At Napier, we take a keen interest in knowing the future of the technology industry, from marketing to the publication world, so at the end of 2016, we launched our B2B Tech Publications Outlook 2017 survey. Our aim was to gather a deeper insight into Tech publications plans for 2017, with an interest on their view of the importance of social media, native advertising and print magazines.  The data collected from several tech publications proved to be surprising, presenting the respondents as finding it tough to be innovative and grow with new digital technology.

A surprisingly strong consensus was that print magazines will still be very important in 2017. Although digital media consumption is continuing to grow, European publishers are still making good money from print. The results also showed tech publications are reluctant to use social media: when asked if social media would be important to their publication in 2017, only 50% of respondents believed it would be. This is an unexpected result, suggesting tech publications feel no need to change their ways, and in fact are quite happy taking a traditional approach.

Interestingly, our results revealed that Tech publications believe native advertising will grow faster than social media. When questioned how important social media and native advertising will become in 5 years, native advertising was favoured as being the most important to tech publications.

For 2017, tech publications continued to surprise us with their main priorities. Increasing revenue from data was the lowest priority for tech publications. Many also believe that their main source of website traffic, Google, will not change in 2017, suggesting that their newsletters and other promotions are less effective than search.

It is worrying to discover that B2B tech publications responses for 2017, are only vaguely different from what they told us in the previous year, 2016. It seems Tech publications do not value increasing their focus on social media. Their main focus continues to be their existing data base, new readers primarily are coming via Google searches (which means they are unlikely to return unless the publication shows up in a future search), and they view data as their least important priority. It is tough for Tech publications to balance everything that could potentially help them, but I am confident, that when they feel the time is right, B2B tech publications will develop and change, to continue to fit in with our new digital world.