Case Study: Airport Uses Intercept Surveys and Mobility Analytics to Create Customer Personas

The airport and airline industry is faced with many unique challenges when it comes to marketing their location or service. Oftentimes, consumers choose which airport to use based on convenience and proximity to where they are traveling from or traveling to. Another key factor for travelers choosing an airline is the cost of airfare in comparison to other area airports.

The caveat here is the cost of airfare is not controlled by the airport. With the cost of airfare out of their control, how do airports market their location as most attractive for travelers, despite having to pay more to fly?

Based on a recent study Drive Research completed for an airport, we found in order to combat higher airline costs, airports must provide the best customer experience (CX) for passengers. Factors such as convenience and vendor selection all add to a better customer experience.

Learn more about the objectives, approach, and outcomes for this airport market research study!


Drive Research, an airport market research company, was hired to conduct a market research study for an airport. The objectives of the market research included better understanding passenger profiles, time spent at the airport, spending power, and key touch points across target audiences such as business, leisure, and other combined audiences.


To address the above objectives for the airport, Drive Research recommended a 3-tiered market research approach. This hybrid approach to the market research study included:

  1. An intercept survey at the airport
  2. Follow-up online survey to airport passengers from the intercepts
  3. Advanced mobility analytics.

The combination of these three objectives provided the airport with comprehensive answers to key questions.

Intercept survey fieldwork: Drive Research used two trained intercept surveyors for a total of 64 hours at the airport. The intercepts were conducted during a range of days and times. The survey took an average of 4 minutes to complete and included 12 questions. The survey received 454 responses.

Looking for more tips on intercept surveys? Ask and you shall receive. Here are 5 tips to conduct successful airport intercept surveys.

Follow-up survey fieldwork: Fieldwork for the follow-up survey began on Monday, June 17 and lasted until Friday, July 5, 2019. The follow-up survey was sent to intercept respondents 24-hours after the intercept was completed. The survey took users an average of 8 minutes to complete and included 24 questions. The survey received 110 responses from a total of 301 contact emails gathered from the original intercept survey. This represents a response rate of 37%.

Advanced mobility analytics: To better understand airport passengers, Drive Research utilized advanced mobility analytics. Drive Research partnered with a mobile analytics company to pull data on passengers who visited the airport over the past 12 months. A geofence was established around the airport and anonymous data points were collected such as visitor origin, demographics, and several other key factors. Top consumer segments (PRIZM profiles) were determined based on the data gathered. Several maps were also created to visualize the origin of airport passengers.

To learn more about advanced mobility analytics, check out: What is Location-Based Data?


The report remains confidential with the airport. The airport market research report included a background and methodology, executive summary of themes, an infographic, respondent persona, recommendations and action items, and next steps for market research. The appendix includes a detailed question-by-question breakdown of the results.

The market research answered the following research objectives:

  1. Who is the typical airport passenger?
  2. How much time do passengers spend in the airport?
  3. What are passengers’ spending power?
  4. How satisfied are passengers?
  5. How do passengers travel?
  6. How can marketing be more relatable?
  7. What are the top passenger segments?

Contact Drive Research

Drive Research is a market research company which specializes in a variety of industries including travel and tourism, advertising and marketing, retail, small business, and more!

Interested in learning more about our market research services? Reach out through any of the four ways below.

Message us on our website
Email us at
Call us at 888-725-DATA
Text us at 315-303-2040

Market Research Case Studies