There has been a movement to “marketing as a service”- where the customer is rewarded for their attention instead of bothered by it.

Good advertising makes fans/friends, good service makes customers for life.

Google decided to spend their marketing money giving customers something that is useful: free WiFi at airports (note- at least two on the list already had free WiFi- Las Vegas and Jacksonville).

When you’re traveling this holiday season, you can enjoy free WiFi at 47 participating airports and on every Virgin America flight. Just bring a WiFi-enabled laptop or mobile device and stay connected to family and friends for free while you travel now through January 15, 2010.

via Free WiFi - A 2009-2010 Holiday Gift from Google.

The real question is why most airports haven’t realized that business travelers, who are their bread and butter, would tell you that WiFi is more (or at least equally important) as toilet paper in the bathroom stalls. In the hyper-competitive market for business travelers there is no excuse for not having both free WiFi and plenty of charging stations/power outlets for the power traveler.

What can your business give away to build goodwill? What information could you provide that makes you not only the expert in your field, but invaluable to customers? Make every interaction with customers one where you give them value and they will value your business relationship.