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Media Intelligence : July 2007
Many still aren t ready, but in the last twelve months we have really seen a shift away from traditional forms of just simply print marketing. Clients are looking for more." Westwick-Farrow has been particularly pro-active about merging into the online space, evidenced by their acquisition of the Australia/New Zealand licence for international IT media company TechTarget. "It has added value to our whole business from a management and development perspective, allowing us to look at successful web-publishing strategies internationally, then to roll out those sites locally. It gave us more of a chance to compete more aggressively in the IT publishing sector where previously we were probably seen by many as a minnow," Hird says. Whilst B2B publishers are for the most part still in the early stages of electronic publishing, Chris Tchakalian sees technological advancement in a holistic sense and describes how it can fundamentally enhance the industry. "Publishers are being driven by advancement in front-end services like printing, distribution and circulation. I also think one of the areas in which they have a lot of work to do is in improving the quality and detail of their databases," he says. "I think the technology for database structure and analysis is now moving along, but what they really need to do is interrogate their databases and build more information into their reader records. One of the big issues is the need for reader research in their own publications because that is becoming a more important element in the decision- making of the advertiser market." As publishers try to make sense of the change and development in their industry, the niche itself is moving along on an even keel. The American Business Media reported that ad pages and revenue remained steady throughout 2006 with increases of 1.11% and 0.9% respectively. While the US sector is more developed and far larger than the local industry, like many other industries its results can be used as an indicator to gauge trends locally. One trend that the Australian market appears not to be following is the growth in specialist B2B media agencies. B2B has traditionally been seen as a poor relative to consumer in the eyes of the media buyer/planner. Products are less sexy and often highly technical, but while the audience is smaller, it is highly targeted and quali ed. "I think the only way it can change is in the growth of specialised agencies and media buyers who are dedicated to those types of publications," says Chris Tchakalian. "They need to understand the marketing strategies of niche titles. If you try and brief an ad agency on a high-tech product aimed at a speci c or professional readership, you are hard-pressed to nd a creative who can work as pro ciently on that as they can at the glamorous end of town." TMPC s Alan Kirk echoes Tchakalian s comments. "It s really frustrating. One of our titles goes into the grocery market and they [the media agencies] constantly neglect trade advertising. "After government and auto, retail is probably the biggest spending on advertising, but buyers just don t see it as necessary. They think that consumer advertising is enough, but trade is just a completely di erent target market." Geo Hird is slightly more upbeat. "There are a number of agencies out there that do understand niche medialand is MediaTitles 45 I think that magazines are still the core of the [B2B] media offering." -- Geoff Hird "
2009 - 2010