Salary Surveys for b2b Publications
Everyone 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
A 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 email@example.com 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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