Selling business information

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Marion Minor is the CEO of M2Media360, a b-to-b media company with 16 titles in 10 industries. In 2002, the company acquired Adams Business Media's adult beverage publications, resource guides and merchandising intelligence service. Additional Adams' publications were purchased in 2005 and 2006. Prior to 2002, Minor spent 18 years in the information services business.

Media Business: How is the business information business different from the b-to-b media?

Marion Minor: People come to the b-to-b media for timely information about the industry, but business information is more than just compiling a lot of data. We need to provide insight and expertise on top of the data.

It requires an investment to launch a product in the business information space, especially when your user is going to use it to make decisions. So you have to do your homework, not only to find out if this information is wanted but also to find out if the information is valuable enough for the customers to pay more for it than it will cost you to provide it.

MB: What kind of homework have you done at M2Media360?

Minor: Right now, we're working on something in our beverage group that would provide statistics and analysis beyond what our handbooks are providing. But because of the cost, we want to build it in phases, so we hired someone to interview people in the industry to see if this phased approach would work for them.

We decided to go forward based on this research and we developed a three-year strategic plan to bring this to market. We're on track to roll out the first phase in the next month or two.

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