Canadian Transit Forum - February/March 2015 / février/mars 2015 - (Page 26)
MARKETING IN TRANSPORTATION
- AIR CANADA AND THE STM
By Pierre Bourbonnière
Hello, my name is Pierre Bourbonnière and
I am your Flight Director today. We will depart
momentarily. Our flight to Frankfurt will take
7 hours and 15 minutes, gate to gate. We will
be flying at an altitude of 42 000 feet and we
are scheduled to arrive at 6:15, local time.
Please sit back, relax and enjoy your flight.
I HAVE BEEN IN the transportation business for close to 35 years. It all started with
Air Canada hiring students from business
schools and training them in various lines
of business such as in-flight service, baggage handling, passenger service, catering,
aircraft grooming, operations coordination, and then on to management. Most
of my career was in marketing - business
development, marketing communications,
Aeroplan, Star Alliance, and for those of
you old enough to remember, the EnRoute
credit card. About 28 great years!
When things got a little bumpy (financial
reorganization/restructuring), I decided to
Air Canada Check-in kiosks
F e b r u a r y | f é v r i e r 2 0 15
retire, got an MBA and re-directed my
career, still in transportation but this time,
public transit, THE NEW THING!
As many of you will agree, flying is no
longer what it used to be and I really believe
that public transit is the new thing! From
a demographic stand-point, just as flying
is no longer reserved for the wealthy, neither is public transit for those who can`t
afford a car!
When I joined the STM in 2007, I was
keen to bring in new ideas and jokingly suggested that customers should be able to
reserve their seats, have assigned seats in
buses and metros, perhaps a business class?
I also wondered why metro stations couldn't
have lounge areas, coffee and newspapers.
How about a loyalty program...why not?
The customers we carry every day need
some form of TLC and recognition.
Seven years later, a lot has happened.
We now have a lounge-like area at the
back of our buses, our new metro Azur
has very airline-like features such as special air vents, LED reading lights, front to
back walk-through aisles which allow you
go from the front of the train to the back,
TV monitors, and then some. STM even has
a loyalty program called MERCI!
Why is marketing so important in public
transit? Before answering this question let's
define what marketing is: "Marketing is a
set of activities and processes for creating,
communicating, delivering, and exchanging
offerings that have value for customers,
clients, partners, and society at large."
So if there is no competition, why
* Because we carry people, customers!
They are the reason why we operate a
fleet of buses and metros every day and
not the other way around.
* To ensure through marketing research
that our customers are at the centre of
all our decisions.
Pierre Bourbonnière at a STM bus shelter
* To ensure that we have a value proposition
(schedule, performance, quality of service,
pricing, brand, information) that is in line
with our customer expectations.
* Because a majority of our customers have
a choice and by offering good value, we will
influence their decision to use public transit.
* Because our objective is to increase ridership and generate more revenue which will
in turn be spent on constantly improving
our products and services.
* Because we have competition! If we are
not as good if not better than the car, our
customers will go back to their old habits.
* Because we want to influence behaviour
and entice customers to use public transit
during off peak and to buy monthly and
* Because we want a strong brand identity
and ensure our citizens are proud and have
a good perception of their public transit
* And last but not least, to promote our
WHAT DOES THE MARKETING
DEPARTMENT LOOKS LIKE AT
It is a group of approximately 20-25
people divided into 2 divisions, soft (creative)
and hard (analytics) marketing.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Canadian Transit Forum - February/March 2015 / février/mars 2015
Message from the President: Civic Engagement – the Key to Political Profile
Message du président : L’engagement civique – la clé pour une dimension politique
The Mississauga Transitway – Making it Faster and Easier to Travel Across the City
Le Mississauga Transitway – Parcourir la ville plus rapidement et plus facilement
Un transport collectif écologique
Elevating the Customer Experience: Collecting the Voice of the Customer
Rehausser l’expérience client en recueillant la Voix du client
Industry Trends: Member Funded Research: A New Demand Forecasting Tool for Specialized Transit
Tendances du secteur : Recherche financée par les membres : une nouvelle demande pour outil de prévision du transport adapté
Marketing in Transportation – Air Canada and the STM
Le marketing en transport – Air Canada et la STM
Index of Advertisers
Index des annonceurs
Canadian Transit Forum - February/March 2015 / février/mars 2015