Business Media Matters : May 2010



Business Magazines Begin to Show Improvement in February 2010
BIN Report expands to four revenue platforms; data now included

Print revenue in February declined by 7.5% versus one year ago, while ad pages declined by 9.4%. This compares favorably with January, during which revenue declined by 12.4% and ad pages declined by 15.3%. 

Despite overall losses, certain categories showed revenue growth in the first two months of 2010. These categories include: Agriculture (9.7%), Aviation, Aerospace & Military (4.7%), Healthcare (11.4%), and Miscellaneous (7.0%). The data, by category, is available here.

PAGES -15.3% -9.4% -11.8%
REVENUE -12.4% -7.5% -9.6%

ABM’s Business Information Network examines 21 markets comprised of all business-to-business books tracked by IMS/The Auditor, and PERQ/HCI for healthcare figures. Evolving with the industry, ABM has expanded its BIN reporting once again to now cover the industry’s four key revenue platforms: print, tradeshows, digital and data. The two newest categories, digital and data, both grew in share of b-to-b revenue in 2009 and now account for 1 out of 4 industry dollars.

Total b-to-b print revenue was most impacted by the economy last year, followed by trade shows, then digital media. With regard to share of b-to-b revenue, both trade shows and digital have increased.

REVENUE (in billions)

2008 2009 % Change
Tradeshows $11.1 $9.4 -15.8%
Print $9.9 $7.5 -24.0%
Digital $4.1 $4.0 -3.0%
Data $1.5 $1.6 +6.7%
TOTAL $26.6 $22.5 -15.4%


2008 2009
Tradeshows 41.7% 41.8%
Print 37.2% 33.3%
Digital 15.4% 17.8%
Data 5.6% 7.1%

About CEIR (Tradeshows):
For 30 years, CEIR has been highlighting the importance of exhibitions in today's business environment. Its goal is to promote the image, value and growth of exhibitions. This is accomplished through producing primary research studies that prove the effectiveness and efficiency of exhibitions as a marketing medium.

About Inquiry Management Systems (IMS) (Print):
With offices in Toronto, New York and London, IMS has served magazine publishing professionals since 1979. Over 1,400 magazine titles utilize its array of products that help sell additional pages of advertising, increase lead results for advertisers, and produce creative Web solutions.

About Outsell, Inc. (Data): Outsell is the only research and advisory firm focused on advancing the publishing and information industries. The firm’s international team provides independent, fact-based analysis and actionable advice that helps our clients thrive and grow in today's fast-changing digital and global environment.

Digital revenue sources are: ABM members, PricewaterhouseCoopers / IAB, eMarketer, and Outsell Inc.



Sales Promotion Awards Entry Deadline Extended to June 17!

There’s still time to submit your best promotional materials for ABM's 2010 Sales Promotion Awards!

The program was originally instituted as the ABM Media Kit Awards to recognize the hard work and creativity of the marketing and publishing teams that create media kits. Whether to promote a product launch or event, inform the industry about M&A or a new company division, or simply to call a press conference, media kits have been integral in allowing companies to remain transparent via tools that likewise provide sales teams with tangible assets for selling advertising and sponsorships.

Now, the ABM Sales Promotion Awards reflect a new focus on the entire suite of promotional materials that support all sales efforts, including e-mail promotion and other digital collateral.

The categories are:
Brand Media Kit/Printed (print)
Brand Media Kit/Digital Interactive Format (online only)
Exhibitor Sales Kit/Printed (print)
Email Promotion (excludes all e-newsletters)
Stand-Alone Flyer/Printed (excludes campaigns, must be independent)
Stand-Alone Brochure/Printed (excludes campaigns, must be independent)

In keeping with the times, the entry process for the Awards has moved online for ease of entry. Click here to enter now, and here to download the Call for Entries PDF and a sample entry form.

The deadline to enter is Thursday, June 17. Finalists and winners will be celebrated during a special breakfast this summer in New York City.

Click here to watch highlights from the 2009 Achievement Awards breakfast, and listen in as Kevin Arsham and Glenn Laudenslager share media and marketing insights. 

