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JETNET iQ Showcases BizAv’s Future

There are some invitations you don’t turn down. When long-time agency friend, JETNET iQ program creator and director Rollie Vincent, asked me to moderate a panel at the group’s annual conference in New York City, I jumped at the chance. The highly respected event brings together industry heavy hitters and covers business aviation topics from customer service to the state of the industry.

Blue Skies. Greener Future.

An appropriate theme for this year’s gathering. The agenda is always full of timely topics. Sustainability. New buyers in the market. Supply chain issues not constrained by demand, but by supply. Talent acquisition and retention. Technology and advanced air mobility. Each 50-minute session with hand-selected speakers over a day and a half only touched on subjects we could have discussed for a week.

Leading the Charge on Green: Changing the Narrative

Sustainability will not only continue to be part of the conversation, but it is a must. There was extensive discussion on embracing sustainability efforts. We have the opportunity to lead the charge. The general public doesn’t understand the economic impact of aircraft from jobs to taxes to imports. We need to control the narrative.There continues to be a massive perception problem of old, entitled, arrogant rich men, and we have to change it. Business aviation connected the world when Covid hit and made people recognize its value.

Building Our Human Capital Pipeline

We’re working to revive the love of aviation in kids. We have to bring STEM into school and work to attract talent at a young age. Aviation has talent, good pay and benefits, and a great culture. What attracts people to a company? For the younger generation, it may be the social impact. What good things are you doing? We need to live and breathe the values of the company and showcase them.

Mach Speed Transactions

High-performing, high-net-worth people added to private aviation during the pandemic. We hear conversations you didn’t hear before of people flying privately. If they get used to it and can afford it, they will stay.

The volume and speed of transactions has changed. OEM book-to-bill ratios are solid with large backlogs. Preowned inventory is creeping up. If you are looking for aircraft, picking up the phone and connecting with other brokers is the best shot. No substitute for relationships.

Tomorrow’s Customers

My panel focused on the new face of the customer and how they want to interact with a brand. I was joined by Eve Laurier, Bombardier; David Best, Jet Aviation; Ruth Devey, Gulfstream Aerospace; and Nicole Kappos, Pratt & Whitney Canada (pictured above, seated L to R).

Let’s face it, the “typical” user of private aviation has changed considerably since March 2020 and so has the way they want to interact with the buying cycle. While you still have some customers who want a more traditional experience, you also have those who want to text a CEO to purchase their multi-million dollar jet. There has been a digital transformation in interacting with younger, more diverse customers and first-time buyers. They want the information faster and at their fingertips, but there also had to be more handholding and educating new buyers. Patterns of use have changed. The people utilizing the aircraft have changed. Women are making more key decisions. Providing a bespoke experience for each customer is what will make them loyal to a brand.

In providing good customer service to new and existing clients, responsiveness, reliability, consistency are the themes. We protect the brand by doing what’s right for the customer. They want to talk to a person, and to someone who cares. Strive to understand the customer’s why. Focus on sustainability.

The Outlook

Aircraft owners and operators are optimistic. The industry is looking good for the remainder of the year and into 2023. It will take all of us collectively to move the needle on sustainability, advocacy and attracting the next generation of aviators.

(Photos courtesy of JETNET iQ)

Supporting a Life-Changing Program

Heroes Academy director Kyle Ellison came to us with a challenge: implement a name change and brand transformation as bold and fresh as his new vision for the organization. Real Men, Real Heroes was in need of a serious update and Heroes Academy was born out of a changing mission.

Heros Academy has helped over 5,000 Wichita kids.

Finding Purpose – and a Path

The organization envisioned serving a broader, more diverse population including girls. They’ve helped over 5,000 Wichita kids and plan to help thousands more as Heroes Academy. To us, that’s heroic. And a mission easy to get behind.

Parents give the organization good grades – 92% say their child’s academic performance improved with mentoring. Kids grade it highly too:

  • 85% say Heroes Academy gives them a place to belong
  • 94% feel better about their futures

A Powerful Look for an Empowering Mission

This spirited, valiant crest logo captures the essence, imagination and forward momentum of an organization on the move. We built a clean, modern, easy-to-navigate website telling the organization’s story. Of in-school mentoring at Wichita schools where volunteers and staff provide counsel and caring for boys and girls who might not always get it. Of weekly gatherings where mentors and students eat together before going off to activities. Of enriching and world-expanding opportunities. That’s an empowering mission we’re glad to support.

The Long Shot: Instagram Prefers Vertical

Instagram’s user experience has begun to significantly morph over the last several months, as Meta strives to compete with TikTok’s momentum. Near the end of July, the social media platform went so far as to deploy and test an immersive full-screen experience to a handful of its users, prioritizing Reels content and filling feeds with recommended content in place of content produced by accounts these users actually followed.

The test quickly back-fired as influencers and content creators went to great lengths to voice their frustration with the change. “Make Instagram Instagram Again” petitions circulated social media platforms. It’s as if Instagram is so focused on being TikTok 2.0 that it’s lost touch with its original purpose – photo sharing.

Eventually, Head of Instagram Adam Moserri publicly addressed the situation. Moserri stated that the full-screen experience will be put on the back-burner for the time being. Since then Instagram has expressed its preference for vertical media, reminding content creators and brands that because vertical media takes up more “real estate” on the screen, the longer format in turn receives higher levels of engagement. This leads to an increase in visibility and preference within the eyes of the Instagram algorithm.

Also worth considering is the fact that Instagram now categorizes all video content as an Instagram Reel.

What shall we do with this Instagram knowledge?

