Marketing Assignment Exploring Business Case Of Thomas Cook Group plc
Written Marketing Assignment Task
Students are required to select a hospitality or tourism organisation and prepare a 2,000-word report discussing the vision, mission and values of the organisation, its target market, competition, product range, customer service standards, and develop recommendations for this particular organisation.
Students are required to conduct relevant and adequate primary and secondary research on the chosen organisation and must show their knowledge and understanding of the unit assessment criteria and any recommended reading. It would be helpful if the student could interview members of the selected organisation.
Tourism industry is one of the largest and fastest-growing industries in the global and international market. They act as a main driver in the economy and have a large influence on the global creation of wealth. Thomas Cook Group plc is a British global travel group that is listed in London Stock Exchange. Their contribution to provide jobs for 31,000 employees has been marked in history and improved the UK economies throughout the chain. With about 21,000 thousand employees, the organisation has revenue of 958.4 crores GBP as per the 2018 record. They have more than 15 subsidiaries and three major shareholders of their group are Standard Life Investment, Invesco and Fosun Group (forbes.com, 2019).
Vision, mission and values
The vision for Thomas Cook Group plc is to be the "most loved holiday firm by delighting round the customers, shareholders and employees'. Their vision statement entails the strategic plan of the tourism firm in the future. On the other hand, the mission of Thomas Cook Group plc is to ensure credible offering to the business by limiting the environmental impact and maximising the travel experiences of the clients through improved social and economic tolerance. The mission statement identifies the purpose of the organisation in reliance on its products and services offered. Thomas Cook Group plc has introduced a new brand essence in their firm by communicating three values of their business chain: innovation and personalisation, trust, inspiring personal journeys of travellers through trusted pioneers in the global travel market (thomascook.com, 2021).
The target market of Thomas Cook Group plc includes various sources from solo travellers, families, couples, business travellers, students’ group to senior market. They use different marketing styles to seek the attention of their target market depending on the holiday services. Thomas Cook Group plc has no specific ethnicity in association with their target market but ensures holiday packages for everyone irrespective of their race, colour, age, gender, religion and all other demographics. For instance, "Thomas Cook Families brochure" is one such marketing tactic specifically designed for the families through an illustration of a family in the front page and highlighting intricate facilities like kids’ clubs and play areas to grab their attraction (travelweekly.co.uk, 2009). The organisation has also gone local to target the strong leisure segments available in the small catchment markets. Their unique customer-centric approach to go right towards the customer's doorstep has been unique in terms of their competitors to reconstruct their target market. Segmentation has been vital for Thomas Cook Group plc to target the customers effectively in order to identify the group of clients who are likely to opt for their services. They execute direct and indirect marketing strategies to target their customers on a global scale. Their target market includes new as well as potential old customers who have already maintained friendly relations with the organisation (Stewart, 2016). By following the constraints of the marketing cost, Thomas Cook Group plc strategically targets their customers to gain a higher profit margin in return for the leisure activity they provide.
Thomas Cook Group plc operates in a competitive place among the travel and leisure industry of the UK. The first three competitors of Thomas Cook Group plc among the top ten are Kuoni Travel Holding Ltd, DER Touristik and TUI AG. Together, the competitors of Thomas Cook Group plc have raised 21 B throughout their 196.6 K employees. As per the report, Thomas Cook Group plc is ranked second most in terms of revenue of 3.3 B among their top ten competitors (owler.com, 2021). The organisation gains a competitive edge from their competitors by providing unique experiences and a number of services to their clients in one stop. Thomas Cook Group plc has 190 own branded hotels that have already served the demands and taste of customers through different segments and budget criterions. They also tackle their bargaining power of buyers by the discovery of new products to reduce the defection of existing customer services against their competitors. Their high-edge competition takes a toll on the long-term profitability chain of the organisation due to strong collaboration with the competitors. As per the report, the aftershocks of liquidation in Thomas Cook Group plc has shaken the tourism sector throughout the global scale and has been weakened to provide effective services for the clients under £500 or even £600 (Davies, 2019).
Product range and prices
A broad spectrum of services is entitled by Thomas Cook Group plc through a leading and integrated service chain. It includes value added services, foreign exchange, MICE, e-business, visa and passport, corporate and leisure travel facilities. Including the package holidays, for hotels, flights, car hire, food, drink, travel insurance, the organisation has satisfied each and every customer on a personalised scale. They provide a number of amazing offers and packages on early-bird, last-minute and seasonal promotions to spark a wanderlust for the consumers (thomascook.com, 2021). The provision of products and services of Thomas Cook Group plc can be booked through travel agents, websites and through customer care services to get informed of the detailed plan of their services.
