The Art of Market Research – Meet Zack Merrill
There are a number of key staff behind the scenes at the port that regularly make a big impact. Sales Account Manager Zack Merrill is one of those people, working to provide the hard data and analytical skills to support our efforts to retain and bring new business to the port.
Zack is our modern Sherlock Holmes when it comes to research. He joined the port in 2015, monitoring cargo movement within the Port of Vancouver, Columbia River, West Coast and Gulf Coast. Over the last few years, Zack has honed his expertise in logistics trends and commodities, and he uses his research to look for opportunities to expand the port’s tenant base, operations and partnerships.
“As the front line in global trade, the Port of Vancouver depends on having the very best market intelligence available to remain competitive and responsive to our customer’s needs,” said Alex Strogen, the port’s Chief Commercial Officer. “Zack is instrumental in leading our efforts to bring order to a wide range of data so that we can in turn use that information to continue to adapt to the ever-changing business environment.”
So how does Zack gather the information and find the connections? Well it all starts with one question: What do you want to find? From there, you identify key data sources, work with industry experts, analyze data and look for patterns.
“It’s very investigative and a lot of fun,” says Zack. “You follow the bread crumbs and then you start to notice the trends.”
Economics is something that Zack has become well-versed in. “You have to become an expert in what you are reporting on, and global economics in particular, was like learning another language.”
With the data organized and sourced, Zack then translates the information into something easily understandable for the team inside the port and our domestic and global partners. This helps the port make targeted marketing decisions and builds our credibility here in the Northwest and around the world.