We should all mourn the decline of the trade mediaPosted by Matt Kucharski on April 17, 2010 at April 17, 2010 9:05 AM
I'm a huge believer in multi-channel, integrated communications, but I can't help but be saddened by the news last week regarding Reed closing down several venerable trade publication titles. Here's a good summary from FishbowlNY. In addition to seeing some really smart journalists on the street and some really good purveyors of information going dark, this is bad news for business marketers.
A lot of new media pundits will use provocative phrases like "traditional media is dead," "trade publications don't matter anymore" and "magazine advertising is a waste of money." I think these are self-serving oversimplifications. It's absolutely a given that we live in a multi-channel communications world where we need to interact with our audiences through a range of mediums, but we shouldn't celebrate the decline of traditional media outlets like these -- we should mourn it.
If you're an executive in a business with high-involvement products and services -- ones where your customers are making "bet their company/bet their job" decisions, then you should be especially sad. Every single one of those buyers looks to third-party sources to validate your company's claims. The fewer those sources, the fewer opportunities there are to show your customers that you've got a credible track record.
"Yeah, but nobody reads those trade rags anymore..."
Yup. I've heard that one as well, and it's an oversimplification too. While fewer and fewer of us are reading the print versions of these publications when they hit our inboxes, we absolutely value the information when it's put in front of us. That means instead of relying on the trade publication to be both the content developer AND deliverer, we need to take on the distribution role ourselves. Let the publication write the article -- and then YOU take responsibility for putting that article into the hands of your key audiences -- through your sales force, through social media, through email, through Web postings.
We don't need traditional media to die in order to validate the importance of social media. It's a loss for everybody -- new media advocates included.
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I have to say I agree with you. As a person with a Masters Degree in Marketing, I would say it was vital to have a balanced portfolio of advertising platforms. The internet may be highly accessible, but speed can be attached to this medium, where as trade publication indicate deliberate interaction with the publication and the reader.
Posted by: samantha at April 28, 2010 8:19 AM
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