After solving the basics, such as having enough seats at the gates and speeding security lines, airports need to improve their spending on “emotional” aspects of the passenger experience if the airports want to bolster their profits.
According to the research, if an airport increases passenger satisfaction by just 2% it would see an increased spend of $0.8 per passenger, the report found. If an airport implements targeted advertising it can generates about 2.7 times more revenue than non-targeted advertising.
In order to maintain targeted-marketing more than 80% of airports plan to invest in self-service and mobile-related projects over the next three years. As almost all passengers (97%) now carry a mobile device, six in 10 airports (60%) plan to invest in geo-location programs over the next three years. Of those, 49% plan to invest in near field communication (NFC) technology, and 33% will invest in iBeacon.
Most airports plan to expand services through mobile applications (apps), with 78% focusing on customer relationship management (CRM), 73% on security wait-time notifications, 72% on way-finding and orientation, and 65% on retail services.
To conclude, let’s look at some examples. In January Copenhagen Airport became the first in the world to remove all of its static advertising, such as posters, and replaced them with rolling video billboards. The new video ads are tailored to specific consumer groups as they pass through the terminals and these screens will soon perform facial recognition to change the ad display based on a passenger’s age, gender, and attention levels — all based on iBeacon technology. The airport reports moderate spending increases in the five months since it implemented the new screens.
Miami International Airport last year committed to experimenting with beacons, which send notifications to a passenger’s smartphone based on their interests or proximity to something within a terminal. Many airports are mulling using beacon technology.