Marketing is certainly one of the most important activities in any company and the airlines are no different. Approximately one-half of a major or any, national carrier's employees are engaged in the marketing process.
Reservations personnel, ticket and customer service agents, baggage handlers, flight attendants, food service representatives, passenger and cargo sales representatives, and pricing and market research analysts are involved in marketing the company's product-air transportation.
Marketing is that broad area of business activity that directs the flow of services provided by the carrier to the customer in order to satisfy customers' needs and wants and to achieve company objectives. Marketing is more than selling: it involves a number of business activities, including forecasting, market research and analysis, product research and development, price setting and promotion including advertising. Marketing also involves the finance activities such as credit and collection that are associated with ticket sales. Marketing is customer oriented. Creating products and services that fulfill the needs of existing customers and attract new customers is the primary goal. Determining who the customers are or could be and what their needs are is part of the process. Marketing must also assist in achieving the company's objectives: an acceptable return on investment, a reasonable level of profits, and an adequate market share.
Why is marketing so important? Without marketing and sales, there would be no airlines. Marketing is the stimulus that encourages innovation, research, and investment. A carrier can have the latest equipment and the most efficient human and capital resources available, but unless somebody is there to sell the output produced, it is all for naught.