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BizReport : Social Marketing : April 29, 2013

Travel agency's high-tech lab listens in to social chatter

Thomas Cook, a major high street travel agency in the UK, has upped its social media game by implementing a high-tech team and equipment to eavesdrop on what people around the globe are saying about the companies 60+ global brands.

by Helen Leggatt

It sounds like a surveillance room from a spy movie. Six large monitors, specially designed computers, a video-conferencing camera and a large monitor displaying real-time data tracking and visualizations.

But, this isn't the control room for the evil protagonist in a James Bond thriller, it's Thomas Cook's latest tactic in the social media space - the 24/7 Listening Lab.

Thomas Cook's specially trained social media listening team can listen in to brand chatter in over 180 languages. They can identify brand champions and those who the travel agency should be engaging with in social circles to increase sales.

Just as importantly, the team is set up to provide real-time crisis management, competitor analysis and listen and analyze customer sentiment about products, advertising and PR. Data can be collected and analyzed to provide insights for future marketing campaigns and product development.

"Through the Listening Lab we now have the ability to target a specific customer base, for example if we want to target people in London who have recently tweeted, "I need a holiday", we now have the tools to reach out to those people and make an informed pitch based on their online social profile; revealing their age, gender and likes and dislikes," said Jonathan Roberts, Global Head of Social Media for Thomas Cook Group plc.

The Thomas Cook Listening Lab has been created and is managed by Chapel Social, a division of Chapel PR and Marketing.

Tags: brand insights, brand monitoring, consumer insight, crisis management, data collection, PR, product development, social marketing, social media

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