Price ( GBP)
Value added services
Customer needs and wants
Customer service standards
Thomas Cook is one of the renowned travel organisations in the UK that also expand their business globally. In order to maintain steady growth of the business, Thomas Cook has developed new strategies that can provide effective care to their customers. Due to the outbreak of Cpbvid-19, people are taking extra precautions in time travel. Thomas Cook has introduced safety measures that will ensure the safety of the upcoming customers. They have trained their employees to maintain social distance with their customers without compromising the level of service (Puri and Singh, 2018). On the other hand, they are trying to introduce digitalisation in their service that will enable them to form direct contact with their customers and gather their opinions that will help in improving the performance of the organisation. One of the major positive sides of the organisation is that it has customized their products as per the demand of customers such as they have introduced discount holiday packages for their customers that attract customers from diverse backgrounds. In addition to that, Thomas Cook has also carried out the additional responsibility of travelling like documentation, current exchange and completion of visa process.
Identification of areas for customer wants
One of the primary concerns for the organization is that changing political scenarios in the world has an impact on their performance. It has been seen that political deterioration has had a huge impact on the multiple destinations and restricted the performance of Thomas Cook. The changing political atmosphere in the UK has altered the function of Thomas Cook and they are still struggling to manage their operations. On the other hand, competitive pricing is another issue that created extra pressure on the organisation. Due to the introduction of cheap airlines, engagement levels of customers have declined (Khan et al. 2017). In addition to that, the introduction of too many brands also created confusion among consumers about the Thomas Cook brand and it ultimately lowered the revenue generation of the organisation. High level of competition in the tourism sector has limited the service capability of the organisation as they failed to provide low priced packages to their customers. More flexibility in new generation travel companies along with their online services and low-cost airlines, Thomas Cook has failed to keep their level of service due to the rising uncertainties in the market for the outbreak of Covid-19.
Findings,conclusion and recommendation
Q.1. How can you develop a more effective marketing strategy to increase the level of engagement of customers
Thomas Cook has already involved a traditional marketing style in their operation that has helped in increasing the engagement level of customers. Now, it concentrates on digital platforms that allow customers to generate reviews about the available operation. It helps in forming direct contact with upcoming age customers.
Marketing team of Thomas Cook are now trying to engage promotional strategies such as loyalty programs to increase the level of engagement within the organisation. Reward and loyalty programs will enable the organisation to customize their service according to the needs of the customers.
Q.2. What precautions have your organisations taken to ensure the protection of customers during the pandemic
It has been evident that the outbreak of Covid-19 has drastically altered the operational manual of the tourism company. Now, it has put more focus on safety programs that will train and educate employees about maintaining social distance and the importance of sanitization.
Incorporating effective health and safety measures can improve the image of the organisation in the global platform, Thomas Cook have taken propermeasures such as cleaning their office regularly, wearing masks and maintaining social dancing with customers has been properly maintained by them.
Q.3. How can you further improve the level of service to enhance customer satisfaction
ThomasCook has emphasis on the pricing strategy that can provide them a competitive edge against their competitors. Customised discount packages can impress customers and enhance their sale state.
Altering the promotional strategy and in spite of focusing on brochure and newspaper advertising, it has included a social media platform marketing strategy to know the view of customers about their organisation and work on areas that need rectification.
From the above finding, it has been seen that management of Thomas Cook has tried to evolve their strategy that can improve the level of customer engagement. Application of relationship management theory will allow the organization to achieve excellence by considering the opinions of their customers (Wongleedee, 2017). It is essential for the management to be proactive and responsive toward the needs of the market. Customer centric organisations are required to focus on the changing needs of their target customers that help in improving the outcome of business.
Development of risk management strategy
Thomas Cook is required to develop effective risk management strategies that will enable them to mitigate the impact of unpredictable risks. Monitoring and assessing the progress of risk management will also help in mitigating the financial risks and develop adequate strategies that will ensure the protection of the organisation (Bagla and Sancheti, 2018). Risks need to be documented within the risk registers in a regular manner and they need to be reviewed by the risk committee so that effective policies can be made to lower the impact of probable risks.