For more information or questions on the entry process, contact John Beisner at or 212-661-6360 ext. 3330.



Forrester Research on Social Media Now Available Exclusively for ABM Members

Social media has undoubtedly become intertwined with marketing – so how can it be leveraged to engage buyer behavior tendencies in your market? Committed to providing members with valuable new information affecting their businesses, ABM teamed up with Forrester to provide a free, members-only webinar dedicated to answering that question, as well as to exploring key findings about social media’s role in the b-to-b buying process.

Marketing is about understanding your audience in order to convey a message. Thus, Forrester has employed “Social Technographics®” – or psychographic user information – as a way to benchmark buyer behavior by the level of participation in social activity. For example, 74 percent of Forrester's respondents fit the “Spectators” profile – they read blogs, online forums, customer ratings/reviews, and tweets. They listen to podcasts and watch video from other users. According to the research, 46 percent are “Joiners,” maintaining a profile on and regularly visiting a social networking site. So, how can you use social media to position your brand in front of each user type in order to effectively communicate your message?

The webinar, now available on-demand, provides information about what determines user types’ behavior, and how to engage them during the decision-making process.

Tune in now and learn about:

  • The evolving use of social media and the social behavior of business buyers
  • How business buyers utilize social media in the workplace and their attitudes toward social sources of information
  • Best practices for identifying which social media tools matter at specific points in the b-to-b purchase process, as well as how to develop social media marketing programs that engage buyers
  • How to integrate social media platforms to optimize the way b-to-b marketers reach b-to-b decision-makers

ABM members: Click here to view the webinar on-demand and access the presentation deck.


The ABM Vital Guide to Mobile Advertising  

Mobile advertising is a complex ecosystem of brands, carriers, device makers and platform vendors. The market is still immature, but it’s not too early to start thinking about how mobile media fits into the marketing mix.

No matter where you find yourself in the evolution (and monetization) of mobile, the latest ABM Vital Guide offers guidance on the key issues, the major players, and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Click here to check it out.

Through a recent partnership with Vital Business Media’s eMedia Vitals, ABM is proud to deliver the ABM Vital Guide, a free weekly e-newsletter containing high-quality, actionable content on the hottest digital media trends affecting the b-to-b industry. Each week, the ABM Vital Guide tackles one specific digital media trend or product with the potential to dramatically influence members’ digital revenues. Previous editions have thoroughly covered such issues as audience development, content aggregation, database marketing, online event models, e-newsletters and subscription management. Click here to subscribe now!



Rep. Boucher Announces Details of Proposed Privacy Legislation
ABM poised to shape bill on behalf of industry

Congressman Rick Boucher (D-VA) kicked off ABM’s 2010 Annual Conference earlier this month by announcing details of draft privacy legislation that would apply to all activities, online and offline, in which advertisers use information collected from consumers to target ads to the consumer's apparent interests. (See Wall Street Journal coverage here.)

In detailing the legislation, Boucher said, "Our purpose is not to interfere with legitimate behavioral advertising, but there is a great deal of concern from Internet users about how their information is being used."

Boucher noted that a recent New York Times article suggested that behavioral advertising was declining, possibly because of regulatory uncertainty; he hoped that his bill would provide certainty and thus encourage the growth of behavioral advertising.

Click here for an executive summary of Rep. Boucher’s bill, which would initially require that all Web sites that collect information from consumers give consumers notice with respect to the information collected, how it is used, who it is shared with, and the circumstances under which it is shared. Consumers would be given control over collection and use practices under an opt-out protocol. Boucher emphasized that, under an opt-out system, the default is that information can be collected and used as described in the Web site's policy.

Boucher said that his proposed bill incorporates what he called "best practices that exist today among those involved in Internet advertising." He noted that Google and Yahoo, for example, currently provide opportunities for consumers to register their choices with respect to targeted advertising. Boucher added that his proposed bill would preempt state legislation on the subject, and would delegate civil enforcement to the Federal Trade Commission.
ABM is poised to play a key role in influencing the proposed privacy legislation, and Boucher is specifically seeking the Association’s feedback and support. As the importance of this issue is critical to our industry's future, ABM has already held several meetings of its Information Policy Committee and membership to inform and enlist feedback that will reflect our industry’s view and help shape the legislation (comments are due June 4). 


