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Media Intelligence : MT Resource Guide 2012
N ew vehicles and channels are beginning to expand advertising sales opportunities for B2B publishers. Although some are concerned by advertising migrating to the net, print remains a firm favourite. So while maintaining a firm foothold on traditional print arena, B2B is flexing its business muscle on the various digital platforms with healthy results. The focus of B2B media on strategically targeting various industry sectors with quality content is a strength which attracts high levels of reader engagement, generating advertising support across multiple platforms. For B2B, content is – and has always – been the focus. B2B publishers often have a lot of in-depth knowledge of various industries. This should enable them to support advertisers and facilitate new developments, a recent PwC Report explains (From paper to platform: transforming the B2B publishing business model). However changing demands in media communications have resulted in structural changes to B2B publishing companies which also centre on content-driven lines: In the past year Westwick- Farrow has invested in a new editorial management system that has helped change its workflow and the teams’ mindset – from thinking ‘magazines’ to thinking ‘timely, targeted content’ across web, email, eMags and print, Westwick-Farrow Publisher Geoff Hird says. This underlines a statement last month by John Suhler, President of VSS (a leading US firm investing in media and marketing services industries) “The successful B2B media companies have integrated processes, integrating thinking” (www.btbonline.com). And content remains at the core of this integrated thinking: “Due to the Google algorithm changes that impacted heavily on B2B publishers last year,” explains Hird. “We have also placed more emphasis this year on original content.” For others this emphasis on content has translated to new forms of protecting it. “If we produce exclusive content, it’s going to go behind a data capture wall, Haymarket Media MD Jeremy Vaughan says. “We are experimenting more now with locked content than ever before – that’s the number one data driver at the moment.” This has been developed more in the last six months, he says. The various ways of managing and distributing content goes to the core of publishing business identity. “We view ourselves as a distribution business – we distribute content to readers across a range of platforms,” Sterling Publishing Group Publisher Alex Whitlock says. “ This includes print products but also the web, broadcast, tablets, events, webinars/webisodes and social networking. Recently our title The Adviser produced a series of webisodes with ANZ focusing on professional development. More than 2500 people viewed the first 25 minute webisode, a significant success for The Adviser and a solid return on investment for our sponsor ANZ.” Vaughan suggests that publishers’ thinking must become longer- term and allow such things as tablets, social media, data acquisition, locked and online paid content to develop. “It’s not about today, it’s about three to five years down the track. I think technology will lead publishers – be prepared to experiment and take risks.” Many publishers are becoming prepared for the risks to pursue the growth it can bring. “I see growth in all channels,” Hird says. “ Targeted, industry- specific websites, mobile versions of these sites, eNewsletters, print and digital magazines and apps - as our overall audience for each of our media groups is increasing.” Whitlock agrees: “Without doubt our greatest focus today is how we can continue to effectively connect with our readers across B2B media publishers are transforming their businesses, with innovation at a premium. 32 MediaTitles B2B publishing “Online publishing has opened communication channels between the publisher and the reader and this has changed the way that we interact with our audience on a daily basis.” – Alex Whitlock Group Publisher, Sterling Publishing Digital gains strong print offer + p32-33,37 b2bFea.indd 32 20/6/12 11:43:01 AM
Media Trends+Strategy 2012
MT Resource Guide 2013