Tuesday, 23rd November 2010
Tim Buckley Owen
Following an extremely tough few years, the tide may be turning for business-to-business (B2B) publishers. But they’re going to have to deal with the growing acceptance of professional blogs. Signs of an upturn in the United Kingdom B2B market are still few and far between says the British consultancy IRN, although advertising spending has started to improve a little in the second half of 2010. United States based Outsell agrees, forecasting improvements in advertising growth rates – although it does expect slow growth in business spending in 2010 and 2011 to hold back both B2B and company information.
Limited opportunities in the UK and wider European markets means that many UK-based B2B information suppliers have focused growth strategies on emerging markets, IRN concludes. Again Outsell’s findings concur: as the Western economies falter, developing countries look stronger and may be ready for a prolonged period of catch-up growth it says.
There’s increasing switching from print to digital, IRN notes, although the share taken by digital channels varies. Most publishers are seeking to build brands across multi-platforms (print, digital, mobile) – and in many cases across various forms of information delivery, such as trade journals, directories and events. ‘Too many publishers and advertisers ignore a cardinal rule: combining print, events and digital beats pure-play digital or just print or just events hands down,’ Outsell agrees. It predicts that declines in print revenue will moderate, but will end with no more losses from 2013. (Purchase details for Outsell’s B2B Trade Publishing & Company Information: 2010 Market Forecast and Trends Report available at http://digbig.com/5bcxtw.
IRN’s UK B2B Information Market 2010 is due out on 10 December – check http://digbig.com/5bcxtx for press release and http://digbig.com/5bcxty for purchase details.) These reports’ findings are confirmed by the actual experience of two major B2B players. In interim statements, Informa and Reed Elsevier report a tough 2010 but expect some improvement next year (Informa statement at http://digbig.com/5bcxwa and Reed at http://digbig.com/5bcxwb or see paidContent:UK coverage at http://digbig.com/5bcxwc).
There’s support for IRN’s and Outsell’s take on the digital/traditional balance too. The recent Business Elite Barometer 2010 from polling organisation Ipsos MORI shows that, while 72% of Europe’s most successful and influential business leaders now regularly obtain media content online, 95% still utilise print on a daily basis (http://digbig.com/5bcxwd).
The joker in the pack where B2B publishing is concerned, though, is professional blogs. ‘Blogs have started to cross the line from “new media” to “standard media”, particularly as more aggregators are licensing them for inclusion in comprehensive products,’ says FreePint’s News Needs and Preferences Survey (purchase details at http://web.freepint.com/go/shop/report/1737). Indeed, so important are they becoming that some aggregators are now actually starting to plug the number of blogs they cover in their sales pitches.
Document the value chain, and transform the way you think about, manage and report on your product portfolio and your information service contributions to your organisation goals.
Focus on Value Chain
Director of Research Robin Neidorf describes the benefits of a Consulting Pilot on Value Chain, to tailor this process to your needs and environment:
View on Vimeo
Consulting Pilot on Value Chain
Our proven processes, resources and guidance will help your team make the shift from transaction centre to strategic asset.
Designed around the most common challenges and pain points for time- and resource-strapped information teams
Supercharge remote productivity and value
Holistic content portfolio management
Future-proof your information service
A tailored overview of our research and active discussion with your Jinfo analyst.
Measure your starting point to articulate your strengths and set priorities for future improvements. Assessments gauge risk, capacity, value and more.
Read case studies, and start the conversation:
Connect your team with the practical tools, original research and expertise to build and support information strategy in your organisation.
A Jinfo Subscription gives access to all Content (articles, reports, webinars) and Community.