Annual Meeting Reports

Exploring International Markets: How to Devise an Effective Marketing Strategy Through Collaboration of Editors and Sales Teams

The speakers in this session offered strategies that journals can adopt to increase their presence in the international market.

Interest in international markets has grown because of the Internet, according to Vida Damijonaitis, of the American Medical Association. Strategies that journals can use to disseminate content include site licensing, consortium deals, use of reprints, use of such aggregators as LexisNexis, and coordination with associations with which journals are affiliated. Damijonaitis noted that in site licensing, specific institutions are targeted and licensing terms can be controlled, but that disadvantages include limited reach and time constraints. She said that consortium deals also target groups of institutions, but concerns include consortium requirements (contract terms) and discounting.

Reprint distribution can require several resources, including local agents and reprint staff. However, users can obtain reprints in a variety of ways, such as a link in, or an attachment to, an e-mail or by fax or mail. Editors’ contacts with international associations can also be called on in exploring international markets. One possible scenario would be international associations’ use of their membership dues to purchase journals.

Damijonaitis identified options for disseminating content, such as the use of social-media tools (for example, Facebook and Twitter) to announce the early release of articles for purchase. She said that traditional databases such as CINAHL are helpful in disseminating content. Damijonaitis concluded by emphasizing that collaboration is essential for dealing with the international market.

Adrian Stanley, chief executive officer of The Charlesworth Group (USA), Inc, noted that China is increasingly contributing to journals and, according to Thomson Reuters ScienceWatch, is ranked fifth in number of papers published and 12th in number of citations among the top 148 countries.

Stanley stated that publishers that are exploring international markets should consider their own priorities and what those in the markets they hope to explore think about branding. He indicated the need to understand such factors as the current global sales picture, how local sales agents work, who they are, culture and language issues, and brand popularity on the international market. He emphasized that being in an international market presents opportunities for other spinoff activities, such as collaborating on meetings and conferences, providing editorial assistance, and offering educational outreach.

Stanley offered several tips for exploring international markets, including having face-to-face meetings with potential partners. He advised potential participants considering the international market: “Don’t try to tackle everything at once. Look at what others have done and are doing. Look at your own priorities and strengths. Take time to build relationships.”

Bruce Dancik, editor-in-chief of the NRC Research Press in Canada, described the roles of journal editors in global marketing of journals. He advised integrating the efforts of editors with marketing efforts and enumerated four main strategies that editors can use to market journals globally. First, editors should recruit international authorities for their journals’ editorial boards. Dancik showed that 13 of the 15 journals that constitute the NRC Research Press had editorial-board members outside the United States and Canada. “Our journals that had greater numbers of international members on their editorial boards tended to be the highest-ranking journals, by impact factor and other measures, in their disciplines,” Dancik noted. Second, editors should use more international referees. Third, editors should invite international authors to submit review papers and original articles. Fourth, in coordination with their marketing departments, editors and editorial-board members should take sample journals or advertising materials to international conferences.

Finally, Dancik noted that sending subscription leaflets to international authors has also been helpful in marketing journals internationally.