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Turkish Airlines Marketing Strategy

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Marketing
Wordcount: 1796 words Published: 30th Jun 2017

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Since the marketing departments in companies try to raise the profit and the market share, they use advertisements as an instrument to achieve their task. Relatively, advertising is one of the important steps in marketing strategies in companies (Dunn & Barban, 1978). While Keegan & Schlegelmilch (2005) describe the advertising as a paid message which takes place in mass media, Dunn & Barban (ibid) identify this concept as a way of communication between business companies and their customers. They insist that the working principle of advertising is contained a sender, a message, a transmission way, and a receiver. The objectives of a adverts is making contribution to company image, be aware of potential customers about the company and their products/ services, and persuade them to buy.

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According to the Turkey Tourism Report Q3 and Q4 (2009), Turkish Airlines (TA) which is operated by the Turkish government (98.7%) was born in 1933. It was distinguished the leader of the local airline companies in Turkey at 2008. In November 2004, the company took its first step about privatisation by selling 20% of its share. With referred to the Star Alliance web site (16/3/2010), the company sold another 25% of its share to the public in 2005. After this processes, nearly half of the shares have been public owned. The entrance of the Star Alliance membership in April 2008 helps the company to progress itself and show an upward trend by using this situation as an advertisement in Europe. Star Alliance identifies TA as a fastest developed company in Europe considering its development without influencing economical crisis in the world. TA proved this by publishing 2008 Annual Report of the company in its` own web site (December, 2009). According to this report, the net profit advance of the company in 2008 was 327%, and the increase in number of international passenger was 19.49%. The weight of the European passengers in international flights is given 67.4% in this report. According to the news of Elfes (12 March 2010), the CEO of TA Temel Kotil emphasise the importance of European market for the company, and explained the company objective in Europe as gaining market share like Lufthansa Airlines and British Airways.

UK aviation market is one the company target to gain share. The company aimed to use Turkish Airports as a bridge between UK and Middle East and Asia. Relatively they pay attention to the UK – Turkey flights. After the activation of the Birmingham-Istanbul flights in December 2008, TA serves their customer to transport to Turkey from four airports in UK (London Heatrow, London Stansted, Manchester, and Birmingham) (Turkey Tourism Report Q4, 2009).

Key Concepts on advertising

When local companies decide to spread in international platform, they try to present the company and their products/services by utilising the advertisements. Keegan & Schlegelmilch (2005) divide the advertising strategies in to two main categories, local and global advertising. In local adverts, it is aimed to create more culturally suitable adverts for different countries. However local adverts looks more familiar for target country citizens, some companies find this type costly heavy. The reason of this is the abundance of advert investments for each target country. On the other hand, global advertising campaigns are more suitable in prices because of usage same strategies and concepts in different markets. Although, the single problem of global advertisements is adaptation for different countries, it increases short-term relationship with potential customers by informing them about their products/services, and helps to create long-term benefits by leading awareness in world wide. Turkish Airlines prefers to benefit from a mix of advertisement strategy in UK which is both local and global.

Segmentation is one of the most important criteria for companies to determine their advertising strategies. Dunn & Barban (1978) identify this process in three steps. First is grouping the potential customers by considering their features and interests. Then, available media is determined to reach the target segments. And finally, an advertising strategy is taken over by the influences of the first and second step. The significance of the segmentation in advertising comes from the understanding the expectation of different groups. This leads to get a distinctive advantage for companies by comparing with their competitors. Keegan & Schlegelmilch (2005) discuss the segmentation in to five main subheadings called geographic, demographic, psychographic, behaviour, and benefit segmentation. In following parts related subheadings will explained by attaching with Turkish Airlines advertisement strategy.

