7 Ways to Bring Marketing and Revenue Management Together

This is the second of a 2-part series. We're looking at how good collaboration between marketing and revenue management is vital for airlines to maximize success.

A big thank you to our product manager Rune Einarsen for his extensive expert insights, which were instrumental in producing this article.


In a competitive industry like commercial aviation, success depends on people with different disciplines working side by side to achieve the best results.

We hear too often that teams within organizations work in their own silos – especially when it comes to marketing and revenue management. Here are 7 ways to bring these two teams together.

1. Understand Each Other's Roles
2. Align Objectives, Targets and Metrics
3. Have Regular Meetings
4. Integrate All Data Sources and Make it More Accessible
5. Use Advanced Analytics to Process the Data
6. Think of the End Customer
7. Evaluate & Celebrate Your Successes Together


1. Understand Each Other's Roles

If you're in marketing or revenue management, don't stay trapped in your silo. Instead, share what’s important to your team, as well as the business issues that keep you busy. For example, marketing wants to reach people in the right way, at the right place and at the right time. RM wants to identify the how and why of underperforming flights.

Understanding and mutual respect go a long way. Know each other's roles in-depth. You’ll ensure clear accountability, recognize each other's strengths, learn what data should be shared and leverage expertise from other areas for the best results. When different disciplines have this shared knowledge, it’s easier to understand each team’s strategy and support each other’s decisions.

Actionable tip: If time allows, schedule a team-building session for marketing and RM to learn about their roles and ways of working. Feel free to go beyond the office walls to encourage more open communication.

2. Align Objectives, Targets and Metrics

RM and marketing both have the same end goal: to drive money for the airline. But the paths to get there don’t always line up. RM has load factor and revenue targets on a flight or route level, while marketing traditionally focuses on sales volume and CPA on a bigger scale. This could lead to competing interests, so it’s important to have a shared vision that you can achieve together.

Follow this up with clear business objectives and targets to unite the marketing and RM teams. While you’ll still work towards the specific goals of your own discipline, ensure that overlapping responsibilities are measured the same way. At one airline we interviewed, the same metric was calculated in 7 different ways across different departments. Keep things consistent by measuring performance with the right metrics.

Actionable tip: Create a company wiki that documents key terminology, goals, objectives, targets and metrics. Make it accessible wherever your teams work – it could be your intranet, a common dashboard, or a group chat – so that their workflow isn’t interrupted when confirming key info.

3. Have Regular Meetings

The airline industry moves fast. Monthly meetings (or less) simply aren’t enough, especially when external factors can influence operations on a daily basis. Regular face-to-face contact is the best way to communicate – it hurts collaboration to hide behind an email and its dreaded "CC". Aim for weekly meetings, with more frequent contact points such as conference calls or group chats for when pressing matters arise.

Once you’ve set up regular meetings, be disciplined. Agree on what info needs to be shared for everyone to do their jobs, and turn your agenda items into questions. Which routes need special attention? What are our options for promoting flight X? What are the results of past efforts? This will keep you focused on the actions needed so you can get to the most essential question: What has to change after this meeting?

Actionable tip: Do you feel like you're getting together just for the sake of it? Re-evaluate the purpose of each meeting and cut back on any unnecessary catch-ups. There are some great team chat apps for sharing quick updates that will save you a lot of time.

4. Integrate All Data Sources and Make it More Accessible

Importing, exporting and manipulating data from multiple systems manually is inefficient and a waste of valuable time. Invest in a powerful platform that can collect your data from different sources. Just imagine – data about load factors, revenue, competitor pricing, channel performance, attribution and more, all in the same location. This lets RM and marketing analyze, report and collaborate in one place, with more time to focus on what the data says.

The next step? Make it accessible across your organization. If marketing and RM share key information with each other in one platform, routine reports could be automated to make interpretation quicker and better. With everyone using the same data and metrics, you can make better decisions. Meetings would be more efficient and productive, giving you time to zero in on strategic actions.

Actionable tip: It’s a fast-paced environment where data can change instantly. The sheer volume of data held by airlines should be in a database, so stop relying on Excel and pivot tables. CFOs across the finance industry have made solid points for cutting Excel.

5. Use Advanced Analytics to Process the Data

Airlines already have a goldmine of information from CRM data, purchase history, loyalty programs and more, with strategies mostly driven by historical flight and revenue performance. But there’s a huge opportunity to realize the full potential of modern big data and analytical tools. McKinsey estimates that addressing these shortcomings could bring 5-10% more revenue.

Artificial intelligence has the power to scan millions of flights and customer profiles. It can automate the process of connecting and enriching relevant data across departments to enhance insights. RM can integrate marketing info like conversion rates, search behavior and geo-locations of users to enhance their forecasting. In turn, RM info such as booking profiles, recent price changes and competitor pricing can also be integrated so marketing can enrich their communication and make more precise targeting decisions.

Actionable tip: To gain an edge, airlines should utilize the latest analytics tools. Find the right platform that gives automatic, real-time insights into your audience and flight performance. Our Yieldr software is a great analytical platform that can make every flight more profitable.

6. Think of the End Customer

The Google/Phocuswright Travel Study 2017 found that 57% of U.S. travelers want tailored experiences from brands based on their personal preferences or past behaviors. Understanding customer intent is key. According to McKinsey, companies that invest in customization have a 10-30% uplift in revenue and retention.

While you’ve heard all these buzzwords before: customization, dynamic pricing, micro-segmentation; it all holds true here. Insights about price sensitivity, demand and customer habits can be combined to bring personalization to the booking process and ultimately increase revenue. Even small investments such as dynamic retargeting can make a difference.

Actionable tip: Get a good understanding of what’s best for making revenue by discussing personalization opportunities together. RM can help marketing consider which flights need to be pushed when making personalized offers, while marketing can help RM take customer intent into account when setting pricing strategies.

7. Evaluate & Celebrate Your Successes Together

We’ll keep this one short and sweet. This action is easy and applies to anyone. Take the time and effort to review how things went, see how you can improve by sharing constructive feedback and don’t forget to acknowledge everyone’s efforts, no matter how big or small. A little appreciation and recognition go a long way to motivate ongoing collaboration between RM and marketing.

It can be easy to fall into habits such as working in your own silos, not sharing information effectively or not working towards the same goals. But if marketing and revenue management are dedicated to working well together, your airline will see great wins!

Jodi ten Bohmer

Jodi ten Bohmer

Content Marketer