Vertical Markets: Knowing Your Customers and Their Needs
A vertical market is a group of similar businesses that have a common set of needs for products and services. Customers in the same vertical market have the same types of applications, and they often have the same business issues.
Getting to know a vertical market helps you sell because you:
- Understand your customers’ business
- Know what products and services they use
- Can speak their language
- Can emphasize the benefits that are important to their business
The more you understand the concerns and issues of these vertical markets, the more credibility you will have with your customers because you’ll be “speaking their language”. You’ll be in a better position to recommend offerings that address their business needs. Start by focusing on the top two or three vertical markets that your company serves.
The Health Care Example
Let’s use health care as an example. Health care industry sectors have a need for every kind of print related product. The sales, marketing, and communication needs drive many high value applications. The core focus of these organizations is varied including: lead generation, customer retention, education, employee training, publications, regulatory disclosure, and compliance.
Key business issues in health care:
- The “business” of health care is being scrutinized for ways to optimize existing processes
- Solo and small group practices provide growth opportunities for physician practice management systems
- Regional health networks are emerging
- Increasing cost of health care; overall spending on the rise
- Labor shortages in nursing, pharmacy, and other critical care specialties
- Increasing consumer/patient expectations
- Regulatory compliance
- Need for security and privacy
- Litigation and oversight concerns
- Increased requirements for documents
- Increasingly focused on cost reduction
- Explosive growth in patient data to manage
Key applications in health care:
- Direct mail: post cards, reminder notices, fundraising, events, promotions etc.scorecards
- Hospital brochures, capabilities brochures
- Booklets: training manuals and job aids
- Posters: Education, compliance
- ID Cards
- Directories – updates and summaries connected to web content
- Enrollment kits
- Forms/letters: Compliance, education, admissions, discharge instructions
- Labels: Records management, education, compliance
- Dietary Card
- Patient Care Form
- Illness Education Brochure
- Reminder cards/magnets
When you understand your customers’ business issues and print applications, you will be able to position your offering as a solution to their problems. And as you help solve their problems, you’ll build credibility.
Medical services companies are looking for better ways to manage printed materials and other branded merchandise. ABC Chiropractic experienced a 25% greater client acquisition rate than expected with their most recent marketing campaign, using our integrated print and promotional items. How do you think these services could impact your operation?
What are the benefits to focusing on Vertical Markets?
You will eventually become experienced in those area; you can then leverage your knowledge when speaking with other customers in those markets.
You will be able to more quickly develop success stores.
You will have a sharper and more relevant talk track that will gain the customer’s interest and help you win business and become a strategic partner.