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WEBSITE MARKETING

Vertical Marketing to Your Advantage
By: Developer Shed
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    2004-01-27

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    Vertical Marketing to Your Advantage
    by Sharon Housley

    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
    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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