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Lots of our customers have come to us after reading our most recent report, To Be or Not To Be an ISV?, and are saying, “we agree that we need to focus on one or more verticals, but which ones?” It sounds like a simple question, but is it? Do you go for ones you are good at? Ones that are easy? Ones that are really big? Traditional or not? How do you decide?

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The most successful of our customers take a very focused approach to answer this question. It’s an important decision that requires some work, but it’s very possible to do a compact and clear analysis to come up with one or more verticals on which to focus, and be all but certain they are right for you.

Whether you decide to embark on this yourself, or to seek help from an outside party, here are the key questions we think should be answered:

  • What are the top verticals in my portfolio by merchant count and by business volume?
  • What verticals am I selling the most of (this may be different from my overall portfolio due to changes over time)?
  • Which verticals make me the most money?
  • In which verticals do I have core competencies and/or competitive advantage?
  • What’s a really good opportunity for me based on my competencies and advantage, the size of the segment, competition, and potential margin?
  • What products do I need to maximize that opportunity? What compelling value propositions can I offer?
  • What channels do I need to penetrate that opportunity? How can I activate those channels?
  • What partners can I enlist? What’s in it for them?
  • What competitors will I have? How can I differentiate my offerings from theirs?

I hope this is helpful as you work to refine your market focus. If you have questions, please feel free to email me, or we can set up a call. We can discuss ideas, I can answer questions, or if you are interested, we could frame up a project where the Double Diamond Group experts can help you answer these questions and get your strategy jump-started.

Contact The Author

Todd Ablowitz

President of Double Diamond Group


(303) 916-9997

About Double Diamond Group

Denver-based Double Diamond Group LLC provides expert consulting services to the global electronic payments industry. Founded by industry veteran Todd Ablowitz, a former ViVOtech and First Data senior executive, Double Diamond Group helps payments industry clients solve their most critical business challenges with a unique blend of experience, connections and know-how. From venerable leaders to promising start-ups, Double Diamond Group works with companies of all sizes from around the world, including processors, acquirers, ISOs, agents, vendors, suppliers, service providers and merchants.