ABM event focuses on ‘high-growth’ business information industry

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Six months after American Business Media Rich Data Council was renamed the Business Information Council, the new moniker was showcased at the council’s annual professional development event, “Business Information: Capitalizing on New Business Information Revenue Streams,” held April 25 in New York.

According to the newly launched Business Information Center on ABM’s Web site (, the council opted for the name change because it believed the term “business information” is better recognized in the larger business intelligence marketplace than “rich data,” which is viewed by some as an ABM term.

The name change also reflects the council’s decision to take a practical and tactical approach rather than a strategic one, and this shift was evident in the theme of the conference—driving revenue with proprietary business intelligence—and sessions focused on successful paid-subscription information businesses.

One speaker, Chuck Richard, VP-lead analyst at Outsell Inc., said, “Forget the idea that people won’t pay for information on the web. They do, and it’s a high-growth industry.”

Richard, who moderated a panel titled The Hidden Parallel Trade Universe, explained that he chose speakers from companies that are not ABM members—and would not necessarily be considered media companies—because “they have solid, growing businesses in markets that are also served by b-to-b media.” One of the companies, Input, sells business information in the government IT space served by such b-to-b titles as Federal Computer Week and Government Computer News, both 1105 Media properties. The other, Windhover Information, provides analysis and commentary on health-care business strategies, deals, trends and start-ups.

Luncheon keynote speaker Russell Perkins, managing director and founder of InfoCommerce, said, “Virtually everyone in this room has an extremely valuable and often under-appreciated asset—CMP [central market position].” In his presentation, Perkins outlined “just a few of the ways you can harness your CMP. And if you don’t, rest assured that someone else will.”

Perkins went on to list half a dozen opportunities in business information that are open to b-to-b media companies: marketing sales leads, scrubbing and screening customer data, developing industry benchmarks, building a central industry catalog, providing credit data for a specific industry and organizing one’s market with a value-added classification system.

A highlight of the conference was a series of five back-to-back case studies on paid subscription information sites within the b-to-b media world, including ALM, Commonwealth Business Media and North American Publishing Co.. “It’s helpful to put meat on the bones with these case studies,” said Business Information Council chairman Bill Pollak, president-CEO of ALM.

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