If b-to-b publishers are not already taking advantage of social technologies, they may be late to the game. Forrester’s research cautions that social network participants do not feel that information gleaned from such networks is a factor in purchasing decisions—yet. This is bound to change as users get increasingly comfortable with relying on social networks for content, and applications improve. Product recommendations from peers in b-to-b environments should never be underestimated. The go-forward implications for suppliers of goods and services to industry (advertisers) are quite compelling.As self-proclaimed providers of mission-critical information, b-to-b media organizations need to build out their respective social media components by more aggressively tapping into the intellectual property of their extensive user bases. IP and editorial content is no longer the sole province of employees working within the confines of today’s b-to-b media companies. IP is held by “many.” In the case of the typical b-to-b audience, “many” consist of the executives and employees running their respective industries. Industry executives and their associates offer solutions that media companies could not possibly offer. These decision makers are in the trenches.My experience dealing with constituencies as diverse as healthcare executives, entertainment industry executives and entrepreneurs has been nothing but positive whenever they are asked to share their expertise with peers. The potential that the proper exploitation of the social-graph holds for b-to-b media companies is enormous. Facilitating industry leader information-share will enable business media to strengthen and secure its position as the prime source of crucial business information. The challenges monetizing social media have been well-documented in both the consumer and trade press. Though general consumer social media sites have struggled to discover a working revenue model, b-to-b social media sites should not be viewed in the same light. The role of the b-to-b publisher is to serve highly specialized audiences with very specific needs. In the universe of b-to-b media, decision makers have self-identified through long-standing qualification efforts. Once media companies demonstrate buyer engagement with this medium, vendor dollars will follow. Savvy b-to-b media organizations will use social media to meet their customers in a genre where that customer’s general information consumption habits are taking them—Facebook, MySpace and Twitter to name a few. Given the behaviors of executives worldwide—as documented by Forrester—business media organizations that pursue a comprehensive social media strategy should find themselves well-positioned for a profitable future. According to a recently released Forrester Research report—dubbed “The Social Technographics of Business Buyers”—buyers and decision makers in the business-to-business sector are one of the most active groups of people when it comes to social media participation. This can be evidenced by the dramatic growth of LinkedIn. Forrester surveyed 1200 buyers throughout America and Europe. Because this was a b-to-b survey, buyers were not only asked how they participate in social networks but whether they used them for buying decisions. Some highlights from the study:• 91 percent of these decision makers were “spectators.” This means you can count on the fact that b-to-b executives are reading blogs, watching user-generated video and participating in other social media.• Only 5 percent of survey participants were “inactives.”• 55 percent were “joiners.” These are not college students. These are mature business decision makers. The percentage, according to Forrester, was surprisingly high.• 43 percent are creating media (blogs, uploading videos, etc.) while 58 percent are “critics” reacting to content viewed in social formats. Again, Forrester says these percentages were quite high when compared to the norm.
Earlier this week, it was reported that former Reader Digest Association’s CEO Tom Williams was awarded $500,000 in a severance package. Williams was promoted to the position after former CEO and president Mary Berner exited the company in April.Williams, who acted as CFO with RDA from November 2008 until his bump to CEO in 2011, agreed to a severance package of $1.2 million during the RDA financial reorganization that transpired in August 2009. According to reports, Williams will receive less than half of the originally agreed upon sum in his departure from the company. This mirrors Berner’s pay, as RDA reportedly paid Berner $1 million in her April severance package. At the time of the 2009 reorganization, Berner agreed to a severance package of $2.2 million if she wasn’t offered her job back after the company emerged from bankruptcy protection. Stepping into the rotating CEO slot is Robert Guth, who joined the RDA Board of directors in the same month Berner exited the company; he was named Williams’ replacement in recent weeks. Guth is a former CEO of telecommunications company TelCove.RDA saw a rough second quarter, with RDA Holding Corp. reporting a 6.2 percent drop in revenue to $409.4 million in its financial statements. Every Day With Rachael Ray, once considered a performance leader in RDA’s print portfolio, experienced a 16.8 percent ad page drop in first half 2011, according to FOLIO: sister site, minonline. However, sister title Reader’s Digest saw a spike in ad pages from January to June 2011, up 4.4 percent, according to Publishers’ Information Bureau. In July, The Wall Street Journal reported Reader’s Digest was put on the block; asking price is set around $1 billion.
Kolkata: In a stride to ensure that jute farmers and labourers get their desired benefits, the Centre will make it mandatory for the mill owners to make their payments in its entirety before getting the entire payment of the government orders.The decision of the Centre comes in the wake of a section of farmers and labourers complaining of not getting the benefits that they deserve. “The jute industry used to get payments against the order regularly. Why are the farmers and labourers complaining about it? Now, we are making it mandatory, that if you do not pay the farmers or labourers or any way abdicate the responsibility, we will not give you the order,” Union Textile minister Smriti Irani said during an interactive session organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe jute industry, according to the minister has a ready order worth Rs 5,000-5,500 crore every year (in terms of sacking). “We give such huge orders so that the jute industry stays alive. The sum is given to the jute industry in terms of order so that the farmers and labourers can get the benefits out of it,” she maintained. Irani urged the industry to go for innovation and come forward in taking new initiatives and said the Centre has been focusing on how to transform small size firms into mid-size entities. Elaborating on innovation, she touched upon technical textiles that are finding its application in automobiles, interior decoration, healthcare, industrial safety among others. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedIrani said the industry should work closely with the government so that the policies framed by the latter may be implemented effectively. Later, addressing the Annual General Meeting at the Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce, she said the government has increased the import duty on some textile products to protect domestic manufacturing. “India looks at the trade war between China and the US as an opportunity and not as a challenge. India would be benefited from the trade war not only through policy intervention but also through industry practices,” she added.