Trade Magazines: Positioning Your Company as an Industry Expert

Trade and B2B magazines are specific to a certain target market and can deliver the pertinent information, goods, services, pricing, news or information directly where it intended and directly where it will do the most good – in the hands of customers, prospective customers or investors. Trade magazines can be used as a vehicle to work behind the scenes and get your message across without putting your name all over the material.

Unlike general interest consumer publications, Trade publications already have an established niche audience and produce corresponding subject matter for that target audience. Therefore, trade publications can cover an industry in more detail than mainstream consumer publications can.

The end objective of reaching a focused demographic is to reach an audience that has the appropriate category purchasing behavior for the advertisers or sponsor of the magazine.

Although Trade magazines maintain a specialized focus, they offer an extensive range of useful and accurate information regarding a certain industry. Trade magazines publish specialized content on various topics including: the latest industry news, noteworthy case studies and research, educational surveys and statistics, special reports, opinion and feature articles and in-depth discussions of new developments and practices within a field.

A unique feature that separates Trade magazines from other consumer-based publications is their tendency to operate under what is called “controlled circulation,” as opposed to paid subscription. Controlled circulation means that the publishers of trade journals will often send out issues free of charge to qualified individuals within an industry. Additionally, numerous trade publications are also often included with memberships in professional industry organizations.

Trade magazines present considerable benefits for both individuals and businesses that cannot otherwise be found in major mass media publications. The primary value of trade publications: they are a certified and trusted source of information, they are the largest industry-specific advertising marketplace for products and services and they provide a system of networking and communication among industry members and organizations.

Another advantage of Trade magazines is their ability to act as the advertising marketplace for all goods and services within an industry. Trade journals offer advertisers a high level of certainty their target audiences will receive their advertisements.

  • Trade publications deliver a very focused and selective professional demographic in their audience.
  • The primary readers of trade publications are middle and senior management who exercise a great deal of purchasing behavior in appropriate product categories.
  • The ability of advertisers to get a good return on their advertisement investment is influenced, of course, by the effectiveness of the ad, but probably even more significantly by how smart the media placements are for the ad. Trade magazines in a specifically targeted market provide an opportunity for a positive ROI.
  • Trade publications typically deliver reader audiences that not only are very focused on professional demographics but has the professional behavior relevant to appropriate advertisers.

The ROI of a media investment by an advertiser can be evaluated by understanding the likely odds of generating a favorable action from a target audience in comparison with the cost to reach that target. The likely positive ROI performance of trade magazines is a result of the high concentration of purchasing power among the magazine audiences. The advertiser does not pay for browsers who have limited or no interest in the advertised products. When evaluated on a cost per thousands (CPM) reach basis against the target B2B purchase makers/influencers, no medium can compare to trade publications.

In this way, Trade magazines benefit both a sponsoring company who underwrites the Trade magazine, and vendors and advertisers who put their message in the publication. It is a targeted win-win for both involved.