September 20, 2017

Reader feedback on Two two tales of Alice

Reader Fedor S. Lavrentyev wrote in with some insightful commentary on yesterday’s “Two tales of Alice” email (shared with permission, lightly edited for clarity; English is not his first language!):

Hi Jonathan,

Cool tales, thanks. I have one more example of comparison.

Last week I had a pub talk with my ex-workmate who is CMO somewhere now. We talked about horizontal vs vertical positioning, and he presented me a killer argument.

He told me if I position myself in a vertical niche, my potential contacts are guys from profit centers like Product, Sales or Marketing. Those folks are overly concerned about growing the LTV and revenue, would more likely agree to run risky experiments, and often tend to undervalue their own IT staff. So it would be quite easy to take their attention by showing them several proofed cases with gorgeous ROI, especially if it doesn’t lead to changing major business processes.

At the opposite side, if I position myself in a horizontal niche, my contacts are CTOs, CIOs and heads of technical departments. Those folks have impressive technical background and strong vision how to do their work. So if I went and told them “I know how you can sell more: You need to replace your old crappy X tech with brand new Y tech, and work a bit harder”, they would hate me, and accept my services only if they’re desperate and strongly pushed by CEO.

Thereby, in a vertical niche I will have a more friendly appointment by default.



PS. I apologize for my bad English.

Thanks for sharing, Fedor! You are 100% correct about the type of person you end up selling to with the two different types of specialization.