How Delta Flight 431 Beat Irma: Marketing Lessons for Navigating Any Storm
While thousands of people evacuated the path of Hurricane Irma yesterday, Delta Flight 431 flew right into the Category 5 storm. The plane traveled from New York City to San Juan, Puerto Rico and then back to JFK. The turnaround time was just 40 minutes. Flight 431 was the final plane to leave Puerto Rico before the airport closed and braced for the historic storm.
Aviation enthusiasts excitedly followed the journey of flight DL431 in real time. “Where others have turned back, Delta #DL431 presses on,” posted Flightrada22, a website that tracks air traffic.
Looking at the weather map, it’s incredible to imagine flying a plane safely. How did the Delta pilots navigate through one of the strongest Atlantic storms ever? We also have to ask why did they brave this horrific storm? And lastly, we have to wonder if we can learn anything from their triumph.
First, how did the airplane beat Hurricane Irma?
A commercial flight has numerous phases but the high-level first steps include flight plan, destination, route, distance, airspeed, and weather brief. This process is followed before every flight. Even tiny, quick trips are required to complete each step. The underlying connection in each stage is information. Airplane travel is possible only with accurate data.
Delta Airline officials were “armed with the latest forecast from the airline’s meteorology team” before DL431 ever lifted off. The crew trusted the information 100% otherwise they would never put 173 lives at risk. Highly sophisticated radars detailed the storm, giving the airlines and air traffic control the confidence to proceed with the flight. Also, the radars displayed an incredible show as aviation fans watched the plane safely navigate the hurricane.
Although it was amazing to watch the Delta flight expertly fly in and out of Hurricane Irma, the achievement does emphasize some marketing lessons and takeaways for marketers.
Before you spend one advertising dollar, a marketing plan must be in place. We have to carefully formulate the purpose and the scope of each marketing campaign. Who is your audience? What media will you use? What’s your message? What are the marketing goals? Once the plan is set, we must make sure it’s successful with constant feedback and monitoring.
Pilots have their navigation radar, just as marketers have tools. And call tracking is vital. Call tracking leverages technology to measure consumers’ behavior before and during phone calls. This essential information shapes intelligent decisions for marketing and sales teams. Naturally, the accuracy of call tracking data maintains confidence in your campaigns and advertisements.
For 16 years Convirza has tracked phone calls with the highest accuracy rates in the industry. Our data scientists have dedicated 40,000 plus hours analyzing phone calls. This unparalleled knowledge guarantees accurate marketing data. Call tracking pinpoints which campaigns, keywords, and channels generate calls. But Convirza’s call tracking provides much more than comprehensive data. We formulate deep marketing metrics as well.
Only experienced meteorologists and flight crews would fly into a hurricane, let alone of the most dangerous in recent history. Delta’s vice president for operations said, “our meteorology team is the best in the business. They took a hard look at the weather data and the track of the storm and worked with the flight crew and dispatcher to agree it was safe to operate the flight.”
The main thing that separates leisure pilots from professional pilots is the experience. Pilots must log thousands of hours in the cockpit logged before they can qualify to operate a commercial jet. It’s this advanced training and experience base that allowed the pilots to modify their course to follow the ‘outer band’ of Irma’s furry. Expertise and skill were imperative.
Marketing Lessons: Trust experienced professionals.
The career journey is much the same for professional marketers. The more experience an individual has successfully managing marketing campaigns, the larger the projects they get and most likely, the more influential their company.
Convirza supports marketers ranging from those who manage one-store businesses to major corporations. They trust our systems, technology, and people. We have saved companies millions of dollars and in turn, helped businesses realize exponential growth.
One more thought about experience and skill from an aviation consultant named Douglas Moss. He explained to Wired that flying an airplane on the edge of an enormous hurricane was “not much different from flying through the Midwest in the summertime with thunderstorms.” This is surprising. In fact, Moss said, “it’s the same techniques, the same tools, the same procedures you use for avoiding thunderstorms.”
Which leads us to our next important takeaway in our list of marketing lessons.
The weekend pilots flying single-engine plans use the same navigation tools and techniques as large, commercial pilots use. Every business that receives phone calls can use call tracking. Equipped with the knowledge from call tracking, smart marketers know how they are performing. And when things aren’t successful, or a storm starts to develop, you can quickly adjust your path.
You can accomplish amazing feats using accurate information and expert tools. Thank you Delta Flight 431 for the marketing lessons; you inspired us.