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Salary Surveys for b2b Publications


b2b publications salary surveyEveryone wants to know if they are "fairly" paid. Most people suspect that they are not. It's no wonder why salary survey reports are perennial reader favorites in business magazines and the trade press.

One major weakness of most salary reports is that they do not provide actionable data. Readers should be able to take your information, compare their salary by responsibility, location and experience, and see how their total earnings compare. Your readers want to know how that $2,500 bonus that they received last December compares to not just the industry average, but to the median, lower and upper percentiles for others with their responsibilities. They should have enough confidence in the data to take it into their next salary negotiation.

Other opportunities for improving your next salary survey include:

Better data. Many magazines don't report detailed survey results because they lack sufficient responses to be statistically significant. Glossing over this deficiency, the story does not report the total number of respondents, the response rate or any details about the research methodology. The right incentives, project design and execution will produce a statistically relevant report with third-party validation that distinguishes your publication in your market and gives your readers data that they can rely on.

More data. Even a simple 10- or 15-question survey will yield more data than can be reported in a standard magazine article. With websites and e-newsletters in constant need of relevant content, this bounty of data can be reported online in a series of installments to increase website traffic.

More thorough reporting. Most editors and writers don't have the statistical tools, time or expertise to perform thorough data analysis. Averages, for example, unless the responses are perfectly distributed—and they never are—are almost useless when it comes to answering readers' question of whether they are paid fairly or not. Medians and upper and lower quartiles, and relevant crosstabs, offer a much better profile of the typical pay scale of your readers.

TABPI salary survey research data editorsA major benefit of outsourcing your next salary survey is the report itself. Even if you rotate the assignment among staff members, if you've been doing such a project for 5, 10 or 15 years, the report tends to lose a lot of energy and creativity. Fresh eyes and fresh data will re-invigorate your next salary survey with cover-worthy content that will attract the attention of readers and advertisers.

Let TABPI help you with your next salary survey and set your publication apart from the competition. Contact us at (216) 220-5121 or for a free consultation and price quote.

This service is offered by TABPI Editorial Research Director David Drickhamer. Most recently Drickhamer was Editorial Director for Material Handling Management and Logistics Today magazines in Penton Media's Supply Chain Group. Prior to that he was Editorial Research Director for IndustryWeek magazine, where he executed a wide variety of editorial research projects, including the annual "Best Plants" competition, the IW1000 and US500 lists of the largest publicly traded manufacturers in the world and the United States (with Mergent), Census of Manufacturers benchmarking study (with the Manufacturing Performance Institute), and the Value Chain Study (with IBM Consulting Services).



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