Alliance Manchester Business School - AMBS

MAG-O Case Study

Delivering Digital Programme

There has been a digital revolution in the travel industry providing discerning customers with ever greater control over where they stay, how they get there, and what they do when they arrive. Disrupters such as Uber, Airbnb and low-cost operators have set new standards in customer engagement and all operators vie for ownership of the customer journey and their share of customer spend.

Organisational issue

Needing to embark upon a digital transformation journey and recognising the challenges of implementing change within such a large-scale and regulation-driven business, Manchester Airport Group (MAG) established MAG-O as a separate disruptor business unit within the group. With a clear brief for innovation, frictionless customer journeys and revenue generation, the MAG-O start-up needed to tackle a number of business challenges: 

  • Establish a new way of working involving a major change in culture and governance and the need to embrace the creative environment of digital
  • Move towards agile product innovation and a rapid product development cycle
  • Provide rapid immersion for the newly appointed senior leadership team in e-commerce and how to run a digital business 
  • Provide the right culture to enable the acquisition, development, and retention of digital talent. 

The solution

The programme was designed around the premise that firstly MAG-O would need to understand what digital is and how to do it effectively before being able to lead and grow a digital business with innovation at its core.  

The 2 x 2-day format therefore comprised an Exploring Digital Business module followed by a Leading Digital Business module.  

Using a co-creation model we worked closely with MAG-O commissioners to ensure that the programme was fully embedded in the business context and provided opportunities for rich experiential learning. We achieved this by linking our intervention to the board-approved strategy, demonstrating the use of key tools and techniques using MAG-O data, scenarios, and developing bespoke case studies based on the most pressing challenges faced by the business. 

The key themes running across the programme include: 

  • Digital business concepts
  • E-commerce
  • Design thinking
  • Key issues in digital marketing
  • Importance of the customer in digital marketing
  • Adaptive leadership in a changing world 

The programme was delivered by leading practitioners and thought leaders in digital business, transformational change, and adaptive leadership with a focus on delivering immediate and impactful outcomes for the business. 

Programme impact

The programme has delivered significant return on investment by providing both immediate and ongoing impact within the business.  

Benefits include:

  • Equipping the team with the fundamentals of digital business to create a shared understanding and new ways of working
  • Enabling the team to create a set of KPIs and a new business model (based around Design Thinking) which provides the key to unlock group funding
  • Providing the team with the ability to identify quick wins and realise additional revenue streams
  • Developing more dynamic and creative ways of working which are being explored across the group as a whole 

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