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Media Intelligence : July 2007
While B2B publishing businesses are moving towards an integrated approach to talk to their industries with online o erings, face- to-face interaction using conferences and educational forums, it remains clear that they are built around the magazine. Chris Tchakalian, executive director of Publishers Australia, the industry body representing business and specialist publishers, sees online in the B2B space as a challenge ripe for development. "Clearly the biggest issue facing B2B publishing is the internet and electronic publishing. Not so much as a competitor, but rather as how these publishers integrate electronic with their hard-copy print publishing to exploit the synergies between the two." The internet may be growing, but its place in B2B media is entirely dependent on the industry sector, says The Magazine Publishing Company s (TMPC) publisher Alan Kirk. "To me, it depends on the market. Certain industries accept online information far better than others. We nd it works better in industries that are o ce based. When they are out in the eld, we nd it isn t as valuable. I still believe in the value of email communication, but, as I said, it has to be the right industry to accept it. We have a publication for bakers, but we aren t going to send them an email every day. They just won t read it. You really have to pick the industry." Leading technology and industrial publishers Westwick-Farrow have embraced a multi-platform approach, but according to associate publisher Geo Hird, the print medium remains the core. "The way we approach it is that print has established our relationship with a particular industry sector and has given us a mind share or a heart share within that industry. From there we are stepping out into events and online so we can give that to the community we publish into." Westwick-Farrow promotes a user- directed system so the consumer can receive information when and how they want. "They can receive it in monthly magazines, or if they want it right now they can go online where they can take RSS feeds from one of our sites for content they are speci cally interested in," says Hird. "They can even come along to an annual industry event where they can get training and information and meet with vendors." Although publishers may be ready to take the leap into an integrated strategy, Hird says that clients are often wary of moving with the times. "There has been talk of online and integrated marketing strategies for the past ve years but I think that in the publishing community in Australia, particularly, not many people have delivered. "A lot of clients weren t ready for it. 44 MediaTitles Business to business publishing Integration and online are presenting a bold challenge in the B2B arena, but magazines are still the centre of the brand. Media Titles investigates. B2B magazines still the centre of business "The difference between web and print is simple. When I sit at my computer, I lean forward. When I sit on my couch, I lean back. There is no point trying to make a website more like a magazine or a magazine more like a website. Both are separate mediums. Readers interact with both in different ways. But if publishers can get the content mix right, to reflect the needs of the reader at the point of interaction, the combination is powerful. In our experience, print advertising, combined with online advertising, specifically email, creates an exponentially greater response than one medium alone. Whet the appetite at a time when the reader is vulnerable to emotive messages (while reading a magazine) and combine it with a call to action, when the reader is all about business (while online)." -- JAMES TUCKERMAN, Publisher, Australian Anthill
2009 - 2010