Technical Specifications Issued for New Behavioral Advertising Icons

Last month, in a critical step toward advancing ongoing (and ABM-supported) industry self-regulation, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) announced their release of the CLEAR (Control Links for Education and Advertising Responsibly) Ad Notice Technical Specifications, a set of common technical standards enabling enhanced notice in online ads. 

These new technical specifications, found here, will allow advertisers and ad networks to begin offering a clickable icon in or near online ads that directs users to additional information about online behavioral advertising and choices about such ads.

The icon-based approach to enhanced consumer notice was outlined in the Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising, which were released in July 2009 by a coalition of associations—American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), Association of National Advertisers (ANA), Direct Marketing Association (DMA), Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Council for Better Business Bureaus (BBB).

Meanwhile, the IAB also announced recently that it is working with the Council of Better Business Bureaus on enforcement procedures for the self-regulatory process. During the group's annual leadership summit in February, its board of directors and general membership body voted to establish a code of conduct intended to help the government enforce the IAB's privacy guidelines. (Click here for more information on this.) 



Marketers: Use Location-Based Mobile Services to Better Engage Audiences

Some major media brands are using location-based service Foursquare to engage audiences, reported Mediaweek, and in doing so are opening up a channel for delivering hyperlocal news. According to Mediaweek, The Wall Street Journal and New York Times are using the GPS-based mobile software to share on-the-spot news and information, including the Times' coverage of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Foursquare and rival Gowalla are free, simple-to-use applications that access GPS in mobile devices and provide users the opportunity to choose to share their location at any venue. The medium lends itself to reviews, travel content, and location-based data. Just like Twitter and Facebook, reporters can easily build employment of location-based mobile apps into their on-the-go reporting routine, and marketers can likewise showcase brands on the apps using quality content from media partners.

Leverage this opportunity to reach audiences by:

  • Setting up a Foursquare or other location-based service account for your brand and dedicate a team leader to oversee the account. Have that person learn how to operate the application on their mobile device and charge them with keeping the rest of the team up-to-date.
  • Make it clear to the team that any events, field reports, or other industry-related outings should be documented using the application, pushed out along with brand-building content.
  • Be sure to keep messaging short and to the point, and only link to content relevant to the location. 



Marketing Services: Solving the Great Muddle

According to chatter around media water coolers lately, magazine publishers are no longer necessarily in the news game – rather, marketing services are opening up a bevy of revenue opportunities. But how do you get started? ABM’s Annual Conference, held earlier this month in Charleston, SC, sought to answer that question with a dedicated marketing services panel comprised of John Sequerth, publications manager at UPS; Hanley Wood VP of Corporate Sales and Chair of ABM’s Entrepreneurial Committee Michael Hurley; and Tom Miller, partner at agency Miller Brooks.

Miller drew on his agency experience to advise publishers not to try to be everything to everybody. Each of Miller Brooks’ 24 customers uses multiple firms to create content. Rather than competing with each other – or with customers – evaluate your core strengths and bring them to the collaboration table, he said, adding, “No one owns the customer, the customer is a free agent.”

And at the end of the day, marketing services are about adding value to the client, Miller said. Publishers know audiences better than advertisers, according to Hurley, and are positioned to provide that value, as long as they “stop selling and listen,” he said. Whether it’s the selling assets model, or the audience-and-market-centric model, or something else, ABM’s Entrepreneurial Committee is seeking “the best models to present to members,” said Hurley, who pointed to Meredith Corporation’s 360 division as a winner because it offers a “broad range of services with little to no regard to media (not selling Meredith brands).” In Q1, 360 is already at 50 percent of what the division earned in all of 2009, according to Hurley.

Need more incentive to get involved? Hurley told attendees that marketing services dollars can be twice that of media dollars.

The Entrepreneurial Committee – in working with the ANA and Booz & Company on a study to determine those winning marketing services models – is currently seeking members who have experience in the space to weigh in. Contact Hurley at to share your perspective. 




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