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Thomson Companies Commit to Vertical Market Strategies As Gale Groupís InSite is Moved to Intelligence Data
by
Posted On June 1, 1999
Just a few short months after announcing its new InSite 2 revision (http://www.infotoday.com/newsbreaks/nb031599.htm), Thomson Corporation's Gale Group has transferred corporate marketing for the Web-based product to Intelligence Data, a Thomson Financial company. Gale Group will concentrate its own corporate sales and marketing efforts on promoting ComputerSelect to the IT professional market. Both companies have committed themselves to vertical marketing strategies with product design and marketing focused on serving specific user needs.

On July 1, Intelligence Data (http://www.intelliscope.com), a subsidiary of Thomson Financial, will take over the management and marketing of Gale Group's InSite 2 service. Intelligence Data changed its name from Thomson Intelligence in May. InSite is a Web-based collection of full-text trade and general press sources that includes over 2,500 publications extending back, in some cases, over a decade. The service offers automatic alerting. InSite 2, the recent upgrade, is designed for enterprise-wide redistribution within subscribing corporations.

Gary Halliwell, president of Intelligence Data, indicated that "the InSite content, with its wide range of newspapers, industry journals, and trade magazines, is a great complement to the investment and market research available on Intelliscope. This is further evidence of Thomson Financial's overall commitment to a vertical market strategy." Intelliscope, the current flagship product at Intelligence Data begun in 1998, is a business intelligence tool serving corporations' needs for competitive intelligence, strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, and sales and marketing information. Data in Intelliscope includes some 920,000 investment reports and research on over 46,000 companies in over 200 countries from over 800 contributors worldwide. Intelligence Data delivers its current products over the Web or via a customized data feed for inclusion into corporate intranets on HTML or Lotus Notes platforms. Currently they distribute Intelliscope to some 1,000 corporations.

Intelligence Data plans to integrate InSite with Intelliscope over time, but will sell both products separately pending the integration of the two services. Before consolidating the services, Intelligence Data plans to conduct customer surveys and needs assessments. Halliwell indicated that they would draw on other content from Thomson Financial to enhance the integrated database services. They will also take advantage of InSite's technological platform to contribute to a technological overhaul already underway at Intelligence Data.

Much of Gale Group's marketing and sales staff for InSite already reside in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the headquarters of Intelligence Data.

Gale Group's Corporate Marketing Future

Gale Group will continue to gather and produce the databases underlying the InSite product in their Foster City, California operation (formerly Information Access Company) as part of their "information wholesaling business." For example, the Gale Group's library/education division sells full-text sources used in InSite and other Gale wholesale products in its InfoTrac Web services (http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/nbreader.asp?ArticleID=17967).

With the transfer of InSite marketing and management to Intelligence Data, The Gale Group announced that its corporate division will now focus its market efforts on the information technology and other vertical markets. Bruce Cardinal, division president, said, "As we reviewed our ability to most efficiently allocate corporate market activities within the Thomson Corporation, we saw that our greatest opportunities lay in capitalizing on our years of success in vertical markets."

In particular, Cardinal intends to concentrate the division's efforts on ComputerSelect. Available online and in CD-ROM, ComputerSelect carries a wide array of relevant information for information technology managers and professionals, including over 63,000 hardware and software product specifications, technical reviews, company directories, and full-text sources filtered into the Web product.

Cardinal indicated that marketing two significantly different product lines, like InSite and ComputerSelect, just imposed too tough a challenge. In the highly competitive arena with a high rate of change, Cardinal said, "they couldn't afford not to devote their full attention to doing the best job they can in one product area." They intend to bring new content to ComputerSelect and to re-design the product almost entirely by the beginning of next year. Marketing will focus on information technology professionals and the marketing and sales staff of vendor companies. Some of the new content will only appear in ComputerSelect and no other Gale Group products.

Pricing for the new and improved ComputerSelect should stay about the same, or perhaps even move lower, according to Cardinal. When it comes to pricing, he said, "our first goal is to make ComputerSelect a good value proposition."


Barbara Quint was senior editor of Online Searcher, co-editor of The Information Advisor’s Guide to Internet Research, and a columnist for Information Today.


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