Horizontal Marketing Vs Vertical Marketing

We are a Marketing Department, or a person in charge of Marketing, and when facing the market we have to face, and choose, how to do it.

From the point of view of the approach in which companies relate to and distribute their products or services, there are two basic ways to do it: either with a horizontal approach, or vertically.


Horizontal marketing focuses on expanding similar products or services across different market segments. In this approach, the company seeks to broaden its customer base by offering related products to an existing but different market.

For example, if a sports shoe company decides to launch a line of sportswear, it would be using a horizontal marketing strategy to expand its reach through related products.

The idea is to leverage the existing brand's reputation and expertise in a certain area to enter new markets.

The key characteristics of horizontal marketing are:

- Expansion of similar products or services through different market segments.
- Use of the existing brand and expertise in a given area.
- Taking advantage of synergies and shared resources.

There are certain factors that are recommended for its success, such as:

· Invest in the brand and in the points of sale, as a connection with the user
· Provide the associate with services that increase the value provided to the client
· Achieve a wide geographical coverage with massive promotion actions
· Centralize purchases to strengthen the chain's position vis-à-vis the supplier
· Professionalization of all elements of the organization
· Promote the feeling of belonging among the elements of the company
· Require commitment and discipline at all levels of the chain


Vertical marketing focuses on the control of the entire production and distribution process of a product or service, from its creation to its arrival at the final consumer. In this approach, a company seeks to have more direct control over the supply chain and distribution of its products.

For example, an electronics company can vertically integrate its business by acquiring an electronic component factory and opening its own retail stores to sell directly to consumers. The idea is to maximize efficiency and profit margins by eliminating intermediaries.

The key features of vertical marketing are:

- Total control of the production and distribution process to maximize efficiency and profit margins.
- Integration in different stages of the supply chain.

Therefore we understand that there are two or more elements of the vertical chain. The minimum consists of a manufacturer and end user or consumer, and generally a third element, intermediary or wholesaler, is introduced. The manufacturer creates the product, which is purchased by the wholesaler, who is in charge of managing it to the retailers so that it reaches the end user. Remember that wholesalers never sell to the end user.

A perfect example among vertical marketing systems we have branch chains and franchises, being a branch chain a retail organization that has its own structure of stores.


- Focus: Horizontal marketing focuses on the expansion of related products through different market segments, while vertical marketing focuses on the control of the entire production and distribution process.

- Expansion vs. Control: Horizontal marketing seeks to expand the reach of the company through new products or services, while vertical marketing seeks to have greater control over the supply chain and distribution.

- Relationships and resources: Horizontal marketing seeks to take advantage of synergies and shared resources between related products, while vertical marketing seeks to maximize efficiency.
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