The Business Media Leadership Summit was held in late January and revenue generation was a key focus for sessions. The Summit is the only event of its kind for senior business media executives, and attendees were offered a sneak peek at an ongoing survey undertaken between Magazines Canada and RKI Partners. RKI Partners is a premiere insights consulting firm with a hyperfocus on branded content and thought leadership research.
Surveying the readership of Magazines Canada’s B2B publications via their subscriber databases, RKI Partners’ president Raj Kuchibhatla says the objective of the study is to help publishers and content developers in the B2B space better understand how readers perceive the value and credibility of of individual titles with the end goal being to use this data and insights to help persuade their advertisers to invest more in their content.
The survey set out to test seven key assumptions publishers may have about their brand and how it is perceived by their readership:
- Do our subscribers read our print publication?
- Do they read our digital editions?
- Are our publications reaching influencers and decision-makers purchasing decision?
- Are our publications viewed as trusted sources of information?
- Are our publications key to finding out about new product and services?
- Do profiles of new products and services in our publications have more credibility than in other sources?
- Are the publications themselves seen as the best place to read about industry best practices?
“It’s critical that publishers know if their content is even being read, and how it’s being absorbed—whether on print or digital platforms. And if there are distinctions between the two,” explains Kuchibhatla in the latest episode of AudioMag. “If an individual publication performs poorly on an individual question like this they may want to reevaluate the type of content that’s being provided in order to increase their content absorption through the eyes of their audience.”
These insights will help publishers better understand their audiences, and hone their products if need be.
“Everyone is seeking to connect with decision-makers and influencers, but are they really achieving that goal? If not, how can they modify their strategies to increase their chances of doing so? If they are, then how can they improve?” says Kuchibhatla.
Publishers can then leverage the findings of consumers’ perceptions about their brands to demonstrate to advertisers the value of their individual publication to their readership.
“Trust leads to loyalty and loyalty leads to advocacy. And the ultimate goal for a publisher and content provider is to have their audiences to be advocates for their brand. And this study is focused on connecting and influencing advertisers so that is what the rationale is for this study—how does it influence advertisers,” says Kuchibhatla. “We wanted to understand how subscribers viewed the specific publications themselves as credible sources to learn about new products and services.”
Also in attendance at the Summit was Annex Business Media’s Martin McAnulty. He shared an advertising revenue generating initiative called Cyber Sell-Off that he created several years ago that has resulted in over 7-figures in revenue for the company.
Modelled on the Cyber Monday sell-off phenomenon, the program aimed to provide their advertisers with some great discounts on digital inventory that, while not prime space, is still valuable for advertisers.
Offered every November, the program gave some of their clients the opportunity to dip into digital advertising for the first time, as some were hesitant to get into that platform.
“They book at a discounted rate ad space in e-news blasts, and other digital products,” explains McAnulty. “But they have to pay for it up front, that way they are not blocking off something three or six months in the future, and then back out of it. So that’s the caveat for doing it—they get a good discount but you have to pay up front.”
Hear more from Martin McAnulty on this, and the challenges the company has in finding new sales talent—and how they plan on fostering new ad sales talent, in the latest episode of AudioMag.
Listen to the entire conversation with Raj Kuchibhatla and Martin McAnulty.
AudioMag is produced by Tina Pittaway, an award-winning independent writer and broadcaster. Tina has been a contributor to CBC Radio and Television for more than 20 years. Her radio documentaries have been honoured with a 2007 Gabriel Award, 2008 Amnesty International Media Award, 2009 Gold Medal at the New York Festivals and a Science in Society Award from the Canadian Science Writers’ Association. Visit Tina online to learn more about her work.
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Magazines Canada acknowledges the support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage, as well as the Canada Council, for this project.