TUI UK & Ireland: Thomson Cruises


The team

Tracy Pickersgill, Natalie Mead, Martin Lewis, Jenni Moss, Alex Bontoux, Helen Alexander, Davenia John, Allan Tran, Dinesh Hirani, Roy Peters, Mark Brennan, David Stead.

How did the campaign make a difference?

Loyal customers book higher-margin holidays earlier, and are more likely to buy ancillary products and act as brand advocates. This 'little thank yous' programme systematically recognised and rewarded Thomson Cruises' best customers, driving an 819% increase in bookings and 239% increase in ancillary sales.

What details of the strategy make this a winning entry?

Improving loyalty drives the biggest ROI for Thomson Cruises. A small increase in repeat purchases adds significant margin. This strategy focused on four core areas: pre-season offers; pre-embarkation excitement; 'little thank yous' on board; and post-holiday retention. As regular cruise customers are a valuable, growing sector, the programme surprises and delights the most frequent travellers with pre-season exclusive email offers, including personalised incentives, before the launch of a new season. Responders were called by retail concierge staff who personally attended to their pre-season bookings. Next came building excitement, using countdown emails and the pre-departure personalised portal; having customer details helped identify (and later reward) eligible loyal non-lead passengers before they embarked, and widened the database on validated non-lead passengers. For on-board rewards, the logistical challenge was enabling on-board holiday advisers to recognise and reward loyal customers, with five cruise liners and more than 500,000 travellers per annum. The innovative mobile-enabled internal 'passenger surprise and delight' portal, which works out at sea, helped advisers identify and fulfil pre-assigned 'little thank yous', including hand-delivered surprise and delight moments. Finally, for post-holiday retention, loyal customers were kept informed about what's new from Thomson Cruises with a six-weekly contact strategy.

How did creativity bring the strategy to life?