Category: Industry

Council report: Use of print media by younger farmers is strong

By Jack Semler, Readex ResearchJackSemler2

The overall use of printed ag magazines and newspaper by farmers and ranchers in general can safely be characterized as “strong.” When one considers that print is facing challenges in other markets, it’s almost remarkable to see how print is holding so well in agriculture.

This observation is based on the 2014 Media Channel Study conducted by Readex Research on behalf of the ABM Agri Media Council. This is the third wave of the study, and as such, trends are beginning to emerge. The basic trend, that print in ag remains strong, and that digital media channels are emerging in importance as well, is very clear. When looking at “weekly usage” measures over the three survey waves, that data actually point to an incredible appetite for information and knowledge across the consumer board. Further, when we break out survey data by age, we see what some might think are surprising numbers.

The study data has been analyzed using three overarching age categories, and “younger” operators have consistently been classified as those less than 45 years of age. When answering the question, “How often do you usually read, view, visit, attend, or use the following types of agricultural media or information sources?” 81% of ALL respondents indicated using printed ag magazines and newspapers on a weekly basis. In 2012, the percentage was 82% — no significant difference. When we look at the answer to this same question based on the younger operator, 85% indicated weekly usage of these printed products and that is actually a slight increase from the 2012 measure of 81%.

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Through the funnel: Marketing technologies becoming priority for b2b media

DragonForceSourceMedia has a new owner and a full war chest to pursue acquisitions. Among its targets: digital marketing technologies that can create a more efficient, targeted buy.

Advanced marketing solutions, including programmatic buying, marketing automation and retargeting, are no longer the domain of tech media but are becoming increasingly important in other verticals as well. “Where are we with tracking people through our funnel?” asked Mason Power, chief marketing officer at iLevel Solutions, during a marketer roundtable at ABM’s recent Annual Conference called “What B2B Marketers Want from You.” “Where are we with tracking people through [b2b publishers’ sites] and connecting the two? That’s what we want to discuss, not space and time.”

This week, Business.com launched a state-of-the-art data platform and content delivery system, designed to offer high-quality content and contextual advertising. The new platform includes advanced display advertising and retargeting, pay-per-click advertising, marketing-ready leads generated through content marketing and sales-ready leads, which connect marketers with active buyers at the final stage of the purchasing process. A video outlining the new services is available here.

“The old media model was to simply connect buyer and seller and get out of the way,” Uphoff said in a recent Q&A with ABM. “The new model uses data to connect the right buyer to the right seller at the right time while nurturing that relationship.”

Praetorian Group, Inc. earlier this year announced a partnership with Drakontas LLC, a software and communications firm geared toward providing solutions for the government sector. As a result of this deal, Drakontas’s DragonForce software will be incorporated into Praetorian’s PoliceOne Network, a news resource and directory for the law enforcement industry. Drakontas will specifically be working with Praetorian Labs, the innovation investment division of the parent company.

DragonForce is an interactive, software-as-a-service (SaaS) package designed to aid in connectivity of law enforcement teams – both tactical and non-tactical. It offers an instant messaging platform, photo and document sharing, tracking capabilities and a collaborative whiteboard-style program. Praetorian’s addition of this software to its PoliceOne Network – which already offers news, training, product research and more to law enforcement professionals – will result in an even more comprehensive user experience.

“Many leading tech companies have incubators, labs or investment funds to better monitor trends, inform future M&A and investments and stay on the forefront of innovation,” Praetorian CEO Alex Ford told ABM. “I think we’ll see more of these types of programs being launched by media companies as they continue to evolve. It’s one thing to launch tech products and websites, but entirely another to become a part of the tech ecosystem of your market and stay on the forefront of innovation. Programs like Praetorian Labs and partnerships with companies like Drakontas allow us to do just that.”

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‘Weird Al’ has a lesson for business journalists

Old-school media master ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic has moved more nimbly into the age of the Internet than many marketers who were in diapers when Weird Al was parodying Michael Jackson and Madonna. Publications as diverse as Ad Age and The Atlantic have been writing about his Web-savvy “eight videos in eight days” campaign, out this week promoting his latest album, Mandatory Fun.

And in the last of the eight videos released, Weird Al offers a cautionary lesson to business professionals — and if I may presume a bit, to business journalists — with his new track, titled “Mission Statement,” which first appeared on the Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy blog. The song features all the cliches, catch phrases and jargon that business writers would do well to avoid. Several of my own pet peeves were among those called out by Weird Al: “at the end of the day,” “cross-platform innovation,” “bleeding edge and next generation” and “incentivized” — even if a couple of those are reasonable in moderation, surely we hear too much of them at conferences and in the our own publications.

'Weird Al' Yankovic urges business professionals to avoid buzzwords and cliches.

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic takes aim at business jargon and corporate-speak in his latest video and song, “Mission Statement.”

