We hand over this blog to VesselsValue, the big data shipping experts, who tell us about the increasing demand for online data.
"There are so many benefits to using online values and Big Data: the most up to date values, instant access anywhere and time saved searching and implementing the data.
We are on track to double our client base by the end of this financial year, showing the increasing demand for access to online data at any moment. It begs the question: can you run a maritime company solely online?
Shipping has been slow to embrace the internet into how it goes about its daily operations, with a number of people arguing in favour of paper versions of data over online ones. There is undoubtedly nostalgia to receiving reports through the post. That said, over a third of people (34.1%) on our mailing list open our newsletter on their mobile phone, questioning the benefit of sending out hardcopy newsletters. With publications going increasingly online, and some even online only, the shipping industry is finally coming to embrace online data.
Online data lends itself well to colourful graphics, and can be read by an entire team simultaneously on a variety of devices (mobile, ipad, laptop etc.) rather than passing around a printed document. We can measure the success of online data reports though one of our recent projects, titled ‘the top 19% of the most expensive vessels accounts for 50% of the global fleet value’. After being released, the report was picked up by global press instantly, and used in articles the very next day. This immediacy is ideal as it highlights our ability to send out the most up to date data online that is picked up directly, rather than wait days to create a printed version where the content will be a few days old.
VesselsValue.com caters well for this new age with a hunger for immediate online access: you can check the value of your fleet over breakfast, see how the recent S&P deals have affected the market during your commute, and then analyse the global vessel movements as you get to your desk in the morning.
Despite such positive online growth as an industry, finalising a business agreement is often not best done online, or even via the telephone. The Chinese market is hugely important and has very high potential, but it takes a lot of time to establish a brand for new companies there. We are increasingly making progress and have an ever expanding number of Hong Kong, Japanese, Korean and Singaporeans as clients, and find that the best way to get new clients is through face to face business, word of mouth and direct recommendations.
Face to face meetings with entire departments, or talking at networking events, the scope of influence is greatly increased. Furthermore, the ability to approach someone to ask for more details is ultimately more favourable than an anonymous email, which may or may not return the answer you were looking for. A handshake and a smile works infinite times better than a cold call, or a generic marketing email.
It is one thing to send someone a brilliant snap shot of the market and it is another to clinch the sale. A combination approach of grabbing attention through personalised data sent online allows for immediate pick up, with the personal touch increasing trust and adding a face to a name, something very important in the personality driven shipping industry. At VesselsValue.com you’ll find all our team are happy to guide you through the world of Big Data, from first touch to renewal."