Thomas Cook marketer outlines £5m campaign strategy

Thomas Cook marketer Mike Hoban says that the tour operator is set to deliver its first truly integrated campaign over the Christmas season.

thomas cook
Thomas Cook plans a multimillion pound fully integrated early bookings campaign.

Hoban, who recently joined the company as UK director of marketing, brands and customer insight from Confused.Com, says the campaign “will be its biggest marketing campaign for many a year” and is convinced that the company will be the biggest spender in the marketplace over the key festive booking period.

Speaking to Marketing Week, Hoban said that the £5 million plus campaign will be “the first significant multimedia campaign in the history of Thomas Cook – it will be consistent across TV, radio, press, online and in-store.”

He adds that it will remind people why they love the brand and will give customers a reason to choose Thomas Cook above the competition.

He says: “We know we have the brand that is more trusted and loved than any other brand in the sector. We are determined to invest in that and put in a significant spend across several media.”

Some elements of the campaign are being tailored from Thomas Cook international activity but Hoban stresses that it “will be very much a UK campaign built for the UK market.”

Hoban, who has worked for Barclaycard and British Airways, says that the fact people are loathe to cut back on holidays despite the tough economic climate “gives us an opportunity to tap into human emotion.”

He adds: “One of the challenges that all the travel brands face is to be more relevant to more customers. There are more markets and more products and more channels. If there is a category crying out for true multichannel retail, it’s the travel market.

“Another challenge is making clear why any brand is better and different – it’s too easy for travel brands to fall into just using pictures of the brach and sunshine. We will be clear about what makes us different and the reason why customers should choose us over another company.”

Hoban says that there will be a greater focus on gathering and using consumer data and adds: “I passionately believe that the role of the marketer is to make sure the business has an accurate understanding of the customer and to make sure this is embedded within the organisation.

“The shops are massively important to us and and a provider of lots of data. We have a single customer view of their history and behaviour across channels ans we need to leverage that.”

Thomas Cook has had a tough financial year and has just reported widening losses. Recently appointed group CEO Harriet Green is in the process of bringing in a new senior management team and said the company will return to growth via new products, cost efficiencies and breaking down internal silos.

Rival company TUI, owner of Thomson Holidays, launched a campaign in September focussing on its new Dreamliner aircraft and is also lining up post-Christmas activity.

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