3 Takeaways Ep. 62 - Don’t Lose Focus w/Horizontal Positioning

In this three takeaways, we lay out 3 examples of how agencies with a horizontal positioning that targets multiple verticals, can achieve better prospecting focus and drive more new business, 

Hey, welcome to “3 Takeaways”, your agency new business video series where we focus on one new business category and give you three takeaways to help improve your new business program. 

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This is our final episode of 2020, and I want to talk about something a lot of agencies struggle with as they pursue new business-that is how to define your agency and your prospects when you go after multiple verticals.

This should help as you plan for 2021, but it really applies any time.  

Having a horizontal positioning, where you go after many different verticals can absolutely work, and we’ve talked about that in past episodes, but without some definition, agencies can struggle with their prospecting focus.

And especially through Covid, I know a lot of firms took what they could to keep things going. 

If you are going after multiple verticals, and your positioning is essentially, we’re a full-service agency that does great work, or digital firm that does great work, it will be continually harder to break through effectively. 

It may be working for you now, and far be it from me to then say you should do it differently, but more focus will bring you better results, in our experience

Even with that horizontal positioning, you need to create some kind of focus.  

So for your three takeaways, I’ll explain and lay out 3 examples of how to achieve that focus with horizontal positioning 

Your first takeaway is this:

Look at current clients and see if you can apply a broad category focus.  

Are there client continuities, where you could apply a focus like healthy lifestyles, for example. 

That could include a broad swath of verticals and companies-clothing, automotive, food, beverage-the list goes on. 

And if you have work to show within a broad category like this, you should consider it. 

That way you’re still able to go broad and have a diverse client portfolio, but also a stronger position of authority to differentiate yourself from your competition and to your prospects.  

Your second takeaway

Glocal/regional in your focus. 

While I ultimately think you need some kind of broad category focus, positioning yourself as in your prospect’s backyard, coupled with your strength of service can work well across many verticals, especially if you have work to show there. 

We’ve had our own clients use this strategy with success. 

And your third takeaway:

Go the hybrid route and split your prospecting activity between a broad category focus and a local/regional focus. 

This one may seem like I’m cheating, but it’s interesting how some firms don’t think to do this in a meaningful way. 

It won’t apply to all of you watching, because you often “own” your backyard-you’ve tapped it out, and your goal is to expand beyond your city or state. 

Fair enough, but if not, give yourself as much opportunity as possible by employing this hybrid approach. 

Split your list evenly for example, and if one or the other is delivering better success, dial up or down the other.

Thanks for watching 3 Takeaways-lots of new business content on our resources page at the URL below-we’re here to help you drive new business if you need it at rswus.com. 

3 Takeaways Ep. 62 - Don’t Lose Focus w/Horizontal Positioning

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I'm the VP of Sales at RSW/US. We specialize in working with services firms to help drive and close new business-if you need help with that, email me at lee@rswus.com. What I actually do: drive sales efforts to bring ad agencies and services firms on board with RSW, create content around successful new business tactics and help drive RSW/US marketing objectives, including social media channels, blog content, webinars, video and speaking engagements. Dig it.