We’re working with the original travel agent, the 175-year-old Thomas Cook, to help them transform their marketing to meet the needs of both customers and businesses in the modern era.
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 seasonal broadcast TV campaigns that did more to promote the category generic of sun & sand holidays than their own specific brands.
Before we were appointed by Thomas Cook, they were still running separate marketing activity in each region, and sometimes in each channel. They spent heavily on broadcast TV in the peak booking period in January, and digital marketing was siloed in the ecommerce team, focussed only on driving website traffic.
Remo Masala and Jamie Queen weren’t happy with this status quo. They are natural changemakers, and were hungry to push the organisation to do things differently.
They 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 our first year working together we helped them make significant progress by running the same integrated communications campaign across all of their 14 regions, creating a breakthrough ad ('Pool Kid') that was shared online and inspired parodies, and that spawned a no.1 music track on Spotify.
It drove record sales, increasing new customer records by 73%, growing their digital market share by 31%. 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’.