So far in 2009, Alacra has already added 18 new databases to our ever-growing list of premium content providers. With all this new data onboard, it makes sense to pick back up on our content provider interview series that began last year. We ask new partners to discuss their business, their content and what's important for Alacra users and fans to know. We happily kick off this new round of interviews with Jack Plunkett, CEO and Publisher of Plunkett Research.
Tell us about Plunkett Research.
Our business model is easy to understand. We provide in-depth reports and market surveys on 30 different broad industry sectors, ranging from health care to biotech, infotech, renewable energy, outsourcing and telecom. However, when I started this business in 1985, my goal was to make market research both affordable and easy to access. There were already plenty of firms selling reports for $2,500 and up. Our role is to provide reports in the $150 to $500 range. Consequently, our reports show up in places ranging from financial institutions to bizschools to the bookshelves of startups. Our people are focused on providing information that is “accurate, timely, innovative—and affordable.”
What are some typical uses for your content?
Plunkett Research was developed from the ground up with the following core thought: to make it easy for users to readily access and understand the most vital trends creating change within given industries—even if the reader has no current expertise in that industry. A good example of a user of Plunkett data would be a new bizschool grad now working in a private equity firm who is asked to look into a play in biotechnology. This person probably doesn’t know anything about biotech, but a few hours spent reading our report on that industry will get him off to a great start. He would then be able to put together an executive summary on the business aspects of biotechnology. So, uses like consulting and industry analysis are near the top of the list. Creation of business plans is a frequent use. Other typical uses for Plunkett data include business development research, product strategy research, economic development, competitive intelligence, and prospect list creation. Also, marketing execs like Plunkett data for the development of vertical industry sales plans, sales guides and industry-specific marketing tools
How has your business changed in recent years? What changes do you expect in the coming years?
Our biggest change for the near term is a new effort in Asia/Pacific. We’re doing more research on Asian industries. And, we now have marketing reps on the ground in 22 nations in that area, from India to Japan to Australia. Martha Plunkett and I just came back from two long trips to the other side of the world. The first trip was to India. I made a keynote speech at a conference in Delhi in November, at the same time that the massacre was going on in Mumbai. We got to visit with and train our new people there. India is a terrific place full of wonderful people, but it was an uncomfortable time to be there. My cell phone rang in the middle of the night. My office knew we were staying in a Taj hotel, and they were afraid that ours was the hotel being attacked. We were in the same hotel, but fortunately it was in a different city. A few weeks ago we were in Singapore and Thailand—fascinating countries. I made a speech at Singapore Management University. We can’t wait to go back, probably in early 2010.
What sorts of interesting or unexpected uses of your content have you seen?
The late Sir John Templeton, founder of the Templeton mutual funds and an amazing man, ordered our report on nanotechnology when he was very advanced in years—nothing was too new for him to study. We always find it interesting to receive purchase orders from government agencies ranging from the CIA to the Asian Development Bank. Several branches of the military user our data, as does the Post Office. The Library of Congress uses our data to support research for legislative activity. We once had a request out of the blue from the American Library in Paris for a donation of our reports—and we were happy to help them.
What makes your content unique?
No other firm does exactly what Plunkett Research Ltd. does. We help you understand how industries work today and where they will be tomorrow.
Our philosophy is that several core sets of data should be presented in one comprehensive tool to give the reader the best total picture of an industry. That data must be user-friendly: easy-to-access, easy-to-understand, easy-to-use. That data must be affordable and represent extremely high value for the buyer.
The foundation of these data sets is our well-regarded analysis of industry trends, including finances, markets, technologies, deregulation, research/development and globalization. We empower the reader to better utilize knowledge of these trends by adding our industry statistics, profiles of leading companies, glossaries and a database of industry associations to the trends analysis. We aren’t big into quantitative analysis. Instead, we give our readers the big picture of an industry.
We never assume that the reader is an expert. Instead, we are careful to use language and explanations that are easy to understand—yet actionable and extremely useful. At the same time, we provide comprehensive information to give a broad, accurate and innovative picture of an industry and its players.
We understand that there is intense competition in the business information marketplace. We try hard to be better. One of our key phrases at Plunkett Research is “better data, better user tools, better interface and better prices.”
What do customers like best about Plunkett Research?
Our customers like our thoroughness and reliability. Through the years, Plunkett Research has evolved a research methodology based on strict guidelines used to build and maintain the content of five proprietary business and industry databases. Plunkett analysts are trained to follow research formulas and methodology in building and maintaining this data.
Our reports are pulled from these databases on a regular basis.
Our analysts use company-approved sources in their work, and post their findings daily to Plunkett’s proprietary databases. All research results go through multi-step editing processes. If you buy several Plunkett reports, you will find the same structure and format used in each one. That makes our products extremely easy to use for repeat customers.
To see recent content from Plunkett Research, visit their specific database pages on the AlacraStore.com:
If you are interested in contributing your content to the Alacra Store(www.alacrastore.com), please contact Ron Waksman at ron[dot]waksman[at]alacra[dot]com.