A vertical strategy can be a great way to reach a specific customer segment and create awareness of your product, but what is it and how should you go about creating one?
What is a vertical strategy?
A vertical strategy focuses solely on the customer. This means that you’ve identified a specific niche market, industry, location, or even customer persona that you feel has a great need or use for your product, and you want to speak to this segment specifically. The strategy that you develop for marketing to this segment is your vertical marketing strategy.
How should you go about creating one?
Understanding your target market and what they will respond to is one of the most important aspects of creating your vertical strategy. Once you identify what audience you are trying to reach, an important first step is to develop specific vertical messaging that will assist you in communicating with this segment. When developing your vertical messaging, the key is to determine what the pain points are for your audience, and describe how your product solves these problems for them. The next step is to determine what channels are most appropriate to leverage in your marketing mix. When determining what channels will be a part of your strategy, think about where your audience spends their time, and how you can best target them in these locations. Whether through social media ads, paid search, email campaigns or even more traditional channels such as direct mail, ask yourself how you can reach them. If you can’t easily target them or don’t have the means to access them, then choose another channel for your strategy.
Components of a vertical strategy
When crafting your strategy, you may find it useful to lay out each channel in a comprehensive document, outlining the details of how you will target your audience via each channel. For example, you could lay out your strategy for each channel as follows:
- Summary of your strategy for this channel
- How you will target your audience through this channel
- What copy and messaging you will use
- Ideas for creative concepts
- How you will measure success of this channel
Once you have each strategy defined for each channel in your marketing mix, you are ready to implement your strategy. As a bonus, the document you develop for your first vertical strategy can then be used as a template for building out future verticals.
While a vertical strategy speaks to a smaller population than through horizontal marketing, you will be able to provide substantial value for a customer group, and there may be less competition when implementing a vertical strategy. Determining whether or not a vertical strategy is right for a business depends on the product and industry, however, it can be a great way to grow a customer base and position yourself as an expert in a particular area.