I don't know if you follow what has happened with Qantas over the past 12 months, but they have had some major disasters, which quite frankly, have little to do with management capabilities, and everything to do with Unions trying to justify their existence.
With strikes holding up flights and delaying some passengers for days on end, surely Pilots and airline staff cannot be thinking that the general public will be feeling sorry for them. Here we have highly paid pilots whose families fly for just 10 percent of the price of an airfare and are guaranteed first preference over customers who are loyal and looking for an upgrade - and still with all their perks, they feel hard done by.
It was complete rubbish and I for one, did not feel sorry for them. In fact, I was quite annoyed with the constant barrage of voiceovers on every flight asking passengers to support them. What kind of business allows that type of continual annoyance of their loyal customers? If Qantas employs offshore, they only have themselves to blame.
In any case, Qantas is on the rebuild. Their Marketing Manager Lewis Pullen is an exceptional talent with many years experience in the airline industry. I am sure under his guard, these campaigns are being railed out with much thought and in tune with the target audience.
I also was impressed to see Miranda Kerr as their new "face of Qantas". She is apt choice for a company that has promoted John Travolta for many years and as much as he appears to be a great guy, some of the bad publicity is definately at a point of sticking. Qantas cannot afford to associated itself with that.
Congratulations Qantas on your marketing campaign - it's brilliant!
Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.
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The airline pilots were not striking, nor had they been on strike. Even if they had been, could you imagine a worse response from a customer perspective than what Qantas did in shutting down flights globally?
Certainly there had been ongoing, and long standing industrial activity, which Qantas management did not appear able to deal with. The Board and CEO's strategy, it seems to me, was to have a circuit breaker - shutting down the airline - to get things back on a different footing to ensure their future.
Clearly their research showed a massive backlash from customers, with the media reporting, and talk back radio full of, people claiming they would never fly Qantas again.
Presumably this is what the current campaign is trying to overcome.
A lesson is to think what a relationship-based, customer-competitive industry should do in situations like this.
First, how had staff relations become so bad in the first place? Some companies never have industrial disputes, others seem plagued by them.
The Board and management gave the impression they saw their staff as the enemy, not their essential partner.
And shareholders seemed to be given priority over customers by the board, perhaps understandably, if inexcusably, given the financial pressures the market was putting on Qantas shares.
Aviation insiders point to earlier purchase decisions that left Qantas with some less fuel-efficient planes compared with their competitors.
Good issues management practice is to engage honestly with stakeholders, including staff, and have everyone working for the common goal - a sustainably successful airline.
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