When Your Niche is at Risk: The 'Diversify or Double Down?' Dilemma with David Poteet

What do you do when the very field you've dedicated decades to, mastered, and carved out a specialized niche in, goes into decline, jeopardizing both your and your employees' livelihood?

This is no hypothetical scenario but the harsh reality that confronted David Poteet, the founder of New City, a firm acclaimed for its higher education web design expertise. A creeping decline in higher education enrollments was eroding the very foundation his business was built on.

After a test run into government contracting, David chose to defy the odds. He refused to let an evolving landscape dictate his company's fate. Instead, he seized this challenge as an opportunity to evolve, identifying a potential solution to a crucial pain point that many didn't even realize existed. 

In a surprising discovery, David found that there was a lack of cohesion between the website/marketing teams and the enrollment strategy teams within higher education institutions. He noticed that these departments, though interrelated, were operating in silos. Seizing this opportunity, David decided to extend New City's services to include web design/marketing and strategic enrollment management- creating a more unified and effective approach within these higher education institutions.

This isn't a story of survival. It's an inspiring tale of reinvention, resilience, and the audacious decision to transform challenge into opportunity. If you're an agency owner grappling with a niche that's losing its luster, becoming commoditized, or teetering on the edge of relevance, David's journey may offer the beacon of hope and direction you need.

Join Corey and David on Vertical Go-To-Market as they discuss:

  • The success story of New City's establishment in higher education digital marketing in the early 90’s to now.
  • David's valuable insights into managing the politics and varying priorities within higher education institutions.
  • How New City's team strives to understand their clients' world and benchmarks for success.
  • Their exploration into government contracting, a business shift that occurred during the pandemic as a result of the changing higher-ed marketing landscape .
  • Reflections on the changing landscape of higher education amidst challenges and demographic shifts.
  • Why, in an uncertain market, David ultimately decided to double down in his niche, rather than pivot and make a new shift altogether.

Key Takeaways for the Higher Education Vertical:

  • Focus on a specific business vertical to improve marketing strategies, generate qualified leads, and achieve long-term growth.
  • Build long-term relationships with clients and aim to become an approved vendor within specific university systems.
  • Hiring team members with higher education backgrounds brings valuable empathy and firsthand knowledge.
  • Establish credibility by showcasing expertise and understanding clients' pain points, and then use those pain points to innovate service/product offerings to specialize further.
  • Stay innovative and find the right balance between specialization and new challenges to thrive in the higher education industry.  

Join us as we discuss healthcare marketing and verticalized agencies as a whole.

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