horizontal marketing versus vertical marketing

When creating a marketing campaign, employing a mix of both vertical marketing and horizontal marketing will best serve your organization. Utilizing both marketing systems will reach a wider range of customers and generate more profits.

A vertical market is often called a niche market. This is because a vertical market is composed of a vendor who supplies a product or service to a customer who exists within the same industry. One example of a vertical market would be wholesalers of car parts who sell their products to automobile manufacturers. In this instance, the vendors are the wholesalers and the customer is the automobile manufacturer; together they make up a specific vertical market or a niche market. A horizontal market differs from a vertical market in that it is not industry-specific. Vendors in a horizontal market sell their products or services to customers in a number of different industries.

Using the example of car part manufacturers, let’s examine a company that manufactures tires. Tires can be sold direct to automobile manufacturers, and they can also be sold to retailers who will then sell those tires to the public. We will also assume that the tire manufacturer sells tires that can be used in motorcycles, bikes and heavy machinery. If the tire manufacturer employed vertical marketing to target automobile manufacturers, but neglected to market horizontally to the makers of motorcycles, bikes and heavy machinery – not to mention neglecting the general public for retail sales – it would miss an enormous segment of the market that uses its product.

Now that we have determined that a marketing campaign should target both vertical and horizontal markets, we need to decide how our marketing campaign will reach potential customers. Different media outlets are available for us to use, but just as we market both horizontally and vertically, it’s best if we employ a combination of different media rather than focusing on just one type.

There are three types of media to capitalize on when creating a marketing strategy. They are owned media, paid media and earned media. Owned media refers media outlets that you own such as a website. Paid media refers to media you pay for like television and radio advertising. Earned media often comes as a result of your paid media campaign, and is essentially attention that is garnered through various social networks. You can generally consider your campaign successful if you capture a lot of earned media since it means that people are taking note of you and your product or service.

Marketing is a complex process. Deciding how to market and who to market to are key when creating your marketing strategy. A successful campaign is one that targets the appropriate audience through both vertical and horizontal marketing, and it also capitalizes on a wide range of media outlets to spread the word about your product or service.

(image: flickr)


11 thoughts on “horizontal marketing versus vertical marketing

  1. I love this. I have roots in the apparel industry and have heard of vertical and horizontal integration, but have not really thought about it in this way for marketing. Love it, and definitely worth sharing!

  2. Explained really well. Horizontal and Vertical marketing concepts have never taught this well before. Keep up the good work sir.

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