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Survey skews C-level online readership trends Social networks make sense for SMBs Insight Guide needs to gas up the coverage

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I read your piece (“C-level newspaper consumption plummets as execs migrate to Internet for news,” BtoBonline.com, June 24; also page 7 of this issue) and felt the need to comment. With a business-oriented online network of close to 25 million unique users, we are certainly encouraged by any research that demonstrates more online media consumption by C-level executives. But the issue we have (and have had in the past) with Forbes.com on this is the sample that is used for the research. Using a sample of registered Forbes.com readers + Dynamic Logic respondents would significantly skew the research to favor online growth. Wouldn't you agree? If so, a study like this cannot be a true representation of C-levels' online media consumption. To get that level of accuracy, you would need to use an unbiased, third-party sample of senior executives. That's exactly what WSJ does in its recurring C-level study. While this [study] is now a year old, I would not expect you to cover this at this point. But I do hope you take note of the more representative sample and more reliable methodology used here. While the pace in online media is only quickening, we still wish that the trade press would devote more time delving into the accuracy and reliability of some of these claims made by online publishers. We desperately want online media to be taken more seriously by the marketing community and look to the trade press to wade through the hyperbole and distortion to tell the real story on what's going on out there. BRIAN J. QUINN VP-multimedia sales and digital sales director The Wall Street Journal brian.quinn@wsj.com I am responding to your timely article on small-business owners advertising on social networks (“Looking for small-business owners? Try advertising on social networks,” June 9, page 1). Social networks are the perfect platform to advertise to young professionals, a rapidly growing demographic that has significant income and influence. Most young people spend more time on YouTube, Facebook and MySpace than watching network television, so it's only natural that advertisers follow them online. Social networking Web sites are also a great way for small-business owners to build mailing lists and regularly communicate with their consumers. A recent Nielsen//NetRatings survey indicated that search engines are the No. 1 source of information for local businesses. Social networks enable these businesses to build brands, audience and authentic interactions. Small-business owners will migrate to where their potential customers are and will find productive ways to reach and be found by them. CAREY RANSOM VP-sales and marketing WebVisible cransom@webvisible.com May I suggest you add a very important vertical for future Insight Guides (Vertical Insight: 2008 Guide to Marketing to Vertical Industries)? Your touch on the oil, gas, mining and petrochem markets would be most appreciated. Top-down and bottom-up selling is complex in these multinational segments, to say the least, as are decisions about the best way to reach buyers of products and systems that may be specified around the world. EMIL WALCEK President EJW Associates emilw@ejwassoc.com
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