New niche for data on shipping

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Lisa Wallerstein is lead market strategist for information services at Commonwealth Business Media, a division of United Business Media. Wallerstein is responsible for marketing for PIERS Global Intelligent Solutions, a data business that reports on global waterborne cargo movements to the maritime industry and the government.

MB: How did you launch online subscription product PIERS Trade Profiles for a commercial audience?

Wallerstein: The commercial audience includes midsize-to-large businesses that maintain cross-border supply chains or markets, such as manufacturers.The maritime industry is interested in the volumes and destinations of cargo, but the commercial market wants to know the parties involved, the products they are shipping and the countries involved. So first, we had to tailor a product to their needs.

MB: What was your marketing plan?

Wallerstein: We use a direct sales channel, supported by aggressive lead-generation direct mail, search engine marketing, and print and online advertising campaigns in our own publications. We also offer a free e-newsletter and other communications to open new channels and build a user community.

MB: What was the result?

Wallerstein: Trade Profiles has helped drive significant growth; we're on track to have doubled our commercial customer base in just five years. The commercial market is the fastest-growth market for PIERS, and it now represents 40% of our division's revenue.

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