Marketing Sherpa has an interesting piece that gives some insight into B2B media users.
The article is about marketing to engineers, but everyone in the B2B press -- advertising, editorial, circulation, etc. -- should take a look.
Here are some of the highlights:
In a survey by Penton's Machine Design magazine, 96.5% of respondents said "trade magazines were their number one source for getting information about suppliers."
Furthermore, when engineers are looking to buy, they tend to bypass Google and the other major search engines and go with niche search tools. "Specialist search engines such as GlobalSpec and ThomasNet.com have literally millions of engineer professional users, many of whom bypass the major search engines altogether when they need a very specific item."
But most interesting to me are the comments of Brian Renaud, director of engineering at Arbor Network, who doesn't use traditional media to learn about products. "Renaud bypasses trade magazines. He has his calls screened. And he throws away his direct mail. But Renaud does read blogs and forums. He mentioned a few pertaining to his industry – Slashdot was one – but he is also a frequent reader of security and software development forums, places where engineers gather to discuss problems and how to solve them."
I suspect that each day brings more customers like Renaud to the market. And the B2B publisher who doesn't respond soon, may soon be too late to respond at all.