The Infotext Strategy Letter will be focusing on high-technology manufacturers of computer hardware and software, services, and networking, who want to sell into markets in the United States, Europe, and Latin America. These are mostly larger companies, and occasionally medium-sized companies.
Our most important group of potential customers are executives in larger corporations. These are marketing managers, general managers, sales managers, sometimes charged with international focus and sometimes charged with market or even specific channel focus. They do not want to waste their time or risk their money looking for bargain information or questionable expertise. As they go into markets looking at new opportunities, they are very sensitive to risking their company's name and reputation.
Large manufacturer corporations - Our most important market segment is the large manufacturer of high-technology products, such as Apple, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microsoft, Siemens, or Olivetti. These companies will be calling on Acme for development functions that are better spun off than managed in-house, for market research, and for market forums.
Medium-sized growth companies - Particularly in software, multimedia, and some related high-growth fields, Acme will offer an attractive development alternative to the company that is management constrained and unable to address opportunities in new markets and new market segments.
The newsletter "industry" is pulverized and disorganized, with thousands of smaller information vendors for every one of the few dozen well-known companies.
Newsletter publishers range from major international name-brand consulting and marketing research companies to dozens of individual experts.
There are some newsletters published by well-established major names in management consulting. Some of these are by accounting companies (e.g. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, PricewaterhouseCoopers) and some from management consulting (McKinsey, Bain). These newsletters tend to exist as marketing programs related to developing consulting leads. < P>
At the intermediate level are some function-specific or market-specific newsletters, many of them published by the market research firms (IDC, Dataquest) or channel development firms (ChannelCorp, Channel Strategies, ChannelMark).
Some newsletters are little more than adventuring by experts who want to market their expertise while temporarily out of work. There are however some long-term expertise-based newsletters put out by individuals, that nonetheless manage to earn long-term branding as high quality publications.
Newsletters, like consulting, will be sold and purchased mainly on a word-of-mouth basis, with relationships and previous experience being, by far, the most important factor.
The major name-brand newsletters have developed marketing programs involving direct mail, email, etc. They also work hard at searcher placement for their websites, and distribute in some cases through industry associations, business associations, Chambers of Commerce and industry, etc.
One of our advantages, we believe, will be the distribution through hard copy and/or email, at the subscriber's option.
The key element in purchase decisions made at the Acme client level is trust in the professional reputation and reliability of the consulting firm behind the newsletter. Reliable delivery, on-time delivery, and valuable content are all vital. Our make or break will be whether or not the subscribers read the newsletter and/or use the website.
The high-level prestige newsletters:
Strengths: International locations managed by owner-partners with a high level of presentation and understanding of general business. Enviable reputations which make purchase of newsletters an easy decision for a manager, often without regard to prices.
Weaknesses: General business knowledge doesn't substitute for the specific market, channel, and distribution expertise of our newsletter, focusing on high-technology markets and products only.
The international market research companies' newsletters:
Strengths: International offices, specific market knowledge, permanent staff developing market research information on permanent basis, good relationships with potential subscriber companies.
Weaknesses: Market numbers are not marketing, not channel development nor market development. Although these companies compete for some of the business our newsletter is after, they cannot really offer the same level of business understanding at a high level.
Market specific or function specific newsletters:
Strengths: Expertise in market or functional areas. Acme should not try to compete with [name omitted] or [name omitted] in their markets with market research, or with ChannelCorp in channel management.
Weaknesses: The inability to spread beyond a specific focus, or to rise above a specific focus, to provide actual management expertise, experience, and wisdom beyond the specifics.
As indicated by the previous table and chart, we must focus on a few thousand well-chosen potential subscribers in the United States, Europe, and Latin America. These few thousand high-tech manufacturing companies are the key customers for Acme.