It can be an effective “miss” to employ a generic vertical marketing strategy in certain circumstances, especially in the area of software technology and IT consulting.
Let’s take the case of a mature B2B / B2E business that has outstanding tenure in it’s own line of business, a great existing customer base that provides steady revenue, and is now seeking to turn up the volume on outbound marketing to increase new customer acquisition, and grow revenues beyond the existing base.
Start-ups won’t find this scenario as applicable, but businesses that have been around for years, developing and refining their core products or services to better meet the needs of existing customers may find this approach very effective.
Does this sound like YOU?
Chances are, a “niche” product or service has been evolving in practice behind the scenes, over the years, through your focus on customer relationship development – otherwise, you wouldn’t have a great existing customer base that provides steady revenue.
This type of business profile actually isn’t all that rare in the B2B / B2E marketplace of today. Working with one such client, I explained the strategy as follows:
In a nutshell, your customer base is separable into solution-specific "verticles". As you've been responding to inflection points and solving specific problems, you've been developing niche applications without necessarily packaging (or even identifying) them as such.Articulate those niche applications. Make them your own, and target market them to those corresponding "solution" verticals in your new customer acquisition strategy - prospects who will immediately appreciate the relevance of those developed solutions to their situation. In a broad sense, the strategy here is to look INWARD to what is working most successfully with your best customers -- not OUTWARD to what works "generically" in vertical terms.Package those offerings, make them your own, and target like companies with those niche solutions and value proposition.The strategy is to build on your own success and then project that outward.
This “projectional” marketing approach will not be applicable to every business, but a light bulb or two may go off in the process for mature technology development and IT consulting businesses looking to increase new business opportunities in particular.
The new customers they acquire will benefit from their experience with the old, and they’ll be growing the kind of business they specialize in.