Pitching Vertical Markets: 5 Things You Need to Know

vertical markets

You’ve got a great new product in place and are making some real traction with the industry publications that cover your market. Now the CEO wants to go after some specific vertical markets where your technology has a play – and they want results ASAP. So, you reach out to some publications in that market with information about your product…and are completely ignored.

Why are vertical media giving you the brush-off when you’ve made such headway elsewhere? It’s likely that you’re using the same words and messages for vertical markets as you do in your overall Messaging and Positioning—and that might not fly with most editors.

Editors in vertical publications require specific use cases and case studies that appeal uniquely to their audience members. There’s no room for generic content that could fit into any industry – these publications write and publish articles that are well-thought-out and help their audiences solve specific problems.

But don’t worry, there are several things you can do to make some headway with vertical publications. Here are five things you can use to gain traction in your vertical market(s) of choice:

  1. Understand your value proposition for this market. This may take some effort, because you need to pull back from your overall marketing a bit and think deeply about what your company uniquely offers that can help other companies in your target vertical(s) overcome their pain points and find success. What makes you stand out from your competitors? What specific results can you bring to them?
  2. Do your market recon. This means going more than surface-level deep on the issues and trends in the targeted market and paying close attention to who covers what type of stories. What are the challenges companies in this market are trying to navigate? What kinds of stories are they writing? How do you fit into that narrative?
  3. Have the key ingredients for success. You need a strong content marketing plan for any vertical market you tackle because, yes, reporters (and analysts) will go to your website to check you out before they express interest in pursuing things further. This plan should include:
    • A landing page on your website where you can direct potential customers from that vertical segment
    • A video that succinctly explains your role in the industry to your potential customers
    • A customer case study or use case with a named or unnamed client
    • One or more white papers that tackle key issues in the vertical which you are targeting
    • Blog posts that directly deal with solving this audience’s key pain points and challenges
    • Development of specific campaigns per vertical market
  4. Start a list. What specific publications are talking about areas where your company has something to say? Within those publications, are there specific editors or reporters that focus on companies with technologies like yours? Keep your list tight. While it might be tempting to spray and pray your pitch or press release to every publication that has the word “healthcare” in it, for example, many might not be a fit because they simply don’t cover the topics you want to talk about. That’s wastes everyone’s time.
  5. Refine your pitch. Once you’ve developed your story for this market—using the correct market “lingo.” Each pitch should be personalized to the targeted publications and editors. Be as specific as possible about why your company should be interesting to their audience, and reference how you fit into the trends impacting the industry.

Bonus tip: Don’t bite off more than you can chew. When you’re starting out, you may need to choose the more general industry route to see which vertical markets respond best to your company’s story. Once you find that, you can add in vertical markets and their associated publications one by one as interest grows. Happy pitching!

Want to learn more about how to find success in vertical markets? Read our white paper or contact Calysto.


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