Industrial, automation and control companies – are you missing the vertical?

SPSWith the SPS IPC Drives event in Nuremberg fast approaching, companies in the automation and control business should be actively thinking about how to get the greatest value from both the show and their ongoing marcoms activities. However, many organisations are still missing opportunities to promote their capabilities to the widest possible audience. Specifically, building on their ‘horizontal’ outreach and taking a more ‘vertical’ approach.

So what do we mean by this?

Take a typical PR campaign – traditionally promoting technologies to ‘horizontal’ media involves communicating about products or services to a set of press that is very familiar. In other words, the traditional engineering press. It’s fairly straightforward to put together a media list within this horizontal domain and, indeed, to make an assumption that anything that has the word engineering associated with it must be read by relevant customers. Horizontal titles have decent readerships that contain a certain number of engineering job titles, so there is a good chance that engineers are reading these magazines. And there is no doubt you can reach a broad audience across a range of industries.

It’s time to take a vertical leap!

However, every engineering company also has a clear idea of the vertical industry sectors from which it derives much of its business. So there is a strong argument for getting exposure in the media channels that serve these industry sectors.

That’s where the vertical or application-focused media comes in – outlets that are strictly focused on one target sector. Handled correctly these outlets present big opportunities for companies to highlight why they are strong in a particular sector with dedicated content that appeals just to that specific industry.

Let’s look at this a bit more closely and set the scene

You’re a major global player on the industrial landscape, you think your brand is well known, certainly your PR seems to get coverage in the horizontal press. The assumption is that your customers know what you’re all about and what you can do for them. Well that’s a good start, but you need to go deeper than that.

As an organisation you will know, or at least should know, your target sectors. It may be in the field of lifts, motor control, rail or food and beverage. The same should go for your target vertical media. There is a good chance that your customers read the general industrial press, but they are also likely to read the publications that are directly focused on their market. So if it’s an engineer that’s involved in the design of elevators there is a high chance that they might well read a magazine like Elevator World, Elevation or Vertikal.

A good exercise here is to think about your own interests. In my case I am a big fan of classic MG motor cars. Do I read the general automotive press or do I read the specific MG press?

Here’s our quick step guide for identifying and targeting your vertical targets:

  1. Ask your customers which vertical magazines they read or where they get there information from
  2. Ask your PR agency to research your vertical sectors. Get them to identify the magazines they feel are relevant
  3. Make sure your agency knows the editorial staff and the types of material that the outlet will carry (it is unlikely to be general product-oriented messaging)
  4. Once identified, pursue the material within your organisation that is going to fit perfectly your tier one media and pitch the content to the targets

Pinnacle will be at SPS IPC drives this year talking to companies about how to make the most of all editorial opportunities – whether horizontal or vertical.

Why not drop us a line by email or by using the form below to arrange appointment at the show. If you won’t be in Nuremberg, or want help at the show, we can always talk on the phone!