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B2B Media: Putting the Reader First

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Putting the Reader First

Successful B2B publishers know the importance of a strong readership and they invest heavily in serving those readers and keeping them engaged, from building relevant editorial content to delivering it in exciting products and on the platforms readers prefer. Helping marketers understand who the readers of a publication are and how they may be important to a marketer is the job of account management.

Before any discussion of bonus distribution, click-throughs, frequency or ad rates, a B2B marketer considering a media partner for some or all of its annual spend should consider the brand’s readers and content. The most important reasons for choosing a media partner are the audience it reaches, how it serves that audience, and how that audience aligns with a marketer’s goals.

Facts and figures about a publisher’s audience – generally found in the annual media kit – are pulled from a number of sources, including in-house records and surveys, as well as from BPA statements (if a publication is audited). Available audience data beyond the important total circulation may include number of readers by technology or application category, purchasing influence and time spent with an issue. All of these numbers should add up to an audience that is a prime target for your marketing message. You can read more about the importance of media kits and BPA audits in the September and August 2013 P.S. newsletters, respectively.

Armed with audience data, you can now determine whether a publisher is serving that audience well through the content it prints, posts and delivers live. To do that, your next stop should be the editorial calendar in the media kit. Is the publisher’s audience mix well represented? And do you see content there that likely would appeal to your key customer demographics?

How is content delivered? When it comes to balancing the latest platforms for content delivery, a B2B publisher faces the same, sometimes bewildering array of options as its advertisers. What it chooses to do with all those options can say a lot about how it is serving its readers. A publisher delivering content in novel ways will hold interest and build a community.

Finally, keeping things fresh should not be underrated. Magazine and website redesigns, new publications designed to serve growing segments, and continuous exploration of new media are signs that a publisher is investing in keeping readers engaged and building for the future.

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