As a marketer in the fast-paced IoT market, you have a lot of decisions to make every day. One of the biggest, of course, is “where should I be spending my marketing dollars to get the ROI I am looking for?” That might immediately be followed by “should I concentrate on vertical markets (and if so, which ones?) or spend my time on a horizontal marketing approach and touch the broader IoT industry?”
The answer is actually both, and unfortunately, it’s also a classic chicken and egg situation in terms of which to tackle first. Many companies are
formed because they see a specific need in a particular market and know they can help solve it. (By the way, Calysto got its start the very same way!) That need may be vertical (the automotive industry really needs THIS), or it may be horizontal (IT departments and CIOs would really benefit from THIS). Either way, where you started is not necessarily where you’ll end up.
But this blog post would end here if we didn’t give you some guidance on how to best make that decision for you company. So let’s get to that.
I was managing an interview a few weeks ago between the CEO of one of Calysto’s IoT clients and a leading industry publication, and he was asked the biggest challenges cities face when deploying IoT projects that make them “smart.” I’ll paraphrase a little, but the gist of his response was this: They try to do too much at once, instead of taking things a step at a time. His advice: Keep it simple. Start one initiative, find success, and build on it.
That’s actually great advice for any company, but so often ignored when our eyes get bigger than our stomach, as can happen in an industry as exciting as the Internet of Things. As much as you need to make a strong business case before rolling out any IoT initiative, in marketing, it’s important to understand what efforts are going to have the most impact for your company short term, but also how those short-term gains can help you achieve long-term success. So, should you be spending your efforts on reaching a wide swath of media and analysts across the breadth of the industry or laser focus on one or more verticals?
The answer is still both, but it does mean you need to focus a little harder on making sure you’re reaching out to the right Influencers in every market. Unless you have a huge marketing budget and can afford to respond to every potential opportunity, you’re going to have to say no to some things. And that’s OK.
Your PR firm can help you focus on what makes sense and what will get you the most bang from your buck in terms of programs and outreach. Don’t try to do it all at once; there may be some good short-term wins, but it’s harder to see long-term success. Here are six ways you can use horizontal and vertical marketing effectively, and in tandem to market your IoT company:
By establish a strategy that adequately covers your needs for both vertical and horizontal marketing, and you’ll find your limited marketing dollars are more wisely spent in the IoT age.internet of things, IoT, M2M, marketing
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