Written by Susan Weiss
Manager, Xerox Worldwide Customer Business Development
The key to success in today’s graphic communications market is finding subtle differences that give the business a marketing edge. One of the best ways to do that: targeting specific vertical markets with focused marketing that generally outperforms the chase-any-job-that-comes-in-the-door approach.
So said Barb Pellow, group director, InfoTrends, in kicking off a recent webinar in the 2013 Xerox Business Development Webinar Series, “Targeting Vertical Markets… The Enterprise Opportunity.” Her proof points: two Xerox customers—both members of the Xerox Premier Partners Global Network of leading graphic communications providers—who told their vertical market success stories.
Budco, based in Highland Park, Mich., began its business more than 30 years ago servicing the automotive industry. In the last decade, Budco began targeting verticals as part of a growth strategy, and today has significant businesses in pharmaceuticals, hospitality, consumer packaged goods, financial services and healthcare.
According to Jeff Sierra, vice president, Marketing and Product Development, Budco, the strategy also helped mitigate risk. “If we still had 90 to 100 percent of our business in automotive when the economy tanked in 2007 and 2008, we would have really struggled, but we had a diverse customer base in place that helped us remain very strong,” Sierra said.
He recommended a three-step approach toward pursuing verticals:
- Determine what are your company’s best solutions.
- Identify other vertical markets where your top solutions can have a role.
- Align your solution to the specific problems of that vertical and begin marketing.
Lithexcel, based in Albuquerque, N.M. operated as a general commercial printer until vertical-market opportunities opened up with the adoption of digital printing in 1999 and development of variable-information printing capabilities in 2002. That began a transition to becoming a marketing services provider that continues today, incorporating Web-to-print storefronts, Web and print design, and IT infrastructure capabilities, according to President and Owner Waleed Ashoo.
Today, the firm’s verticals include Native American gaming, managed healthcare, higher education, self-publishing, and credit unions and small commercial banks. In targeting these markets, Ashoo said, “I found out quickly that we had to become experts in understanding the industry’s culture, language and issues.” Among his approaches: becoming active in the vertical’s professional associations.
“Your job is to bring new ideas and provocative perspectives to your target markets,” Pellow concluded. The rewards: shorter sales cycles, stronger relationships and better customer loyalty that ultimately deliver results.
To hear a replay of the webinar, click here. And to sign up for upcoming 2013 Business Development Webinars, including “Media Making a Difference” on Sept. 18, click here.
What are your techniques for pursuing vertical markets?
If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to look at:
- Selling Direct Marketing: 7 Steps to Success
- Define Your Target Market as Tightly as Possible
- Making the Transition from Traditional Offset to High-Value Color Variable Printing
- How do I Market Better and Offer Marketing Services?
Susan Weiss, Manager, Xerox Worldwide Customer Business Development, is Xerox’s host for the 2013 Business Development Webinar Series.