Insider careers advice from journalism jobs headhunter Martin Tripp:
Despite these dark days of austerity when it is difficult to be upbeat, I have a small ray of hope, especially for those of you who have been toiling away in the geeky side of B2B media.
The bulk of the work we are currently doing at Martin Tripp Associates is on information services: data-driven, subscription-funded providers to key sectors of industry.
‘It’s all about analysts at the moment,’says media recruitment colleague Allan Cross, of the Media Network, who is working for a number of information providers, across the energy, financial, and wider industrial sectors.
So why are clients investing in this sector at the moment, when they are drawing back in other areas?
“Subscription is the only reliable source of income these days,’says Cross.
While online advertising is usually cited as being the only sector of media spend that is growing, confidence in advertising as a funding model has been massively hit.
After previous recessions, advertising recovered because of limited channel options, but fragmentation of media and a crisis in confi dence among consumers has led many to question whether the model is sustainable in the long term.
As a result, publishers have looked to other approaches. And it is astonishing how many have discovered the assets under their own noses. Been writing about transport for 100 years? That’s an archive.
Been tracking the occupancy of hotel rooms for 20 years? That’s a dataset. Been covering the spot price of oil? That’s an information service.
B2B news organisations have realised that the model of the newswires – that people are prepared to pay a premium for information they can’t work without – is now equally applicable to them.
We have long had clients in the more traditional information and research industries. But media companies such as RBI, Emap, Euromoney, Informa, and Incisive are increasingly moving their products towards this model. News International is trying to apply the same approach to the consumer markets, but lacks the action-critical data that B2B services can offer.
The upshot is that journalists and analysts in B2B – who have long toiled in the shadow of their seemingly more glamorous consumer counterparts – now seem to have the brighter future.
It is the quality of the content that is paramount and commercially exploitable. For the lucky geeks among you, then, welcome to the sunlit uplands!
Martin Tripp is the managing director of media and journalism headhunting company Martin Tripp Associates and writes a regular careers advice column for Press Gazette magazine.