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Vertical Marketing to Your Advantage
by Sharon Housley

Vertical Marketing to Your Advantage

What is vertical marketing? Simply put vertical marketing is promotion targeted at a specific industry. The benefits of vertical marketing are immense. Vertical marketing can open new doors and touch niche markets, where there maybe little competition. Often niche markets are ignored by large companies. A creative entrepenaur and marketer may find it easier to establish brand recognition in a specific industry. In addition, customers are frequently willing to pay a little more for an industry specific product. Customers also appreciate the unique benefits they experience with the more personalized customer support of the smaller company.

Customers welcome the opportunity to purchase from a company familiar with their industry and needs. Industry professionals also tend to listen to their peers, and a recommendation or endorsement can help spread a products popularity within a specific market or industry segment.

With a little forethought, minor changes to a basic press release can change the focus, and target it to a specific industry. Trade publications are also more likely to give ink to an application, that targets the magazines focus. There are numerous link opportunities, if you are able to illustrate why your application appeals to a specific industry, by targeting traditional marketing methods at specific industries and niche markets.

While some products have an obvious vertical target market, some general products can be effectively targeted at specific industries or verticals, with just a little creativity.

Software is an excellent example of a product that lends itself to vertical marketing. An example of vertical software is MSA Herp. MSA Herp is herpetology software, which catalogs the eating and mating habits of snakes and lizards. Obvious markets include pet stores, zoos and state parks, which obviously satisfies a very specific audience and does not necessarily have mass appeal. By catering to specific audiences this program has become a clear leader in a very specific field. Believe it or not, this can be done with "general" applications as well. Software with broad appeal can be targeted at specific audiences or verticals. An HTML editor can easily be targeted at the education market, or a general accounting program can be targeted at a specific industry like retail stores or law offices.

Frequently minor code changes and the use of programming tricks like "conditional compiles" can create an application that caters to a specific market. The change could be in terminology, or the graphical presentation of the program. The idea is to make an application that is unique or beneficial to a specific group of people. If you can't think of a niche, create one. Take a look at the type of customers that you sell to, pick a handful and ask them what they use your application for. Their answers may surprise you. By talking to existing customers, you can extract a profile of a user, and determine ways to reach potential customers that had not previously been considered.

In order to effectively target vertical markets, often all that is required are changes to ad-copy and presentation. Pursue link exchanges and directory listings. Vertical.net and Global Software Solutions are both industry specific virtual communities through which you can promote your products. Consider becoming active in online communities that cater to your audience or even creating one if your research indicates a strong enough user base. Consider targeting web pages at specific industries; offer industry groups promotional specials or discounts. Provide white papers, customer profiles or endorsements that detail how applications can be used in a specific industry. Explain how the product will solve a specific problem or save time, in a specific industry. By providing a real world solution to a real world problem, customers are able to see how specific products can resolve their day to day problems.

Resources: http://www.globalsoftwaresolutions.net http://www.vertical.net

white paper samples http://www.notepager.com/whitepapers.htm

About the Author: Sharon Housley manages marketing for NotePage, Inc. http://www.notepage.net a company specializing in alphanumeric paging, SMS and wireless messaging software solutions. Other sites by Sharon can be found at http://www.softwaremarketingresource.com , and http://www.messaging-software.net

About the author: Sharon Housley manages marketing for NotePage, Inc. http://www.notepage.net a company specializing in alphanumeric paging, SMS and wireless messaging software solutions. Other sites by Sharon can be found at http://www.softwaremarketingresource.com , and http://www.messaging-software.net

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