New research shows B2B media leaders view intelligence products essential for growth

Laura Rutkowski

A survey of 30 of the UK’s leading B2B media brands has identified data and intelligence products as the core growth area for the sector in the coming three years.

Published today by Merit Group, “The Future of Growth in B2B Media” report brings together insight from the minds of 35 senior managers across over 30 UK B2B media businesses.

The research paints a bold picture of an industry that is embracing the opportunities that technology, including artificial intelligence, offers. It also looks at capitalising on new data trends – putting customers’ needs at the forefront of future business models. 

One of the key findings was a belief shared by 74% of respondents that leading media brands in three years’ time will be companies that have developed at least one data and intelligence product.

With only 34% of respondents listing intelligence products as a core revenue stream in 2017, a significant shift in approach will be required for brands to remain competitive.

Of those surveyed, 88% listed customer insight and data analysis as the “most important” skill required in the next three years. However, this area was also predicted to be the area most difficult to recruit for.

“It’s clear that we are heading into another tipping point in the B2B media sector,” said Con Conlon, CEO and Founder of Merit. “After a difficult adjustment period, the industry has adapted fairly well to the changes brought about by digital and online in the past 15 years. Now we sit once again on the cusp of great technological change.

“While there are real concerns around the talent crunch brands face, the findings of our report confirm to me that we operate in a dynamic, progressive and innovative sector. UK media companies, especially those with a B2B focus, will achieve growth by embracing technological change and an innovative mindset.”

Other key findings include:

  • Events are expected to be the second biggest area of growth for B2B media companies
  • 51% believe artificial intelligence will be part of their products within three years
  • Asia-Pacific and North America are seen as the most fertile growth areas internationally
  • 60% see a “significant challenge” in developing valuable content and data that meets local market needs when expanding internationally

The survey’s findings have been released as Merit unveils its new branding and launches Merit LABS – a tech incubator designed to give its clients access to cutting edge research and development in the latest transformative technologies.

Merit LABS brings together experts in transformative technology, covering artificial intelligence, robotics, machine learning and big data processing.

“Merit LABS represents our commitment to innovation,” commented Conlon. “We know that many organisations simply do not have the resources needed to build their own dedicated research and development teams.”

“Merit LABS cultivates innovation and progress and gives our customers a competitive advantage. It’s our way of demonstrating that at Merit we are always actively keeping our eyes on the horizon and helping our customers grasp the opportunities the future holds,” he added.

Copies of “The Future of Growth in B2B Media” are available on request. Contact Helen Coetzee:

Founded in 2004 by Conlon, Merit provides product data, marketing data, customised software and marketing automation services. Its mission is to ensure the successful evolution of the B2B information and media industry in the face of fundamental challenges and change.



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