Over the 15 years that we have been helping tech businesses with marketing content, vertical marketing is a theme that comes and goes regularly. However, marketing is only one part of a vertical strategy that needs to involve the entire organisation.
Vertical marketing allows traditionally horizontally-focused technology vendors to put their products into the context and requirements of their customers. They can demonstrate how their services can help business solve challenges that are specific to their sector. This could include the use of the internet of things (IoT) to improve manufacturing processes or how tablets can improve the customer experience for bricks and mortar retailers.
Typical outputs include use cases, white papers and a blog program, which show how the technology can be used to solve certain business challenges. These content assets should typically be put together with the help of the pre-sales and consultancy teams, who have experience in selling into industries.
Use cases can be based on real customer examples, which makes it a useful way of describing interesting scenarios, where the customer doesn’t want to be identified. This type of material is valuable in sales engagements, where they can easily be inserted into a customised sales presentation.
Targeting new prospects
For marketing, this vertical content can be used to target new prospects by addressing line of business owners instead of the network or IT manager. Vertical content allows the vendor to speak to them in their own language and show them how IT can help solve their challenges. And with IT purchasing decisions, particularly with cloud services, frequently bypassing the IT department, this engagement is a vital part of driving future sales.
However, marketing only plays one role in a vertical industry strategy. To be successful, the vertical strategy also needs to encompass a wide range of functions including product development, sales, pre-sales, press relations, communications, business development and advertising. This ensures that if your marketing content is successful in attracting new prospects, the sales team are also able demonstrate their own vertical expertise when engaging with them – and have a consistent message.
And of course, the more successful your vertical marketing strategy is the more examples you will have within that specific sector – and this will help drive further engagement. And more fundamentally will help you develop products or service wraparound that increasingly meet the vertical’s needs.
We have worked on a range of vertical materials, recent examples include an ebook on smart manufacturing for Orange Business Services and a paper on data quality for governments and airlines for SITA.