London, 3rd June 2014, Virgin Holidays, the UK’s favourite worldwide holiday company has selected Comet Global Consulting to implement a state of the art customer marketing solution – Enterprise Marketing Management (EMM) from IBM to support their customer driven marketing initiatives following a thorough competitive tender process. To ensure a rapid and successful solution implementation, Virgin Holidays selected Comet Global Consulting to design, build, deliver and support the solution for the Virgin Holiday Marketing team.

The vision of the Virgin Holidays marketing team is to deliver a personalised customer retention and lifecycle management communications strategy to improve customer retention and value. However, the marketing tools available to them were limited in functionality and did not allow for the degree of sophistication, personalisation and coordination they sought.

In the autumn of 2013, Virgin Holidays undertook a comprehensive competitive analysis of enterprise marketing solutions and selected the IBM EMM and Comet combination that offered the features and functionality needed, as well as the expertise and real world experience of the Comet Consulting team. One of the notable benefits in Comet’s approach was the recommendation for a phased approach that will deliver benefits to Virgin Holidays early in the project; this is different to most large enterprise software implementations where benefits are not seen until after the solution is fully implemented.

The decision by Virgin Holidays to go ahead with this project was made in November 2013 and work started immediately on the implementation with the solution handed over at the end April 2014. Comet will continue to provide initial campaign support and first line technical support now the technology is up and running to ensure the Virgin Holidays team effectively leverage the new capabilities. The IBM EMM/Comet solution will enable Virgin Holidays to automate trigger based, personalised multi-wave campaigns; customer communications will be based on customer preference and behaviour, and will drive improved customer retention and better cross and upsell rates. Comet has a proven track record of delivering large enterprise marketing automation projects on time and within budget. This coupled with knowledge of complex campaign design and delivery gave Virgin Holidays the confidence that they will achieve business value from their new marketing technology in the shortest timescale.

Sam Otter, Head of Marketing at Virgin Holidays says “As a marketing team we have a vision to deliver customer driven communications that are based on up to date insight into our customers’ holiday buying behaviour. We want to be confident that we are communicating the right messages, at the right time. Our market research and competitive tender process highlighted that the IBM EMM technology and Comet Global Consulting skills combination offered us the best solution with results delivered within our budget in the shortest timescales.”

The combined IBM EMM and Comet solution for Virgin Holidays will significantly contribute to improved customer value through higher retention rates. The marketing team will be able to deliver more meaningful communications at the times their customers are making holiday decisions. The ultimate result for Virgin Holidays will be improved customer revenue streams in a shorter period of time within the existing team, and customers returning to Virgin Holidays again and again.