Wednesday, 23rd April 2014
"With satellite websites, added-value content, and a continuous path of sales, eCommerce Associates created an online marketing solution for Thomas Cook that focused on Saturation Marketing."
 
 
Case Study – Saturation Marketing for Thomas Cook

Background
Partner Profile
Thomas Cook has one of the most interesting histories in the travel industry. A summary of this history follows:
Thomas Cook was a 32-year old cabinet-maker, former Baptist preacher, and staunch supporter of the temperance movement when he first ventured into travel. It became apparent to the young-man that trains could be used to transport large numbers of temperance supporters to meetings.

After a series of similarly small trips, Thomas Cook arranged his first large-scale commercial venture in 1845. This trip not only saw the advent of low-ticket prices, but also a 60-page travel handbook that eventually led to holiday brochures. In addition to the holiday brochure, Thomas Cook can also be credited with laying the foundation for other travel staples such as travellers’ cheques.

In modern time, Thomas Cook has become a name synonymous with quality travel at affordable rates. Thomas Cook is the largest leisure travel group in the UK and supports over 19,000 employees operating a 45 aircraft fleet and more than 800 high street stores.

Thomas Cook provides travellers with a complete range of holiday-related products including:
  • Flights both scheduled and chartered
  • Hotels
  • Cruises
  • Package holidays, including city breaks, clubbing holidays, Disney, wedding, etc
  • Insurance
  • Thomas Cook credit card
  • Cash passport cards
  • Travel vouchers

Challenge
Online marketing is a necessary and popular solution for travel companies and their related industries. As a large and well-known brand, Thomas Cook seeks to retain their position within the industry and protect their market share.

Profile of Target Market
Currently, trends indicate that there are two types of travellers, those who seek the best rates and are not as concerned with travel comforts, and those who are willing to pay a premium rate for a high quality travel experience.

Both of these markets are accessible through online marketing since online travel bookings are becoming standard in all economic brackets, and are no longer dominated by bargain hunters alone.

Solution
eCommerce Associates created a satellite website that focus on travel and travel related information. The website markets Thomas Cook products directly to travellers, channelling sales through to the company’s official website and generating revenue that can be tracked.

Saturation Marketing
As consumers seek the lowest airfare and other travel-related rates, they show a tendency to visit multiple sites for cost comparisons. By developing satellite websites that feature Thomas Cook products, eCommerce Associates is able to move toward market saturation. This solution satisfies the comparison shopper’s need to engage with multiple websites, while conserving Thomas Cook’s sales position.

Continuous Path of Sale
Travellers who are booking online tend to seek the flight first, basing the rest of their trip on such results. For this reason, all travel-focused websites are an opportunity to provide a continuous path of sale, initiating in the flight domain and continuing through accommodations and entertainment.

To accommodate Thomas Cook’s customer base, eCommerce Associates designed a satellite website that carefully directs consumers from flight to accommodation to entertainment.

Customer Education and Information
To prevent the loss of sales through off-site research, eCommerce Associates built a comprehensive travel website with valuable customer information.

This additional information not only retains customer attention, it also creates a backdoor for customers who are in the pre-sale phase of their travel purchase. Prior to actively seeking the best flight or travel package, many consumers use the internet to research destinations and locales.

An extensive list of custom travel articles provide advice to travellers and also draw searchers who use major search terms such as top destination names. All travel articles and information are cross-linked with key Thomas Cook products for enhanced conversion.