Why we need B2B publishers to wake up

An opinion piece from What’s Working in Marketing in the US asks What Happens to Communications Without the B2B Publishing Model? The answer is that manufacturers will be worse off, and all of us in marketing should hope that this channel recovers from the pretty hopeless situation it’s currently in. Publishing is, however, a horrendously macho business where it’s more normal to go to the wall before admitting weakness. That’s why you don’t see many publishers make the sensible move of reducing the frequency of their titles. There is simply no reason for an advertiser-funded magazine about widgets, with no recruitment advertising and no “twelve times a year” advertisers, to publish every month.

The other problem B2B publishing has is its complete lack of understanding of the threats and opportunities of online information. The result has been that few publishers ever exploited the opportunities, and fewer still reacted to the threats. Even today, those publishers who look beyond their print rivals just say: “Well, there still aren’t many internet-only competitors generating more revenue than we do, so what’s the problem?” …without analysing where their advertisers’ spending has gone.

Manufacturers want channels to reach prospective customers. There’s still a huge demand. At the moment it’s the search engines which are meeting it the most effectively.

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