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RISMEDIA, December 11, 2009—Businesses strategize about their vertical and horizontal markets all the time. They expand and adjust them, research the message they are sending and the optimum ways to communicate. Implementing targeted campaigns builds their brand and an affinity for their products and services.

It doesn’t matter if you are a staff of one or 1,000, you can do the same by identifying your markets and refining your approach to build the right clientele in an efficient manner.

First, let’s talk about the difference between the two types of markets:
-Vertical marketing focuses on a specific industry.
-Horizontal marketing focuses on a specific professional or type of individual.

As an example, let’s say your company makes pet food. Some vertical markets for you may be specialty pet stores, zoos and wildlife refuges. Or, depending upon your products and pricing, you may determine your horizontal opportunities are better and target the distributors for mass merchandising stores and super centers.

Have you thought about your own marketing through these lenses? It will force you to focus on the most appealing and effective ways to target and then communicate. You can start by analyzing your current client list to see if you have some existing markets to expand.

As a Realtor involved in a local market, do you have any dominant industries or vertical markets?

For illustration, let’s say you have a vibrant healthcare market. Do you know how the hospital or medical school or other health care institutions handle international or executive recruits? Are they interested in offering employees a new benefit such as your real estate consultation services? There are many creative ways to work with dominant employers in your market area.

Or, should you define your horizontal markets and target doctors and executives at the hospital and the surrounding practices? Perhaps you should pursue other business owners in your community, no matter their industry. Only you can determine the best course of action in your market.

Defining and targeting the right markets this way will force you to be precise on where you spend your time and money, too. Look at your market area with more focused lenses today!

Chris Kaucnik is marketing director for Home Warranty of America, Inc.

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