Tuesday, June 13, 2017
COPA Digital Media Spotlight - Our Salute to B2B Publications

As part of  the countdown to the entry deadline for this years COPA’s that is on July 14 we are doing a series of Digital Media Spotlights and this year the first one is a salute to the quality of B2B journalism in Canada and its role in the media mix for today’s advertisers. When the digital disruption hit publishers during the dot com boom (1998-2002) B2B publishers took a big hit as readers migrated to digital platforms. Today, the B2B sector still offers what adtech firms still dream about – a highly targeted audience, but how it is delivered  is radically different.


So lets have a look at one of the publications at Annex Business Media  to see how they reinvented themselves. With 63 magazines in the stable now they have a wealth of best practices we can look at. This narrative of this publication will be based on the perspective of an ad agency media buyer, which I do on occasion for clients in the construction industry.


My target market are electrical contractors in Canada for Client X and Annex Business Media publishes a publication called Electrical Business. What are my ad options? What is its circulation?  What is the Audience Profile? I am looking to create an integrated campaign that offers a mix of online and magazine to meet my reach and frequency objectives. I like email newsletters as they work best as I can build frequency and I can target by geographic area if I needed like an Ontario only buy. 

For digital marketing needs I like email over banner ads as you know what you are going to get as website traffic may not all be from Canada, be unpredictable and I do not have to deal with ad fraud and auto traffic issues. For a B2B buy, I view Key Word Search ad on Google a waste money as key words are not as targeted and I do not know what I am getting but a email list is an audience guarantee. I need to play it safe with the client’s money.


Magazines will be looked at as the 2nd or 3rd or option to ensure I reach as much as the publication’s audience as possible as I know print is still in demand by readers as 85% of the magazine subscription is print and they will tend to be older decision makers. To stretch my client’s budget and to ensure frequency I use a 1/2 page ad size as my starting point as this size is always placed with editorial so the ad will be seen longer by the reader. A FP4C is preferred, but it use will be based on the number of publications on the media plans and frequency targets. To achieve sufficient awareness to obtain share of mind at the time purchase you need  at least a frequency of 3 with 6 preferred in my media buying rulebook.


For a 3 month brand/lead generation campaign I would have 1-2 issues of the magazine depending on the editorial schedule, a couple email newsletters and 3 month of online advertising as part of the media plan. This enables me meet my reach objectives as I am reaching the readers at different entry points with some duplication that helps build frequency


I usually look at 2-3 publications per industry vertical during the planning process with a 1-2 pub buy. I like events too, but they tend to strain the budgets. I am not a big fan of branded social media on publisher channels, but will take it as an added value. I like the use of sponsored content in my media plans now as its help with SEO, it is not a time expiry based ad, so it is always working for the client and provides social media content on the client’s channels.


The next COPA Digital Media Spotlight will be our Salute to Photo Journalism and how the use of image slider widgets on websites has changed the way photos are published online.

- Martin Seto
About Me
Martin Seto

Martin Seto is the producer of the Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPAS) with 30 years of life expereince in technology, advertising, media and creative exploration. He can be reached at marty(dot)seto(at)
reflexmediasales.com or 416-907-6562, and on LinkedIn.

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Lorene Shyba says:
Full of terrific information, Thanks!...
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