Business Journal Influence Waning but Still Considerable

Experts generally believe that the U.S. and Canadian business marketplaces share  similarities. If that is so, the Starch Information Sources Study sheds light on which media formats key business decision makers say are most useful. The findings echo what other studies have reported – the influence of the Internet continues to grow. For the first time, the Internet’s influence has surpassed all other sources.

Here is the rank ordering of sources useful to business decision makers:

  • Internet 76%
  • Specialized business  publications 67%
  • Trade shows 67%
  • Conventions/​seminars 56%
  • Salespeople 51%

The Internet wasn’t the only source to increase in influence in the past few years. Both trade shows and conventions/​seminars also increased  as valuable information sources since the last survey was done in 2004. However, the Internet is not at the top of the list for decision makers in every industry. The following list shows the rating and rank of the Internet given by decision makers in various industries:

  • Computers/​technology 90% (1)
  • Resources/​construction 85% (1)
  • Manufacturing  79% (1)
  • Automotive/​trucking 69% (1)
  • Retail 63% (2)
  • Agriculture  66% (3)
  • Travel/​tourism 78 (1)

While the influence of traditional business publications appears to be waning, they are still cited as the second most important information source in most industries. In addition,  70% of respondents reported using websites that are linked to business publications.  The study also found that over half of buyers came to a website as a result of an ad they’d seen in a traditional publication. The bottom line for media companies is that they should offer both traditional and online formats to marketers to capture clients as decision makers continue to transition to the Internet as a resource.

[Source: Starch Information Sources Study. Canadian Business Press. 31 Mar. 2010. Web 7 Jun. 2010] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.