Use vertical marketing to generate more sales-ready leads
Imagine that you have a business problem and are evaluating companies to help you solve it. You can choose a generalist that claims to do everything for every scenario or an expert that focuses on solving exactly the kind of problem you have, for companies just like yours, with a track record of success.
I’ll bet you pick the expert, which demonstrates the advantage of vertical or niche marketing.
Whether you like it or not, your company is probably perceived by prospects as one of a large group of possible suppliers, perhaps one of thousands. This makes it a struggle to break through the noise. Prospects will find it difficult to determine whether your company may be their best choice.
The answer is to position and communicate your company’s expertise within particular verticals or niches. Rather than try to market to the whole world, pick particular industries, applications, geographies or companies of enough size that you are best suited to serve–then focus your marketing.
Get familiar with your market
Find out where decision-makers, recommenders and influencers from these companies hang out. What trade shows or conferences do they attend? What associations do they belong to? What newsletters or magazines do they read? What websites do they visit? Use what you learn to determine the best lists, databases and marketing tactics for delivering your lead generation messages to these key people.
Speak directly to your market’s needs
Next, create one-to-many marketing messages that look like one-to-one messages, and sales materials that directly address the vertical or niches you intend to pursue. Mention the specific problems and business pains they face. Use lots of key words and images in your materials to let these prospects know you are speaking directly to them. Even your slogan should speak to your target market. Examples include: “Specializing in accounting services for small and midsize retailers in the greater Chicago area;” “Software Solutions for the Restaurant Industry;” “The Healthcare Supply Chain Experts;” and “Retail Displays for the Wine and Beverage Industry.”
Use a variety of offers
Be sure to include lots of offers in your marketing materials, designed to elicit a response and start the sales process. Educational offers such as how-to guides, buying guides, white papers, case studies and invitations to events on relevant subjects are the basic tools for eliciting responses from prospects.
Consider multiple stages of the buying process
Consider tailoring your lead generation offers to appeal to people at different stages of the buying cycle. This could mean offering a white paper or executive information kit for prospects who are early in the process vs. a seminar invitation for those in the middle and a free consultation or needs assessment for those who are closer to being ready to buy.
Demonstrate your niche expertise
Leverage your certifications and other credentials, your client list and case studies that specifically address your vertical or niche market prospect’s industries or applications. And liberally season all your marketing and sales materials with testimonial quotes from happy customers in specific situations your prospect faces.
Vertical marketing will help your company be perceived as the right solution that your prospects need. The result will be a competitive advantage and more sales.