Advertising Digital Innovation
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How Thomas Cook made the jump from travel brand to media owner

Thomas Cook, the FTSE 250 UK-listed company, has spent the past seven years focused on gleaning value from data it holds on the 22 million customers it has interactions with each month.

In 2015 it enlisted Stuart Adamson to launch Thomas Cook Media Partnerships as managing director. Speaking recently at the FIPP Innovators Summit in Berlin, Adamson said when the division launched the brand was a “media owner waiting to happen” and that his team has since built the division into a media powerhouse.

“The key with our data is that every single one of those people that enters our world tells us where they want to go, when they want to go, who they want to go with, what star rating hotel they want to stay in, whether they want a beach holiday, a cruise holiday or a skiing holiday. And they also tell us how much they want to spend,” said Adamson.

As one of the earliest brands to embrace programmatic trading, Thomas Cook developed its own tech stack, incorporating a data management platform (DMP) and a demand side platform (DSP).

The company’s investment in a programmatic trading desk allowed the brand to leverage its own data and work with partners across the web, in a move that Adamson said “took the business to another level.”

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