Survey Says

The latest research from Association Media & Publishing (AM&P) brings good news for associations: Membership and publishing revenue are trending up, thanks in large part to both print and digital media platforms.

AM&P recently released their 2017 Benchmark Survey, the most comprehensive study on association publishing in more than a decade. The survey collected data from 85 associations, providing insight into current publishing practices and performances in areas such as resource allocation, compensation, growing revenue and managing publishing-related challenges.

According to the survey, 45 percent of respondents report that membership is trending up. In addition, while print advertising contributes 49 percent of all publishing revenue, digital advertising is increasing in revenue significance for associations—the top two responses for publishing revenue trending up were digital media advertising (38 percent) and print advertising (25 percent).

Other noteworthy findings from the survey:

  • Increasing member value is the most reported objective of the flagship publication (41 percent).
  • Print magazine (75 percent) is still the most used format for flagship publications.
  • Almost all respondents (91 percent) distribute their flagship publication in both print and digital formats.
  • Slightly less than a third (30 percent) publish in electronic newsletter format.
  • Facebook (88 percent) and Twitter (81 percent) are the social media platforms where flagship publication content is most often posted—and are reported to deliver the best engagement—followed by LinkedIn (49 percent), Instagram (30 percent) and YouTube (26 percent).
  • Content received the highest score in terms of resource allocation priority.
  • Almost half (48 percent) of the respondents are planning digital product launches in in the next 12 months, and 33 percent plan to launch video
  • Website was mentioned most often as the area with the largest technological investment for both this year (32 percent) and next year (39 percent).
  • Content management systems (14 percent) and podcasts (14 percent) were mentioned second most often as next year’s largest technological investment.
  • Publication redesigns and revamped websites are the greatest publication-related revenue generators respondents have implemented in the past 24 months.

So what does the future hold? Increased print advertising sales and sponsored content are predicted to be the largest areas for revenue growth in publishing programs in the next fiscal year. If you’re interested in learning more about turning marketing into a profit center, check out this review of Killing Marketing, the latest book from the Content Marketing Institute’s Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose.