The Trades and the New Game

Today, we welcome Julie Murphree to Spend Matters as a guest blogger. Julie has been around the business and trade media for much of her career. She previously served as Supply & Demand Chain Executive's founding editor and as editor for Inside Supply Management from 1993 to 2000. Please join me in welcoming Julie to Spend Matters, as she comments on a previous post from yesterday.

Are the B2B trades getting lazy or is everyone simply adjusting to a new business dynamic? The new dynamic means that while more dollars flow into marketing and advertising budgets today (compared to 2002 through 2004), advertisers have repositioned those dollars to other channels and the B2B trades are feeling the biggest pinch. In the past, more advertising dollars have always meant more editorial pages becoming available along with more resources (staff, freelance, etc.) to effectively maximize on the opportunity.

I remember one economist saying that you could measure the health of a particular vertical by the thicknesses of its representative trade magazines. Robust growth is back in a majority of industries but marketing budgets have different strategies today.

Despite all this, a few publications, Supply & Demand Chain Executive specifically, continue to focus on business process improvement engaging in "old school investigative journalism" to wrap its reporters’ arms around this story angle. Read the regular "In-Depth: Supply Chain Management" article SDC Executive comes out with every issue and you'll get "your known industry experts offering candid opinions" plus detailed investigation and analysis on the particular topic. Some of the other articles, departments and columns highlight this fact too.

The merger news of Emptoris and DiCarta is just that, news. Enabler news and the ramifications of the event is better left to the analysts that are already required to be well versed on the impact this merger generates on the market. Plus, the business blogs might even be beating out the analysts ... after all posted the news on Emptoris and DiCarta and had a preliminary analysis of the event even before the analysts.

Finally, analyst news coverage is not free. Someone is paying for it. As a result, readers who cull information and intelligence from all these channels -- trades, research firms, and others -- should be sensitive to who is paying the bill.

The race is on and no one will have time to even yawn, let alone be lazy.

Julie Murphree can be reached via her web site

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