I am shocked to read that Business 2.0 is having trouble getting advertising and that its parent, Time Inc. may have to stop the publication. I say shocked because we are in a booming tech market after all. Or are we? Conventional wisdom says that when an industry is booming, companies are spending a lot on advertising.
So I have two questions: (1) is tech really back? (2) has advertising shifted to media other than print?
Tech is back (or not)
Signs that tech is back: hard to find programmers and other tech-related personnel, wages going up, my friends are busy again, no more hanging out in the health club and cafe in the middle of the day, piles of work. But companies are not throwing around advertising money as they have in the past, especially to print. I don’t see fat Vogue-like tech magazines landing with a thud on my doorstep.
So where are they advertising – online? And if magazines like Business 2.0 can’t do well in a booming market (assuming it is booming), then what will happen during the downturn?
UPDATE: I thought about this more today. Back during the dotcom boom, companies that had no business advertising to a wide (consumer) audience placed ads to make themselves look hot — not to potential customers, but to the stock market (investors, analysts). The ads were not targeted towards their customers (other businesses). So they placed ads in magazines like Business 2.0, which are not trade publications. Today these companies in the B2B space watch their ad spending; they focus on lead generation, not polishing up with PR image for the Street because today, there is no booming IPO market and valuations of tech companies are not going crazy as they did in 1999.