Calling All Printers: Are Niche Verticals in Your Future?

February 26, 2014

Content Service Providers are all searching for new growth business opportunities. (FYI, I don’t like the title Marketing Service Provider, but that’s a topic for another blog.) I think there is a simple path that any company—regardless of size—can take to grow their respective business:  Vertical Niches. This is not a new thought process, but one that has been a time tested paradigm and has proven to be very successful for those that create a solid blueprint in specific niche markets. There is no magic or secret sauce to accomplish this. I believe there are some basic steps one should follow to achieve meaningful results. The most fundamental thought is learn everything you can about the niche you want to pursue.


Start subscribing to industry publications both on and offline, join the trade associations in the vertical, sponsor and attend their respective trade shows and conferences and most importantly network with the people who you meet. A critical component of this paradigm is don’t sell them anything. Just engage them in conversation. Ask them what they do and what some of their challenges are. Attend as many sessions as you can at these trade conferences. If you become learned in one or two niche verticals, you can master the lingo and speak knowledgeably about what you have learned. If you ask enough questions, often you are in a position to help them meet their needs and requirements. All this sounds so simple so why aren’t more organizations doing it. Pure naiveté in my opinion. They are so stuck in the old dogma of making as many cold telephone calls, which get stuck in voice mail, they get mired in frustration. There is nothing I have recommended that takes large investments of money, simply some investment of time.


However, if one is looking for a good professional resource, there is a place that you can turn to if you want some professional help. The Graphic Communication Institute at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA is running a workshop called “Grow Your Business with Niche  Market Verticals” March 26-28, 2014. This program is limited to 20 people to facilitate a very interactive learning experience. The first workshop in the ongoing series will deal with three growth oriented verticals that can be found all over the United States:  Non-Profit organizations, Travel and Leisure companies and Retailers. I have been in this business for over 40 years and even in my consulting practice I have specialized in specific verticals. I truly believe great opportunity awaits those who see Vertical Niches as the path to growth and profitability.

Try it you may like it!


Steven Schnoll is the managing director in the consulting firm of Schnoll Media Consulting. Steven has had notable experience in the past several years assisting non-profits and community based financial institutions realize significant revenue improvements through the use of innovative data driven marketing techniques. Simultaneously, through his constructive endeavors, has implemented cost effective processes to reduce costs.

Some of Steven's recent engagements include: Canon USA, Aflac, Printing Industries of America, Maine Credit Union League/Synergent, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Real Sourcing Network, News America Marketing and United Healthcare Workers 1199.

Schnoll has a BA degree from The George Washington University, an MBA from Rutgers University and has participated in the MIT Sloan School of Management Executive Leadership programs. Steven was inducted into the prestigious Ben Franklin Honor Society of the Printing Industries of America in 2008.

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