We sat down with Steve Lendt, Analytics & Media Manager with motum b2b, to discuss getting the most out of advertising dollars.

With five years of experience dissecting and analyzing media properties, Lendt says he’s seen a lot of changes in a short amount of time. “Even in the five years I’ve been doing this, a lot has changed, specifically with integration and what you can measure,” he explains.

We asked Lendt for his top five warning signs – the things that prompt him to take a closer look. Here’s what he said:

1. The publication has no audit. There’s no way of verifying the audience.

2. Nobody subscribes to it. Based on the audit, you can tell who directly requests the mag and how many just get it without asking for it.

3. Too much emphasis on print and/or the publication has no digital offering. Without an integrated package, one that shows attention and forward-thinking in the digital space, it could be a sign the magazine will fall behind its competitors. Plus, with integration, you get frequency, Lendt explains. “It also enhances measurement of results.”

4. The magazine does no ad surveys or audience research. Forget third-party verification; if the magazine is not doing anything to understand its own audience, good luck. This is helpful because, based on their research, certain segments of readers can be found and targeted. “If the publication can profile the reader, then we can get more out of the advertising.”

5. The content is one big advertorial. Many trade publications still use the ‘support your project with an ad’ business model; this will result in only advertisers paying attention to the advertisement, and not the audience you want to reach. “The audience is the advertisers, and not the actual reader—that can be hard to see and that’s why we need audits.”

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