Business-to-Business Advertising in the Current Environment, Circulation
Circulation – This is a changing metric of print magazines. Traditionally, business-to-business magazines carried an 80% or higher one-year qualification of their readers with the other 20% of so having qualified within two years and no readers with a longer requalification period.
Magazines have entered the field over the decades without truth in circulation. They stretched the truth to tell advertisers that their magazine was sent to individuals with a particular responsibility without being able to prove that. Advertisers with an interest in and need for a product group were willing to take the publication representative’s word for it that they reached the right market. Publications were reporting coverage of markets through their circulation that was just not plausible or even possible. Some of those publications are now seeing the end of their road also.
The business is changing because the remaining magazines will need to be honest about who they reach, how qualified their readers are to buy the advertised products, and whether or not they actually want the magazine.
It is critical for advertisers to select magazines that can verify the audience that they reach. Perhaps paid circulation is in the future of business-to-business publications; but at any rate, advertisers need to feel confident in the audience they are reaching with any given publication.