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The Multilingual Advantage of Bizav

English has long been the language of aviation. For cockpit and air traffic control communications, that’s not going to change. But we do see a shift underway.

A glance through ABACE show dailies makes it clear that English no longer has an exclusive hold on aviation marketing and information. Most of the stories ran in both English and Chinese, as did some of the ads. Some ads were in Chinese only.

Portuguese for LABACE

Ad buys for LABACE dailies, our contacts tell us, are coming in roughly 50% Portuguese only and 75% both Portuguese and English. This signifies a major shift. Going with the language of the host country adds complications, yes, but sends a clear signal that you’re committed to the global marketplace. São Paulo and Shanghai exemplify markets with buying power that very much favors the local language. Marketing at other international shows – in Paris, Dubai and Singapore – is still in English.

 LABACE dailies
Roughly half the ads planned for the LABACE dailies are in Portuguese.

Marketing Online to a Multilingual World

Your website also should reflect your intention to speak the language of your potential customers, wherever they may be. An option is to incorporate a universal translator, such as Google Translate. But beware, translators are crude tools that get close but are rarely right on. To do it right, you really need a website built for multiple languages and to have your content translated by professionals. It’s the only way to ensure that your message remains consistent from one language to another.

Aviation Is the Universal Language

Private Jet Distribution
Business leaders the world over recognize the advantages of private aviation.

Those of us in the English-speaking world have had it easy since the International Civil Aviation Organization was formed back in 1944 and pronounced English the language of flight control. And we’ve been skating along on the assumption that it would continue to be the language for everything aviation.

That worked so long as the United States remained the 900-pound gorilla of private aviation, with an overwhelming percentage of the world’s private aircraft. But everyone in aviation knows that’s changing. While the United States still has by far the most business aircraft, the percentage growth is faster in other parts of the world. We live in a global aviation economy.

The Promise and Challenge of Globalization

If we want to remain relevant as the world changes around us, we have to start by speaking the language of our target audience. It’s something to think about each and every time you put your message out there. Who am I speaking to? What language do they speak? And then adapt and make it easy to do business across cultures.

Uma só língua nunca basta. (One language is never enough.)

This article ran in the August 13 issue of AIN Marketing Trends.

Chicago Tribune; Wichita’s new airport terminal makes an unmistakable aviation salute

By John Handley

WICHITA, Kan. — Wichita’s new $200 million airport terminal looks like a plane wing, which makes perfect sense because this largest city in Kansas boasts that it is the Air Capital of the World.

“More than 300,000 planes have been built in Wichita since the 1920s,” said Victor White, director of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport, which opened last month. Designed to celebrate Wichita’s long aviation heritage, the terminal makes you feel as if you are inside a plane’s wing. On the second floor, seven large panels delve into Wichita’s aviation history.

Showcased are the daredevil air show pilots of the early years. Other panels tell about the aviation pioneers (Walter Beech, Clyde Cessna and Lloyd Stearman) who put Wichita on the flight map.

Because of its midcountry location, Wichita became a refueling stop for coast-to-coast flights, including some piloted by Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart and Howard Hughes.

Another panel features World War II, when aircraft construction made Wichita’s airport one of the busiest in the country. With the addition of Learjet in 1962, Wichita builds a third of the world’s general aviation planes.

Capitalizing on its aviation fame, the Wichita area offers attractions for flight fans:

  • The Kansas Aviation Museum, at the former municipal airport near McConnell Air Force Base, displays 40 historic aircraft.
  • At Exploration Place, a hands-on science center, the aviation exhibit has a full-size Cessna with an open cockpit.
  • Kansas Cosmosphere & Space Center, in Hutchinson, Kan., chronicles the space race.

John Handley is a freelance reporter.

This article, written by John Handley, ran in the August 9 edition of the Chicago Tribune.

Make Your Marketing More Entrepreneurial

Entrepreneurs have a penchant for action. For sizing up opportunity and seizing it.

Marketers would do well to adopt more of this philosophy. We could start by looking at lessons learned from one who personified innovation at its best: Fran Jabara.

Wichita lost this 90-year-old boundary-pushing business advocate last week. His passing has generated countless anecdotes and remembrances. Jabara consulted Bill Lear during Learjet’s launch in the early ’60s. Founded, helped fund and led Wichita State University’s Center for Entrepreneurship. Brokered deals large and small. Invested in ideas and mentored people. He set an example of success that eschewed a zero sum game in favor of opposing parties walking away winners. Fran Jabara said "If you haven’t failed three or four times, you’re not a true entrepreneur."

Entrepreneurs aren’t about raising awareness. They’re about making things happen. Generating new products, services and business processes. Assessing risk but not being paralyzed by it. Jabara was quoted as having said, “If you haven’t failed three or four times, you’re not a true entrepreneur.” To him, failure was not a badge of shame. You tried and did your best. You learned and moved on. What happened next is what mattered.

Eight Ways to Push Forward

  1. Think new. Especially in business aviation, you see the same aircraft-in-flight ads. The same office-in-the-sky benefits. Be different.
  1. Focus your effort. Consider more one-to-one marketing. More personalized offers that speak to customers’ true points of pain. Be relevant.
  1. Believe in an idea. Success isn’t getting every marketing campaign concept approved by the corner office, but don’t give up on those you think have real merit. Be tenacious.

Weigh entrepreneurial risk against rewards

  1. Analyze the situation. Weigh risk against rewards. Do your due diligence. Get as many facts as you can about the competitive landscape and your target markets. Be smart.
  1. Build support. Use the power of persuasion and personality to get others to join in your vision, gather the proper resources and gain the time to do it right. Be a leader.
  1. Set goals. Move away from brochure-type websites and passive materials to measurable actions. Be accountable.Keep working your entrepreneurial idea.
  1. Change up tactics. If you have been slow to social media, blogging, webinars, behavioral targeting or any number of other outreach approaches; try something different. Be flexible.
  1. See it through. Meet with people one on one. Network with teams. Find common ground. Follow up and finesse your tactics as needed. Keep working your idea. Be collaborative.

Build a Legacy

Marketing like entrepreneurship tends to be a long game with many wins and losses along the way. Keep your eye on the bigger picture. Building raving fans for your brand, developed from true connection and alignment of purpose. Where, like Jabara advocated, both sides win.

Pictured at top: Fran Jabara (left) with Hesston Corp. founder Lyle Yost and Learjet founder Bill Lear. Credit: Jabara Family.

This column ran in the August 5 issue of BlueSky Business Aviation News.