Selecting correct media medium increases the possibility of advertisement`s success. Since each type of media has advantages and disadvantages, it is important to benefit from media in suitable way (Dunn & Barban, 1978). Keegan & Schlegelmilch (2005) identify the properties of each media type clearly in their study. According to them, TV helps companies to reach large capacity of audience, and makes high prestige. Nevertheless, the cost of TV advertises is relatively high. Newspapers also facilitate to reach targeting or non-targeting audience, but the frequency of them prevents long-term advertisement. Magazine is more suitable type of media to long-term advertising. It also increases the company prestige on target customers mind. Additionally, internet adverts helps the companies for reaching target audience. It also enables companies to inform their loyal customers about new products/services and promotions by using e-mailing facility in low costs. Using outdoor media is another way of low cost advertisements. Although, it enables the repetition, it is not a suitable area for extensive advertisement campaigns. While companies realise the different segments, they consider the interests and habits of the target customers. A proper segmentation simplifies the media selection process. Turkish Airlines prefer to benefits from multiple media selection by combining them.

An effective advertisement campaign in global arena provides the companies to obtain high selling rates and to gain or increase market shares on targeting markets. Therefore the messages in adverts have to be simple and understandable (Keegan & Schlegelmilch, 2005). According to Mooij (2004), effective adverts have to be persuasive by explaining the differences of the offering product/ service from related competitors. Moreover, it proposes to sell happiness and pleasure (Keegan & Schlegelmilch, ibid). On the other hand, Dunn & Barban (1978) define an effective advert as being creative and intelligent for taking the target customers interest. It tries to generate psychological impression by using memorable things like slogans, logos, even songs. In following parts the effectiveness of a TA advert will be analysed with regard to these criteria.

Analysis of Turkish Airlines Advertisement Strategies

After the entrance of the Star Alliance membership, Turkish Airlines realised first non-paid advertisement and this helped to raise the brand name and ridership in globe. In 2009, the first 60-second video advertisement with Kevin Costner was broadcasted in 70 countries include UK. Executive board chairman of TA Candan Karlitekin explain the aim of this advertisement is emphasising the comfort and high quality service of TA business class in global arena (eturbonews.com, 13 Jan 2009).

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This advertisement starts with Kevin Costner boarding a TA plane. During the flight Turkish Airline`s personnel treat him very nicely and serve him attentively. To reward a hostess he signs a piece of paper and gives it to her to show his satisfaction for her service. After the flight, he meets a family. The guy tries to take a picture of his wife and children. Since Kevin Costner is happy in that time, he poses with them in a humorous and ironic manner. At the end of the advert he stops in front of a mirror to look at himself. Nevertheless, the viewers see that the man in the reflection is not Kevin Costner; he is just a normal passenger. In that time, the message is given `With Turkish Airlines is easy to feel like a star’.

The aim of Turkish Airlines to selecting a Hollywood star is to create a global advertisement campaign with a well known actor. Instead of shooting several films with local actors in each country like in local advertisement strategy approach, using Kevin Costner is more suitable in production cost. Furthermore, the name of the company prevents to behave like a local company in each country. This advertisement most importantly makes awareness on potential foreign customers like British customers about the company name and its services.

This advertisement campaign is a good example of demographic segmentation by considering customers income and occupation. Since they research the expectations of this segment, they offer their customer pleasure. Although, this advertisement campaign calls upon potential business class passengers, it does not attract the attention on this concept in highest level. This helps to company to use this advertisement for taking attention of other segments to create brand recognition.

To decrease the failure risk of this campaign TA prefer to use different media types in combination. If we give an example in UK market, by the helps of the TV advertisement broadcasting, the company interprets the message properly. They also provide the repetition with billboards in international terminals of British airports like Manchester Airport. Nevertheless, there is a deficiency of this advertising campaign. The company has to give more importance to the press media and internet to increase their sales rate in British market. Although the web page of the company and the emailing strategy is sufficient for advertisement, the company should strength the campaign by giving adverts on popular business magazines and web pages in UK.

If we analyse the efficiency of the video advert of TA, we could see some remarkable and creative points for UK market. First of all, the differentiation of the service is explained properly. It is also persuasive. Moreover, the advert does not need any adaptation for this market because of the language selection in advertisement both in song and speech. The message ` I feel like a star` is so clear and understandable and reasonable. Since it is supported with the song it is also memorable. And finally, the surprise at the end is impressive.


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