According to a February 2009 study by MS&L and Ipsos, 84% of Business-to-Business (B to B) buyers go online to find more about a product after first reading about it in a trade publication.
B to B audiences are simply more receptive. This is why it is better to work on getting multiple exposures to a more targeted group of people (B to B) than to spread your effort and have fewer exposures to a larger group of general consumers (B to C - Business-to-Consumer).
So now, the question is how to select a trade publication?
You do not place an advertisement in a publication because it is cheap, the rates are discounted or because it makes you feel good. You advertise because the magazine reaches your audience.
The most important element in your decision process is the CIRCULATION:
How many subscribers? Where are they located? Are they the decision makers?
You need to make sure the circulation is real. Publishers can be very eloquent in describing who reads their magazine, but you need proof and statements. Today, more than ever, you cannot place an advertisement based on the hopes it may reaches your audience.
Secondly, you need to look at the EDITORIAL CALENDAR.
What are the topics? How many features per month? How many issues per year? Can you get editorial coverage for your company?
Last but not least, when a trade publication has a trade show associated to it, the decision makers of the industry can conduct business face to face at the Show once a year, and then, keep in touch all year long via the Magazine. It is a receipe for success and it works beautifully.