Business Media Matters : February 2011
B-to-B Magazines Show Revenue Growth in November 2010
In November 2010, b-to-b print revenue showed growth versus year ago, by 2.1%, while ad pages declined by 1.4%.
Several Business Information Network (BIN) categories showed revenue growth in November, including: Agriculture; Automotive; Banking, Financial, Insurance; Business, Advertising & Marketing; Healthcare; and Transportation, Logistics. The November BIN data by category is available here.
Year to date, pages declined by 3.2% and print revenue declined by 1.7%.
ABM’s Business Information Network examines 21 markets comprised of all b-to-b books tracked by IMS/The Auditor, and PERQ/HCI for healthcare figures.
The BIN categories are:
Architecture, Design, Lighting
Aviation, Aerospace & Military
Banking, Financial, Insurance
Building, Engineering, Construction
Business, Advertising & Marketing
Computing, Software, Telecom
Government (Local, State, Federal)
Movies, Radio, TV & Video
Resources, Environment, Utilities
Restaurants, Foodservice, Lodging Gaming
Science, Research & Development
Travel, Conventions & Meetings
*Miscellaneous includes Arts, Coin Operated & Vending Machine, Security and Classified pages across all categories.
**Supplied by PERQ/HCI
Publicis CEO: Ad Revenue Crisis is Over
Publicis CEO Maurice Levy claims that the global financial crisis that has caused ad revenues to slump over the last few years is over after his company posted "excellent" results in Q4. Organic revenue, a key metric for the ad industry, grew 12.5% year on year, a rate that the ad agency says it hasn't experienced since the dot-com boom in the 1990s. However, Levy cautioned against ruling out a double-dip recession, saying that uncertainties in the global market could hit the ad sector again.
"The economic climate is more optimistic," he says. "Companies are ready to invest, CEOs are in a better mood, and the American consumer has started spending again. Our excellent results have put an end to the impact of the global financial crisis."
Publicis attributes its strong performance to its continuing focus on fast-growing digital ads and emerging markets. Levy claims that Publicis adapted to the digital shift earlier than many of its rivals, and digital accounted for 28% of its revenue in 2010, way above the overall market, where digital accounts for around 14% of total ad spend. The company is now aiming for digital to account for 35% of its revenue by 2014; Levy says there are plans to launch new initiatives in the space this year.
CMO Survey Reveals Marketer Optimism Rises to Highest Level in Two Years
Top marketing executives at U.S. firms are more optimistic about the U.S. economy and their own companies, with company performance indicators such as revenue, profits and new jobs climbing across the board, according to the latest CMO Survey, a nationwide poll of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) conducted twice annually by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and the American Marketing Association since 2008. The most recent CMO Survey queried 3,778 top marketing executives at Fortune 100, Forbes Top 200 and CMO Club companies from January 11-28.
CMOs rated the U.S. economy at 63 on a scale of 0-100, up from a rating of 56 in August 2010. Nearly 69% of CMOs reported they were more optimistic about the U.S. economy, compared to 26% during the previous quarter. In contrast, less optimistic CMOs fell to 6%, down from 35% the previous quarter.
“Because marketers have the most direct contact with customers and the best perspective of their future plans, these results are especially credible and bode well for economic recovery,” said Christine Moorman, Fuqua professor and director of the survey. “All measures of customer revenue are expected to see gains in the next 12 months.”
CMOs expect higher customer purchase volume, higher prices, more new customers entering the market and better customer retention. Advertising will see gains in the next year, with spending on traditional ads expected to rise more than 2%, the first foray into positive territory since before February 2009.
Spending on social marketing continues its upward trend. CMOs say their firms currently spend 6% of their marketing budgets on social media promotions, but that figure will triple to 18% over the next five years.
“The growth in social media marketing will be exponential,” Moorman said. “Smaller companies – with revenues under $25 million – in particular will increasingly rely on social media outlets to market their products and services.”
Moorman noted that although firms of all sizes plan to increase spending on marketing via social media, CMOs don’t believe their social media activities are well integrated with their companies’ overall marketing strategies. In fact, 42% rate this integration as below average and only 11% of CMOs said their company was “very effective” in integrating social media into their marketing strategies. This suggests an urgency to utilize social media even before a comprehensive plan is developed.
