Trade Press Makes an Impact

Currently, the poor economic conditions are also causing problems for the trade media. However, trade journals will remain important decision-making aids for executives in the future.
 
Particularly in the printing industry, which has been exposed to media change over the past ten years with increasing Internet dominance and changing consumer usage behavior, trade media are very widespread. In the three German-speaking countries of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, there are still more than a dozen print trade journals published by publishers with multiple frequencies per year – as well as various online information portals backed by publishers, companies or associations.
 
Broadly diversified topic profile
These trade media cover a variety of topics geared to the print media industry (such as graphics, printing, advertising, packaging, labels, paper). Some cover the value chain with a focus on print production and print products, while others cover individual market segments, process stages and technologies.
 
These include tabloid magazines, market studies and technical editions, as well as reportage, personalities and PR publications – the content profile is very broad. Due to this diversity of content in the trade press in an industry characterized by consolidation, it is once again clear that trade media enjoy a high reputation among users, because they reflect professional competence.
 
Renewed growth in the trade media sector
Overall, the trade media sector has been able to compensate for the most serious effects of the Corona pandemic on economic development in the past year. According to the 2021 trade press statistics, total revenues are on the rise again, with digital revenues playing an increasingly important role in the revenue mix. However, because of the currently poor economic conditions, numerous discontinuations of printed trade magazine titles are feared in the medium term.
 
In 2021, the trade media industry generated 7.99 billion euros. Compared to 2020, this corresponds to growth of 7.6 percent. Printed trade journals and trade books generated sales of 3.58 billion euros (2020: 3.59 billion euros). Of this, trade journals accounted for 2.90 billion euros and trade books for 0.68 billion euros.
 
A total of 5,616 trade journal titles were launched – 1.4 percent fewer than in the previous year. Estimated annual circulation was 566.7 million copies (-1.7 percent), with e-paper accounting for an estimated 11 percent of total circulation. Although printed trade journals and trade books remain the most important revenue source for trade media providers at 44.8 percent (2020: 48.3 percent), the share of digital products has now risen to 43.8 percent (2020: 41.3 percent). Last year, trade media companies generated 0.48 billion euros (+ 40.4 percent) with the help of events. However, these revenues are still significantly below the pre-Corona year 2019 (0.70 billion euros).
 
Trade press with high response from management
Repeatedly, studies focus on the importance of B2B advertising in trade media. According to a new white paper on studies by the dfv media group, users regularly and intensively resort to reading trade journals. Advertising in online/print trade media is an integral part of the journalistic offering, and the selection of placements and formats in the appropriate thematic environment appears to be important.
 
According to a TNS Infratest study, now Kantar, trade journals are particularly relevant for successful medium-sized technical companies, so that 53 percent rely on press releases and 42 percent on print ads. On several occasions, the annual reader analysis Decision Makers in Business and Administration announced that around three quarters of management name trade journals as important media for their professional activities. According to this, regular use of print/e-paper trade magazines is an option for 57 percent, while regular use of the online offerings of trade media is only an option for 30 percent.
 
Print is seen as trustworthy and credible
In addition, a study entitled “Touchpoint Decoder” by M-Science, a market research institute in the GroupM media agency network, also revealed some interesting findings on the impact of print advertising. Among other things, moving-picture media channels were compared with print advertising.
 
Print magazine ads are considered trustworthy and credible, especially among 60- to 69-year-olds and 18- to 39-year-olds. Likewise, print is not only suitable for conveying information, but also for emotionalization – moving image offers alone do not meet the requirement of emotionalization. Even brand loyalty and brand affinity can be generated largely by print ads.

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