Monarch’s demise demonstrates that proactive marketing is critical. It didn’t spot the changing tastes and trends in the holiday business.
The example of Monarch highlights how marketers need to be proactive and ahead of the curve to spot changing trends. Monarch blamed its demise on terror attacks in Egypt and Tunisia and the fall in sterling’s value. Its bill for fuel and aircraft increased by £50 million in one year.
But the truth is that it was struggling with its own offer against the continued rise of competitor budget airlines such as Ryanair and Easyjet. Younger customers (according to YouGov’s Millennial Travellers report) prefer shorter breaks that they can plan themselves. They are unlikely to book a two-week package holiday with Monarch. Monarch, it is argued, did not spot these changes in travel habits.
Monarch’s marketing department vigorously advertised new destinations and holidays just before it collapsed. But it was a question of too little too late. There was a disconnect between the brand and hard-hitting business realities and changing customer tastes. Monarch didn’t introduce new travel products that might have appealed to younger affluent people who take several short breaks a year. This is where proactive marketing could have influenced a change in business strategy. The business should have adopted a strategy to respond to changing tastes. Too often, argues Catalyst magazine (January 2018), marketing is reactive and happens in a vacuum. It should be ahead of the curve, seeing trends and innovating ahead of competitors.