“This approach is natural for such a profoundly innovative tool for interacting with customers,” Moorman said. “Firms are in a period of experimentation and observation about social media. Like television advertising in the ‘50s, this period of learning will define the winners and losers of this generation of firms.”
Complete CMO Survey data tables by firm and industry characteristics are available at http://www.cmosurvey.org/results.
About the Survey
The CMO Survey collects and disseminates the opinions of top marketers in order to predict the future of markets, track marketing excellence and improve the value of marketing in firms and in society. Founded in August 2008, the survey is administered twice each year, with questions repeated over time to discern trends. The next survey will be conducted in August 2011.
Social-Media Skills Top List of Marketers' Digital Priorities
Marketers are looking to add workers with social media savvy more than any other type of digital marketing expertise this year, according to a new study from the Society of Digital Agencies (SODA) that was reported in Advertising Age.
Nearly one-third of marketers surveyed by the group are looking to hire people this year with social-media skills, with research and strategic planning coming in as the second-most sought-after skill set.
The study also found that 80% of marketers surveyed planned to increase the volume of digital projects this year. However, digital spending still only accounts for a fraction of the overall budget. The majority of respondents still spend less than 30% of their marketing budgets on digital.
Corporate sites will likely be a key area of focus this year; 70% of brand respondents said investments are planned for digital infrastructure. Again, social media proves to be a major priority; Facebook and Twitter are second and third on the planned investment list. Mobile websites and apps are on about 40% of responding marketers' radar for 2011.
SODA conducted the survey with research group Answerlab; it included responses from brand marketers, agency employees and technologists.
Outlook 2011: Marketing Priorities & Plans
As the economy begins to improve and budgets increase—particularly for online—marketers say they are entering a new world of marketing in which all things are driven by data, insight and engagement with their target audiences.
Here are the top 10 trends of 2011 direct from marketers, ad agency executives and industry experts as told to BtoB magazine.
Budgets Shift More Heavily to Online
While marketers have gradually been moving more of their budgets online over the past decade, the last two years saw the pace accelerate as companies looked for lower-cost, more accountable ways to reach their audiences during the recession. At the same time, online technologies continued to improve, offering marketers more effective ways to engage users, from streaming video to virtual events. The continued shift to digital is driving investments, strategy and creative for b-to-b marketers this year and is shaping many of the other major trends.
The Changing Nature of B-to-B
“We all know we are in a period of revolutionary change for the world of marketing overall, which is every bit as significant a change as what the telcos went through with the Internet and the entertainment industry with digital media,” said Michael Metz, senior director of Web marketing and strategy at Cisco Systems.
Metz said this change is driven by the fact that the Internet is the central platform of communications for businesses, customers and prospects. “When we're on the Internet—whether Facebook, or LinkedIn, or an iPad app or Cisco.com—we leave a digital footprint behind,” he said. “This digital stream is a terrific opportunity for marketers to engage with prospects and customers in ways they have not done before, to know their likes and interests, and to help organizations be successful.”
More Emotional, Personal Communication
As marketers strive to connect with business executives at work and at home, they are getting much more personal and emotional. “The distinction between b-to-b companies and b-to-c companies is artificial,” said Marty Homlish, global CMO at software company SAP. “At the end of the day, it is all about business-to-people.”
SAP did significant customer research last year through social media, events and online communities to find out more about what its users want, and the result was a new campaign called “Run Better,” featuring customers such as Harley-Davidson, NEC Corp. and Sharp Electronics Corp.
B-to-b marketers will get much more sophisticated at mining customer data and making that information the focal point of their communications.
“Our priorities are being shaped by the landscape of our clients, and the way our clients and prospects are consuming information, and the way they are buying,” said John Kennedy, VP of corporate marketing at IBM Corp. “Marketing itself is becoming so data-driven and empirical, it is stepping closer to the convergence of art and science.”
IBM acquired 17 companies last year to increase its focus on data-driven marketing, from Coremetrics (analytics) to Netezza Corp. (data warehousing). “As we roll out and apply new technologies, it will allow us to be that much more analytical and data-driven, in everything from contact selection to our offering selection to the ways in which we communicate,” Kennedy said.
