Tour operator First Choice is introducing a new database marketing
strategy to develop closer relationships with its customers.
The company has brought in below-the-line agency Manifesto to develop a
new relationship programme after a three-way pitch, which also involved
Euro RSCG Direct and Tullo Marshall Warren.
Manifesto’s brief is believed to encompass all forms of direct
communications, including direct mail, telemarketing and links to First
Choice’s web site.
The travel firm’s web site features data capture and allows customers to
order brochures via the post. However, it does not yet include direct
First Choice’s decision to implement an ongoing direct marketing
strategy follows news that rival Thomson Holidays is investing heavily
in its own customer relationship strategy, and has begun mailing five
million of its customers on a regular basis.
Thomson, which hired DM agencies Wunderman Cato Johnson and Judith
Donovan Associates last year, recently brought in Evans Hunt Scott to
develop a strategic plan across its database marketing operations.
Manifesto will work on First Choice’s core brand, First Choice
As well as selling holidays through other travel agents, First Choice
set up its own travel agency brand, Travel Choice, earlier this
First Choice, which is the UK’s third biggest travel operator behind
Thomson and Airtours, recently announced that it is expanding by
acquiring two rival operators.
It is buying Unijet, the UK’s fifth largest tour operator, and
specialist long-haul operator Hayes & Jarvis.
This will make First Choice the largest supplier of long-haul package
holidays in the UK. The company is the subject of takeover speculation,
with Swiss giant, Kuoni, and Airtours both working on bid
First Choice uses Walsh Trott Chick for its advertising. It spends
pounds 4m on advertising its holiday range (MMS).
Its last major push was the ’Talking Animals’ television campaign, at
the beginning of the year.