Is it always worthwhile to try to appeal to everyone? Perhaps you’ve found your business struggling to be all things to all people and are trying to find a new focus. Vertical marketing might be what you’re looking for.
A vertical marketing strategy focuses on smaller segments of the market and could allow your business to increase its growth and popularity in your area of expertise. Keep reading to learn how to leverage this marketing strategy.
What Is Vertical Marketing?
Vertical marketing refers to the idea of focusing on a relatively small, niche industry. This “vertical” or industry is made up of all of the customers, experts, businesses, and key individuals that all work in a closely related niche.
If you are marketing toward a specific niche of the overall market, you can imagine going deep into that area. You’ll know the specifics of the industry, the terminology, the key players. You’ll go vertical, or deep in one area.
This is contrasted with more traditional “horizontal” marketing which tries to sell to the broadest section of the market as possible. You can think of this as going wide by not as deep. In horizontal marketing, you try to connect with as many kinds of people as possible.
It makes a certain amount of sense—you want to sell as much of your product or service as possible. But the problem is that not everyone is the same, so your marketing and your actual products or services can’t be too specialised.
Vertical marketing or niche marketing takes this into account and focuses on becoming very familiar with a certain market segment.
Some examples of vertical markets you may want to enter include manufacturing, education, healthcare, food and beverage, banking, insurance, fossil fuels, information and technology, and so forth.
A vertical marketing campaign in the healthcare industry might focus on selling CAT scan machines to hospitals. It’s very targeted.
On the other hand, a horizontal marketing strategy of selling decorative art might broadly target any commercial business, perhaps including hospitals. It’s a very different approach.
The Benefits of Vertical Marketing
Targeting a smaller niche market has several advantages over a broader strategy. It can allow a business a better chance of becoming an industry leader since there are fewer competitors in each vertical or niche.
Vertical marketing allows your business to become experts in that area and learn technical jargon and operational specifics so that you’re better equipped to sell to business in that niche.
This targeted approach is more economical, too. Your marketing dollars go further when it’s a smaller target population, which is also likely to actually make a purchase.
Businesses who embrace vertical marketing have a much better rate of sales per customer. This means that customers in the targeted vertical are more likely to be repeat buyers from a particular company.
Once they start to buy, they tend to continue. Your business could even become an integral part of your client’s business operations after a certain point.
You are not limited to one industry, either. Once you have mastered one vertical, move right on to the next if your money and time permit this. The different niches will require unique marketing specialized for each one.
You likely will have a different suite of products and services you’re selling to each, but the principles are the same no matter how many industries you expand to serve.
Who Should Use It?
There are a few main groups of businesses that should prioritise vertical marketing. The first is businesses that are already making a very specialised product, such as healthcare or manufacturing equipment.
They wouldn’t need to market to the whole population because most of their advertising dollars would go to waste on people who wouldn’t have any interest in their products.
Another group of businesses that should consider using vertical marketing are businesses that have tried appealing to the whole market without much success.
If you’ve made every attempt and the product still isn’t resonating with the public, there comes a time to switch strategies. There could be a certain segment of the population or a certain industry that is interested in your product, and you should focus all your attention there, instead of trying to market to everyone.
Finally, if you have a deep appreciation and knowledge for a certain vertical already, it might be worthwhile to capitalise on that interest and expertise to marketing to that group.
What Steps Can You Take To Start?
One of the best things you can do to start the process is to visit our website and get more information about our marketing services. We offer mobile services, website development, and e-commerce solutions that will amplify your vertical marketing to new levels.
On your own, though, there are also some important steps to take.
Do Your Research
Since the vertical market is all about knowing your customers’ industry in-depth, you’ll need to start by doing a lot of research. Read about the industry and what trends and issues they’re having right now.
Find out what the most common materials they use are, and what their buying habits are. Try to learn all of the industry-specific terminologies so can you converse more easily. Even try to learn the particular culture and personality of the industry.
All of this information will help to guide your marketing and advertising (and even production) process.
Organise Data by Creating Personas
A helpful tool as you do your research into the people in the industry is to create personas, or archetypes, of typical consumers in the vertical. Perhaps you’ve learned that there are three main types of people you encounter in this field.
You can write up generic biographies of each persona and use those to guide your interactions with them. For example, perhaps you’re marketing to the legal industry and find that most first-year lawyers share certain characteristics.
You want to show how they think, what motivates them, what their goals and habits are, and their skills and interests.
Organise your data about this group in a single, representative biography or persona.
In this example, do the same thing for each identifiable persona you encounter. Perhaps, legal professors, judges, and experienced lawyers all have their own characteristics. Write personas for each.
Create Specialised Content
To attract the attention of the vertical you are targeting and to show that you are indeed someone inside their industry, you’ll need to show that you understand their work.
You can do this by creating and sharing specialised content. This can be done in several different ways. Your website needs to be the basis for your strategy and show that you know what you’re talking about.
Likely you’ll want a blog with knowledgeable posts about the industry. These can include references and links to your company’s website, of course.
Creating webinars and eBooks are an even better way to show that you’re a knowledgeable insider. Do meticulous research and present yourself as an expert, which you should be after enough research.
The idea here is that you become a source of information for the industry that you are targeting. You want to become a part of their day-to-day operations in a way that leads to a close relationship and more sales.
Share Customer Testimonials
Like most marketing strategies, it is helpful to share customers’ reviews of working with you. Everyone wants to be reassured that it was a good experience doing business with a particular company.
In the case of vertical marketing, this is even more true because the customer wants to see that you really understand their specific, unique needs in their industry. These can go directly on your website, and, of course, on all your social media platforms.
Use Social Media
Hopefully, in 2020, this is a given. You’ll need a social media presence for most marketing campaigns today. This is a place to keep potential customers aware of your brand and up-to-date on the industry itself.
You want your name visible as much as possible, and social media is a great way to do this and have direct contact with your customers. You can also link directly back to your website and services for customers’ convenience.
To be seen as experts in your chosen vertical market, you’ll need to have a robust social media presence in that particular field.
Get Started Today
It sometimes pays to focus your efforts on a specific niche. If your business can benefit from becoming more efficient and targeted in its marketing, consider using a vertical marketing strategy.
If you are ready to get started with your new vertical marketing strategy, please contact us today. We offer the expertise and tools to give you the best possible chance for success.
The vertical marketing strategy requires you to have a deep understanding of the niche you are targeting. You’ll have to do the work upfront to be ready to start this strategy.
Once you have the knowledge of the industry itself, we help you leverage this knowledge into an effective vertical marketing campaign!