Don't worry, Tohapi

Read the interview with Jacques Masson, Member of the Management Board & Head of Marketing & Business Development at Tohapi. Discover the importance of Revenue Management in campsites and how it can provide real added value in terms of pricing, forecasting and optimisation.

A few words about Vacalians and its new Tohapi brand, and why the RM has a place there?

Vacalians Group, Europe’s leading campsite operator with over 200 destinations and more than a million holidaymakers, has merged its historic Vacances Directes and Village Center brands for the 2015 season to form a single brand, Tohapi, whose ambition is to provide ever greater support for holidaymakers’ desires, anticipate their expectations and offer them the best of the camping spirit. In a sector that is increasingly competitive and increasingly faced with the challenge of building relationships with distributors, price must not become the main factor in the customer’s decision, whereas people are accustomed to choosing their holidays primarily on the basis of the destination. So it’s vital to highlight the advantages of our products through a promotional tool such as a strong, easily identifiable brand. The brand therefore complements the Yield tools to increase the value of the products. However, because of the very nature of the campsite business (high proportion of advance bookings, high sensitivity to price, etc.), RM remains the essential tool for managing a business with high profitability challenges linked to LBO shareholding.

What impact do you think this new brand will have on your Revenue Management (forecasting, optimisation, etc)? Have you given any specific instructions to your Revenue Managers?

The main aim of the brand is to increase demand by building loyalty among our existing clientele around shared values such as conviviality and the spirit of freedom, and by capturing a clientele who have an outdated idea of camping, even though they went there when they were young and have excellent memories of it. This brand reaffirms the revival of camping.

The main impact on RM is therefore the need to coordinate RM actions with the entire media plan in order to adjust Dynamic Pricing as closely as possible to expected demand. To achieve this, every week the RM department will meet with the brand manager and the SEM/SEO campaign manager to coordinate their respective actions.

Having RM and Commercial department under your responsibility, isn’t it enough to make you schizophrenic?

Just because the immediate interests of these 2 teams do not converge does not mean that the decision should be made in favour of one or the other. Above all, it must be made in the interests of the company in the short, medium and long term.

Revenue Managers too often forget that the optimum gain they propose is directly linked to the framework of their analysis. If we look at a larger framework, the sum of the optimums of each analysis is often not the optimum of the larger framework. The human and contractual relationship created by the salesperson simply changes the framework of the MR’s analysis, which must then be adapted to find the best method for achieving maximum turnover and, above all, maximum margin.

Bringing commercial constraints to the RM is in fact just a fabulous way of making the RM even more innovative and efficient. It’s the same reasoning that leads me to integrate budgetary constraints from finance into MR thinking.

What RM projects do you see as priorities for the coming months?

In view of the launch of the brand and the impact of measuring demand, the priority is to be able to control unconstrained demand.

Why did you call for Council? Why particularly N&C?

The advantage of consulting is that it can accelerate a company’s development in terms of processes, tools and team skills. The experience provided by our consultants, and in particular those at N&C, helps teams to become aware of what is being done best elsewhere and to gain confidence in themselves, which is the key to successfully setting up a team as sensitive as an MR department.

Keywords: Revenue Management, Dynamic Pricing, Jacques Masson, Tohapi, Vacances Directes, Village Center