The Best-Kept Secret to Targeting a Vertical Market

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I’ve been writing about how to use targeted marketing to attract better clients and clone your best ones. One way to do this is by focusing on a vertical market. To recap, a vertical is simply a specific industry, like photographers. Yet there are different specialties in photography, from wedding photography, to food photography, and more. You could narrow the field and focus exclusively on wedding photographers. But here’s another way to look at a vertical market:

“A set of customers having the same product needs”

This means that bridal shops, florists, disc jockeys, caterers, and banquet facilities also fall into the same vertical as wedding photographers. This is important to consider when targeting a vertical, because you can focus on marketing to all the companies serving a common customer base. Focusing on a vertical is a double-edged sword, however, because your marketing message must be very specific in order to address their needs. If you’re going to provide marketing and advertising services like web design and search marketing, you must know: [1] If your target vertical advertises and [2] if so, why. What problem are they trying to solve by advertising? If you decided to target hospitals, what are some reasons a hospital would advertise? Figure that out then weave it into your marketing message. “We help hospitals attract more patients” is weak. Okay, it’s downright pathetic. I found more than a dozen specific reasons why hospitals advertise. Here are a few that stand out:
  1. To drive elective private-pay patients to a particular provider
  2. To encourage consumers to seek elective treatment for a condition they haven’t considered treating, or to consider their hospital for the treatment they have chosen
  3. Because differentiating themselves and attracting consumers as they move from one health plan or community to another is absolutely essential to survival
  4. Because consumers are empowered and have more flexibility in their plans to choose providers
  5. Because consumers facing more out-of-pocket expenses are financially motivated to make the most of their health care dollars and are shopping around for the best value
Those are their words, not mine—gleaned from various hospital marketing blogs and websites around the Internet. Let’s see if we can turn those words into a something we can use to market back to them:
We help hospitals attract patients who are facing more out-of-pocket expenses and are searching for a hospital or clinic to get the most out of their health care dollars. More and more hospitals are turning to online advertising because they know that consumers have more flexibility in their plans to choose providers, and that marketing to them is essential to their survival.
Add an introduction and strong call-to-action at the end, and you have a sales letter, telemarketing script, or some website copy. The secret to successfully penetrating a vertical market is to speak their language. Immerse yourself in their industry and you’ll become the expert they look to for proven solutions from someone who understands their industry.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Vertical Market Targeting

What is vertical market targeting and why is it important?

Vertical market targeting is a marketing strategy where businesses focus on a specific industry, sector, or niche market to deliver their products or services. It’s important because it allows businesses to specialize and tailor their offerings to meet the unique needs and preferences of a specific group of customers. This can lead to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately, higher sales and profits.

How does vertical targeting differ from horizontal targeting?

While vertical targeting focuses on a specific industry or niche, horizontal targeting aims at a broad range of industries. In horizontal targeting, the focus is on a product or service that can be used across various industries. Both strategies have their advantages and can be used depending on the business’s goals and resources.

How can I identify my vertical market?

Identifying your vertical market involves understanding your product or service and who it can best serve. This can be done through market research, customer feedback, and analyzing industry trends. Look for a sector where your offerings can solve a specific problem or meet a unique need.

What are the benefits of targeting a vertical market?

Targeting a vertical market allows businesses to become experts in a specific field, leading to a deeper understanding of customer needs and preferences. This can result in more effective marketing strategies, higher customer satisfaction, and increased loyalty. It can also reduce competition as the business is focusing on a more specific market.

How can I implement a vertical targeting strategy?

Implementing a vertical targeting strategy involves identifying your target market, understanding their needs and preferences, and tailoring your offerings to meet these needs. This can involve developing specialized products or services, creating targeted marketing campaigns, and building strong relationships with customers in the target market.

What are the challenges of vertical market targeting?

While vertical market targeting has many benefits, it also has challenges. These can include a smaller customer base, increased dependence on a single industry, and the need for specialized knowledge and resources. It’s important to carefully consider these challenges before deciding to target a vertical market.

Can vertical targeting be used in digital marketing?

Yes, vertical targeting can be very effective in digital marketing. It allows businesses to create targeted online content, ads, and social media campaigns that resonate with a specific audience. This can lead to higher engagement, conversion rates, and ROI.

How does vertical targeting relate to Google Analytics?

Google Analytics can be a valuable tool in vertical targeting. It can provide insights into the behavior and preferences of users in your target market, allowing you to tailor your online content and marketing strategies accordingly.

What is the role of vertical targeting in an AdWords campaign?

In an AdWords campaign, vertical targeting can help businesses reach a specific audience with their ads. By targeting a specific industry or niche, businesses can increase the relevance of their ads, leading to higher click-through rates and conversions.

Can vertical targeting be used in conjunction with other marketing strategies?

Yes, vertical targeting can be used in conjunction with other marketing strategies such as horizontal targeting, content marketing, SEO, and social media marketing. The key is to ensure that all strategies align with the business’s overall goals and target audience.

John TabitaJohn Tabita
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Former owner and partner of web firm Jenesis Technologies, John is currently Director of Digital Strategy at Haines Local Search, a company providing local search marketing solutions to SMBs, including print and Internet Yellow Pages, web design, and local SEO. When not working or spending time with his family, John offers great sales and marketing advice on his blog, Small Business Marketing Sucks. When not working or spending time with his family, John offers great sales and marketing advice on his blog, Small Business Marketing Sucks.

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