Talking to Marketing Week at the conference he said: “I believe social media is the new kid on the block. It’s sexy and glam” but added that it had yet to prove its commercial value over and above its social value.
“Digital is a growing part of the media mix but traditional channels continue to be important to building brands on a mass scale.”
Hoban added that the TV owners had seen the challenge of digital and addressed it by significantly improving their content quality.
He said that next year will be a year of “transformation” for Thomas Cook and a critical element of the business strategy is to become a digital business in terms of distribution, service and the customer experience.
The company’s marketing will focus on highlighting new products and “promoting our value proposition”.
Hoban said that one trend will be an increasing focus by the customer on personalisation.
“As we come out of austerity people will be increasingly looking to brands who understand them as individuals”.
Hoban said that the company will increase investment in CRM but “it’s not about direct marketing, it’s about understanding the customer from the beginning of their experience to the end. One of the greatest challenges for all marketers is how to influence the customer experience across all the different touchpoints.”
He added: ”The travel industry has a specific challenge because people make the biggest discretionary purchase with us.
“We need to recognise that customers use different channels to fulfil different channel needs and there is a difference between buying a one night break in Manchester to a once in a lifetime trip. The opportunity that Thomas Cook has as a brand and organisation is to meet all of those needs.”
Thomas Cook launched a new global visual identity last month together with the strapline “Let’s Go.” New campaign work is expected for the Christmas booking season.