Alexandra MacRae is the head of marketing for the Avinode Group, the Sweden-headquartered parent company of digital charter market platforms Avinode, Paynode and Schedaero
Where has your career path taken you so far?
I began my career at 21, as a digital producer working with big brands like Burger King, Scania Trucks and Sony Mobile. From there, I became a key account director before starting my own digital agency. Digital is at the core of everything I bring to my clients, so when I started working for the Avinode Group as a consultant, the team's innovative attitude towards technology instantly resonated with me. I immediately adopted the brand and took it on as my own from a marketing perspective – which led to me becoming head of marketing full time in July 2017.
What have been the highlights?
When you work at the forefront of technology – not only using it, but finding ways to mould it for your clients – the most exciting moments are around new products and platforms, and I’ve been lucky enough to put together cutting-edge digital projects for a very diverse selection of brands. Gaining detailed knowledge of so many different industries, from business aviation to retail to tech, has been invaluable in developing my understanding of how variable markets can be. This knowledge is essential in marketing, and it is a constant learning process. My career has therefore been full of highlights – it's difficult to pinpoint just one!
What does your current job involve?
As head of marketing for the entire Avinode Group, I look after three different brands (Avinode, Paynode and Schedaero), each with offices on different continents, so I'm always on the go. At Avinode, each of these three services integrate seamlessly when in use. In a similar way, I create marketing strategies for each brand separately, but always ensure they work harmoniously as one.
What do you enjoy most?
Meeting our members is always a pleasure, so I enjoy getting face-to-face time at trade shows and events. After all, we’re in B4B, so we need to keep a finger on the pulse. I also love seeing an idea forming into an activity, and then seeing it go live. At Avinode, we practice, do, measure, learn, so all developments in the company as a whole and in marketing, are data driven. This approach allows us to listen closely to our customers, and progress in an efficient and productive manner.
What are your challenges?
There's no lack of ideas in this company – so we could use an extra day between Wednesday and Thursday! With so much in the pipeline, the trickiest part is focusing on just a few key developments at a time.
How is the digital marketplace evolving?
The digital marketplace is now a key part of our daily lives. While digital platforms help me succeed in my job, they also manage my personal life – we pay bills through a mobile app; schedule the family through a shared calendar; even buy our food online. When this pattern is so easily incorporated into home life, customers expect the same process at work. Another way the digital marketplace is evolving is through democratisation. There's a sharing economy slowly settling into place around us – universal access to services is increasingly expected by all customers.
How do you keep ahead of the competition?
I follow blogs and digital marketing sources to keep up to date, as the digital sphere is changing so quickly. It's all about producing and distributing content as quickly as possible to stay at the leading edge of the market. We're also always keen to try new things, which enables us to provide ever-improving services to our customers.
What can your customers expect from Avinode over the next decade?
We believe that we need to provide an interconnected set of solutions to our members, which will enable them to drive their operational agility to fit the speed of today's digital economy. Interconnectivity between services is growing rapidly, but it is not yet the norm. Open APIs will lead to an ecosystem of connected customers, partners and suppliers sharing information to better deliver their services. Artificial intelligence will be woven into this enmeshed world of connectivity, informing and streamlining repetitive tasks and decision making. The Avinode Group is going to be delivering this integrated world for business aviation.