Vertical Markets

I was recently at a power breakfast that was hosted by Delaware’s Chamber of Commerce for Greater Milford, of which we are a member. Following a great presentation on Social Networking held by Dale Carnegie Training, we had the opportunity to network and socialize. I was discussing my business with a few people, and talked about our launch of services into targeted vertical markets. I could see that some people were confused, and the reason why didn’t quite click until later when I was talking to my business partner. I was gently reminded that most people don’t live in my world of technology and marketing, and chances are they really don’t understand what a vertical market is, or how it can help them, as a business, grow their sales or build their client base.

It was a point that made me realize that it is our choice of words when we are talking to others, that is just as important as what we are talking about, how we relate it to their business, and how we interact with them. The language we use in our jobs is sometimes very unique to our industry, and sounds like a foreign language to anyone outside.

So what exactly is a vertical market? In the simplest of terms, it is a product or service that meets the needs of a specific group, industry, or business sector. Banks are one form of a vertical market, they meet the financial and banking needs on two levels, both personal and business. Basically any target specific industry is considered a vertical, such as: restaurants, clothing stores, auto repair shops, jewelry stores, etc…

The difficulty for many small businesses comes in defining exactly what their vertical markets are when they are targeting their products and services, and trying to figure out the best approach to market to their potential clients, and what language to use. There was a tutorial on a yellow pages sales training site that I recently worked on that makes a great example for this:

The sales person from this publisher was in contact with a plumber. The plumber had a prominent ad under the plumbing heading in their directory. The sales person also asked if the plumber did work with heating and air conditioning. The plumber said “Of course I do, it is part of what a plumber does”. To which the sales person responded “Your ad isn’t under the air conditioning or heating headings. Most people flip to these when they have an emergency or need service. The average consumer doesn’t realize that this is what a plumber can also do.”

For this plumber, he had three potential vertical markets that he could target with his services.

For my business, we recently launched a new vertical of our own. We are now offering technology and social media business services to other small businesses in Delaware. When it comes to defining your market, and building a solution to help you target that market, the one size fits all approach that many companies offer doesn’t work. Like with the example of the plumber, it comes down to understanding their business, and helping them to reach the market where their services would be the most beneficial. You would not offer them the same type of solution as you would a florist or a restaurant, because the businesses are far different.

If you are struggling to reach your target market, tired of the lack of response from your solutions provider, or paying for something that just doesn’t work for your business, we are here to help.

Helping your business grow is our vertical market.

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About delaware302
Delaware 302 is more than an online clothing store. It's about giving Delawareans a way to express their pride about being from, or even just living in, the First State. Whether you're wearing it or displaying it on your vehicle - let the world see you are Delaware proud. But you don't have to be born here to "represent" the 302.

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