Pay close attention to this year's Media Power 50 selections. Considering the rise of niche Web sites targeting business professionals—not to mention the growing migration of b2b ad dollars to online venues—our annual list of the most powerful media outlets could be in for some major alterations in coming years.
“I'll be curious to see [if the list] changes next year,” said Sandra Lopez, integrated marketing manager for business at Intel Corp. Lopez said Web sites such as techcrunch.com and Slashdot.org are coming on strong for b2b media buyers and starting to give legacy media brands a run for their money.
“There are [online] companies creating platforms for us to engage in conversations with customers that are two-dimensional compared to one-dimensional,” Lopez said. “Traditional brands have to become more relevant.”
Google, in the Top 10 of the Media Power 50 for six years running and No. 2 since 2004, has become the primary advertising venue for many b2b marketers, regardless of the sector. The search engine provides advertisers, however limited their budgets, with the ability to reach their audience by buying relatively inexpensive keywords.
|(1) THE WALL STREET JOURNAL||(2) GOOGLE||(3) FORBES||(4) THE NEW YORK TIMES||(5) CNN MONEY|
|(6) CLOSING BELL||(7) INFORMATIONWEEK||(8) TECH TARGET||(9) BUSINESSWEEK||(10) PGA TOUR|
Social networks, which just a few years ago were considered the domain of teenagers, are also becoming a force in business markets.
“The pendulum is swinging slowly, but the momentum is picking up,” said Gary Slack, senior partner at b2b agency Slack Barshinger. “It's not a "hockey stick' moment, but when you have a site like LinkedIn registering 250,000 to 300,000 executive profiles a week—and 23 million businesspeople total—smart business marketers should be there.”
Despite the surge in the number of niche Web sites that provide a highly targeted audience and decent returns, traditional media venues remain vital to advertisers.
“It's still a hybrid world,” Slack said. “Marketers have to make a number of bets because you still have people who are reading The Wall Street Journal.” (The Journal has ranked No. 1 in the Media Power 50 every year since the special report's inception in 2000.)
Dave Rowe, VP-media director of b2b agency Doremus, said the fundamentals in ad spending remain the same. “The key thing is what it's always been: the relationship a media vehicle has with its audience and how it can align a brand with a publication, Web site or conference.”
Still, Rowe said, media venues have to continue to push their clients' brands beyond traditional media.
That sentiment was echoed by Dan Infanti, VP-director of brand marketing for financial consultancy CIT Group. “The most important thing to me is the ability of a powerful brand—The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Economist—to create ad opportunities for CIT in events, online, custom packages, TV programs and use of lists.”
Infanti added: “Media partners have to understand our business and find new ways to take on the challenges we have [in reaching customers and prospects]. It may sound lofty, but that's the reality. It wasn't that long ago that we just talked about the numbers and the buy.”
|Media Power 50: Top 10|
|Wall Street Journal||Forbes||NYT||CNN Money|
|Closing Bell||Information Week||TechTarget||BusinessWeek||PGA Tour|
|Media Power 50: Overview|
|Newspapers||General Biz||IT Magazines||Trade Magazines||Internet|
|Broadcast||Out of Home|