Thomas Cook launches digital-first travel business with Magnolia

Following its launch in 2020, Thomas Cook approached Magnolia to sit at the heart of its digital presence, supporting the creation of over 1000 pages of content online.

Sector

Hospitality & Travel

Country

United Kingdom

Thomas Cook, changing the digital travel & tourism industry.

Thomas Cook is a leading online travel business with a strong brand. With a focus on package holidays, city breaks and hotels, Thomas Cook needed a CMS that would reflect its strong commitment to digital service and provide the best possible experience for its growing online customer base. That’s where Magnolia comes in.

The Challenge

A mountain of content

Initiating the project in March 2020, the focus was around launching a full online travel agency in very tight timelines. There was both an element of sensitivity with the travel industry disruptions but also a need to be fully transactional and ready for peak trading periods (typically towards the end of the year). Launching in September represented a very fast project delivery timeline (5 months) but set the brand up for its best opportunity for success. Despite its status as a new start-up, Thomas Cook had over a thousand pages of pre-written web content that needed to be distributed across its new site. 

Working without a set content team, it was vital that Thomas Cook was able to upload this mountain of information onto its new site infrastructure quickly and efficiently. Content would also need to match the look and feel of Thomas Cook’s website, without having to be rewritten or restructured.

In addition to this challenge, the brand also needed to remain flexible, retaining the ability to repurpose content for new environments, such as distributing to additional landing pages or future mobile apps. Cost, efficiency and speed would all also be key for the launch.

The Solution

A flexible CMS

To overcome these challenges, Thomas Cook approached Magnolia, using its cloud-based CMS to manage the company’s new website and to ensure an efficient content model was created, and that all 1000 pages of legacy content were uploaded quickly and efficiently.

Flexible content management

With 80% more features than pure SaaS systems, Magnolia’s CMS makes content delivery easy. For Thomas Cook, this meant providing a platform through which content could be collated into a single content app, rather than sitting on individual landing pages. Through this flexible approach, the travel provider was able to build a completely new template and page structure that reflected the Thomas Cook brand, while pulling in existing materials from a central content pool with minimal manual intervention. 

The cloud-based nature of this CMS also allowed Thomas Cook to start working on its new site immediately, without having to build its own internal infrastructure. This saved the company significant time, ensuring that the project kept to its strict deadlines and that the Thomas Cook site was live in time for the company’s launch.

Connections and APIs

In addition to the core CMS, it was vital that Thomas Cook could connect to other platforms, applications and sites. Thanks to the flexible nature of Magnolia, along with its wide range of connectors, Thomas Cook was able to pull in external content such as offers and travel updates. Through various APIs, Thomas Cook can now ensure that its customers receive the very latest information and get the very best deals from sites all around the web. This makes the experience so much more dynamic and supports future opportunities.

Exceptional customer support

Working with a small developer team, Thomas Cook selected Magnolia for its cost, reliability and its exceptional customer support. Before signing up for the new CMS, Thomas Cook’s team received daily communication from Magnolia, including education, best practice advice and regular scheduled communications check-ins about the platform. By working as a direct partner to the brand, Magnolia was able to help Thomas Cook sort through its 1000+ pages of content and establish what the best technology would be for displaying and distributing them across the new site.

The Result

A digital-first brand

With Magnolia, Thomas Cook has been able to launch a flexible and reliable travel site in under six months.

Working with only one designer, two developers and a small content team, Thomas Cook also successfully transferred all 1000 pages of content, transitioning them into a content app for use across any channel, landing page or platform.

Now, with Magnolia’s flexible CMS in place, Thomas Cook is well positioned to expand its digital offering in future, promoting content across mobile and other digital channels as well as supporting greater personalization and cross-channel marketing campaigns.

Following the implementation of Magnolia, Thomas Cook was able to launch its new online presence in record time, with over 120,000 visitors on launch day. Thanks to the CMS, 90% of all content and destination pages are also now available via a content app, rather than on page.

The level of support we got before signing the contract was fantastic. Then, as the project evolved, we actually struggled to find things to ask the Magnolia support team. They did such a fantastic job of training our own internal team, that we quickly became experts ourselves!
Ryan Cotton

Ryan Cotton

Head of Marketing, Thomas Cook

Magnolia provided a very efficient process, taking such a significant amount of content and putting it on a new website with a complete new layout and look and feel — all with virtually no manual effort or heavy lifting from our side.
Ryan Cotton

Ryan Cotton

Head of Marketing, Thomas Cook

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