Canadian Transit Forum - February/March 2015 / février/mars 2015 - (Page 26)

Feature 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 26 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." (from marketing/g/marketing.htm) So if there is no competition, why marketing? * 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 yearly passes. * Because we want a strong brand identity and ensure our citizens are proud and have a good perception of their public transit agency. * And last but not least, to promote our services. WHAT DOES THE MARKETING DEPARTMENT LOOKS LIKE AT THE STM? 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
Greening Transit
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