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Topic: Strategy

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What Is Vertical Marketing?

Posted by Hans De Keulenaer on 500 Points
On the web, vertical search means 'search within a subject area', as opposed to horizontal search tools such as Google. The same distinction can be made for software applications, with MS Office for example being the ultimate horizontal suite.

Wikipedia defines vertical marketing as 'niche marketing', catering to the specific & specialised needs of a trade. Horizontal marketing meets the needs of a variety of industries.

I'm looking for a formal definition of vertical marketing (and horizontal marketing). What are the characteristics of both? And a critique whether a vertical/horizontal marketing model would complement the B2C/B2B distinction.

  • Posted on Accepted

    Great response from Steve Alker. Truly one of the great marketing minds in the UK.

    Steve has given a very complete answer, I just thought I'd add something I found through a web search, from

    "A vertical market is a particular industry or group of enterprises in which similar products or services are developed and marketed using similar methods (and to whom goods and services can be sold). Broad examples of vertical markets are: insurance, real estate, banking, heavy manufacturing, retail, transportation, hospitals, and government.

    Vertical market software is software aimed at a particular vertical market and can be contrasted with horizontal market software (such as word processors and spreadsheet programs) that can be used in a cross-section of industries."

    So, vertical marketing is marketing into a vertical market niche.

    Here is a useful whitepaper on the subject.

    Hope that helps.


  • Posted by CarolBlaha on Member
    Its really a pretty simple subject.

    There are two ways to get business. Get more out of the customers you have (verticle) or get more customers (horizontal). It doesn't have to be individual customers but niches -- you're in the medical market -- how can you offer more to that market. Or should you go out horizontally, and expand from medical -- finding another niche to market.

    Sell Well and Prosper tm

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