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Media Intelligence : MT Resource 2010
M ost advertisers understand the B2B relation- ship with the market. While the mass consumer papers and magazines took a large dip in ad income, as “B2B publishers are more closely related to industry – they know they have to be a part of that industry,” points out The Magazine Publishing Company (TMPC) publisher Alan Kirk, “so I think we are handling the climate well”. It’s believed the major factor in B2B’s success in the economic downturn is this intimate relationship. ”B2B publications have this absolutely huge relationship with the reader,” Kirk says. “ We’ve built up this massive loyalty and trust with the reader over a period of time. The reader counts on us to advise them and give them education processes all the way through.” Other publishers agree that the industry tie and targeted marketing formula play a big part. Retail Media CEO James O’Sullivan observes that publishing clients want a more individual, one -on -one communication. “In the past, we as publishers – and I suppose advertisers – were proud to be (in large, mass circulation consumer titles); we felt we were in something special whereas now publishing clients think they’re getting lost in them. Bigger isn’t necessarily better anymore.” Most B2B publications vary in circulation from around 1000 to 15,000 and are distributed in general by controlled circulation, for example, to a qualified recipient via direct mail. The higher end isn’t necessarily small, though it is compared – in many instances incorrectly – to the circulations of mass consumer titles. However it’s the whole reason that B2B exists, says Westwick- Farrow MD Adrian Farrow: “We claim to be nothing more than niche publishers and we go where the money is and get rid of the rest so we’re quite happy with that formula. Obviously advertisers are too because they’re quite prepared to pay for a much smaller market at fairly decent prices.” This has had a flow-on effect in how publishers are meeting the challenge in developing models to benefit advertisers while retaining reader engagement. “ Those publishers who are [developing such models],” points out Farrow, “are offering the new products because advertisers seem somewhat obsessed by new things and they’re quite willing to pay for something new, particularly with regard to online, and so they’re easy to engage in that area.” It appears the very nature of the digital revolution has opened up more opportunities in the B2B sector. “ The digital model has changed how we look at communications with consumers and businesses,” says O’Sullivan. “More targeted and less clutter and more ‘how do I make my message stand out’. ” There are a number of reasons the online offer works well for B2B. “I think it’s critical in a B2B marketplace where you are relying B2B publishing B2B publishers believe that a strong tie to target markets has provided a protective umbrella in weathering the recent financial storm. GFC has resulted in B2B positive “We’ve got to keep loyal to the reader because we have to make a magazine that people are actually going to read.” – Alan Kirk Publisher, TMPC 30 MediaTitles p30-31,33 b2b.indd 30 8/12/09 2:27:52 PM
2009 - 2010
MT Resource Guide 2011