Market Positioning and “18 Fishing Poles”
Having “18 fishing poles in the water,” she suggests, leads to a lot of “unfocused work for little return . . . We spend all of our time running up and down the bank checking to see if something worked or whether we need to rebait the system.”
I’ve said it before: In today’s marketing world, narrow but deep, not broad but shallow wins the day. For most small- to mid-sized businesses, better sales performance means conquering one vertical or market at a time, rather than trying to “dip” into a dozen different markets at once.
At the same time, sometimes a net is better than a pole. We’ve discovered over the years that there’s frequently a lot of overlap between markets/verticals in terms of process and need. The terminologies are different, the products they sell are different, but the underlying need to help them connect with their clients and prospects is the same.
Thus, sometimes it’s okay to use a net to cover more than one overlapping vertical, instead of trying to catch them one pole at a time.
But when in doubt, stick with one market, dominate it, find the next one, wash, rinse, repeat.