Index of customer attitude toward airline marketing.
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The airline industry today is ill a state of turmoil: costs of operation have drastically gone up over the past few years, more airlines are now exposed to the market forces after decades of protectionism, and the world recession continues to prevail. The outcome is that many airlines arc under tremendous pressure and are selling out to others. It is approximated that only few mega-carriers will remain operational in the next decade. To remain operational a firm has to be market driven and gain a competitive advantage, which results from the "Marketing Mix" of a firm, and the best source of information in such a case are the customers. Thus, this study sought to develop an "Index" of the customers attitudes towards the marketing of airline services. The "Index" is a means of forecasting customer attitudes and is a measure used to report the attitudes at regular intervals. It is hoped that the "Index" will provide direction and guidance to airlines in making strategic marketing decisions. For developing the "Index" a survey was carried out on the attitudes held by the customers of airline services. The survey tool was a structured, close-ended. pre-tested questionnaire, and it enabled the researcher to capture the attitudes the customers had for each P of the "Marketing Mix", and the importance they gave it. This information was then used to compute the "Index". The results showed that though the customers had an overall favorable towards airline marketing, the Ps of 'Marketing Mix rated as most important, that is, Personnel and Price, had the least favorable attitudes directed. towards them, while the Ps rated the least important. that is, Physical facilities and Product had the most favorable attitudes. The attitudes and importance for Process and Place were favorable, while for promotion they were both .unfavorable. Hence it is inferred that in order to gain a competitive edge in the market, an airline need to focus on areas of the "Marketing Mix" considered more important by the customers and improve their service offer by aiming to change the unfavorable attitudes to favorable ones.