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B2B publishing in a digital environment


B2B publishing has always been about putting sellers in touch with buyers. The publisher creates the environment (media) and delivers an audience. The advertisers pay to be introduced to that audience.

Traditionally this has been a print environment – a hard copy magazine that is delivered to a targeted audience that the advertisers want to connect with. The magazine is the media that allows this to happen in a way in which the audience gets to benefit too.

To generate this audience the publisher needs to know demographic detail to ensure the target market is correct but also needs address details that enables the media to be delivered.

In the early noughties the media was able to be published in a digital format in the form of “page-turning” technology. This reduced the amount of address detail needed but did need the publisher to have an email address to deliver content and advertisers to the audience.

This data, both postal and marketing, allowed to publisher to deliver an audience to the advertiser and also allowed the publisher to market other products that stretched his brand – events, other publications etc.


In the past 10 years social media has proved an important media for the publisher to connect with the audience – an environment in which the target audience feels very comfortable.  BUT the issue here is that the publisher does not own that environment and therefore cannot charge an advertiser for the right to be there. In effect, this means that the publisher needs to find ways to bring that audience back to an environment where he can charge his advertisers for the connection with his audience – environments such as…


  • Print magazines
  • Mobile magazine content – apps
  • Web site
  • Face to Face
  • Events
  • 3rd party access
  • Digital page turning issues


There are two ways to move the audience to that environment

  • Links within the Social Media content that encourages people to visit and become an audience
  • Use the contact detail that you have to market and deliver your other environments

The first of these is vital if you want to really benefit from your social audience otherwise it’s an expensive resource with no direct revenue

The second is even more effective and Direct Marketing is the best way to do it effectively. Well thought-out and relevant DM is still the marketing media that creates action. The issue here is that you need their contact detail to do that and at the moment you only have the “name” of someone that is interacting with your brand on SM.


This is where you introduce squeeze pages into your strategy. Something that allows you to collect contact information (and more info later) that enables you to drive that DM strategy to deliver an audience for your advertisers

The premis is that you offer something of value (could be specialised information, membership, chocolate!) and in exchange the audience give you their detail. It might be you start off with just an email address but further communication allows you further opportunities to build up that detail. The email address is verified through double opt-in your DM database grows.

…and Social Media is not the only place to adopt this. Your web site is full of an audience you cannot contact directly – use squeeze pages there to build your DM database as well.