2003 Publishers Open Forum

Disclaimer

January 27, 2003
Philadelphia, Penn.


Market Research Information: On a Library Budget?

Marketresearch.com


Mariam Hasan
ProQuest
[Questions 1, 2, and 10]


Rob Granader
CEO, Marketresearch.com
[Questions 3-9 and 11]



Questions

1) Please describe the key search and/or output features that make your products unique.
2) What are the main features currently under development for these products?
3) Please describe the ways in which you seek or receive input for continued product development.
4a) Briefly describe the ways in which you (or the market research groups providing you with the data) go about gathering consumer information for your publications.
4b) What is it about your gathering methods that are particularly noteworthy for the library audience?
5a) How do you define/describe the library audience/market for your products?
5b) What makes this audience valuable for you?
5c) What problems do you encounter with this customer group?
6a) Please describe the main (one or two) features of your products that you would consider “deal makers” for selling these products to the library market.
6b) How does this differ from the "deal maker" features you present to your non-library customers?
7) Please describe the different ways to purchase your products (formats and distributers).
8a) How do you determine pricing for libraries?
8b) How do you determine the level/amount/variety of content for inclusion in an academic (or library) version of your product?
9) Please describe differences in how your sell your products to public vs. academic vs. corporate libraries.
10) Market share is a frequent request among academic library users. Please describe how your products address those requests, as well as the processes for determining market share.
11) Please describe plans (or updates) for including data about other countries, particularly developing countries.


1) Please describe the key search and/or output features that make your products unique.

The key search features of MarketResearch.com Academic centre on the ABI/INFORM® Abstracting and Indexing powers of ABI/INFORM®. These capabilities include the following:

  • Abstracts written by the team ABI/INFORM® business editors.
  • The preeminent business, management and economics thesaurus of 8,500 searchable terms.
  • Industry terms assigned from the ABI/INFORM® and MarketResearch.com terminology.
  • Assignment of up to 5 companies with up-to-date NAICS codes.
  • The application of indexing to both full reports and Marketlooks.


The output features of MarketResearch.com Academic provide additional features through graphs, tables and charts. Marketresearch.com Academic was the first product to integrate Crosslinks® which facilitated links to MarketResearch.com to download the full report.

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2) What are the main features currently under development for these products?

ProQuest Interface changes

  • Seamless backfile
    • Option for user to set the date parameters of choice
  • Comprehensive Search
    • (Total number of articles displayed as default)


Content Scope

  • To follow up on our successful expansion into the French, Spanish and German local languages in 2002, we will be creating Chinese and other Asian-Pacific interfaces.


We understand that in 2003 the library market will be applying the same assessment metrics to market research as it currently applies to the aggregation of serials journals, namely factors such as the following:

  • Scope (and gaps)
  • Unique content
  • Search Interface
  • Indexing
  • Pricing


These factors will frame chiefly our product development decisions.

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3) Please describe the ways in which you seek or receive input for continued product development.

Input for this product is overwhelming because of the dozens of request Marketresearch.com (MRDC) receives weekly from students around the world. Most questions are content related and from students who either don’t subscribe or don’t realize their school has a subscription. Rarely are comments related to functionality, as the interface has been pretty straightforward. We also receive feedback at tradeshows like SLA, ALA and Online in London.

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4a) Briefly describe the ways in which you (or the market research groups providing you with the data) go about gathering consumer information for your publications.

The reports in the database are written by our more than two dozen analysts from around the United States. The actual data is from a combination of sources we purchase from Simmons and IRI. There is also government data and what we call executive consensus which are executive interviews conducted by our analysts.

4b) What is it about your gathering methods that are particularly noteworthy for the library audience?

The noteworthiness of the data and the product is that it’s the actual full report and analysis companies pay thousands of dollars for. If students are looking for raw numbers, they’re there, and if they are looking for deeper analysis to learn how to analyze what’s in the numbers, that is there as well.

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5a) How do you define/describe the library audience/market for your products?
5b) What makes this audience valuable for you?

The audience of this product is the business student and the librarian who serves that constituency. MRDC receives dozens of calls and email requests every week from students for market size, company profiles, competitors in a certain market. Those students who are looking for key pieces of data or are looking for how they could write a market or industry study. This product satisfies that data side with ample charts and graphs as well as MarketLooks which are smaller very data driven reports.

5c) What problems do you encounter with this customer group?

The problems we encounter is that there are always esoteric topics that the product does not cover and that somebody is looking for that one statistic that may not be available. Also, to make this product affordable to the academic market some of the reports are embargoed. Fresher content is always better than embargoed, and while most of the database is fresh content, we sometime encounter frustration when the freshest content on a specific content area is unavailable.

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6a) Please describe the main (one or two) features of your products that you would consider "deal makers" for selling these products to the library market.

This product is the only one of its kind. No other publisher puts their entire collection of full market research reports up for sale to the academic market. It’s always a subset, a section, something other than the full-length, 300 page, $3000 studies up for view on an all you can eat basis. To add to the breadth of topics covered in the database we have added a second category of reports called MarketLooks, which give an overview of a topic in a shorter, easy-to-read format.

6b) How does this differ from the "deal maker" features you present to your non-library customers?

The only difference between what the students buy and what our corporate customers buy is that the full-length reports are embargoed for one year. The MarketLooks are released immediately, but the full reports, with a shelf-life of at least two years are embargoed for one. Industry projections in the reports go out at least five years, so the one year embargo doesn’t hurt the student so much as it protects the customer base of our parent company for some period of time.

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7) Please describe the different ways to purchase your products (formats and distributers).

Currently the product is available exclusively from ProQuest on their platform. That contract is in place and runs at least through August 2003.

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8a) How do you determine pricing for libraries?

Pricing for libraries is based on the school’s FTEs and their ability to pay for the platform. The goals of the product are two-fold: First, introduce the students to MRDC for future use when they leave school, and second, as a revenue driver.

8b) How do you determine the level/amount/variety of content for inclusion in an academic (or library) version of your product?

The academic product is the same across all schools. Included in the product are all reports on a one-year embargo (About 60-80 reports a year). All MarketLooks are available as they come off the presses. There are anywhere from 100-150 new MarketLooks produced each year.

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9) Please describe differences in how your sell your products to public vs. academic vs. corporate libraries.

The big difference between how we sell to the corporate market is that we cannot find a subscription model that works in the corporate world. Each report in our academic product would sell for $3000-3500. The entire academic product is sold for about the price of two reports. As to the public library system, we don’t see much of a market for this product because the product is so business and industry focused. Further, since the data in this product is so expensive in the corporate market there is a fear of cannibalizing our main business by opening up the product to the public libraries. These days the academic environments are relatively safe from this kind of problem.

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10) Market share is a frequent request among academic library users. Please describe how your products address those requests, as well as the processes for determining market share.

Diverse metrics and methodologies are deployed by the various authors of the market research reports to determine market share.

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11) Please describe plans (or updates) for including data about other countries, particularly developing countries.

We have heard from students and librarians alike that they want a broader array of topic areas covered, including IT and telecomm. Because of our relationships with the 350 publishers we represent on the corporate side of our business we are in discussions with some of them to add their content to the product. Because of our interest in making this available to the widest audience we are careful to keep the price-point down and adding too many new publishers can price us right out of the market.

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BRASS Business Reference Sources Committee

bulletPublishers Open Forum
ALA Midwinter Conference, January 27, 2003



Disclaimer : This publication has been placed on the web for the convenience of BRASS members. Information and links will not be updated. Posted 24 April 2003.