Southwest Airline Digital Strategy, Campaign Design, and Measurement

This presentation demonstrates the digital strategies and tactics for Southwest Airlines. It includes the company’s description, the goals of our digital strategy, a campaign description that we design for Southwest, and the resources and tools that we plan to use.

Southwest is a US airline company that operates mainly in the domestic market. Southwest is America’s largest domestic airline in terms of domestic routes originating passengers with 23 % market share. It has headquartered in Dallas, Texas and that’s the only airline company which have 46 consecutive years of profitability in the domestic airlines.

The mission of Southwest Airlines is the dedication to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and company spirit

It differentiates itself from its competitors such as JetBlue, Delta, American Airlines, and United Airlines through superior customer service and legacy strategy with low-cost prices. 

Here is why the digital approach is essential for SW, with our business goal, digital goal, and digital strategy overview.

Marketplace Analysis

We did a competitive analysis for the current airline industry based on quality and price.

Also, we made a SWOT analysis to understand Southwest’s strengths and weaknesses better. Below are some of our findings:

Strengths: Excellent customer service and low prices, operational efficiency, customer loyalty, the newer fleet in comparison to competitors

Weaknesses: low on capital and income, low-price brand image, limited presence in the international market           

Opportunities: consumers look forward to traveling after the pandemic, spending more time online and have more time, meager fuel price

Threats: industry shaken up by COVID-19, stricter security measures, the popular perception of airports as contagion spaces, government restrictions 

Creative Campaign Design: Book now and Travel Later (Spring Break 2021). 

Since people can’t travel because of COVID 19, but ¼ of Americans are planning trips after the pandemic. SW wants travelers to plan those future trips with them. The overall message being:  

“You can’t travel while in lockdown, but no one can stop you from traveling in your dreams. Dream far, dream Southwest.” 

“We know you are going crazy thinking about your next trip. We are too. Dream it, plan it, we’ll take you there.”

Success will be based on: Lift in revenue, MROI/ROAS, share of voice, and ad rank

Timing: 3 Phases

  1. “Dream in Advance”: Sept-Nov 2020, encourage passengers to anticipate more than usual given COVID-19.

2. “Organize”: Dec-Feb, for passengers with a normal anticipation behavior.

3. ”Last minute adventure”: First 2 weeks of March, for passengers that might still be hesitant because of COVID 19.

Our Budget Allocation for this campaign is:

30% Programmatic,

20% SEM,

10% Influencer,

20% Social Ads (FB, Instagram),

20% Retargeting.

Specific recommended strategy

Airlines depend on digital sales, so a 360 approach is key to success. Hence, we recommend leveraging several digital channels which is common in the industry.

SEO: blogs including the key words, landing page related to Spring Break Ideas, landing page with the campaign “Book Now Travel Later”.

SEM: Search Network and Display Network (Google Ads)

Social/Content Marketing: necessary because we are targeting a young audience.

Paid ads on Instagram, Facebook, (2) Instagram Filter, (3) Tik Tok Challenge, (4) Youtube – Vlogs w/ influencers, (5) Organic Content

Programmatic: display (for tourism-related web pages and frequently visit pages such as newspapers)

Retargeting: Reward points and other time bound offers  

Email Marketing: communicating the promotion and also for retargeting.

Contents Design

Our contents include the travel during/post COVID times, appealing destinations, & making travel simple, increased rewards points.

KPI’s & Key Metrics

Our North-Star metric is the sales revenue.

KPI’s/key metrics are listed but not limited to:

Impressions and Reach (social)

Email open rates, click through rates

Organic search volume

Core user actions on social media: (video views, comments, likes, shares, responses to poll)

Website sessions, pages/session, average session duration, bounce rate

CTR by channel

Conversion rates and cost of acquisition by channel

Tracking & tools: Internal data, Sprout Social, Facebook Business Manager, Google Analytics, AdRoll

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