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Vertical Markets and Red Cars

By Bill Farquhars… on August 28, 2019

Imagine driving down the road and someone in the back seat says, “Wow, there sure are a lot of red cars on this highway.” For the rest of the day, you’d probably pay special attention to every red car you see, as if they didn’t exist before it was mentioned.

The same can be said, nay, needs to be said about verticals.

Information comes at us all day long. News in the form of papers like the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, TVs set to CNN or CNBC, and the endless crawl at the bottom of the channel you are watching throws information your way like cars on a highway. Red cars.

Your job is to notice the red cars.

A college president is interviewed on TV. She is extolling the virtues of higher education and grousing about the fact that fewer high school seniors are going to college.

Red car.

An ad in the local paper announcing an upcoming art fair sponsored by your bank catches your eye as you flip through the pages.

Red car.

You hear a rumor that a nearby hospital is opening a new cancer treatment center.

Red car.

Applications for inkjet printing do not have flags on them. No one is taking a yellow highlighter to the newspaper prior to your reading it. The newscaster isn’t starting a relevant story with, “And this one goes out to you, Canon inkjet printers ....” It’s up to you to pay attention.

A subscription to the Wall Street Journal (a must, in our opinion) costs $45 a month.

The digital version of the New York Times is $15 a month.

TV is anywhere between the cost of an HDTV antenna and “We’re paying WHAT for cable?”

Gossip is free.

So, too, is paying attention. Be on the lookout for red cars. They are everywhere. The difference between gaining an appointment with a decision-maker and leaving yet another voice mail message comes down to that seemingly innocuous new piece you saw.

Once you have identified the vertical markets best suited for you, watch for anything that keeps you up on their world. It matters. A lot. Your goal is to be a subject matter expert and demonstrate your knowledge of the challenges they face.

It differentiates.

It earns you credibility.

It eliminates the price objection as you are now solving problems.

And it’s all because you paid attention.

Vroom, vroom.


Bill Farquharson and Kelly Mallozzi have sold digital print themselves and create a lot of content around the subject.  Their book, Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing is available on Amazon. Bill Farquharson can be found at and Kelly Mallozzi is reachable through