One strategy of running an agency is to specialize in a singular vertical.  Some advertisers, marketers and designers will cater to the pharmaceutical industry, lawyers or financial professionals.  Some PR firms work exclusively with manufacturers or politicians.  Within these verticals there are any number of related businesses.  These agencies will work with Insurance providers, Hospitals and Doctors; or Lawyers, Politicians and Lobbyists.  In this model, the agency can become a hub for clients and make valuable connections, on their behalf, with related businesses.  It is a strategy that for many agencies is very successful.

Another option is to offer a similar product across different types of businesses and take things learned from one and apply it to the other.  Working with a restaurant may not have much to do with retail, but both are in the business of customer loyalty.  Lawyers and Financial Professionals may not have all that much in common, but both struggle with rigid compliance guidelines and marketing restrictions.  Exposure to the problems a business faces in one vertical may provide a new way of looking at the problems a business faces in another vertical.

When we set out to create True Voice Media, we made a firm commitment to avoid specializing in any one vertical.  Our reasoning was that spending all of the time in one area of business creates a scenario in which the work begins to look and feel very similar.  Ultimately the specialization erects walls around the agency and the excitement of working on something brand new is lost.

While we have worked—and will continue to work—with businesses contained in a singular vertical, we rake great pride in the things we’ve learned from our breadth of experience.

The common thread

The companies we target have something in common, and it is not a specific industry vertical:

  • We seek to work with companies led by extraordinary people.
  • We look for change agents and visionaries.
  • We work with individuals in all levels of a company hierarchy.
  • We seek companies that see past the status quo, see past the problems of today and see just beyond the horizon to where they’re are going.
  • We work with companies that want to foster a culture of collaboration and participation.
  • We find companies interested in the opinions of their customers.
  • We look for organizations willing to adapt to external feedback.
  • We look for companies who embrace technology, rather than fear it.

These traits are not something that exist in a particular vertical but in a type of person or company culture.

How to describe that?

We enjoy networking.  We enjoy partnerships.
Often we are asked “Well how can we help YOU, what type of companies are you targeting?”
That question is difficult to answer because it’s any company, of any size.  We can help any kind of company, so long as they are open to change, willing to listen and ready to adapt to the changing world around them.  All we do is seek to understand what is happening and look for signs of what is coming next.  We do this not by analyzing technology, but by understanding people and what drives them to action, loyalty and engagement using the framework of changing technology to inform our recommendations.

What do you call that?

The Changing of the Guard

The old ways of describing businesses are difficult to apply in a world where everything has shifted to a more complete picture.
We can see the many faces of a brand throughout the paid, earned and owned web.
Companies are becoming more difficult to label.
We are now able to realize the complexity that makes up a person.

I don’t know what you would call our target customer, but we can identify them, and our goal is to help them dominate industries through honesty, openness, authenticity and unapologetic realness.

What can we call it when the target customer is bound, not by industry or need, but by the mindset?