengers your way and you will grow.


Hey so I’ve been thinking a bit about marketing…

So far we have been focusing on the advertising part of marketing, however marketing is described as ‘[font=“sans-serif”][size=“2”]the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large’[/size][/font]

[font="sans-serif"] [/font]

[font="sans-serif"][size="2"]So with that in mind, advertising mediums are great, however I think we can do so much more in the marketing section.[/size][/font]

[font="sans-serif"] [/font]

[font="sans-serif"][size="2"]Market Research[/size][/font]


[font=“sans-serif”][size=“2”]For a start I think there should be a ‘market research’ section, one key part of this would be the ORS, however you would be charged for this as the company would need to hire external experts. Charging would also reduce strain on servers as it would reduce the number of searches people make. You could also have a delay time, to make it more realistic - but also to assign the computational functions at an off peak time.[/size][/font]

[font="sans-serif"] [/font]

[font="sans-serif"][size="2"]ROUTE ANALYSIS[/size][/font]

[font="sans-serif"][size="2"]Another market research function could be investigating future routes, either by determining the number of PAX/Cargo that is wanting to fly the route & the current capacity running, with the rating required for 100% full aircraft. Or by determining which airport that PAX want to go to is most, that is currently under serviced.[/size][/font]

[font="sans-serif"] [/font]

[font="sans-serif"][size="2"]FARE ANALYSIS[/size][/font]

[font="sans-serif"][size="2"]This one would be for the bigger airlines, that are not looking forward to changing all their fare settings - in a tedious time wasting way. You could run a check on your fares, and anything that is not currently acheiving a 100% load factor would return with suggested fares. You could then click on check boxed to allow for a quick - change fares option. Only catch would be it costs - a lot & takes some time for the market research to work their magic, maybe even 48 hours or so? This would provide something for the big boys to spend their money on - other than purchasing more planes & market dominance, and also remove some of the tedious work.[/size][/font]

[font="sans-serif"] [/font]

[font="sans-serif"][size="2"]Route Image[/size][/font]

[font=“sans-serif”][size=“2”]The current route image could be adapted, allowing for great change, due to advertising spent. The catch is, that the route image naturally falls if advertising is not spent, on any route with 3 competitors if a company has a market share greater than 33%. This would favour the noobs as their image is likely to remain high without the need for advertising. I know many people like to fly on the ‘new airlines’ for the novelty of giving them a try, this could be reflected in the game in this way.[/size][/font]

[font="sans-serif"] [/font]


[font="sans-serif"][size="2"]As mentioned above, the route image would naturally be falling for dominant players, so in order to maintain the same image on a route - and overall by definition, the larger players will need to advertise.[/size][/font]

[font="sans-serif"] [/font]


  • [font=“sans-serif”][size=“2”]Marketing shouldn’t just be about advertising[/size][/font]
  • [font="sans-serif"][size="2"]A market research section should be included[/size][/font]
  • [font="sans-serif"][size="2"]ORS should be moved to market research & each search should be charged & delayed[/size][/font]
  • [font="sans-serif"][size="2"]Route analysis should be created to pin point under serviced routes[/size][/font]
  • [font="sans-serif"][size="2"]Fare Analysis should be implemented to reduce tedious price changing for larger airlines - at a cost[/size][/font]
  • [font="sans-serif"][size="2"]Route image should be negatively impacted by market dominance - advertising can counteract that impact[/size][/font]

[font=“sans-serif”][size=“2”]Would love to know everyone’s thoughts?[/size][/font]

im new to this game… but regarding marketing… what about also making it regional and national and international…?? so that you can target your marketing more directly to your routes and areas off business??? and think its an good idea whit % of revunue… and maybe make some different commercial companies that are good at regional commercial national commercials etc…??

just few thoughts of mine… have more will come back with more…

Welcome to the game!

If you find your self struggling ask stacks of questions in the general board. Jan in particular is extremely helpful.

I like the idea of different companies with focuses on areas.

Jan, I couldn’t agree more. I love this game but the level of complication makes it very time consuming, particularly if you have a larger airline. I love buying planes, setting up routes, and creating a network. Deciding who gets a coke and who gets a beer, setting luggage fees, and buying ads on the top of taxis is not how I want to spend my time. I appreciate that some people do, but I think its all very silly.

Without having spent too much time in game, I think some ideas here may be too involved. With choosing teams and events to sponsor, we could very easily turn an airline management game into a marketing game. You get into questions of are there a finite number of teams to sponsor, or can everyone sponsor a premiere league level team in Europe? Or does 1 airline get to sponsor an international sporting event like the Olympics, or does everyone get that opportunity? Then if you begin sponsoring individual teams, do you have to simulate sports seasons with teams increasing their own public rating which would result in a higher return for the airline. I think that becomes very complex and would quickly spin out of control and result in a game world all of it’s own.

A simpler and possibly easier way to implement marketing would be through budgets and campaigns.

For instance, a regional airline like mine would invest a specific amount of money weekly towards marketing, and that money would go towards city/regional/national/continental/international campaigns. The amount of money, the type of campaign, and the airline’s relevance in that region would result in a % increase. For instance, I use JFK as a hub, 105 departures to regional destinations. If I invest AS$5,000 per week to advertising in New York City, then that should result in a percentage bump in ticket sales for departures out of JFK. If I spend AS$5000 to advertise to the eastern US & Canada, I would see a proportionately smaller increase in departures in that region (which is where most of my offices are). And if I spent that money on a continental campaign (advertising to US, Canada, Greenland, Mexico and the Carribean I would see almost zero increase.

The problem with marketing as you propose it just is that a more powerful financial background provides you with a more powerful tool. This way large airlines can make the lives of smaller airlines absolutely impossible and that is just not what AS is about, or is it?

I agree, in reality this is no different, however, it is positive for smaller AS airlines the way it works now, without advertising and thus taking into consideration all other factors (image, airplane, interior config, service etc.).

There needs to be a benefit to being a larger airline. That benefit is the money and power to afford bigger marketing campaigns.

Smaller airlines need to find their niche and grow. Just as it is in real life. All these discount carriers (Frontier, jetblue, Southwest, etc), made their mark by offering cheaper fares and different routes. Other airlines make their mark by offering a 5-star flight. The strong will survive, the weak will reset. Spend smart money and there will be enough asses for all the seats in the sky.