Involvement of advanced technical skills
Advanced technologies are also essential for improving the efficiency level of employees of Thomas Cook. Advanced technologies will improve the satisfaction level of customers as employees of the organisation can deliver more customised service based on their demand (Hameed et al. 2018). On the other hand, the management of Thomas Cook needs to prepare their employees in such a way that they can solve issues of their customers and answer their queries in a fast manner. Therefore, involvement in an effective training program can allow them to achieve their target.
In conclusion, it can be stated that Thomas Cook Group plc has maintained a strong financial market in the UK through a competitive edge. They have ensured sustainable policies for their firm in order to respect the values and ethnicity of each and every customer irrespective of their demographic studies. The employees and communities of Thomas Cook Group plc have also received unique experiences from the company through greater satisfaction needs. They have maintained their customer service standards by encouraging their follow-up expenses and listening to both positive as well as negative feedback to list them as an important means of travel exposure. The broad range of products they sell through their strategic plan needs to be smoothened through a strong corporate policy that can improve their sustainable measures to impress customers.
Bagla, R.K. and Sancheti, V., (2018). Gaps in customer satisfaction with digital wallets: challenge for sustainability. Journal of Management Development. Available at: https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/JMD-04-2017-0144/full/html [accessed on: 2.10.21]
Davies.,R. (2019). Rivals bask in bright opportunities created by Thomas Cook’s departure The Guardian Available on:https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/dec/28/thomas-cook-departure-opportunities-for-rivals-tui-easyjet [Accessed 6 October 2021]
forbes.com, (2019). Thomas Cook Group Forbes Available on:https://www.forbes.com/companies/thomas-cook-group/sh=5c039f1d2c19 [Accessed 6 October 2021]
Hameed, W.U., Nadeem, S., Azeem, M., Aljumah, A.I. and Adeyemi, R.A., (2018). Determinants of e-logistic customer satisfaction: A mediating role of information and communication technology (ICT). International Journal of Supply Chain Management (IJSCM), 7(1), pp.105-111. Available at: http://repo.uum.edu.my/24419/ [accessed on: 2.10.21]
Khan, F., Yusoff, R.M. and Kakar, P., (2017). Impact of service quality and customer satisfaction on tourism industry. Marketing assignmentJournal of Advanced Research in Social and Behavioural Sciences, 6(2), pp.146-155. Available at: https://www.akademiabaru.com/doc/ARSBSV6_N2_P146_155.pdf [accessed on: 2.10.21]
owler.com, (2021). THOMAS COOK GROUP PLC. TOP COMPETITORS OR ALTERNATIVES Owler Available on: https://www.owler.com/company/thomascook#competitors [Accessed 5 October 2021]
Puri, G. and Singh, D., (2018). The role of service quality and customer satisfaction in tourism industry: A review of SERVQUAL Model. International Journal of Research and Analytical Reviews, 5(4). Available at: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfmabstract_id=3846760 [accessed on: 2.10.21]
Stewart., R. (2016). Thomas Cook restructures to combine digital and marketing teams to better target holidaymakers The Drum News Available on: https://www.thedrum.com/news/2016/09/01/thomas-cook-restructures-combine-digital-and-marketing-teams-better-target [Accessed 5 October 2021]
thomascook.com, (2021). Last minute holidays Thomas Cook Available on:https://www.thomascook.com/ [Accessed 6 October 2021] thomascook.com, (2021). Why Thomas Cook Thomas Cook Available on: https://www.thomascook.in/ [Accessed 5 October 2021] travelweekly.co.uk, (2009). Thomas Cook targets families with early brochure release Travel Weekly Available on: https://travelweekly.co.uk/articles/33608/thomas-cook-targets-families-with-early-brochure-release [Accessed 5 October 2021] Wongleedee, K., (2017). Customer satisfaction in the airlines industry: Comparison between low-cost and full service airlines. , (1), pp.218-222. Available at: http://www.irbis-nbuv.gov.ua/cgi-bin/irbis_nbuv/cgiirbis_64.exeI21DBN=LINK&P21DBN=UJRN&Z21ID=&S21REF=10&S21CNR= 20&S21STN=1&S21FMT=ASP_meta&C21COM=S&2_S21P03=FILA=&2_S21STR=ape_2017_1_25 [accessed on: 2.10.21]