Strategies for lead conversion are rapidly evolving.
However, one strategy that many organizations haven’t tried yet or haven’t tried in the right manner is Industry-Based Marketing.
By segmenting your marketing efforts according to a particular industry, you establish yourself as an industry leader in several niche markets, create highly customized content and campaigns, and therefore engage more effectively with leads.
What Exactly is Industry-Based Marketing?
To put it simply, this strategy segments your leads into specific markets based on their industry, sometimes referred to as the vertical.
By identifying the most significant verticals within your pool of leads, you can then create specific marketing strategies around the pain points, needs and preferences of each specific vertical.
Let’s say you are a company that provides IT support.
You do some analysis and see that the two main verticals in your lead pool are accounting firms and law firms.
Although accounting firms and law firms both provide professional services and may seem similar, their pain points are different. Their IT support needs are different. Even their preferences about how they like to be approached may differ.
So, create separate marketing strategies that focus on the pain points, needs and preferences of accounting firms first.
Do your homework on accounting firms.
Understand who the decision makers are and you create your buyer persona. You conduct some market research and see how accounting firms are being marketed to. What journals do they read? What industry topics seem to be important right now?
And then do the same kind of homework for law firms.
Is it Worth It?
This strategy might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many B2B businesses simply press on with the traditional “one size fits all” strategy.
Effective industry-based marketing doesn’t happen overnight. This might explain why so few organizations have taken advantage of it. Effective industry-based marketing requires research and commitment to becoming a subject matter expert for each vertical you identify.
Rest assured that the work you put in will pay off, not only when the lead converts, but when you establish your business as a thought leader in that vertical industry.
B2B clients are discerning and tough to convert with good reason. It’s likely that they are about to invest thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars when they partner with your business. Seeing you as an industry expert will go a long way in establishing the necessary level of trust and confidence.
Where to Begin – The First 2 Steps
Step 1: Figure Out Your Target Industry Verticals
Begin with your current list of clients and ask yourself:
- Who are our best clients and why?
- What industries are they in?
- What types of businesses are the best money makers?
- If we could only market to leads in two industries, which two would we choose?
Even if you already think you know which industries should be your main verticals, it’s always a good idea to go through this analysis. Often, industries that once held your crown jewel clients have become less interesting, profitable or enjoyable. And on the other hand, you may have missed the sweet spot that’s been right under your nose until you look at the data in this way.
Step 2: Understand the Target Vertical
For industry-based marketing to be effective, it is critical to understand the problems facing each specific vertical. Although you are generally selling the same product or service to each vertical, the way in which your product or service addresses needs and solves problems might be different.
Find out what the decision makers in each vertical care about. Put yourself in their shoes and understand that each vertical is going to want different things from you.
For accounting firms, an IT service firm might provide technical training about data analytics so audits and tax work can become more efficient.
For law firms, the same IT service firm might help select software that automates the extraction of data from legal contracts.
Understanding each of these pain points is just the beginning. Behind each of those points are an army of other challenges and pain points waiting to be rescued.
When your business begins to dive deeper into the weeds of each vertical, you’ll not only become better educated about the industry, but you’ll begin to extract meaningful insights about the best way to market your product or service to each vertical.
By trying to appeal to both of these verticals with the same marketing strategy, you would not be nearly as effective. By trying to be everything to everyone, you end up engaging no one.
While industry-based marketing may seem like a formidable undertaking, it gets easier over time. The better you get to know your customers, the easier it becomes to segment and provide real momentum for your marketing strategies.