Meet Dennis Landman, a Dutch media dinosaur.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, Dennis.
I am Dennis Landman, Industry Consultant Travel & Tourism at Mediahuis Nederland, the publisher of the most discussed newspaper in the Netherlands De Telegraaf, VROUW Magazine, Autovisie and video platform Dumpert. I am a true media lover as I started out as a radio pirate in the late 1980s, which sparked my love for this exciting medium. I started my professional media career at Radio 10 Gold in Amsterdam, where I took my first steps in commercial radio sales. There, we also handled sales for the other radio stations in the group, such as Love Radio, Concert Radio and JFK Jazz Radio. Because of my love for radio and music from the eighties, I started collecting vinyl singles and 12-inch (disco) singles from that period. I have amassed a nice collection of over 2,000 singles from this period.
How did you end up on your role?
I moved from Radio 10 Gold to “The Music Factory”, the Dutch MTV, and in 2000 to the Sky Radio Group, with as flagship Sky Radio 100.7 FM, the radio market leader in the Netherlands at that time. I became the Sales Director of this inspiring radio club. In addition to Sky Radio, we also handled Radio Veronica, TMF Hitradio (ring a bell?) and Classic FM. In 2009, Telegraaf Media Groep (TMG) bought Sky Radio Group and that’s how I met all the other business units of TMG. After TMG sold Sky Radio Group to Talpa Media Network (owned by John de Mol) in 2017, I decided to stay behind at TMG. In 2016 I started a new sales role as portfolio sales manager at TMG to learn more about the journalism domain and the digital and print sales propositions at this leading publisher. In 2020, we revamped the sales department, where I chose the Field Sales Unit serving the Travel & Tourism industry, because of the market dynamics and the inspiring people working in that industry.
Where do you get the most satisfaction from?
Firstly, working with people who understand the business and how the different media work. Stand alone and in combination with other media. Secondly, I like coming up with new products in the digital and print media landscape. What I particularly like to mention is the relaunch in 2019 of the “AdSticker” on the front page of our biggest newspaper De Telegraaf. It took me nine months to get all the stakeholders on the same page (the publishing department, press department, production department and the sales department) to get things working. They even had to rebuild the production lines in the print shop to make it possible to successfully stick the AdSticker on the front page of De Telegraaf.
From your perspective, what is the key to success in the cooperation between a tour operator/chain advertiser and a publisher? What are the key elements in a good relationship?
The most important thing is to be “always-onâ€ because you work for a news medium and you serve an industry, where every minute the world can change. The lines of communication must always be open and direct and based on mutual trust and respect. Secondly, the travel industry needs to be advised about the wide range of opportunities we offer at Mediahuis. To do this successfully, we offer to help them at every stage of the customer journey. From inspiring stories and beautiful images of the most beautiful destinations to touch & tell and from clicks and conversion to sell.
What is that print campaign where you thought: oh my god this is great! Or another one that touched you?
I already mentioned the AdSticker campaign but also the “can we go already on holiday” after Covid of Sunweb with only the QR code in the middle of a white 1/1 page in De Telegraaf made a big impression on me. Both initiatives required “guts”.
The travel sector has suffered from Covid, but we are on the way up. How do you see the near-term advertising future of the travel sector in the Netherlands?
We have had a good recovery in the Netherlands this year and we see many opportunities to serve the travel industry. Although not every part of the industry is back to full strength (e.g., business travel and world destinations) I am convinced that every part will regain its position, although this will be step by step. This will take some time due to the new setbacks we are now facing with staff shortages at airports and the war in Ukraine, which is causing the extreme rise in oil/kerosene prices.
It remains to be seen whether all sections will recover their original pre-2020 volumes. And will they be able to successfully run their businesses again in a newly formed world with a greater focus on the environment and social responsibility. I am convinced that people will never stop traveling. They need the contact with other people all over the world, both private and business, to develop themselves, to become creative, to learn from each other and to relax. We are and always will be social animals!
Is there life outside work?
Yes, there is! I have already mentioned my vinyl collection, but I also have a MÃ¤rklin model railway upstairs, which I enjoy very much. Furthermore, I am a member of the Advisory Board of VVV Texel, which advises the local authority on the structuring of tourist affairs on the island. And of course, my love for Formula 1 takes me all over the world, together with my son.
What makes you happy?
When I hear the song “Holiday” by Madonna!
Music always makes Sunweb stand out from the competition, so this question is a must. Which song brings back those wonderful holiday memories?
Haha, this question should come before the previous one, but Madonna is one of my 80’s music heroes. The first time I saw her perform live was in 1987 in De Kuip in Rotterdam with her “Who’s that girl” world tour. After that I saw her live in 4 more concerts and have almost all her vinyl 12 inches from the 80s (17 pieces). And believe it or not, I have two copies of the song Holiday on vinyl, which is 6.08 minutes long. “Holiday”: the best thing to do when you’re not working and for Madonna, the start of her successful and amazing career and the best song ever…