Vertical Markets: Getting Strategic About Your PR, AR and Events Campaigns

There’s much abuzz about vertical marketing and how it can help companies execute on their business goals. In the IoT, cloud, mobile, wireless and telecom industries, vertical markets are generally segmented by industry. These include areas like Healthcare, Manufacturing, Energy, Automotive, Smart Cities, AgTech, FinTech, EdTech, and other markets that have unique challenges and opportunities.

Vertical marketing needs to permeate all areas of the integrated communications program, including content marketing, public relations and analyst relations, events, as well as your website. For this blog, we’ll take a deeper dive into how public relations, analyst relations and events can help you reach vertical markets.

When approaching public relations, the first step is to develop a Media Strategy that:

  • Ensures your Positioning and Messaging carries over to your PR campaigns
  • Establishes goals and objectives and determine how you will measure success
  • Understands your audience—know who you are reaching out to, and why
  • Establishes your budget and how you want to spend it on different tactics

Identifying the influencers most likely to carry your messages to your target customer audience is key. Who has the most credibility in each vertical? Who do your prospects want to hear from? How do you best reach each influencer?

In any given vertical, there are 15-20 key publications to keep up with, and some of the larger verticals have even more. Start your research on these early and prioritize these vertical publications by determining which editor is most likely to cover your story.

The key to reaching out to these publications is having a killer story or set of stories. No two editors or publications are alike, and part of your Public Relations Media Strategy should be to determine what angle will resonate with each. Is it a business-oriented pitch? A technology pitch? A product pitch? This is where your knowledge of the specific vertical will have strong impact.

Analyst Relations

Some vertical markets are so large, they have analysts that cover only that vertical. But others use verticals to help support a vendor’s claims about their products, both positively and negatively. In many ways, you will treat the early process with analysts the same as with media—with research of the key analysts for each vertical. Keep in mind that this target list might be much smaller than your main analyst list, and that you may want to include some analysts on your main list in on any news and briefings you are offering vertical analysts.

The pitch to analysts is also different. Unlike media, who want “the scoop,” analysts are looking to hear from your company because they want to position you in the market—often against your competitors. Therefore, once you’ve secured an interview, you’ll need to ensure that your analyst presentation includes more than just the news.

Events

Industry events are another key area within Public Relations that have a strong vertical presence. Whether they are in-person or online, events can introduce vendors to a wealth of potential new prospects.

Vertical events, or events with a vertical track, have the opportunity to become a strong part of your overall marketing program. It is often best to visit a show as an attendee and book meetings off-site than make the investment in a booth or sponsorship right away. That will give you the right perspective for a bigger spend, if justified, the following year.

Vertical markets, when positioned strategically with a well-thought-out plan, can play a huge role in your over marketing strategy. Segmenting your company’s markets by vertical helps you avoid a common mistake made by many organizations: Treating all prospects the same. That could cause you to miss out on the opportunities to build deeper connections and increase sales. By pursuing specific verticals with your public relations, analyst relations and event campaigns, you are giving your sales team the best possible opportunities for success.

For more on Vertical Marketing, download Calysto’s White Paper.

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