Actually, in addition to “Mission Statement,” another of Weird Al’s latest songs is word-focused as well. Last week, he released a video and song, called “Word Crimes,” just for grammar nerds, singing about the perils of its/it’s, serial commas, less/fewer and the correct use of quotation marks.

We ignore Weird Al at our peril!

By Michael Moran Alterio

SIIA/ABM joins appeal of recent Postal Service rate hike

D14-1-28-LeDucraft postal reform legislation would dramatically increase rates for mailers

by David LeDuc, Senior Director, Public Policy, SIIA

Jan. 28, 2014 – As reported in late 2013, SIIA/ABM and other companies throughout the business media world were very disappointed that the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) announced its approval of an exigent rate increase of 4.3 percent, which combined with the previously approved CPI increase of 1.7 percent equals a 6.0 percent rate increase.

On Thursday, January 23, 2014, SIIA/ABM joined with a broad coalition of postal customers and suppliers in filing an appeal to overturn the PRC exigent rate increase. The appeal is sponsored by companies and mailer groups that represent every major class of mail and the majority of mail volume. The PRC justified the rate hike as an emergency measure to offset losses the 2007-2009 recession inflicted on the USPS. However, it is argued that the main cause of the Postal Service’s losses in recent years is the public’s increased use of the internet instead of mail, coupled with the continued inefficiency of postal service operations. The legislation as it exists was designed to prevent the Postal Service from recovering this kind of loss through above-inflation rate increases.

On the legislative front, SIIA/ABM has been working on its own, and with other mailing groups, over the last three years to pass postal legislation that will “right-size” the postal service, guard against service standard degradation, enact needed reforms and protect the current CPI-based postal rate-cap. SIIA/ABM has also been working alongside other stakeholders representing classes of mail the postal service has deemed not to meet attributable costs in order to oppose any additional rate increases of such.

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Beyond the white paper: content marketing that truly engages

When trade publishers think of marketing services and creating content for clients first thoughts are often custom newsletters, white papers and webinars. But, have you considered video? What about an app? And do you truly know the role of each of your content pieces and how it pushes a sale down the funnel?

During a recent ABM event, business-to-business marketers and agencies met with publishers to discuss the best types of content and how they help the ultimate goal of making a sale.

It’s no surprise that newsletters (and other content that require registration) lead the content marketing mix, noted Kevin Nalty, b-to-b marketing consultant, at the ABM and ISBM Brand Consortium last month. Nearly all of business-to-business marketers use content marketing for lead generation and almost half of b-to-b marketers choose lead gen as the number one goal.

“But is it fair to measure leads alone?” asked Nalty.

What about measuring how well you educate? How well you inspire? How well you entertain? These measurements, while not as concrete as leads, can also push a sale down the funnel, explained Nalty.
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What LinkedIn means for b-to-b marketing — and publishers

In a post on TheGuardian.com, writer David Benady endorses LinkedIn as the “first port of call” platform for business-to-business marketers. He writes that b-to-b marketers overlooking the social network could be missing a huge opportunity. While it’s clear that LinkedIn is becoming a major game changer in publishing content for professionals, the platform has also silently built up other offerings for b-to-b marketers, including advertisements and lead generation, the same services trade publishers today offer their clients.

“There are a lot of tactical things that we do for marketers: brand awareness, lead generation, consideration,” said Jonathan Lister, vice president of marketing solutions at LinkedIn, in the eMarketer report, “Marketing on LinkedIn.” “The marketers who find the most success with LinkedIn are the ones who understand that we can help them engage with members all through the business lifecycle and touch them at all points of their decision journey.”

At an upcoming ABM event, LinkedIn executive Dan Roth will talk about how the company serves vertical markets — and where it wants to partner, rather than compete, with publishers. Here’s an overview of LinkedIn’s services, and how they may affect publishers.

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ABM research: 74% of B2B media users are decision makers

ABM’s newly released Value of B-to-B report details many ways in which business publishers connect buyers and sellers. Most plainly, of 6,682 business professionals polled, 74 percent say that they are involved in purchasing decisions or supplier selections. 22 percent said that they are not involved in those decisions, and 4 percent did not answer the question.
Sponsored by Adobe Systems Inc. and created in partnership with three marketer organizations, eight trade publishers and a research firm, the Value of B-to-B report also polled marketers and publishers for a full 360-degree look at the ways buyers and sellers interact through b-to-b media. The 2 MB PDF download, including 30 pages of analysis and over 350 pages of raw data, is now available at the ABM website.

So of the 4,968 business media users who say that they make buying decisions, what b-to-b resources do they use when researching work-related purchasing decisions or supplier selections?
Percent of buyers who use each media to research purchases

These decision makers are using trade websites, magazines, events and other print and digital media to research their purchases.

To download the full report and to see a video presentation of the results, with more analysis and research from the Value of B-to-B research, click here.

By Michael Moran Alterio