Innovation in B2B Media

Innovation in B2B Media

Many in media will be familiar with Innovation Media Consulting, who produce on behalf of FIPP the Innovations in Magazines World Report, an insightful annual guide featuring case studies of innovation in magazine media companies.  Featured case studies must be innovative as well as show demonstrable results, and examples often highlight how print and digital media complement each other, or innovative new digital products and platforms.

B2B Syndicate connected with John Wilpers, Senior Director from Innovation Media Consulting after his presentation at the 39 th FIPP World Congress last week, and asked for examples of B2B media innovation, and other general trends B2B media can leverage to serve their professional audiences and clients better.  The following is a selection of the innovative examples, trends and tactics Wilpers believes are – or could be - opportunities for B2B media, together with his comments.

-         Digital editions are often created to complement print editions, or increasingly to replace them. South Africa’s B2B Tourism Update closed its print edition and opened a digital mag, retaining ALL former advertisers in a very interactive digi-mag.

-         e-singles  are also a growing trend, especially those that elegantly repurpose existing content in a clever, affordable, accessible way which, in essence, cost the publishers nothing as they have already paid for the content but never bundled it topically.

-         Tablet apps  may not be a new trend, though in the last year publishers are really beginning to understand how to use them to best effect. Consulting with a B2B magazine group in Washington, D.C. (Hanley Wood), Wilpers helped them ramp up their tablet offerings because the younger generation of business owners was beginning to take over and using iPads on the job.

-         SMO v SEO : Magazines like the Atlantic have proven that focusing more heavily on SMO (Social Media Optimization) returns greater results than SEO. I think this would be true of B2B pubs if those readers are on, say, LinkedIn and are members of LinkedIn industry groups where B2B mag writers could hang out and post their stories and where potential subscribers could find that content and be impressed enough to sign up.

-         The magazine as retailer (or e-commerce) : Here again, I think B2B publishers can not only provide a service to their readers but also realize a new revenue stream.   Plus, it keeps readers on pages longer and begins to develop the habit of looking to the magazine as a provider of more than just content, but also as an avenue to act on that content when it concerns products or services.

The theme that permeated Wilpers' presentation was heard throughout this year’s FIPP Congress, which is the need for all media to reinvent their business model not only with a ‘digital first’ strategy, but also with an aim for multiple revenue streams which leverage the media owner’s brand and community.  The new edition of "Innovation in Magazine Media World Report" is currently being prepared, and it would be great to see more entries from leading B2B media owners of innovation. So, if you have an innovation from 2013 that has shown demonstrable results and is replicable at other publishing companies, Wilpers invites you to send by Oct. 21 a 150-word pitch to him at:  wilpers@innovation-mediaconsulting.com .

Innovations in Magazines - cover image

The Innovation in Magazines World Report can be found on the FIPP global website.