Vertical Marketing - Definition & Examples

Vertical marketing is a type of marketing strategy that focuses on a specific audience vertical. Learn all about it in this article!


What is Vertical Marketing?

A vertical marketing strategy is a strategy where a company focuses its content and distribution on a specific segment of the audience. It is used when the majority of demand arises from a niche segment of the market. So the vertical marketing strategy, in this case, tries to only focus on that segment by creating a vertical marketing campaign.

The idea of vertical marketing is simple. The campaigns are designed to target a very niche audience. So more or less the strategy only focuses on customers that are the highest-fit type for a business. This highly targeted strategy helps companies induct customers easily into their lead funnels.

Vertical and Horizontal Market

A vertical market is a market where businesses target niche or specific groups of customers with very specific needs. In this case, a company can target a particular demographic, market group, or industry.

A vertical is an independent segment of a broad category group. For example, if broad categories are healthcare, software, finance, retail, etc, then verticals are insurance, real estate, enterprise tech, etc.

Generally, industries have several different target verticals. These verticals might even have potential overlaps.

The opposite of a vertical market is a horizontal market. A horizontal market is when a product or service is appealing to a broad range of customers in different demographics and different sectors of the economy.

So unlike the vertical marketing strategy, horizontal marketing campaigns target a broad audience.

How to create a Vertical Marketing Campaign?

Any vertical marketing campaign is designed to cater to a particular vertical of audience. So keeping that in mind, here are the steps to create a proper vertical marketing campaign.

1. Selecting a vertical

The first step to building the campaign is selecting the correct vertical to target. This process will entail all the steps needed to identify different verticals, define criteria for the vertical, and then select the vertical that best matched the business at hand.

You can do this by asking yourself the following questions:

  1. Who are your target customers and clients?
  2. What are the common characteristics of your clients?
  3. Which kind of customers is easiest to sell?

Apart from these questions, you can focus on 3 main parameters to decide your target vertical.

  1. Market potential - making sure the chosen niche has enough potential leads to fill your pipeline.
  2. Your team's expertise in that vertical - making sure you are able to provide support to your customers.
  3. Profit margin - analyzing the supposed outputs that can be gained.

2. Developing a strategy

Now that you have your chosen vertical, the next step is to develop a strategy to market your product. You can do this by creating relevant and appealing content that targets your niche customers perfectly.

But, what kind of content should one create? Well, that depends on your audience. Before you start creating a content marketing plan, you’ll first have to understand more about your audience.

  1. Research - The first step is to know your customer. So you’ll have to research what kind of content resonated with them. Plus understanding their pain points and tailoring your overall brand messaging will help you with customer acquisition and retention.
  2. Explore different channels - The idea here is to go where your customers are. You can do this through social media, blog posts, joining relevant forum sites - essentially any platform that your customers frequent.

Now that you have done your research and identified all the target channels, the next step is to create content.

For this, you can start writing blog posts, creating helpful social media posts, infographics, case studies, news articles, etc. You can also work on creating a testimonials page to show your future customers how your present customers are benefited from your product.

3. Distribution

Now, here comes the actual marketing part. With the resourceful content in mind, you’ll need to start distributing on relevant channels. You can share your contact through your website, newsletters, social media, and other such campaigns.

You can also conduct webinars, create strategies to effectively share your contact on a periodic basis, and personalize your overall marketing.

Careers in Vertical Marketing?

Implementing a strong vertical marketing campaign requires a variety of skill sets. Firstly, you’ll need market researchers to conduct thorough research about your target audience. You’ll also need product designers to design your website, copywriters to write content, social media marketing experts to drive the social media campaign, among other professionals.

Example of Vertical Marketing

Let’s take an example of a retail store. You can see both horizontal and vertical market examples here. A generic store would sell all kinds of different products that have broad appeal. So this would be an example of horizontal marketing.

On the other hand, if a store only sells dietary, vegan snacks and desserts, they are targeting a very specific base of audience. Since the focus is on the health-conscious vertical of consumers, this would be an example of a vertical market.

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