New Customer Intelligence Metrics
As marketing techniques and data-mining programs get more sophisticated and personal, so do the metrics used to evaluate these efforts.
“We are seeing more and more of our marketing partners extend their Web analytics to include score-card analysis that brings in performance metrics from touch points—such as call center and postal direct response data—that are beyond pure Web activity,” said Gary Slack, chairman/chief experience officer at Slack and Co., Chicago.
Optimizing Social Media
Social media has become an integral part of marketing for b-to-b companies, with 62.6% of marketers planning to increase their spending on such channels this year, according to BtoB's “2011 Outlook” survey.
Look for marketers to go beyond dabbling in social media (such as creating a Facebook fan page) to making it mainstream in their marketing programs—no longer simply buying advertising on social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn but optimizing their social media content.
Feeding the Content Machine
As more and more marketing channels roll out, including social media networks, landing pages, blogs and thought leadership events, marketers must continuously create and maintain content used for marketing purposes.
According to a study published by Junta42 in September, 51% of b-to-b marketers said they will increase their content marketing budgets this year, and content marketing will make up 26% of overall b-to-b marketing budgets.
“One way we are feeding the content machine is by hiring journalists,” said Mark Wilson, VP of corporate marketing at Sybase Inc. “As all content has become much more social, journalists are really good at being able to write in a more social way than traditional people producing content like white papers and solution briefs. We are also getting more people in our organizations—such as brand evangelists and product marketing people—to write more, and we're pulling content around our products from our customers.”
Expanded Partnerships with Media
The role of media companies is also being expanded as marketers turn to them to help develop integrated programs that go beyond advertising to more in-depth content. “Advertisers should start looking at media partners not just as magazines but as content providers, as people are looking for more information and thoughtful content,” said Chris Philip, senior VP/chief experience officer at Doremus, New York. For example, last fall Doremus partnered with Scientific American to create a thought-leadership content program for client Quintiles, a pharmaceutical services company.
The partnership included a 110-page custom publication by Scientific American called “Pathways,” which explored challenges in today's health environment; an excerpt from “Pathways” that ran in the October issue of The Economist; and a microsite with online videos, blogs and discussion groups around the content.
Growth of Mobile Apps
With the debut of the Apple iPad last year and the proliferation of other tablet readers, mobile apps are finally proving to be a valid model for publishers and advertisers.
Business publications such as Forbes and The Wall Street Journal have introduced mobile apps for the iPad and other tablet devices, while News Corp. is readying an iPad-only publication called TheDaily.com.
Some publishers are rolling out industry-specific mobile apps, such as Farm Progress, which last month introduced a Growing Degree Days app for the Android and iPhone that provides crop management tools for farmers. “Producers like the wide array of information they can access, and ag marketers have a rich selection of tools to reach their audience to build product awareness, image and brand expansion in the marketplace,” said Jeff Lapin, president of Farm Progress.
Immediacy in Search Results
As content is continuously being updated on social networks, websites, discussion groups and other online destinations, search engines are reflecting this “live” content in results.
In September, Google rolled out Google Instant, which uses predictive technology to display search results as a user is typing keywords in the search pane.
“These developments and continued future moves in this direction will motivate marketers to make more frequent, targeted content updates on their sites and in social media in order to take maximum advantage of organic search,” said Slack and Co.'s Slack.
Introduce the Next Generation to B-to-B, Win $5,000
The Business Press Educational Foundation (BPEF) announced the launch of a new competition to solicit ideas for a national marketing campaign that educates college and graduate students on the business-to-business (b-to-b) media industry, including its available broad range of career opportunities. Entitled “What is B2B?: Introduce the next generation to a career in business media,” the contest is open to all.
One of the industry’s greatest challenges is attracting informed and enthusiastic graduates; contestants are asked to help spread the word, with the goal of educating and attracting young professionals to careers in b-to-b media.
Cash prizes will be awarded to the top two entries: $5,000 for 1st Place, $1,000 for 2nd Place. Additionally, one representative from the winning team will receive an all-expense-paid trip to American Business Media’s Annual Conference in Austin, TX, this May, where they will receive the cash award, network with industry executives and present the campaign.
The entry deadline is March 15, 2011. Click here for more information and to enter now.
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