We’re working with the original travel agent, the 175-year-old Thomas Cook. Helping them transform their marketing to meet the needs of both customers and businesses in the modern era. And in doing so, starting to reinvent the package holiday.
The travel market was one of the first to be disrupted by the internet, with the first online travel agent arriving in 1995, along with new customer expectations of choice, flexibility and control.
But as recently as 2014 the big traditional tour operators hadn’t yet faced up to the fact they could no longer win with dominant high street distribution. They were still running generic seasonal broadcast TV campaigns that did more to promote the generic category of sun & sand than their own specific brands.
Thomas Cook decided to tackle this by looking towards a very different kind of marketing, shaking up what they did and how they did it. We’ve partnered with them to help progressively restructure their marketing approach, adopt agile ways of working, and build a modern marketing model across every European market.
In year one we together produced an iconic integrated ad campaign that struck a chord with consumers across multiple European markets. We drove record sales, increasing new customer records by 73%, growing their digital market share by 31%, and created an international Spotify no.1 music track which provoked valuable digital content creation. But more importantly it started to give meaning and relevance back to the brand, and pride back to Thomas Cook’s staff through an an empowering new purpose: ‘Leave it to us, you’re on holiday’.
Since then we’ve been working with Thomas Cook marketers across Europe led by Gilles Despas, Jamie Queen and Remo Masala to create a common strategy and new marketing organisation. This takes the form of a multi-channel, digitally-led content platform that each market can use responsively, year-round, to both drive their business and build relationships with customers. The first content built on that model will start to roll out in December 2016.
Critically, in parallel to all of this, we’ve also been working to help design the leaps in the customer experience that will define the next stage in Thomas Cook’s evolution. Read more about our approach here.