Top Prof says print is the real deal

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Melbourne Business School professor Mark Ritson says print is the real deal when it comes to marketing, pointing to the soaraway success of start up travel business TripADeal, which spends heavily on print newspaper advertising.

Print promotion: holidays from TripADeal
Print promotion winning: holidays from TripADeal

According to Ritson – who has a PhD in marketing – TripADeal's policy of eschewing digital marketing channels such as Facebook and Google in favour of newspaper print ads, even though it is a digital business, is part of the reason for the phenomenal success of the company. It has been quadrupling its revenue every year for several years.

The company is now the biggest spender from the travel sector on newspaper print ads, and is only ramping up its activity: this year it will spend a huge six times what it spent last year, some $30m in total. The professor said that strategy was contrary to almost all digital businesses, which went almost entirely for digital marketing, but said the results were clear – the print ads were working.

The company is in the news at has just launched $1m holiday competition, whihc will see one lucky winner get $200,000 a year to spend over the next five years on travel.

TripADeal began less than a decade ago when two Aussie mates discussed travel packages over a beer in Bali. The decision to spend on newspapers went alongside its decision to steer away from automated phones and install actual people to take calls.

Prof Ritson said the investment in print newspaper ads gave the company a loud voice, and gave customers the perception that it was a brand that could be trusted against buying from online travel agencies.

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