Category Archives: WebMarketCentral Blog

So can trade magazines survive?

I said yesterday that I’d been reading a few articles recently about the trade press, and only mentioned one of them, so here’s another pair, this time from The WebMarketCentral Blog in the USA. Will Content Marketing Kill Trade Publications? and How Trade Publications Can Capitalize on Content Marketing and Social Media acknowledges that trade magazine publishers have failed miserably to move with the times, but does look at what they might offer to differentiate themselves – and survive – in the future.

There are some good ideas in that second article. Trade magazines still have opportunities which the companies they write about don’t have. The chance to aggregate the arguments and offer a base for discussion. The market positioning to undertake research and publish ratings. And the ability to disseminate all of this in print, still a more user-friendly format than on-screen for the big picture (and indeed, big pictures).

If you still have any trade magazines remaining in your sector, they probably look just like they did twenty years ago. As we mentioned yesterday, this isn’t giving us any reason to want them to survive. They’re just an anachronism, supported by the inertia of the remaining advertisers who don’t have time to measure the results of their promotional budgets. But they could be relevant again, with just a bit of vision.

Web marketing in layers. Yes, like an onion.

I did a seminar for marketing managers on Friday, and if I’d had time, I’d have loved to have gone into this article, The 8 Layers of a B2B Web Marketing Plan, on the WebMarketCentral Blog, because it really nails how to go about marketing your company online. You can take it as describing “just” your web marketing activities, or it could be the basis of your entire marketing activity if you’ve decided to move your marketing strategy to be fundamentally online-based. I know of more than one manufacturer where that’s exactly what’s been happening – asked to go away and come up with a new marketing plan with a fundamentally reduced budget, the marketing department totally ripped up their traditional plans and decided to re-start by concentrating on the area which is getting the best return on investment. It’s radical, but in a common sense way.

UK industrial readers will want to find alternatives for Layers 3 and 4, which are a bit too centred around the IT sector and the US market. Otherwise, it’s not a bad plan.

Knol: get writing

Whether or not Google’s Knol will be the new Wikipedia is anyone’s guess, but regardless, it’s something you should consider in your marketing plans. Using Google Knol as a B2B Marketing Tool from the WebMarketCentral Blog explains why and how, and gives you some links to examine Knol further. As the article says, “now, the SME can write a Knol page – with full authorship credit for the writer and company – and publish it for the world, with no pressure to write on a regular basis.”

You really should get in here early on.

Heavyweight reading

MarketingSherpa is a well-known online marketing resource, and for good reason. It recently released its huge 2008 B2B Lead Generation Handbook (link to executive summary) and I’ve been ploughing through it. However, there’s little reason to spend ages writing it up thoroughly when others have already done a good job, so I refer you to What Works Now in B2B Lead Generation, Part 1 at the The WebMarketCentral Blog, where author Tom Pick pores over some of the conclusions. It’s well worth a read of the article, or the summary. Or both.