The return of optimism

Cross-media effectiveness

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Print, studies show, is especially effective when used along with other media. “The data from [Outsell research] is strongly significant and compelling, showing that two times more b-to-b and consumer advertisers rate cross-media methods as "highly effective' than they do single-media methods, which include using only digital media,” Richard wrote in a recent report.

Some b-to-b media companies are extracting value from the engaged part of their audience directly, not the marketers looking to reach that audience. UBM Electronics launched EE Times Confidential, a premium, subscription-based online “intelligence report” on the electronics industry.

The product is aimed at the engaged reader demographic, and an individual subscription runs $497 annually. UBM Electronics said it plans to increase the frequency of the product from monthly to bi-monthly later this year.

But despite such bright spots and widespread growth expected this year, b-to-b media has a long way to go to catch up to its past.

In 2008, the combination of marketer-driven revenue and subscription data revenue generated by b-to-b media companies totaled $26.2 billion, according to Outsell. It projects the total will have only climbed back to $24.7 billion by 2013.

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