airBaltic sales ascend to new heights

airBaltic sales ascend to new heights

Goals

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Grow sales outside of core market
  • Make airBaltic's digital marketing more efficient

Approach

  • Create a route-based market demand methodology, enabling estimation of demand on specific routes
  • Create a data-driven operational dashboard to monitor and manage digital activity
  • Continually analyse data and optimise campaigns accordingly
  • Localise campaigns for each target country

Results

  • 125% increase in passenger sales via Adwords
  • Cost per segment (CPS) decreased more than 4 times
  • Passenger numbers expected to rise as CPS continues to drop

Based in Riga, Latvia, and operating across Europe, airBaltic is the regional airline of the Baltics. airBaltic connects its home market to Europe, the Nordics, the Middle East, and the CIS, flying to 60 destinations altogether.

The airline was founded in 1995, and has undertaken an ambitious growth plan towards 2020. This includes a renewed fleet of 30 aircraft, boasting seven brand new Bombardier CS300 – the world’s first airline to operate this state-of-the-art aircraft.

With a strong presence in home markets, airBaltic wanted to increase brand awareness and grow sales outside of its core market, generating the greatest impact in a cost effective way. So they decided to focus on digital marketing which gave them the ability to track and measure data.

airBaltic partnered with Google to set up a method of estimating route-based market demand. This identified where the biggest foreign interest lay, which languages to localise campaigns in, and seasonal dynamics. New KPIs were set to align campaign activities to business objectives.

By using a custom automation solution, airBaltic was able to launch paid search campaigns in ten languages, as well as visualise their performance against KPIs in a data-driven operational dashboard. Data analysis and insights are now the backbone of airBaltic’s marketing. If conversion rates from a campaign prove to be good, airBaltic can now maximise the potential of that activity.

airBaltic has taken a user centric approach to engage with customers across their journey to purchase through Google Search campaigns. They also used Display Network campaigns to build brand awareness, and remarketing campaigns to re-engage with potential customers who hadn’t completed a purchase. Google also helped with campaign localisation for each new target country.

95% of airBaltic’s marketing budget is now spent on digital activity. Half of that goes to search campaigns, and the rest to remarketing and display ads.

Compared to initial test campaigns across five different routes, the CPS has been slashed more than four times, and is improving even further. In 2016, airBaltic saw a 10% increase in the number of passengers, and a further rise of 22% in 2017.

Using Google is very important to us. We are growing in markets we weren’t strong in before. Being able to analyse new market data means our future customer acquisition can be even stronger. Jouni Oksanen, SVP of Marketing, Ecommerce and Sales, airBaltic