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Are Industry-Specific Marketing Verticals Right for You?

By Bryan CoxMar 4, 2014

marketing verticals This year is all about personalization—creating a welcoming, online environment tailored to exactly what visitors need. This customization can come in the form of homepage messaging, content, images and calls to action. While those are areas that can be personalized, how you personalize will take a little more thought. Here, we discuss the idea of personalizing your site by the industries you serve. 

While there are several pros to injecting industry specific information into your site, there are some cons, as well. That's why there are important factors to ask yourself before investing in marketing verticals for your website. 

In order to make sure everyone is on the same page, let’s be clear: Vertical marketing is not a new idea, but the recent lengths companies are going to target specific verticals is reaching new heights. Vertical marketing is described as the attempt by companies to make highly specialized products that appeal to a narrow target market or demographic. If done correctly, industry-specific content and marketing verticals can increase conversion rates and sales.

The Pros of Marketing Verticals

The pros to vertical-specific marketing are straight forward. When a buyer can easily see your company services his or her specific industry, a level of trust and comfort is created leading to a more likely first step toward conversion. By showcasing your expertise in certain industries then aligning your website messaging and marketing efforts toward a vertical, you can get your foot in the door in niche markets.

Concrete benefits of a vertical marketing strategy often include less competition, better brand recognition and more applicable case studies. These strategies can also become a key differentiator when a potential customer is choosing between multiple companies. Customers in today's market, especially in the B2B realm, want a provider that knows and understands their specific challenges and can write and market them in a sophisticated manner. A surface understanding of your customers' services and features just won't cut it anymore. 

The Cons of Marketing Verticals

If a buyer sees your company has content geared toward specific verticals, but their company is not represented in that messaging, it can alienate searchers and decrease the likelihood of conversion. In an attempt to avoid this issue, many companies will use a generic section titled “Other Industries.” Unfortunately, referring to a potential client as "other" will not help cultivate a welcoming user experience. 

It's important not to assume all clients will use your services or products the same way; understand solutions will change from vertical to vertical. You must determine if your organization has the resources and industry knowledge to properly serve a specific vertical.

Is It Right For You?

It can be difficult to determine if making the leap to vertical-specific content is the right move for your company. There are a few areas of your business you should analyze to determine if vertical marketing will help or hurt your business:

  1. What marketing verticals make up the largest percentage of your business? This is the first step in determining if you should target your messaging and, if so, to whom. If there are three to four main verticals that jump out immediately and make up large percentages of your business, then it's logical to move your messaging in that direction.

    However, if your clients are spread across a number of verticals, this does not necessarily mean you should simply stick to the status quo. While this may be best for your brand, Content Marketing Institute suggests you may have better luck identifying target audiences to market to. Take the time to decide which route will ultimately be best for your company. 
  2. Are you targeting based on want? It is natural to want to target a specific type of client. However, if you are spending all of your time, energy and resources focused on one vertical, you may be missing dozens of qualified customers. Decide if this specific niche provides you enough revenue to cover your costs (and provide some profit) or if you will need to take on less targeted work until you build up to your desired audience. 
  3. Did you do your homework? Speak with current clients to understand why they purchased and continue to use your products or services. The better your company understands its customers, the better it will be able to optimize its marketing in the future.

While it may be enticing to jump directly to the decision that personalized, vertical-driven messaging is the right move, your business will see the greatest benefit once the correct questions have been asked and your business has been properly analyzed.

Does your brand market to verticals? Why or why not? Share with us in the comment section below!

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