Thomas Cook moving to real-time content marketing strategy as it ramps up programmatic

Thomas Cook is on track to adopt a real-time content marketing strategy, despite the “significant challenges” that the move will bring according to Jamie Queen, marketing and e-commerce director at the travel brand.

Speaking at the International Content Marketing Association Summit in London, Queen revealed that as Thomas Cook continued to syphon more budget into content marketing and programmatic to better understand and target its consumers, it was likely to begin doing so in real-time.

“Yeah it’s fair to say we are [moving to a real-time model] and with that comes some significant challenges,” he admitted. “We are creating more creative assets, and we’re creating more creative assets for our latest ad campaign that we have ever done before.

“I suspect we will continue to see that grow because with that comes the need for much more relevant, targeted content for all our different types of customers and we will continue to see the need for more creative content.”

Queen said Thomas Cook was using spend on content marketing it would historically have spent on brochure production and print. The travel company is also creating less advertising and outdoor advertising, instead favouring content and spending “quite a lot of money” pushing those creative assets out.

“If you are a brand and you have access to data and understand your audience well enough to target and use that data, programmatic enables you to target that spend much more sensibly into those digital platforms.”

Queen continued to reveal that Thomas Cook was “slicing and dicing” its consumer base into more segments because it had the data as a result of programmatic to do that.

Also speaking on the panel was Matt O’Mara, managing director, Vice UK and Richard Herd, Food Tube channel manager at Jamie Oliver, who, along with Queen gave their predictions on what the hot topics in content marketing would be during 2015.

Herd made a swipe at Google and predicted that new video platforms would emerge that would enable Food Tube to push audiences around as it saw fit. “YouTube is a great start and has always been the place to get your biggest audience,” he said. “But I think other platforms [will appear] and how you can move audiences around to your own benefit rather than Google’s.

O’Mara agreed that new platforms would emerge “for sure” in the video space, and predicted that the amount of videos that achieved penetration would increase along with the rise of wearable tech.

Meanwhile Queen mirrored O’Mara’s views on wearables and added “Increasingly, the penetration of Go Pro is fascinating, that’s why, as ever, we’ll be watching very carefully.”

Earlier this month, Marriott International's global content marketing chief revealed that the company was to devekop 6,000 piece of content to attract traffic and visits to its website.

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