Moserri stated that the full-screen experience has only been placed on the backburner “for now,” so it would be wise to get into a habit of creating vertical content. If the habit is developed over time, it will be a seamless transition when this fully immersive Instagram experience inevitably comes to fruition.

What is the best way to accomplish this?

Eliminating horizontal content from the Instagram strategy might feel strange at first, but ultimately the change will give way and produce higher engagement rates and higher reach as a result of the algorithm awarding posts that incur “social proof.” Start by implementing an Instagram strategy that lives and breathes with these photo and video dimensions:

Square Image – 1080×1080
Portrait Image – 1080×1350
Instagram Story and Reels Dimensions: 1080×1920

If you’re looking for a helpful tool to use for storing and resizing social media images and video content, Canva is a great place to start. From there, a successful content rotation requires setting goals and planning things out.

Develop a social media mix that includes regular Reels content, vertical carousel posts, and consistent Story posts. By doing this, your content will remain exciting, engaging and significantly more visible.

Take Five with Kendall

The advertising industry is ever-changing with varying facets that attract and inspire the professionals who choose this career path. Some are drawn in by their passion for design, others find a thrill in wordsmithing and content creation. Greteman Group Brand Manager Kendall Schellhorn shares what has inspired her throughout her career as she answers these five questions.

What initially drew you to a career in marketing and advertising?

Logos. I love logos. I think it’s fun to be able to identify a company just by viewing its mark. For me, the thought process that goes into developing a logo and a brand, and then seeing how a company utilizes that brand, is fascinating. Like many people, I fell into advertising in college. While attending the journalism school at KU, I was exposed to multiple areas of the industry. I initially believed everyone would start at an ad agency, but quickly learned there are different avenues and paths to take in this career field.

Who has inspired you along your professional journey?

The people I have been fortunate enough to work alongside, continue to be the highlight throughout my professional journey. I remember the people more than the work. I have been fortunate to have remarkable mentors in my career who continue to inspire me to this day, and I hope to pass along their wisdom to others.

What is your favorite thing about your role at Greteman Group, so far?

My favorite part of Greteman Group is the people. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know everyone, and greatly appreciate the comradery and team atmosphere. As a brand manager, I enjoy seeing a client’s business grow from our advertising and marketing efforts, as a result of the team’s strategic planning. Combining strengths and skills produces a stronger outcome for a client.

What has been the most surprising thing that you’ve learned in your career?

There is always something surprising in this industry. The advertising and marketing industry is constantly changing. You have to keep up with technology trends and constantly adapt to new ways of reaching your clients’ target audience. While some of the longstanding industry adages will always ring true, it’s surprising what you can achieve with today’s media options.

For those considering a career in marketing and advertising, what piece of wisdom would you like to share?

Marketing and advertising is a unique field because you can create your own path. There’s no set track to follow, which is a plus and a minus. Embrace the opportunities. Learn all aspects of the business to equip yourself with as many skills as possible. Then follow the path that interests you most.

King Aerospace’s Expansion to Arkansas

King Aerospace’s new Arkansas facility – they call it KACC ARK – nearly doubles the amount of shop and hangar space available for work. It’ll complement the existing maintenance, modification and paint operation in Ardmore, OK, and serve military aircraft.

The 40-year-old family-owned company, with home offices in Addison, TX, prides itself on the quality work that draws upon cornerstone principles including quality in everything (no excuses), honest and trust, and mutual respect. “God, country and family” are more than a tagline for the company and for Jerry King, its founder and chairman, and his son, Jarid King, its president. The guiding values are reflected not only in the principles we mentioned but also in the work King Aerospace does for military and commercial customers.

A Second, Much-needed Home

The company has operations at military bases in the U.S. and South Korea, but its biggest facility so far is in Ardmore, where it does maintenance, modifications, paintwork and more. King Aerospace’s ability to satisfy customers has brought it plenty of work, so adding space was a necessity. Jerry King – often it seems natural to call him Mr. King – and his team had long eyed two massive but long-vacant hangars at Northwest Arkansas National Airport. Each contains nearly 60,000 feet, dwarfing anyone venturing.

At XNA, they’ll have access to an 8,800-foot runway, air traffic control tower, 24-hour security and firefighting protection. All that can handle the multiple, widebody aircraft, such as the Boeing 747, 767 and 777, that can fit into those hangars. The secure facility will be used to upgrade aircraft with everything from next-generation cabin and entertainment systems to airborne defense systems. It will also perform maintenance and interior modifications for VIP aircraft.

Building a second home is no simple task. Since getting the keys several months ago, they’ve been making over the 195,000 square feet of hangar, engineering, shop and office space. Regulators checked them out, fire systems were tested, spaces given the King look, tools and office furniture were brought in. So were the antiques and military and aviation memorabilia founder Mr. King loves, because they say much about who and what came before in our country and his industry.

Fire suppression system at King Aerospace Arkansas site
Freedom Fire Pro briefing about the detection process of the new state-of-the-art, fire-suppression system at KACC ARK.

A Beautiful, Busy Setting

The company has picked a beautiful spot for their new home, with Rogers and neighbor Bentonville, home to Wal-Mart, having experienced an explosion of growth in recent years. A world-renowned art museum and high-quality hotels, restaurants and services add to the region’s appeal. The airport itself offers about 50 flights daily to destinations across the country and is easily accessible to company representatives. Mr. King can pop over in his Learjet 40 as needed. He’s spent a lot of time on the ground there recently as they ramp up the finishing touches. Soon the big jets will start flying in.

A while back, we heard Mr. King say, “These hangars make us feel like the proud parents of twins.”

At Greteman Group we’re proud to be part of the King Aerospace family. Sort of the quirky aunt or uncle. Colorful but always there when needed.