Jetstar to switch 40% of marketing budget into social media

Budget airline Jetstar has announced a “significant shift in marketing spend”, with 40% of its budget to go into social media.

David May, Jetstar’s head of marketing and PR, said the move – which will be implemented during the next financial year –  followed trials during 2009.  

The move marks bad news for print, with Jetstar  a big newspaper advertiser. Jetstar is the first major brand to make such a dramatic shift of marketing spend into social media.

The announcement coincides with Twitter’s fourth anniversary.

In a release citing “traditional media becoming more expensive and fragmented”, the company said: “The significant shift in marketing spend shows Jetstar’s increased focus on social media and acknowledges the significance of social and digital media as a marketing tool.”

May said: “We’ve conducted some very successful marketing and PR campaigns via social media in the past 18 months, including YouTube and Twitter, and the response has been phenomenal.

“The increase in costs of traditional media compared with the audience reach is significantly higher than with social media, where you can potentially reach hundreds of thousands of consumers with the one simple online message – and digital TV isn’t filling the gap.”

He added: “It’s clear our customers are comfortable in the online space and as Jetstar is essentially an online retailer, it makes sense for us to embrace social media outlets. Online media channels gives us immediate access to our consumers. Social media offers more value for money and is a smarter way to reach our customers.”

Jetstar uses social media as a channel to announce new route launches, highlight special offers and announcements, and respond to customer queries.

Last year, Jetstar ran a sale exclusively on Twitter as part of its fifth birthday celebrations. It offered 1,000 seats for two cents – and sold out in hours. And in August, Jetstar announced a new route launch using Twitter with a “free seats” offer for its new Sydney-Melbourne services.

The airline also launched its customer charter on its YouTube channel last month.

May dicussed the company’s use of social media when he was a guest at Mumbrella Question Time (3.30) earlier this year:

Richard Smith, MD of Maxus, Jetstar’s media buying agency, added: “In line with the increasing need to talk to smaller, interconnected communities; communities that when aggregated deliver large numbers of engaged and involved brand advocates, we are likely to shift a large percentage of Jetstar’s above the line media spend into digital areas, with an increased focus on social media, Mr Smith said.

As well as Maxus, Jetstar uses Haystac for its PR. Much of its digital work is handled in-house.


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